If that little black dress has been to one too many parties this holiday season, it's not too late to finish out the year in stunning fashion.

Party and cocktail dresses, and even gowns suitable for the fanciest New Year's Eve soiree, are washed with festive color, subdued hues and rich metallic gold or silver. Just as lights and bulbs spruce up a tree, lace, sequins and accessories add punch to party clothes.

"This holiday season, we are seeing a ladylike trend in apparel, with feminine details, such as lace insets and overlays, layered sheers and sequin embellishments. This is also reflected in elegantly tailored pieces like tapered trousers and lightweight pleated skirts," said Sofia Wacksman, vice president of trend for Kohl's.

While reds and greens are as popular as fudge and eggnog, a softer color palette puts a cool spin on the holiday fashion season. "Try pairing winter whites with blush tones and frosty pastels," Wacksman said.

Or slip into unexpected colors such as cobalt, teal and pretty sorbets, and mix them up. Think magenta pink paired with lilac or soft cantaloupe.

Traditional or unexpected, color becomes even more inviting when wrapped in sumptuous fabrics and adornments.

"Luxury fabrics and textures are perfect for the holidays, whether it's baroque fabrics, opulent jacquards or plush velvets," Wacksman said. "Take advantage of the festive season with pieces that feature ornate details, jeweled embellishments, shine and sophisticated colors like rich jewel tones and shimmering metallics."

Decision time

When getting dressed for a holiday event or evening out, the owner of Liberte, an upscale women's boutique in Oklahoma City, follows a couple of guidelines.

Danielle Keogh said she decides whether she wants the dress to make the statement or the accessories.

"If I am wearing an LBD, then I knock it out of the park with statement jewelry, shoes and handbag. If I want the dress to be the main center of attention, then I take it easy on the accessories. Maybe some statement earrings and ring and a more subdued clutch," Keogh said.

"I love shoes just as much as the next girl, but I always make sure I choose comfort first. If I don't, then by the end of the evening, instead of a smile, you can see the pain written across my face."

She said it's always fun to get new accessories and pump up that little black dress, but she encourages women to think outside the box and mix up colors and metallics.

And remember, the dress and accessories don't like to compete for attention.

"There is such a thing as sensory overload, even in fashion," Keogh said.