Bonnie Bing

A toast to cocktail dresses

A great cocktail dress can be a show-stopper during the holidays. Step in, zip it up, add some great accessories and you're set for anything after 5. Sleeveless sheaths abound in a variety of fabrics and styles — glimmering reptile print, ruched or ruffled silks, sparkling knits.

Pleats and beading, lace overlays and fabric flowers are a few examples of details you'll see on dresses this season.

"Lace is hot for the season, and cocktail dresses are really big," said Camille Fink, contemporary buyer for Lyndon's in Bradley Fair, at Rock Road and 21st Street.

Wearing a short, fun dress is the perfect opportunity to show off a great pair of shoes, too. And Fink says legwear also is important this year, whether you're wearing tights, sheer black or nude hosiery.

Find the length, the style and the price that suits you, then get ready for heads to turn.