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Get a New Look for the New Year

A do-it-yourself makeover will help you face 2006 with style - and without breaking the bank

Fashion: A Few Key Pieces continued...

Instead, choose one vintage-inspired piece -- perhaps a soft, flowing baby-doll top, or a trapeze-style jacket -- to capture the essence of the trend. Pair it with something ultra-modern, like a slim pencil skirt or well-cut jeans.

"This will give your look a modern edge," Weston says.

What you definitely should tuck back into the closet as you head into the New Year: Sequins, rhinestones, metallic embroidery -- embellishments that were all the rage in 2005.

Taking their place are embellishment using natural elements, in matte -- not glittery -- colors.

"Embroidery is still in, embellished hemlines are more in than ever, beading and quilting [are] in, but the colors are softer, more muted, with a homespun look, while the embellishments are earth-toned and more natural -- shells, wooden beads, mother of pearl," says Weston. "Adding just one or two key pieces with these embellishments will instantly update your look."

If holiday spending has left you with little to spare, Weston says, the crafty among us can create the look for a pocketful of change.

"Buy a few strands of chunky wooden beads and wear them over a denim jacket, and hem up last year's mid-calf skirt to hit just below the knee, and instantly you're on trend," says Weston.

What's also hot for 2006: Lots of lace! In fact, Weston says you can turn most any look from last year into this year's model simply by adding a lace-trimmed camisole top.

"Lace will continue as a strong trend in the coming year," she says. "It connects a lot of different looks and softens the lines of almost everything you wear."

Finally, for those of us who spent most of 2005 standing up in an effort to avoid the obvious hazards of sitting in trendy, low-cut jeans, pull up a chair and relax: Higher-cut jeans are on the way.

"We're working our way up towards a more natural waistline, so you can say goodbye to the really low-slung styles," says Weston.

Color Your New Year

While shape, style, and cut are key ingredients of any fashion trend, experts say, don't overlook the power of color to bring your look up to date.

Brush Up on Beauty

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