By Anne L. Fritz
for Bright Smile Beautiful You

There's a fine line between dressing to show your holiday spirit and looking like you're one of Santa's elves. Read on to find out the fashionable way to show your enthusiasm and joy for the season.

Don't: Dress in head-to-toe red and green.

Do: Opt for jewel tones or metallics.

Red and green may be the obvious options, but they're not the most stylish ones. Instead, don rich, gem-influenced colors such as royal purple, cerulean blue or ruby red. "Paired with a simple black staple item (think pants or a cashmere sweater), a jewel tone makes a fun, festive statement without being too elf-y," says Jordan Christy, author of How to be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living With Style, Class and Grace. Metallics are another stylish holiday option, suggests New York City-based fashion stylist Doria Santlofer. "Look for a crew neck sweater or cardigan that has metallic threads," she says. "It's holiday-appropriate, and you can still wear it the rest of winter."

Don't: Interpret "business-casual" to mean "club gear."

Do: Add fun accents to your regular work outfit.

If you wouldn't wear it to the office, don't wear it to your work holiday party, says Santlofer. But that doesn't mean you have to dress like you're at your desk on a Monday morning. Glam up a regular workday outfit with high heels and a statement necklace. One easy trick Christy likes is to wear all black or white with bold accents. "Think black pants with a pair of red heels or a winter-white cocktail dress with bold jewelry, such as a layered, chunky necklace."

Don't: Wear a sweater with Rudolph on it -- even if your aunt gave it to you.

Do: Dress comfortably and casually to family dinners.

Whether your family has an intimate dinner or you're headed out for Chinese food and a movie, keep your outfit relaxed and chic. Christy recommends a thin, colorful turtleneck layered with a lacey camisole underneath and a lightweight cardigan on top. "They're super-stretchy, so you have extra room for all that fruitcake!" she says. To give the outfit an extra festive touch, slip on sequined or embellished ballet flats.

Don't: Wear jingle-bell bracelets or ornament earrings.

Do: Amp up the bling quotient with sparkly jewelry.

Jingle-bell bracelets that actually ring are annoying and ornament earrings are bordering on tacky, but you can still add some seasonal splash with the right accessories. Santlofer likes drop- and chandelier-earrings and suggests wearing a big, sparkly pair with your hair up so you can properly show them off. Oversized cocktail rings are another fun option: Look for holiday-inspired faux rubies and emeralds.

Don't: Wear a Santa hat.

Do: Look for subtle ways to show your holiday spirit.

Unless you're entertaining children at home, Santa hats should be left to the Kris Kringles at the mall. Instead, look for less obvious -- but equally festive -- ways to get into the season. "If you really feel the need to add some jingle-jangle to your wardrobe, get a nice pair of over-the-top Christmas socks," Christy suggests. That way, you can enjoy their festiveness all day long -- and no one else ever has to look at them. Santofler is a fan of red nail polish and red lipstick: "They say ‘Happy holidays' in a subtle way."

Anne L. Fritz is the former style director for Life & Style Weekly and has been on staff at Woman's Day and Working Mother. She has contributed to Marie Claire, Glamour and Prevention, and she is the founder of The Jet Set Girls, a website about girls' getaways.

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