Santa Claus

tvfashwd20.jpgNo other week of the year sees such uniformity in dress from red stocking hats to red boots.

Far be it from us to denigrate Santa's style, but there are a few ways to tweak his look.

Let's first give Santa his props. He knows how to dress for the weather, and we have come to accept the bright red on a round fellow, though most of us would not wear red at his size. Still, it's a look that has worked for him for centuries, and how many people's outfits are automatically recognized?

Yet for those fashionistas who crave more but want to stay in the Christmas spirit, how about considering Santa with a twist?

For a cute punk look, try a body-skimming red jacket with waist buckles and flared sleeves from Starlets and Harlets. Worn with leggings or over a winter white dress, it's available at merchants from Target to Saks. Winter white wool pants also work well with a red jacket. If you want to stay with the monochromatic red, consider a dress. Besides, after Christmas ends, red dresses can pretty much be worn to everything except a funeral. These run the gamut from sexy at Victoria's Secret, which has an off-the-shoulder sweater dress and a more staid, yet still shapely turtleneck sweater dress. Then there's a red ruched halter dress for that Santa-as-a-bombshell look.

At Shop Style, red dresses vary in price and style from a $64 strapless cocktail dress to a $695 Marc Bouwer silk gown.

Santa understands the need for a signature pair of boots. Though once looking for red boots felt like the holy grail of shoe shopping, even in Manhattan, they're everywhere now.

For that cute, slightly punk edge, try Dr. Martens' red patent-leather lace-ups. Frye makes a red boot that is less edgy than the Dr. Martens but has a great heel for walking.

If walking is far less important than fashion impact, try Diba's over-the-knee, high-heeled boots.

For those who hew to tradition, there are Santa suits aplenty out there. Santa Planet has suits ranging from polyester numbers at $48.99 to a velvet-overalls ensemble at $528.99. The most interesting, which manages to be classic yet different, is the Victorian Santa outfit, which has a flowing cape and a tunic.

Let's face it, if you have been hitting the bakery more than the gym this year, the Santa suit could be a good fit. Costumes for Santa has a huge variety, including a shorts ensemble, which we do not recommend because Santa should have standards. This Web site and others offer "naughty but nice" Santa togs, often including laces and garters. Still, they're not so naughty that anyone else will say ho-ho-ho.
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