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Party outfit: Statement shoes stand out

By Autumn D. F. Hopkins
Chris Dorst
Autumn D.F. Hopkins usually wears this sari with flat, gold sandals, but, to really stand out, a new pair of orange satin shoes provides height and a bold shock of color.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- I know not everyone has a collection of saris hanging in their closet, but I chose this statement ensemble because I want women to realize that that dress or themed garment you bought for one specific event (think bridesmaid) doesn't have to be relegated to the annals of your closet forever. With a little imagination and some flair, you can wear that piece over and over to lots of different events.

I wore this sari in a fashion show at the India Center one year. I have several, but this is by far my dressiest and really is only traditionally suitable for wedding wear or other very formal occasions. The key to being fashionable and having fun is to be bold and accessorize.

Fortunately, most Christmas parties don't require you to tone down the glitz factor of your party wear. Although this outfit could be toned down easily by replacing the bejeweled scarf with a black satin blazer or demure shrug.

I spent my $25 on a new pair of orange satin shoes. In the past, I have usually worn this sari with flat gold sandals, but I wanted a little more height and another bold shock of color to really stand out.

The shoes aren't exactly the same shade of orange, but they don't clash, and that's what's important. They're also only going to peep out from beneath the hem of the skirt, so the color doesn't have to be exact.

All of the other accessories I scavenged from other outfits I own. The strings of shell beads are iridescent and complement the seed beads in the bodice, the jeweled headband and ankle bracelet of bells add an exotic flair.

I chose a small black Coach handbag instead of a wristlet because there is nowhere in this outfit to stash keys, lipsticks or a cellphone, and I'd rather be comfortable through the evening knowing everything I might need is at hand. But be careful not to overpower your look with a giant handbag competing for attention.


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