If you're not careful, wearing black in the winter can completely drag down your look. Seriously, when did a little snow flurry and the occasional ice storm equate to having to dress like we're going to a funeral? As witnessed at the launch of the Devon flagship store in Beverly Hills on Dec. 8, black-based ensembles can be sexy, trendy, and superfun. Just check out how Jessica Stam, Nicky Hilton, Whitney Port, and Rashida Jones rocked dark and lovely looks...and take notes.

JESSICA STAM

Jessica Stam

Jessica Stam
Photo: John M. Heller/Getty Images

Instead of donning a basic black minidress (which would have been OK), model Jessica Stam, who helped host the Devon store launch, wore one covered in sparkly embellishments.

NICKY HILTON

Nicky Hilton

Nicky Hilton
Photo: Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Another way to make an LBD more interesting is to choose one in an interesting fabric like socialite Nicky Hilton did. Granted, this Devon leather dress cost a whopping $2,250, but you get our point—play with fabrics!

WHITNEY PORT

Whitney Port

Whitney Port
Photo: Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Whitney Port brightens her black blazer, military green tights and black booties by slipping into a summery white slip dress. Genius!

RASHIDA JONES

Rashida Jones

Rashida Jones
Photo: John M. Heller/Getty Images

Actress Rashida Jones looks so laid-back and cool in a Devon printed chiffon top, which she paired with a jean jacket, high-waisted/high-water pants, and a smattering of skinny jewelry.

+ Whose "winter black" do you like best?

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Jaime King at the Devon store launch on Dec. 8, and Audrina Patridge at the 'Just Dance 2' launch on Oct. 19.
Photo: Getty Images

If there’s such a thing as an "It" T-shirt of the year, this would be it. The Archive 1887 tee ($58 for short sleeve, Archive1887.com; $84 for long sleeve, Archive1887.com), which features rock band The Stooges’ frontman Iggy Pop back-bending it up, was recently spotted on both Audrina Patridge and Jaime King. Audrina ripped and rolled the sleeves of hers and wore it with dark skinny jeans, peeptoe booties and a petite chain link purse to the premiere of Just Dance 2 in Hollywood on Oct. 19. Meanwhile, at the Devon store launch in Beverly Hills on Dec. 8, Jaime King tried to dress hers up with some SERIOUS earrings, a long metallic scarf, and a swipe of bright red lipstick. For us, a T-shirt is best sans all the extra bells and whistles, which is why we prefer Audrina's simple black ensemble over Jaime's overdone look. But we want to know what you think.

+ Who wore a rocker tee best — Jaime King or Audrina Patridge?

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Taylor Swift on Nov. 30, Emma Roberts on Oct. 16, Amy Smart on Nov. 30.
Photo: Getty Images/WireImage

Taylor Swift, Emma Roberts, and Amy Smart showed off feminine style when they wore little black lace dresses to recent red carpet events. Taylor Swift attended the CMT Artists of the Year event on Nov. 30 in a dress that had a sparkly skirt and gorgeous lace overlay. Meanwhile, Emma Roberts opted for a one-shoulder look, choosing a black mini with a loose lace sleeve for a Spike TV gathering on Oct. 16 in Los Angeles. And finally, Amy Smart went for a Victorian flare at the Dead Awake premiere in Hollywood on Nov. 30, sporting a short-sleeve lace number that had a high, detailed collar. We just LOVE how lace ups the elegance ante of these classic black shifts. Dying to get in on this pretty trend? Check out the gorgeous options below.

+ GET THE LOOK...

Taylor Swift at the CMT Artists of the Year in Franklin, Tenn., on Nov. 30.
Photo: Getty Images/Revolve Clothing

TAYLOR SWIFT: This MM Couture Lace Dress by Miss Me ($79, RevolveClothing.com) mimics the silhouette and style of Taylor's shift to a T!

Emma Roberts at Spike TV's "Scream 2010" in Los Angeles on Oct. 16.
Photo: Getty Images

EMMA ROBERTS: Try Emma's collarbone-revealing style with this One Shoulder Black Lace Dress by Sentimental NY ($152, EDressMe.com).

Amy Smart at the "Dead Awake" Premiere in Hollywood on Nov. 30.
Photo: WireImage

AMY SMART: We ADORE the detailed collar on this ASOS Revive Lace Collar Dress ($129.30, Asos.com). Plus, the skirt is a little less busy than Amy's, making it easy to dress up or down.

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Emma Roberts the British Independent Film Awards in London on Dec. 5.
Photo: Getty Images/Topshop

Dior? Nah. Reem Acra? Not this time. Chanel? Nope. Emma Roberts (who could easily get her hands on any designer threads) chose an icy blue spaghetti strap dress from Topshop to wear to the British Independent Film Awards on Dec. 5. And the actress is no stranger to the budget-friendly brand—she also chose to wear a dress from Topshop to H&M's Lanvin Launch party on Nov. 18. Here, she paired the floor-length gown with a chunky floral necklace and a beige clutch, proving to other girls her age (eh-hem, Taylor Momsen) that you don't have to show your bum to make a style statement.

Wear it now, wear it later. The Premium Grey Skeleton Leaf Print Pleated Maxi Dress ($160, Topshop.com) is an all-seasons stunner.

+ Do you like Emma's taste for Topshop?

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Rihanna performs at an American Idol Season 9 Show on April 7, 2010, at the 2009 American Music Awards on Nov. 22, 2009, and at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 12, 2010.
Photos: PictureGroup & Getty Images

Kanye West interviewed Rihanna for the December issue of Interview magazine. And guess what one of his first questions was about? Yep, fashion! Specifically, "how has it evolved since the start of [her] career." And as pointed out over at Styleite, the Good Girl Gone Bad says she went from “a very, innocent, girly look," to "a darker, edgier look." And now? Rihanna says she's "over the whole structured clothing, overly shoulder-padded s***. I like stuff that's easy without trying too hard. I don’t like stuff that’s too contrived." Well, RiRi, before you brush off your shoulders (which we will miss dearly), lets celebrate them. Here's a look back at our favorite Rihanna shoulder-padded moments. Sniff-sniff.

Rihanna at a costume gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2009, DKMS' Third Annual Star-Studded Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on May 7, 2009, and Carol's Daughter in New York City on June 16, 2009.
Photos: Getty Images

THE BEGINNING: PUFFY SHOULDERS
Rihanna's shoulder situation started off less pointy and more pillowy in plush suit jackets and feminine tops with padding that looked powerful, but still soft.


Rihanna at the Gramercy Park Hotel in New York City on June 29, 2009, at the Balmain Prêt à Porter during Paris Womenswear Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 on Oct. 1, 2009, and backstage during Givenchy Prêt à Porter during Paris Fashion Week on Oct. 4, 2009.
Photos: Getty Images

STREET CHIC
As Rihanna's toppers shrunk and became more form-fitting, her shoulder pads got narrower and grew pointier. Very Balmain.


Rihanna performs at the 2009 American Music Awards on Nov. 22, 2009, ABC's 'Good Morning America' in New York City on Nov. 24, 2009, and the German TV Show 'Popstars You & I' finale on Dec. 10, 2009.
Photos: Getty Images

SHOULDER GROWTH
We noticed Rihanna's shoulder pads pump up for performances like the 2009 American Music Awards. But the over-the-top look worked—it matched her big stage presence.


Rihanna at the Grammy Awards on Jan. 31, 2010, the Pepsi Super Bowl Fan Jam on Feb. 4, 2010, and the Echo Awards on March 4, 2010.
Photos: PictureGroup & Getty Images

A SOFTER POINT
By adding feathers and fabric, or cutting off one shoulder pad altogether, Rihanna showed a more feminine side. Sure, she was still making a fashion point, but it wasn't as in-your-face.


Rihanna performs at an 'American Idol' Season 9 Show on April 7, 2010, at Madison Square Garden on Aug. 12, 2010 and during MTV's 'The Seven' in Times Square on Nov. 15, 2010.
Photos: Getty Images & PictureGroup

THE END: SHOULDER EXPLOSION
Are these super-embellished, patterned and printed, quarterback-style performance pads the last we'll see from Rihanna? We sure hope not!


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Photo: Getty Images

You don't have to be into the classics to appreciate these cute clutches. Kate Spade recently launched her Book of the Month Clutch ($325, katespade.com) for accessory addicts, and last night Natalie Portman was spotted toting "Lolita," a green cover book/clutch made by Olympia Le-Tan to the New York City premiere of Black Swan, the movie she stars in with Mila Kunis. We love these clever carryalls because they are the perfect size for stashing all of our essentials—lipstick, cell phone, iPod, money, and those geeky-chic glasses that we used to have to wear to look all smart and literary.

Book clutches by Olympia Le-Tan. 'Great Gatsby' book clutch and newspaper clutch by Kate Spade.

+ Do you think these clutches are a novel idea?

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Kim Kardashian on Nov. 22, Leighton Meester on Nov. 24, Emma Watson on Nov. 10.
Photo: Getty Images/WireImage

We'll put up with all of the things that make winter brutal—snowstorms, the sniffles, fruitcake—as long as we get to dress in velvet. TONS of celebrities agree. We've recently spotted Kim Kardashian, Leighton Meester, and Emma Watson decked out in festive LBDs made with the fabric. We're not surprised, either. In addition to being supercomfy and cozy, velvet has the unique ability to make any dress look 10 times richer. Here are our favorite cold-weather party-worthy sheaths...

GET THE LOOK...

Kim Kardashian at the Launch of Lorraine Schwartz's "2BHAPPY" Jewelry Collection in New York on Nov. 22.
Photo: Getty Images/Revolve Clothing

KIM KARDASHIAN: For a flattering, hip-hiding fit like Kim's, try this Tibi strapless minidress ($288, RevolveClothing.com) with a slightly flared bottom.

Leighton Meester at an Herbal Essences Photocall in Madrid on Nov. 24.
Photo: WireImage/Macy's

LEIGHTON MEESTER: Show just the right amount of skin like Leighton in this INC sleeveless racerback halter dress with shoulder cutaways ($79.99, Macys.com). P.S. This simple shift looks great belted, too.

Emma Watson at a Harry Potter Photocall in London on Nov. 10.
Photo: Getty Images/Topshop

EMMA WATSON: This one-shoulder velvet dress by Boutique ($260, Topshop.com) is just as romantic and Victorian-feeling as Emma's single-sleeved version.

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Olivia Wilde at the "Tron: Legacy 3D" Press conference in Tokyo on Nov. 29.
Photo: WireImage

Kanye West may have found some competition when it comes to donning, HUGE neck gear. While promoting Tron: Legacy 3D in Tokyo on Monday, actress Olivia Wilde teamed an oversize (yarn?) necklace with a striped sailor shirt, a flippy black mini, bright tights and knee-high boots. OK, so we aren't thrilled with her look as a whole, but we LOVE her fluffy, fabric necklace. If you're into Olivia's "jewelry" of choice as much as we are, but aren't a knitter (or a crafty person, period), don't worry! Here are some soft-to-the-touch necklaces to buy.

GET THE LOOK...

Olivia Wilde and Necklaces by Tanya Aguiniga, Michelle Lane, Anthropologie.
Photo: Tanya Aguiniga, Michelle Lane, Anthropologie

With Cotton: This Tanya Aguiniga Unraveled Necklace ($175, TanyaAguinigaStudio.BigCartel.com) has been dipped in dye to give it the look of beads on rope.

With Rope: Draw attention to your neckline with this swirly Michelle Lane Systematic Search Necklace ($495, Shop.MichelleLane.net).

With Crocheted Fabric: For a delicate look clip this Anthropologie Sugared Lace Necklace ($198, Anthropologie.com) around your neck.

+ Do you like Olivia Wilde's yarn necklace?

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Rihanna at the EMA on Nov. 7, Emma Roberts at the Teen Choice Awards on Aug. 8, Anna Paquin at the Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 29.
Photo: WireImage

We were a hung jury on whether red eye shadow was hot or not until we spotted Rihanna at the 2010 EMA on Nov. 7, Emma Roberts at the 2010 Teen Choice Awards on Aug. 8, and Anna Paquin at the 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards on Aug. 29 rocking the daring look. OK, confession: We tried (ONCE!) to wear the grenadine hue on our lids, and it looked more rash-like than avant-garde. So not cute. Turns out we were doing it all wrong. "Red eye shadow can be scary for people, but if you apply it in the right way it can really make eyes pop," says Hannah Murray, a Topshop makeup artist.

Here's how to ace the lid look...

Like Rihanna
For a fresh approach, sweep a single layer of red shadow — try Topshop Matte Eyes in Painted ($14, Topshop.com) — from lashline to the crease of your eyelid. Then pile black mascara (we're talking three+ coats) on your top lashes only.

Like Emma Roberts
Dab your shadow brush in water before applying. Glide the shadow on as a thick, sheer eyeliner on the top and bottom lash line, with lots of mascara on top lashes.

Like Anna Paquin
Apply the grenadine shadow over the eyelid, blending outward slightly. Smudge a little black kohl eyeliner like Smashbox Limitless Eye Liner in Onyx ($19, Smashbox.com) into the top and bottom lashes and inside the rim of your eye to create a cool-with-attitude look.

+ Are you ready to try red eye shadow?

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Fergie on Sept. 26, Lady Gaga on Nov. 3, and Rihanna on Oct. 27.
Photo: Getty Images

Celebrities are getting to the point with their manicures. Fergie wore triangle-shaped nude nails at the New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins football game on Sept. 26. Meanwhile, Lady Gaga's mani looked sharp with a coat of shiny black polish on them in London on Nov. 3. We also spotted Rihanna with talon-esque lavender nails at a book signing on Oct. 27. According to Roxanne Valinoti, celebrity manicurist and education training manager for CND, this style has been a growing trend for a few years now. Who knew?! "It's a very feminine shape that balances an edgy look," Valinoti adds. Want to go long with your nails? Here's how...

GET THE LOOK ...

STEP 1: Start with a square, medium-to-long nail and find the center point of the nail (you can draw a dot with a marker for reference).

STEP 2: File both sides of the nail with a soft file like Rudolph Nail File ($0.89, sallybeauty.com) toward the center as if you were creating a triangle with the extension edge.

STEP 3: Finally, smooth the edges and soften any harsh corners so both sides are even before painting.

FOR FERGIE'S LOOK: Ginger + Liz Nail Colour in The Professional ($12, gingerandliz.com)

FOR LADY GAGA's LOOK: CND Nail Colour in BlackJack ($9, bebeautiful.com)

FOR RIHANNA'S LOOK: Essie Nail Polish in St. Lucia Lila ($8, essie.com)

+ Who do you think rocks stiletto nails the best — Fergie, Lady Gaga, or Rihanna?

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House Of Style House Of Style

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Featured Comment

I love these two as a couple. What a festive way to celebrate two important events in their life. Mariah looks like a dream.

Posted by Journey on Mariah Carey And Nick Cannon Shut Down Disneyland To Renew Vows In Cinderella-Themed Ensembles
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