Don't waste your time searching out the deals on those boring black basics this holiday season. Instead, when it comes to par-tay Fridays, try these festive new updates to fashion's favorite classics.
—The not-so-basic velvet tuxedo. What could be more luxurious? The ultimate formal attire from head to toe in black velvet. For men and women, the velvet tuxedo is one of the best ways to add a touch of elegance to holiday affairs and give new meaning to the "black-tie" dress code. In comfortable stretch velvet, it's even more appealing. Try J.Crew (www.jcrew.com).
—The not-so-basic sequin pencil skirt. It's all about sparkle for the fashion crowd this year. Updating your traditional black pencil skirt with a sequined version allows you to add shine to other black basics; the extra bling will make them party-ready. Pair with a black velvet blazer and black silk tank or a cashmere black turtleneck for a casual twist. Try Anthropologie (www.anthropologie.com).
—The not-so-basic lace dress. Black lace sheath dresses have been trending for a while now, but this year, the open backs detailed with see-through sheer panels are the way to make a memorable entrance ... and departure. Check out the "skater" black lace dresses at Maurices at Black Friday prices (www.maurices.com).
—The not-so-basic black leather leggings. Leggings have come a long way since the days of thin cotton stretch pants. They've morphed into sophisticated and sleek long leather pants that offer plenty of "give" — for all those holiday leftovers we indulge in this time of year. Leather leggings are easy to dress up or down. Remember the proportion "rule" of "long over lean" for the best results. A long, oversized sweater teamed with black leather leggings and white ankle boots is a no-brainer for casual neighborhood gatherings. For dressier holiday occasions, switch to a long crushed velvet tunic or even a classic blazer and silk blouse. Try Express (www.express.com).
—The not-so-basic black jumpsuit. When you want holiday fashion in a flash, think about slipping into a jumpsuit. Wide legs are this year's update to the jumpsuit. Norma Kamali has one of the most flattering jumpsuits this season, cut from her famous stretch jersey with a breezy wide-leg silhouette. With a plunging neckline, it's the perfect backdrop for glittering accessories. Try Net-a-Porter (www.net-a-porter.com).
—The not-so-basic faux fur vest. Sometimes all you need to top off a party outfit is one extra piece. A faux-fur vest can be that stunning extra layer you will reach for day in and night out. This year, go for the shaggy, fluffy, feathery furs. You'll never want to leave these fun furs at coat check. Try Macy's (www.macys.com).
—The not-so-basic black coat. If you don't have a "puffer" coat yet, consider investing in one of the new "slimmer" versions of the down parka. In longer, more flattering fits, this coat will keep you warm for years. With fur hoods or cuffs, they can be the highlight of the coldest night out on the town — maybe at a local tree-lighting ceremony. Try North Face (www.thenorthface.com).
To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.