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Illustrated and written by Kathryn Martinez
Here come my picks for December. It's a busy time of year for all of us, so I'll keep it brief and we'll get right to it. 
At Diesel I found 5 really interesting tops for holiday parties, roasting chestnuts on an open fire, figuring out who's naughty or get the idea.

1.  First up a 50% wool /  50% acrylic thin short sleeve T-shirt with silver glitter detail on the turtleneck, cuffs, and waistband. It's slit in the back with silver glitter edging, and there are two oval cut-outs with silver glitter trim. $98.00

2. I love this 100% cotton martial arts-inspired top.  The mandarin collar has a cutout at the back of the  neck. There's a longer panel in front and a white pipe accent on the collar. $49.00
3. A comfy thick sweater in 100% wool with a long turtleneck. It comes in beige with blue and yellow accents. $119.00
4. Next a 100% wool short sleeved sweater with cap sleeves, and yellow and blue accents across the bust line. $79.00
5. An homage to Japanese deconstructionism is this 100% cotton light gray sweatshirt tunic, all cut up looking, with frayed accents. The holes in front are actually kangaroo pockets. The sleeves have a slight bell shape. $99.00
1.  A deal to score for yourself and for gifts. A 100% cashmere turtleneck with cuffed waist and sleeves. Available in red, camel, black, and light gray-blue. $38.00

2.  I paired the sweater with these 66% wool /  30% polyester / 4% "other fabric" hounds tooth ankle length trousers, with a tab front, and back pocket. Available in pale green or light gray-blue. $58.00

3.  I topped the whole look off with this cream leather shoulder bag with gold chain accents. $70.00

4.  For those nights dancing under the silver- mirrored ball, there's a 100% merino wool sleeveless top with sequins arranged like sun rays.  Available in pistachio or light gray-blue.  $48.00

5.  Combine the top with this short distressed leather skirt with button fly. Available in hot blue or black. $128.00

1.  Once again I'm drawn to Ann Taylor's accessories. Here we have a banana shaped beaded bag. (It's kinda like a clutch, or it feels that way...)  Available in fuschia, gray, or black. $78.00
2. Suede shoes with wing tip trim in patent leather.  Black or brown suede. $125.00
3. My last accessory pick: a makeup bag with a paisley pattern on fuschia satin. $22.00
4. Try this under the mistletoe. A beaded camisole top in silver/gray. $118.00

5.  Pair the camisole with these 57% wool / 2%  acrylic / 1% spandex tweed pants with square trim on the pockets and a tab front. $88.00

Earlier this year H&M opened in midtown Manhattan on Fifth Avenue. H&M's great low prices and cute hip clothing caused a frenzy. People were standing on line outside the store to get in to shop.  Here's what I picked out when I visited.

1. A short fitted pinstripe blazer made of 53% polyester / 43% wool / 6% spandex. Comes in black with white pinstripes. $59.00

2. 100% cotton purple jeans with a boot cut leg, zipper pockets, and a low waist cut. $49.00

3. A light blue denim blazer that's fitted, and it's waist length. $59.00
4.  A cap sleeve T-shirt made of 88% polyester /  12 % spandex. Comes in black with a pop-art flower print. $19.00

5. Next a very luminous 85% rayon / 15% silk velour skirt. It is knee length with a side zipper. In hot aqua blue. $35.00

Banana Republic was truly tuxedo inspired this holiday season.

1.  Exhibit A: a 100% silk fitted, semi-sheer tuxedo shirt, with ruffles down the front. Black or silvery-white. $68.00

2.  A 100% silk top with a drapey effect along the neck line. Purple or silvery-white. $48.00

3.  92% cotton / 8% spandex trousers with a tab front, and detail stitching on the sides. Available in gray-pink, khaki, and gray. $78.00

4.  A 100% lyocel button down shirt, semi sheer  and fitted. Available in light pink, red, or maroon. $58.00

5.  Finally, 100% nylon tuxedo pants with satin trim on the sides.  Navy or black. $118.00

Happy holiday shopping!


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