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The Non-Conformist's Guide To Holiday Dressing

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    If there's one time you can get away with an abundance of sequins and other frippery (beading, glitter, metallics), it's the holidays. Yet, even sparkly sweaters and silver platforms — which seem so enticing now as we gear up for the party season — can feel a little stale after our 50th fete. That's when we start looking for fancy embellishments elsewhere: the unexpected lining of a super-sharp blazer, the subtle embroidered detail of a sleeve, tiny rhinestones frosting the tips of a crisp collar, or the mirrored heel of a chic black bootie — the kinds of non-cliché details that keep your look festive during the holidays and beyond.

    For an iconoclastic take on adornment, we turned to Kate Albrecht — a.k.a. Mr. Kate — an L.A.-based stylist and jewelry designer whose delicate baubles show she knows a thing or two about how to get her shine on. Here, she gives us nine must-haves from Nordstrom Rack for adding just the right amount of frill to your outfit.

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    The Decorative Cutout
    Perforated cutouts add an unusual decorative element to this sweet-yet-subversive, pretty-but-tough, pleather party frock. Albrecht says her "hybrid" style combines humor and beauty, masculine and feminine sensibilities, and this dress is a playful embodiment of those contradictions. It's perfect for any holiday festivity.

    Betsey Johnson dress. Shop similar styles at Nordstrom Rack.

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    The Gilded Heel
    "You can get away with much more gold around the holidays," says Albrecht. "I am unabashedly addicted to gold on anything" — including the most unexpected details like the heel of a bootie. The subtle sheen allows your ensemble to transition seamlessly from work to party.

    BCBGeneration bootie. Shop similar styles at Nordstrom Rack.

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    The Grunged-Up Sequin
    An updated take on the ubiquitous sequin: Do it in plaid. "I can’t kick the grunge trend," says Albrecht, citing her mania for anything checkered. A sequined, tartan pencil skirt has both grit and glamour — pair it with a black tee and tough booties for the ultimate anti-party-girl outfit.

    Nicole Miller sequin skirt. Shop similar styles at Nordstrom Rack.

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    The Leather Panel
    "I'm looking for a statement coat," says Albrecht. "Something in a new pattern or cut than your usual cold-weather go-to." This collarless jacket has visual flair in the form of leather panels and, paired with leather pants, makes for a badass — and warm — alternative to the standard party frock.

    Ella Moss jacket. Shop similar styles at Nordstrom Rack.

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    The Wrapping-Paper-Worthy Print
    When it comes to holiday dressing, Albrecht doesn't just go for the smattering of sparkle. "Treat yourself like a present," she advises, recommending punching up a standard black dress with a bold print. A geometric pattern is unusual for a winter party frock, but the metallic green color makes it season appropriate.

    Kenneth Cole New York dress. Shop similar styles at Nordstrom Rack.