Being a work-at-home mom, looking good for the holidays may be the last thing on your mind.  But with family entertaining demanding that you play the happy hostess and the onus on you to reflect well on your husband when you attend his holiday party (to meet and impress the colleagues), you’re going to need some fancy winter-wear on hand.  While the thought of putting together not just one ensemble, but several may cause you undue stress, you can look great with minimal fuss if you invest in just a few key pieces.  So when you’re down to the wire with work, kids, and the looming holidays but you still have to look your best, here are the wardrobe staples that will get you through the season with less stress.

1.       The Classic LBD.  It couldn’t hurt to have a dress on hand that works for literally any occasion.  Even though it’s winter, go for something knee length with a v-neckline and a slightly flared skirt, a look that is universally flattering.  You can decide whether you want to go sleeveless with a wrap (a little dressier) or opt for a sweater dress for seasonal warmth.  The best part is, you can dress it up or down depending on the event.

2.       Loose top, fitted jeans.  For a look that’s casual and comfortable, but still a bit dressy and on trend, go for an off-the-shoulder silky top with dolman sleeves or a fluffy cashmere sweater paired with skinny jeans (or straight-leg for curvy girls).  You can add knee-high boots with the jeans tucked in or a comfy pair of flats with a bit of embellishment if you’re going to be flitting between the kitchen and the party all night.

3.       Cashmere cardigan.  You can spice up just about any outfit with a jewel-tone cardigan, and the best the season has to offer will also come with some sparkly adornments around the collar.  You can wear it with jeans, a plain tee (or camisole), and long pendant to attend your child’s Christmas program in style, or don it over sheath dress when you go out for dinner with your spouse’s boss.

4.       Basic pumps.  You no doubt want a comfortable pair of shoes if you’re going to be on your feet all night at a party, so skip the super-trendy six-inch platforms and opt for your basic pump instead.  A 3-inch heel will give you plenty of lift without the attendant soreness, but make sure you skip the boring black and opt for a pop of color or some flirty ornamentation to make your shoes an eye-catching addition to any ensemble.

5.       Bracelets.  The “it” accessory of this holiday season goes around your wrist.  You can really make a statement with a chunky bauble or a blingy cuff, but if loud is not your style, select a cable bracelet instead.  It is understated, sophisticated, and it goes with absolutely everything.  For something extra, find one that features gemstone or pearl accents on the ends (or hint to your husband that Pandora products are high on your wish list).

6.       Wool trench.  When the weather outside is frightful, but you have to look delightful, conserve your core heat with a gorgeous wool trench.  A double-breasted style with a pop-up collar will ensure maximum coverage when it’s snowing and blowing, but make sure you get one with a band or a tie at the waist and a slight flare to the bottom half in order to emphasize your feminine figure underneath the bulk.

Jennifer Kardish writes for InStyle Swimwear where you can find Vix bikini and other popular brands.

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