Tastemaker

Festive Decorations

Dress to impress through the holiday party season

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There are so many events and holiday parties to attend this month. What’s a look that’s dressy but can go from work to an evening function?
We’re mostly a dress store. We have a lot of dresses that have some metallics that run through them. Wear it with a little sweater and boots for the day. At night, dress it up with some dressier earrings and take the jacket off. There are some beautiful sweater dresses, too, that you can pull off for evening as long as you choose a great color.

Zuzu’s Petals is known for carrying designer dresses that are hard to find locally. What are some of them?
We always say that if it looks like a department store dress, we don’t want it here. We have to love the fabric and the style. We sell a lot of Nicole Miller, Milly and Shoshanna. They’re just beautiful, and they can touch on a trend, but they have a great sense of the classic about them. With those, if you go into your closet and you reach for a dress, you really still want to wear it. When someone gets into a dress that’s the dress for her, it just shows her off so nicely. We always strive to have the dress work for you, so you’ll still love it next year. We also have the more contemporary version of Lily Pulitzer, which is nothing like the old Lily Pulitzer. It’s very Audrey Hepburn, it’s very Jackie O.

What’s a trend right now in eveningwear that we should know about?
There are some lovely evening sweater dresses, but I think it’s more just beautiful, ladylike dresses. We have some one shoulder looks, some lower backs, a little bit of leopard print that’s still very dressy. We don’t dive into it, but we touch on it. That’s something you can get tired of so quickly. Lace is just beautiful this season. We just got this gorgeous black and cream Shoshanna dress with a low draped back that’s the perfect little dress. We have emerald and ruby Nicole Miller metallic dresses that are really the height of holiday wear.

I always hate wearing the same dress to two big events, but buying a new dress for every one I attend is unrealistic. What do you recommend? How often can you wear a fancy dress without it looking tired?
You can always go with a little black dress and change your shoes and accessories. If you get very specific in a dress, and it’s so memorable, it’s going to be hard to make it look different. But if you have some basic beautiful cuts, you can wear great necklaces with them and that would change the look.

Anything else that we should know about?
We’re carrying some shoes and wraps now. We also always have markdowns, and we have the Zuzu’s Card. It’s marked in $50 increments, and every time you fill one up you go home with a $50 gift card. If you friend us on Facebook, you can see the new dresses we upload each week that we’ve gotten in. People can write in to see which store the dress is in, or ask us to get a specific size at a specific location.

Lois owns Zuzu’s Petals, with locations on Main Street in East Greenwich, Thayer Street in Providence and Chapel View in Cranston.