PUBLISHED : Monday, 12 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 12 January, 2009, 12:00am

Just because the holidays are over it doesn't mean you have to retire all your party clothes. While fully sequinned and heavily embroidered dresses are a fashion no-no after Christmas, I always find a use for dresses with subtle jewel embellishments, whether it is for a day in the office or an evening out.

The trend has been spotted on stylish celebrities such as Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham, both of whom donned Marc Jacobs' mini-dress with crystals. I also loved the D&G red satin tunic dress Jessica Alba wore recently, featuring a sash dotted with everything from brooches to crystals.

Of course, something so dramatic may not work so well in real life, but I have spotted local fashionistas wearing dresses featuring a jewelled neckline. This is probably the best way to wear this trend without looking as if you are a Christmas ornament.

Any type of dress is an easy, versatile addition and you can play around with different looks. Take cues from Mayo (right) who wears a white silk/cotton A-line dress with faux amber pieces dotted along the neckline. Because the dress has three-quarters sleeves she has worn a dark long-sleeved cashmere wool sweater underneath to provide a cool contrast. The visible zip on the back is a huge trend right now and gives the ensemble a rock edge. Most of all, I like how she has accessorised with a shimmering gold chain bag and thigh-high leather boots over black tights.

Lily (far right) has worn her cotton/wool black puff-sleeved shift dress with wool dress shorts. Instead of simple jewels on the neckline, the entire front of her dress is covered in faux fur embellished with tiny crystals. Even though there are lots of stones, she is able to pull it off because they are dark and only glimmer when they catch the light. It adds just the right amount of sparkle to her look. Plus the zip detailing of her ankle boots adds a finishing touch to her urban look.

Since bejewelled dresses are already a statement, take a tip from Lily and Mayo and avoid accessory overkill. Forget statement accessories and instead experiment with colour and texture, matching your dress with patent leather shoes and bags, or metallic pieces. Avoid piling necklaces on top and if you are going for a super short dress, wear thigh-high leather or ankle boots with tights to balance the look.

I spotted a cute long-sleeve white wool dress similar to Mayo's at Japanese brand Rosebullet (LCX in Harbour City, 3-27 Canton Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, tel: 2110 5643), while Juicy Couture (Shop 3077 3078, IFC Mall, tel: 3586 2017) has a black turtleneck dress with a bejewelled bib front. Zara is also great for other jewelled items such as tops. Just remember to proceed with caution.