How to dress festively

Updated 11:29 AM ET, Fri December 13, 2013
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Not sure what it means when that holiday party invitation suggests you "dress festively"? Try these trends for inspiration. This festive red outfit from the 2014 Donna Karan resort presentation is perfect for a party. Donna Karan via Getty Images
Here, Marc Jacobs paired sequined stripe pants with a navy cashmere sweater in the 2014 resort collection. courtesy marc jacobs
Embroidery, as shown on this dress for the Oscar de la Renta 2014 resort collection, is a traditionally "festive" element of holiday clothing. courtesy Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta's 2013 resort collection featured an elegant green formal dress, perfect for a black-tie party. Thomas Concordia/Getty Images
Donna Karan's 2014 resort collection reflected the growing trend of metallic solids. A classic gold-and-black or silver-and-black outfit will work in a pinch when you're required to "dress festively." Donna Karan via Getty Images
Adam Lippes' fringe dress from the 2014 resort collection is more Christmas cocktail party than flapper revival. courtesy adam lippes
Altuzarra featured this gold-and-black ensemble that incorporates holiday trends of lamé and embroidery. courtesy Altuzarra
Silver lamé, a modern resortwear trend, has long been considered a "festive" fabric. Thomas Concordia/Getty Images
Party dresses are perfectly acceptable as "festive" dress, said Courtney Weinblatt, market editor for Marie Claire. Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images for Christian Siriano
Deep blues -- like this Donna Karan resort 2014 dress -- are also considered to be representative of the holiday season. Donna Karan via Getty Images
A bright red-and-black combination, like this Josie Natori resort 2014 ensemble, is an example of a more casual take on "festive." D Dipasupil/Getty Images for Josie Natori
Fringe and sequins, as seen here in Salvatore Ferragamo's resort 2012 collection, are used in soft, tonal ways in modern approaches to "festive" dress, Weinblatt said. Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images for Salvatore Ferragamo
Of course, there's a time to be goofy, funny and high-spirited around the holidays, too. There's just something about wacky holiday sweaters that makes people smile, said owner Anne Marie Blackman. courtesy Anne Marie Blackman/
LED lights are a recent touch to "ugly" holiday sweaters, Blackman said. courtesy Anne Marie Blackman/
They might be ugly, Blackman said, but so many people want to own the sweaters she finds and embellishes that she has moved her operations from her dining room table to a warehouse space in Killington, Vermont. courtesy Anne Marie Blackman/
Blackman likes to further embellish her "ugly" sweaters with chenille fringe and Christmas tree ornaments. courtesy Anne Marie Blackman/
When the holiday party is chiefly for close friends and family, over-the-top holiday kitsch is acceptable, said Lizzie Post, co-author of "Emily Post's Etiquette, 18th Edition." courtesy Anne Marie Blackman/