Whenever people ask me how I feel about glittery anything, I respond with an enthusiastic, "I've never met a sparkle I didn't love."

Truth be told, I think any gal who tells you she's not into sparkles is lying through her teeth. Those Miu Miu glittered platform ankle boots from the most recent fall collection popped up in every fashion magazine's September issue, not to mention completely selling out right after they went on sale, which isn't too shabby for a several-hundred-dollar pair of shoes in a depressed economy.

It's no coincidence that I've chosen this topic for the holiday season, when shimmery attire is suddenly accepted as daytime wear. However, my hope is that these tips will help all of you sparkle subtly throughout the winter, without making people think you have mistaken yourself for a Radio City Rockette.

Below are three workplace-approved ways to wear shimmer, glitter, sparkles, metallics and otherwise fancy accents. After all, sometimes you can't help but be positively luminous.


Constantly donning white t-shirts or plain tank tops underneath boyfriend blazers can get rather dull, and the perfect solution is a sparkly or metallic camisole underneath.

Take the sparkly boucle top from Gap. Paired with an oversized black blazer, cigarette pants and classic pumps, it's easy to wear to the office. Then, when it comes time for happy hour, ditch the blazer and show off that sassy zipper in the back.

Of course, jackets aren't the only way to layer. A cashmere or merino wool sweater with a deep v-neck might require something underneath, and there's no reason why that something shouldn't be a camisole embellished with beadwork or sequins.

Mixing mediums

Last winter, in the office elevator, I encountered a girl who had paired a silver skirt with wool tights, flat riding boots and a chambray button-down. I was floored by the creativity of the combination, and by how much more fashion-forward it looked than the black tights/black turtleneck/black pumps she could have worn. As it happens, I too have a silver skirt, which I now don with thick tights, flat shoes and cable knits almost every time I wear it.

The fact is, sparkly clothing only looks too glitzy for day if it convinces you that it should be worn with other party pieces. A metallic skirt like the black gold yoke skirt is perfectly acceptable with an oversized cardigan, collared shirt and ankle boots, or even flat shoes like loafers, for the office.

Note: Glittery pants are a different ballgame. A slightly metallic pewter or otherwise muted tone would be fine for a pair of trousers or skinny pants, but leave the sequined harem pants for ... actually, I can't think of a single place where you could sport those. Sequined harem pants are never okay.

Color scheming

There is no law that says everything sparkly has to be silver or gold on black, or that everything metallic has to be paired with black. In fact, gold and black is still chic for winter, but silver and black is looking a little tired and overdone.

Going monochrome with your outfit offers the same neutrality as pairing everything with black, but looks more modern. A shimmery or metallic gray item, for example, can be worn with a flat gray top or bottom. The shades don't need to match exactly since the two items are different materials. Add some colorful accents and you're good to go.

Alternatively, if you'd prefer to keep your sparkles somewhat less noticeable and wear them just to feel festive, seek out items where they're integrated into a similar color. A rose-hued sweater, for example, can be accented with the some shimmery gold thread throughout. You can barely see the gold flecks, yet they give the sweater a little something extra.

Choosing your outfit, checking it twice

A few more glitter guidelines:

--Before dark, keep it to one sparkly item at a time.

--If in doubt, reach for shimmery accessories, like socks, tights and bags.

--Let the sparkles do the talking, and forego other dramatic pieces. Never show up at the office in the sequined camisole and the velvet blazer and the peacock feather headband and the leopard print boots ...

--Choose simple jewelry, such as stud earrings and an everyday watch, and keep it to three pieces or less.

(E-mail Kristyn Schiavone at kschiavone@tribune.com, or write to her c/o Tribune Media Services, 2225 Kenmore Ave., Suite 114, Buffalo, NY 14207.)