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The Must-Have Accessories Every Older Woman Needs This Holiday Season

Who needs a fancy party dress to make an entrance?

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photo collage of woman surrounding by sparkly accessories
Elena Lacey
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The fastest way to update your party styles is to add accessories with sparkle, shine and a little something extra. When you’re sporting a few well-chosen add-ons, no one will remember that little black dress from two years ago.

How could they with the glitter and glamour that define this holiday season? Rhinestones, colorful crystals, beads and metallics are the perfect foil for winter’s focus on understated elegance. Now’s your chance to bedazzle before settling back into a quieter fashion cadence.

But exercise a wee bit of restraint. Adding a couple of suggested accessories to each party outfit will keep it real before tipping into real messy.

Alright, let’s take it from the top now.

We’re All Ears

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Earrings adorned with clear and colorful crystals deliver more twinkles than a bedtime lullaby. Alternating circles of pave crystals and pearly beads float toward the shoulders in J. Crew’s Looped Pearl and Crystal Earrings, while the crystal-dotted pearls of the Pave Crystal and Pearl Drop Earrings stay closer to the lobes ($37-$45, both at jcrew.com).

For the drama queens out there, behold statement-making options like Humble Chic’s Druzy Teardrop Dangles ($18, humblechic.com) or the bohemian flair of Deepa Gurnani’s Jody Beaded Tassel Earrings, which had a cameo role in the recent season of Emmy-winner White Lotus ($60, nordstrom.com).

More dazzlers for the neck

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Glitter, gleam and gold make the biggest splashes in face-framing necklaces, sometimes alone but often in tandem. The elegant and undulating snake chain pairs up with glitter in Nordstrom’s Cubic Zirconia Collar Necklace ($34, nordstrom.com). Party girls can tease a dipping decolletage with the artfully placed embellishments of the Triple Layer Y-Necklace and Ettika’s Set of 2 Pearl Necklaces ($58-$70, both at nordstrom.com).

When it comes to glitter, take your pick of crystals from pave to petite to jawbreaker-sized. Clear pave crystals layer onto the silvery Rhinestone-Decorated Necklace ($25, hm.com/us) and the Crystal Collar Necklace from Anthropologie’s exclusive Restored Vintage Collection ($64, anthropologie.com). Or make them green with envy in the Crystal Baguette Necklace featuring a rich shade of emerald ($57-$63, jcrew.com).

For a jaw-dropping statement, only jawbreaker-sized crystals will do. In every shade and shape. These chunky necklaces are selling out faster than you can say Anna Wintour, the veteran Vogue editor who popularized this look along with singer Taylor Swift. If you can’t find this style at your favorite retailers, click over to Etsy.com where a search for “Anna Wintour crystal necklace” will deliver dozens of options that are a regal gift to gift yourselves!

Arm Candy

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Stretch the gleam — and the glamour — all the way up your arms with dramatic, opera-length gloves. Satiny and slinky options in dozens of colors can be found for $10-$14 from Amazon marketers like Specell and Xuhan or by searching “long opera satin gloves.”

If luster rather than shine is your vibe, luxurious leather gloves in 8- to 16-button styles may be the ticket. Vikideer’s Plush Lined Luxury Gloves for Evening Opera ($37, amazon.com) offer coverage and warmth, while the Italian craftsmen at Fratelli Orsini can deliver you sleek, splurge-worthy, unlined versions like the ones they’ve designed for singers Adele and Lady Gaga ($90-$120, fratelli-orsini.com).

Gloves are the perfect backdrop for a can’t-miss-it bracelet. On-trend styles include wide, golden cuffs with lots of texture like Panacea’s Large Multiband Wrist Cuff and the Rippled Cuff Bracelet ($32-$35, nordstrom.com). For maximum bling, go for the jawbreaker-sized crystals of J. Crew’s Oversized Faceted-Glass Bracelet ($54, jcrew.com) or search Etsy.com for standout examples of “12MM crystal bracelet” in the shops of CathieNilson, KarnasDesignStudio and JewelsbyJamieLee ($50-$58).

In a Clutch


Tuck an iridescent clutch under your arm or dangle a petite metallic bag from your wrist, shoulder or crook of your elbow. It’s a moving target but one you control. JQWSVE Evening Bag Y2k Silver Purse (aka Cute Party Bag Clutch) comes in more than a dozen iridescent and metallic hues ($20, amazon.com).

If bedazzled fits your mood better, there are ample options. Some to consider include BBjinronjy’s Clutch Purse Evening Bag with detachable chain ($10-$15, amazon.com), the Pearl Shoulder Bag ($50, zara.com/us) or the Glitter Push-Lock Chain-Handle Bag in silver, black or blush glitter ($73, charleskeith.com).

Still searching for just the right one? Check out the Silver Collection at jwpei.com or Women’s Party & Evening Bags at charleskeith.com.

Twinkle Toes


For a pulled-together party ensemble, don’t neglect your shoes. Sexy side-slits along with midi and mini lengths put extra focus on your feet.

This is a heavy-metal holiday season for sure, with silver being the real star. A search for “silver pumps” turns up more than 100 options at dsw.com, the majority of them under $100. Standouts for mature feet include Naturalizer’s Tahira Pump with its crisscrossing straps and Paradox London’s open-toed Nora Pump, which also comes in gold ($70-$90, dsw.com).

Heels make a statement whether they are sturdy block styles like Anne Klein’s Laney Sling Back Dress Heel Sandals ($56, macys.com) or the kitten heels of the Silver Metallic Buckle-Strap Kitten Heel Slingback Pumps, which also come in black patent with metallic gold heels ($56, charleskeith.com).

For maximum twinkle, pull on a pair of metallic boots like CIERWS Embroidered Western Silver Cowgirl Boots ($50, amazon.com). Or you can splurge and slide into fairytale territory with the bejeweled Clark Slingback Evening Pumps from the Blue by Betsey Johnson collection ($120, macys.com).

With eye-catching accessories like these, you won’t need a wardrobe of party dresses to make your entrance. Just a few new essentials will do the trick of making everyone forget what you wore last year!

What's YOUR favorite accessory to wear over the holidays? Let us know in the comments below.

Photo: courtesy Macy's, Getty Images (4), courtesy Nordstrom (3).

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