I love a good LBD just as much as the next girl, but sometimes it’s necessary to shake things up – especially during the holiday season, when there are nightly events to attend. To spruce up your party dress rotation, check out these straight-from-your-favorite-glossy options.

Leather insets
A little leather is always a good thing – trust me. A favorite on the Spring runways, leather insets work best when done in black (or oxblood), and they’re the perfect way to add a little unexpected edge to an otherwise simple dress. (Just go light on the jewelry.)

The high-low dress
Yes, it’s been called the “mullet” dress, but unlike the ’80s haircut, a high-low hem works for all party situations – casual and cocktail. An added bonus? It’s a classy way to show off those gams.

The jumpsuit
Gwyneth, Cameron – they’re both wearing it on the red carpet. No longer just for discos (although few can rock a jumpsuit quite like Jerry Hall), this all-in-one, ’70s-inspired style is making a party comeback – just leave the Farrah Fawcett hair at home.

Our Tart Collections Boutique opens Thursday, November 29, at 11AM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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November 29, 2012

 

KidKraft “Everyday Heroes” Playset. The only thing better than seeing the little ones feverishly unwrap their presents? Watching them play in all their imaginative glory (and reliving your childhood holidays, of course).

The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.

November 29, 2012

No matter how amazing a pair of earrings may be, they certainly won’t pop to their fullest potential until a serious question – a question every girl must face – is answered: Hair up or down?

Hair Down: Opt for a wider, chandelier-esque style – it won’t get lost against your strands.

Hair Up: Choose a streamlined drop pair to achieve a clean, striking effect.

Our Amrita Singh Boutique opens Wednesday, November 28, at 3PM ET.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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November 28, 2012

Photo Credit: Handle the Heat

For years, Mason jars have been used to preserve food – but this holiday season, they’re adding gifting to their resume. Filled with sweet mixes, these old-fashioned, glass containers (which can be found at your local craft store) make for the perfect party favors and Yankee swap presents – just add a gift tag.

Spa Jars
Fact: the holidays can be stressful, so give tired coworkers and shopped-out friends (who knew there was such a thing?), a little rest and relaxation with these homemade candy cane bath salts and oatmeal cookie scrubs.

A Mason Jar Manicure
Filled to the brim with nail polish, cotton balls, and sparkles, this Mason jar has everything needed for an at-home manicure – and what young girl wouldn’t want that?

Contained Cocoa
Who doesn’t love hot chocolate during the winter? With all the fixings for a perfect cup of cocoa (from sugar and marshmallows to a jar to drink it out of), this gift is always a hit.

The Mini Sewing Kit
With a built-in pincushion, this Mason-jar-turned-sewing-kit has aspiring designer written all over it.

Candle-in-a-Jar
Candles have always been a gifting go-to for me, and these Mason jar versions give the holiday staple a thoughtful DIY spin. Plus, you get to choose a personalized scent the recipient is sure to love.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

How are you gifting Mason jars this holiday season? Share your ideas in the comments below, or tweet us @ruelala.

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November 28, 2012

With each generation, things change – holiday dinners are hosted at a different person’s house, or a meal that was traditionally a sit-down affair evolves into a buffet-style free-for-all. And as tradition shifts, so does hosting etiquette. What still applies to the modern-day gathering? Here, find four classic etiquette myths – and the modern truths behind them:

Myth #1: Traditional holiday menus are a necessity.
Who says the holiday potatoes have to be mashed rather than roasted, baked, or scalloped? You’re the host – so feel free to change up your dishes and recipes. Just be sure to share your menu plans with any traditionalists (or vegetarians, or guests with food allergies) who might protest. If it won’t be a real holiday dinner to your mother-in-law when she can’t have her favorite fig-preserve appetizer, let her bring it.

Myth #2: The bar must be stocked with every kind of alcohol and mixer.
It’s not always feasible to keep a bottle of every liquor known to man. Relieve the pressure by mixing up a signature sangria or cocktail for the event, just like at a wedding reception. Stock the ingredients for that one drink, plus a couple of different beers and both red and white wines. Add a few essentials – vodka, rum, tequila – for guests who like it straight or on the rocks, and you’ll have something to please everyone.

Myth #3: Paper and plasticware should always be shunned.
It is true that linen napkins, matching plates, and attractive silverware are the norm for a fancy dinner. But if you’re hosting family and friends in a more casual setting – especially if children are involved – it’s not uncouth to go disposable and lay down some colorful paper napkins, high-quality paper plates, and those metallic-hued plastic forks. Just stick to your décor’s color palette and give thanks for having fewer dishes to wash.

Myth #4: The more elaborate the better.
Rather than setting the table with every fork and spoon in the set – widely considered an outdated (and confusing) practice – it’s more than okay to start with only enough to get guests through the main course. Cutlery for later courses, like a dessert spoon, can be offered along with the dish. Also, a simple yet thoughtfully designed table can be more functional and just as beautiful as an elaborate setup.

Remember that entertaining has one primary goal: pleasure, for your guests and yourself. Do what is comfortable, fun, and thoughtful – regardless of any supposed “rules” – and you can’t go wrong.

By Jess Huckins, Staff Writer

Have any other classic hosting wisdom you love to ignore? Sound off in the comments below or tweet us at @ruelala.

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November 28, 2012

 

Metrokane Three-Piece Bar Tool Set. Watching the excitement on your brother’s face as he opens this set of shiny bar tools is only the beginning. The best part? You’ll be the first one receiving his new creations come cocktail hour.

The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.

November 28, 2012

From play sets to pianos, these are the gifts we’re giving to all small fries, teeny-tiny tots, and kids at heart (whether they’ve been naughty or nice).

 

Our FAO Schwarz Boutique opens Tuesday, November 27, at 3PM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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November 27, 2012

 

Yes, Thanksgiving is over and it’s time to start making a list of all the things you need (and hope to receive) this holiday season. The key to success? A balance of needs and wants. Here are four (realistic-ish) suggestions to get you started on the ultimate gift list:

Practical Picks:

The Perfect Tie
Getting a tie might sound as bad as receiving socks, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether you have to wear one every day or reserve them for special occasions only, both reasons call for a great tie that makes you feel like a million bucks. So make sure you ask for one – or a few – that you really want to wear (and make sure you are specific so you don’t end up with another of the reindeer variety).

Grill It
What better way to get excited for next summer than grill gear? To double your chances of actually getting a grill this holiday season, ask for a portable one that boasts a smaller price tag and more versatility. It’s the perfect choice for the griller who likes to BBQ in the backyard, on the beach, in the woods, or on a road trip.

Want, Want, Want:

Bond, James Bond
James Bond, well, anything. Every guy has a secret desire to take after the legend, so why not take advantage of all the impeccable merchandise being released this year? For a subtle integration of your favorite spy, opt for Bond-themed cuff links or, if you’re a proud fan, request a vintage Goldeneye movie poster to add a bit of that 007 vibe to your everyday life.

Massage Chair
So, maybe not a practical choice, but it’s totally a necessary one. We’ve all spent hours in the mall relaxing in that floor-model massage chair and believe it was the best invention, ever. So add it to your list and have the convenience of its relaxing powers at your fingertips morning, noon, and night.

By Christine Mitchell, Staff Writer

What’s on your gift list this year? Share it in the comments below or tweet us @ruelala.

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November 27, 2012

While a shoe addiction obviously needs zero justification, sometimes those not-totally-mainstream heels do – when worn during certain occasions.

And who is well-versed in operating outside the norm? None other than Betsey Johnson, of course. Using her sky-high stunners as guides (all plucked from our Betsey Johnson Boutique), here are three different ways to walk on the edge of the unexpected – while staying completely dress code–friendly.

 

Dominating the workplace. As long as that clean, classic shape is in place, you’re good. (So go wild with the color.)

Fulfilling that wedding invite. From barn venues to black ties, a super-femme, architectural heel like this one will always fit in.

Tickets to The NutcrackerMetalheads, rejoice: Spikey studs totally count as festive attire.

Our Betsey Johnson Boutique opens Tuesday, November 27, at 11AM ET.

By Sarah Stanley, Staff Writer

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November 27, 2012

Peter Millar Fleece 1/4-Zip PulloverDying to coax Dad out of his go-to V-neck sweater (you know – the one that predates you)? With this sharp and structured pullover, consider it done.

The Get Gifty: Our Holiday Gift Shop Boutique is now open.

November 27, 2012