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There are sartorial upsides to entertaining at home -- you can get away with bare feet, for one. But prepping for guests leaves little time for fussing over an outfit. These easy pieces get you festive in a flash.
'Tis the season to rock a red frock. When you slip on a bold color, you instantly look awake and pulled together, even if five minutes ago you were scrambling to clean up the living room and set up the bar. Bonus: There's no chance you'll blend in with the crowd.
Petal sleeve dress, in Red, $148, anntaylor.com.
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Not only can a pretty patterned top make your go-to black pants feel special occasion-worthy, it will also hide the red wine spills and chafing-dish spatters that are the true signs of a good party.
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This classic shape is elegant and as comfy as a nightgown and requires a minimum of accessories. (It's particularly appropriate with stocking feet.) A bare-shouldered halter version will keep you cool, even in a hot kitchen.
Python halter dress, in Emerald, $395, rebeccataylor.com.
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Hit of Sparkle
A jewel-encrusted belt fancies up whatever it comes in contact with, from pants and a black tee to any simple workday dress. If you don't want to draw attention to your waist, sparkly shoes or a statement necklace work the same magic.
Wool high-neck dress, in Black, $40, uniqlo.com. Chain-embroidered belt, by Ulla Johnson, $220, from Wright's, 310-376-8553.