If you have several holiday parties to attend this season it can be tough coming up with the perfect outfit. Below are four different party scenarios and how to dress for them.
Casual: This may be a more informal gathering – perhaps time with family decorating gingerbread houses or a last minute movie night thrown by a friend. A fool proof outfit is always a sweater dressed up slightly with great accessories. The center outfit may be a little more dressy, so i’d dress it down with a cardigan in this instance.
In-Between part one: Most parties fall into this category where it’s not quite formal or casual. I think skirts are a great way to go because you can put many elements into the outfit – for example pairing a plaid skirt with a textured sweater and a gorgeous necklace is a lovely holiday look. The three looks above are both appropriate for the season and visually interesting.
In-Between part two: Another holiday look is a pair of tailored pants with heels. I love how all three looks had one element that made it stand out, like a faux fur collar, tartan pants, and a stripe shirt. These looks are a little more on the professional side and would be perfect for a work party.
Fancy: In my opinion, this is the easiest look to put together since you’re simply pairing a dress with shoes and a few accessories (vs top, bottom, layers, etc.). I love three looks above because they are all holiday colors and also have fun details to them – bows on the sleeves, ruffle skirt, etc. A more formal dress is perfect for the fancier occasions on your holiday party schedule.
My final thoughts – when in doubt, I think the pants/heels/blouse combo is the most foolproof. You can get away with wearing that style from casual to fancy, especially if you plan ahead and bring accessories to dress up or down your outfit. For example, I’d come to a party wearing the combo above and if I was in a more casual situation I’d add a sweater, if I were in a fancier situation, I’d add lipstick and bigger earrings. Just a thought if you have a tricky situation where you don’t know how to dress!
As always, I think it’s better to be dressed up than down. You’ll just bring the standard up for next year’s party. 😉
I hope everyone had a great Christmas! I love seeing what everyone got for Christmas so I thought I’d share a few of my gifts. I also received a some stuff for my house, a new Bible, and other little things, but I wanted to highlight the clothing and accessories in particular since that’s what my blog is about. My favorite gift (not pictured) was a trip to the Kentucky Derby from my husband, Joe. I am looking forward to hat shopping!
I apologize for the poor image quality, I snapped it with my iphone before heading off to work. I did not receive the cat for Christmas but she insisted on being in the photo. 🙂
My gifts were not only great staple items (camel coat, gray skirt, cream vest), but also some fun items (ski sweater, flag sweater and hat, etc.).
lipstick holder / kjp bracelet
I also received these lovely accessories! A great excuse to get two more lipsticks of this brand. My husband has a KJP bracelet from the Painted Oar Collection, so when I kept borrowing his I knew I had to have one. My parents were generous to give me for Christmas!
What was your favorite Christmas gift?
The holidays are my favorite time of the year for dressing up for events. Many Christmas parties are fancy, but not too formal. Picking out a Christmas dress for those occasions are a little tougher when you have to strike the balance between dressy but not too elaborate. The Duffield Lane dress below fits the bill for just this scenario!
Duffield Lane is a company based out of Michigan that sells classy attire for women. This Jenna dress is what I consider a versatile piece since I can make it as dressy or casual as I need to, but mainly I need it for those in-between times such as a Christmas brunch, winter bridal shower, or a Sunday morning at church. I reach for this dress often for its simple, yet elegant style.
The dress is true to size, fits like a glove, and the bottom has a subtle flair. There’s no odd bunching or tightness in this dress, it was designed very intentionally with great detail.
This clutch from Mark & Graham goes perfectly with this dress and for the holiday season. My favorite part is the monogram on the clasp of the clutch. Little details like that make it an item I know I’ll own forever.
Dress c/o Duffield Lane / Clutch c/o Mark & Graham
Below are my top picks for Christmas dresses from my favorite brands. The dresses below aren’t something you’ll find readily available at a mall, which means the chances of matching someone are low (that’s always a good thing). I own dresses from each of these brands and highly recommend them.
Duffield Lane / Camilyn Beth (on sale!) / Shabby Apple / Eliza J
Here are a few ideas you may want to take after receiving such considerate gifts this year. These thought are meant to help you get the most potential out of your gifts while showing due appreciation for what you have received.
I am a big fan of thank you notes, but it’s not 100% necessary during Christmas since presents are exchanged on both ends and to many different people. However, it is still highly important to say thank you, both immediately when receiving the gift and later on. A simple text, phone call, or telling the giver face-to-face next time that you appreciated their thoughtfulness will go a long way in showing your gratitude.
Put Things in Order
I try to put all my gifts where they should go pretty soon after Christmas so they don’t just sit around not being used. I received a few things for my kitchen so I put them away in my kitchen, and I took the tags off any clothes (after trying them on) and put them away in my closet. These simple tasks will help you incorporate these gifts into your life quicker than just sitting in the box taking up space in your living room.
If you happen to need to return anything, make a separate pile and return the items as quickly and conveniently as possible. Many times we push off this tedious chore and we miss the deadline to return an item.
Putting Clothes into Outfits
This is more important than you may think. When people say they don’t have “anything to wear”, what they really mean is they are tired of wearing it the same old way. We can easily become stuck in a rut where we think narrowly of what a clothing item goes with. For example, if I have a dress, I automatically reach for the same shoes, clutch, etc., that I normally wear with it because it comes naturally. I found myself doing this with clothing I would receive. The first outfit I would wear a new item with would become that new items go-to outfit. Now when I receive an item, I try to think of several different ways that it can be incorporated into different types of outfits so that I don’t keep wearing it one way. It’s a great way to make the most of your closet and your new gifts.
Most people don’t need suggestions as to what to wear on Christmas day, but if you’re curious to know what my traditions are then you can keep reading below.
I’m old school, so cute PJ’s are the way to go . All of the pajamas I own are the same type – button down, collared top, with matching bottoms. I have them for every season and 90% of them are Ralph Lauren ones I’ve found on sale at TJ Maxx or Nordstrom. The red plaid ones below are perfect for Christmas morning! Even though I don’t live with my parents anymore, I still wear them to their house to open gifts. Of course,no pajama outfit is complete without your favorite slippers!
Similar Pajamas here and here.
After gifts and breakfast, I’ll change before either relatives come over or I go to a relative’s home. I like wearing outfits that go along the lines of my Christmas party outfit post, which is why I’ll be wearing one of my favorite red plaid ruffle shirts I got from the Ralph Lauren outlet a few years back paired with navy pants and Brooks Brother bow flats. The shirt is both elegant and festive and will camouflage any crumbs that drop while I eating cookies all day. 😉
The purse is new from Dooney & Bourke that I picked up during the fantastic Christmas sales they’ve had this season. The size and structure work perfect for me, and the quality is very high as Dooney products seem to wear well over the years compared to their counterparts. I have many cross body purses so the ladylike top handle is a welcome addition to my wardrobe.
What do you wear Christmas day?
While we all have different Christmas Eve traditions, I believe the majority of plans call for a semi-casual dress code meaning a little more dressed up than normal everyday wear, but more casual than formal wear.
Plan for the venue and weather. You’ll want to dress a little more formal to go to a nice restaurant than you would to go to a relative’s house for dinner. You always want to keep the weather in mind so your outfit is functional as well as presentable. Just because you live in a warmer climate does not mean you have to miss out on dressing festive, there are plenty of lighter weight options for holiday attire.
Prepare for a multiple event dilemma. If you have some running around to do on Christmas Eve that calls for different types of dress codes (say, more formal church service and a casual family get-together), make it easy on yourself and wear one outfit and change out accessories. For example, you can wear a dress and tights to the church service, and change into flats and put on a more casual sweater when you arrive at your relatives house.
Be as festive as possible. How I view it, Christmas Eve/Christmas Day is one of my last chances to go “all out” with plaid, red, metallic, etc. If that’s not your forte, just one bolder item and tone it down with the rest of your outfit. Dressing classic doesn’t mean dressing boring, so put on something fun that you’ll enjoy wearing.
This Christmas Eve, I’ll be going to my relative’s house for dinner and then attending the late Christmas Eve service at my church. I decided to wear my new pants from Land’s End that you can still buy for 40% off (comes down to $33) and get before Christmas Eve. I paired with with my J Crew oxford that has a jeweled collar, and for functionality put a sweater on over it. *Tip for wearing plaid pants* – wear a shorter coat with it to avoid them looking like pajama pants under a longer coat. I figured this one out the hard way. 😉
What are you wearing Christmas Eve?
Wrapping a gift nicely shows thoughtfulness even before the gift is given. Ditch the gift bag and spend a little extra time wrapping gifts nicely this year.
First off, learn how to properly wrap a gift if you don’t know already or could use some tips. If you have too little paper, you’ll run into trouble and waste the paper entirely. It’s better to overshoot how much you need.
Second, choose a gift wrap palette that compliments each other. I like using several different types that all have varying patterns or a scene on them. I make sure they each pick up one or two colors (such as red) so that they’ll look nicely altogether. I find Target has cute wrapping paper, but I’ve found the best quality ones at TJ Maxx. If you don’t mind spending a little extra money, or have fewer gifts to wrap, Paper Source has a great collection.
Third, polish off the gift with ribbon or twine, and gift tags. I found these gift tags at TJ Maxx, the twine from an antique store, and the ribbon from Target (below). You can go the extra mile by adding a more “3D” element such as a pine cone or a small branch from a pine tree.
It may seem like common sense to many, but far too many wrap a gift sloppily and without real effort. Your time making your gift presentable communicates a kindness and generosity that goes beyond what’s inside.
What’s your favorite way to wrap gifts?
The December calendar quickly fills up with many Christmas parties, which means multiple situations to dress for. I’ve read many blogs and magazine articles on the subject that warn you to stay away from overly festive outfits by choosing
boring toned-down, neutral looks. This blog post is not one of those as I encourage reds, greens, metallics, tartans, etc. Christmas is a time of holiday cheer, so have a little fun with your outfit. Here’s my guide to navigating style choices for the holiday season:
A casual get-together at a friends house for Christmas should be festive, but not sloppy. I like plaid tops with a more neutral skirt or pants. Polish it off with a statement necklace and you’re ready to go. Another option would be a holiday sweater with a reindeer motif or fair isle pattern. When the setting allows you to wear whatever you’d like, such as a casual setting, use it as an opportunity to wear that super Christmas-styled item that you’ve been dying to put to use.
Business Casual or Slightly Dressy
Whether you’re dressing for a work event, or one of those “dressy but not too formal” situations, pair more professional clothing with your nicer holiday attire. For example, you may not wear a loud Christmas sweater, but you could wear a silk plaid blouse with a nice pair of slacks or skirt. For my look below, I wore blackwatch plaid pants with a white collared shirt and kept my accessories simple.
On the Fancier Side
For a very fancy occasion, check out my post from last week on what to wear to a fancy Christmas event. For the types of affairs are in between business casual and super fancy, such as going out to dinner at an elegant restaurant, you’ll want to mix one glamorous piece into a whole outfit. This look below is from a party I attended last Christmas season. I wore a jeweled top with a wool skirt and tights. I toned it down slightly with wedges to create an outfit that would be safe to wear to many different Christmas parties where the dress code is ambiguous.
What type of Christmas parties are you dressing for this season?
The holiday season is a wonderful time for a fancy Christmas party because it allows for going “over the top” without looking out of place. Anything goes when it comes to finding dresses that shimmer and dressing them up even more with glitzy jewelry. Have fun this season wearing a dress that quite literally makes you “shine”.
A few tips for picking out the perfect Christmas dress:
Keep it classy: If you want to look elegant, you need to keep modesty in mind. Anything too low or too short is going to make you look uncomfortable and distract from an otherwise great outfit.
Dress it up: Don’t be afraid of being too fancy. Fabrics like chiffon, silk, velvet, etc., are completely appropriate especially during the holiday season. If your dress is simple, add glitzy accessories such as a statement necklace or bold shoes. Be anything but boring.
Consider the Retro Look: A good portion of Christmas songs heard throughout the season are classics from the 1940’s-1960’s, so why not bring back influences of that time period through your look? I personally love the retro style because it’s both nostalgic and sophisticated. Generations young and old will appreciate this style. You can find many vintage style dresses from Modcloth.
I recently went to a fancy Christmas party with my husband and chose this dress from Shabby Apple. I can no longer find it on the website, but the dress has been around for awhile and they always restock it eventually in several different colors.