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Deck the Halls in Style!

By Charlotte on December 7, 2011 6:50 AM

Sequins, silk and all that shimmers. Tis the season for parties!


It would be nice to buy a trendy holiday outfit for everything from my book club birthday celebration to candlelight Christmas Eve communion. I do LOVE to shop but we all know that's simply not happening.

That's why I was relieved to talk with wardrobe specialist Carolyn Wang. As a personal stylist, Carolyn has mastered the art of making festive statements. And she shared some tips sure to help us Boomer babes get the best bang from our holiday dressing budget.



Deck the Halls in Style!

By Carolyn Wang


This holiday season, it's all about keeping up with the latest fall/winter trends while not breaking the bank.


Making sure your wardrobe goes the distance can be as simple as finding a few sleek, fantastic investment pieces that can serve as building blocks. The secret is mixing quality items you already own and pairing them with key winter staples that can be used time and time again.


Whether your style is sophisticated and feminine or comfortable and classic, you can still fool your friends into thinking you just spent a fortune on your look. Every closet needs solid statement pieces to create effortless, transitional day-to-night outfits. Mix and match, add a pop of color, be adventurous with bold accessories, and experiment with vibrant jewel tones to create an array of fabulous looks.


A huge trend this season that every woman should master is color blocking. Pair a sleek, floor-gazing skirt or a Little Black Dress with a deep red jacket, red pumps and a bright scarf. Elevate your neutral outfits with dark navy, green and purple accents or even an animal print vest.


I consider the LBD and a smart jacket holiday essentials. With these two must-haves on hand, you can achieve countless chic looks. Whether you're dressing to impress at the office Christmas party or going more casual for caroling with the girls, these investment-wCarolyn Tips 1 143.jpgorthy pieces can be your base. Then just pull from your closet to change the vibe!



Put a Spin on the LBD

Every woman knows the key to a functional wardrobe is selecting pieces that you can wear over and over and still look fabulous. One timeless piece is the basic Little Black Dress; it's simple, flattering and a go-to for any celebration.


A great LBD has endless possibilities. Wear it to work with boots and a blazer. Later, slip on heels and jewels and you're set for the holiday party, without losing time on wardrobe changes!


Choose one that's wrinkle-free, machine-washable and color guarded so it will withstand a full day and evening of activities and still look fresh. Then:


Wardrobe specialist Carolyn Wang in

Ming Wang's ¾ Sleeve Dress Black Dress, Style# MD14, $218 




Carolyn Tips 2 154.jpg 














Ming Wang ¾ Sleeve Dress Black Dress, Style# MD14, $218



Jazz It Up with a Jacket

A print jacket is a wonderful way to take a simple look to a new level. You can wear the jacket alone, put it over a matching shell, or mix and match by throwing the jacket over a solid blouse.


Carolyn Tips 3 117.jpgTo add a little extra kick to your ensemble, choose a jacket with unique detailing like the black-and-gold number pictured here. It includes a mandarin collar; open front; elegant, black trim, and gold embellishments. Then:














Ming Wang Black/Gold Jacket, Style# M3488, $255



Carolyn Tips 4 129.jpg



  • Slip on a matching shell, a pleated skirt and those same stilettos for a more sophisticated look that's guaranteed to receive compliments.








Ming Wang Black/Gold Jacket, Style# M3488, $255


Ming Wang Black/Gold Crewneck Shell, Style# M3489, $126


Ming Wang Black 27" Novelty Skirt, Style# MK22, $155






Perfect for holiday get-togethers, the little black dress and a great jacket are must-haves that make it easy to change up your style by adding other pieces and accessories you already have in your closet. Now, that's worth celebrating!



Carolyn Wang serves as Senior Merchandising Director for Ming Wang knits, and co-owns Fort Worth's Bridge Boutique. For the past four years, she has worked as a personal stylist offering closet consultations and wardrobe sessions to help women feel comfortable and confident in their clothing choices.


Growing up in Owego, New York, Carolyn fell in love with fashion and design and began making her own clothing at an early age. After graduating from the Fashion Institute of Technology with a major in Fashion Design, she began designing for Ming Wang.


Ming Wang is a collection of luxury knitwear that is washable, travel friendly, comfortable and designed to fit woman of all shapes and sizes.


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

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By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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