Tis the season for holiday parties. Rather than rummaging through the closet to find something to wear, consider stopping by one of Albuquerque’s locally owned women’s clothing stores to find just the right outfit that will add pizzazz to any daytime or evening event.
“Everyone feels better with an updated wardrobe,” says Emma Ross Belfrate, owner of Elsa Ross. Belfrate’s model Sharon Neal Dreyfus wears a black cocktail dress from Elizabeth & James ($398), also known as the Olsen twins. It is a form-fitting rayon blend dress that zips up the back. White beads embellish the high neckline. This dress is available in sizes 4 to 8, although Elsa Ross carries a selection of skirts and dresses up to size 12.
“Close-to-the-body dresses can be more slimming for many women,” says Belfrate. “While we sell dresses in all lengths, a lot of our customers like dresses that go just below the knee.”
Belfrate has paired the dress with a nude-colored quilted leather jacket by Haute Hippie ($795). She describes the jacket as being a cross between a biker jacket and a Chanel jacket. It’s finished with gold zippers to dress it up a bit.
“The jacket is made from a super soft leather,” says Belfrate. “Jackets are great because they’re timeless and functional. They can be worn a lot of different ways. This is a fairly expensive jacket, but we sell leather jackets in colors including black, gray and shades of purple and plum starting at $395.”
Elsa Ross, 3511 Central SE; elsaross.com
Rhonda Ashcraft, owner of Articles, selects an outfit she thinks looks great on all women, regardless of their size. Model Barbara Schwyzer wears a black slice tunic ($160) by Sympli with a scoop neckline and three-quarter length sleeves. Made of a super-soft microfiber, it is available in sizes from 2 to 18.
“The tunic is not form-fitting, so it tends to slenderize,” says Ashcraft. “It’s like wearing pajamas because it’s super comfortable. There are no buttons. You just put it on over your head. It travels well, so it’s easy to put in luggage and take on a trip. It’s machine washable. Just hang it up to dry.”
While the tunic hangs below the knee and can be worn as a dress, Ashcraft paired it with black pants ($128). Leggings also would work well under the tunic.
Last year’s jewelry fashion trend included lots of glitz with small stones. Larger stones are in this year, says Ashcraft. Schwyzer wears two necklaces ($78 and $88), both of which have large stones in them. She also wears bracelets ($78 cuff; $300 for a group of six bangles) made of zinc and dipped in silver, that have a lacquer finish on them.
“You can be comfortable and elegant at the same time,” says Ashcraft.
Articles, 8510 Montgomery NE
Model Elaine Burnidge wears an outfit that Strive’s owner Nancy Montoya thinks is perfect for a holiday party for several reasons.
“The outfit has a sparkly sleeveless silver/gray tank top ($40) which can be worn by itself if it’s quite warm inside,” says Montoya. “I’ve paired it with a long black knit cardigan ($44) that buttons up the front and has silver studs on it. The cardigan is great to put on if you’re going outside during a party or if you feel cool while you’re inside.”
Both the tank top and the cardigan are available in sizes small, medium and large.
Montoya selected black stretchy skinny jeans ($90) with a detailed pattern to accompany the tank top and sweater.
“The soft pattern on the jeans gives the pants a dressed-up look,” she says. “What I like about this outfit is that the various pieces in it can be mixed and matched with other pieces of clothing to get a different look. Add a scarf or put leggings on instead of the jeans and you’ve got an outfit you can wear on more than one occasion.”
Strive, 8000 Paseo del Norte NE, #C-14