Festive Fashion 101: The Best Party Attire for the Holidays
Welcome to the most magical time of year – that time when the air is filled with happiness and laughter, and the sidewalks are lined with sequins, velvet, and bejeweled ballgowns in every shop.
That can only mean one thing – the holiday season is upon us!
From elegant winter cocktail soirées to lively New Year’s Eve bashes, it’s the time of year that parties abound – and we all want to look our absolute best.
However, the thought of finding the perfect outfit may seem such a daunting undertaking.
No worries! As your trusted fashion stylist, I am here once again to help you and guide you through the essentials of festive holiday fashion.
In my column today, Festive Fashion 101: The Best Party Attires this Holiday, you’ll see a guide on the best styles, lines, and how-to tips on nailing that head-turner holiday outfit.
So please grab a cup of hot chocolate, cozy up by the fireplace, and let’s get started!
What Is Festive Attire?
Festive attire is all about celebrating the spirit of the holidays while adding a touch of elegance to your party look.
This is the one time of year when it’s socially acceptable to go all out with your outfit, indulging in luxe fabrics, embellishments of every sort, and bold colors and prints; festive attire gives you the opportunity to be your most stylish, holiday-themed self.
Think cocktail dresses in velvet highlighted with sequins or touches of metallic, breathtaking jumpsuits in satin or velvet, and statement-making pieces of jewelry for adding sparkle atop sparkle.
The key to getting festive attire right is to balance sophistication with a sense of fun and to make sure that you look stylish — yet feel comfortable — entering a room.
So go ahead, play around with patterns and textures, try a layer or two, and put together an unforgettable holiday outfit.
Key Elements of Festive Fashion
Festive fashion is all about adorning some very important elements that can notch your holiday look.
Here are a few building blocks to create a fabulous ensemble:
Color plays a significant role in holiday fashion. Different shades of color can change the mood and feel of an outfit.
Here are five popular colors that can make your holiday party outfit:
Dazzling Reds: The color red is a color of love and relaxation. And dark reds are usually popular in holiday fashion.
Golden Shine: People prefer a sparkle of gold, which represents richness and glamour. So, adding gold to the dress, accessories, or jewelry one is wearing can significantly enhance the whole outfit.
Sparkling Silvers: The holiday look requires a sleek and sophisticated look.
By adding the silver sparkle, as in sequins, metallic fabric, or accents, it makes the complete outfit catchy.
Festive Green: Green, like fresh renewal, represents beautiful Christmas trees with an emerald green. Implementing the shade color or using the same fabric can enhance the feeling of having a holiday spirit.
Chic Black: Black is a popular color that is dressy enough for a formal event.
It is simple and elegant but also adds a chill touch to your outfit with added mystery.
Remember that all these colors can be used and combined to go with a better mix and match!
Fabrics and Textures
When styling for the holidays, the material you wear can truly set the tone of your festive look.
Here are some of the greatest materials you should be thinking about wearing this holiday season:
Velvet: Soft to the touch and rich in appearance, velvet is the queen of materials.
This plush material adds texture and refinement to any outfit, whether it be a velvet dress, blazer, or accessories.
Sequins: Nothing says “festive” like a sequin, as they sparkle with every step you take.
They add drama and a fun atmosphere to any outfit while instantly jazzing up any look.
Try a sequin dress or even a shirt or skirt with sequins.
Satin: Satin hangs down the body nicely and has an elegance that most other materials lack.
Think of a satin slip dress or a patterned cami with skinny jeans or trousers for a night out.
Metallics: Metallic gold to silver and even bronze hues make you the star of the evening.
This bold and eye-catching material will make everyone notice you as soon as you walk into the room.
Faux Fur: Faux fur looks are perfect for any cold climate – not only do you look trendy, but you also stay warm through the chilly season.
Faux fur garments add some classy to any outfit, whether it be a fur-trimmed coat, stole, or clutch.
Mixing and matching patterns and materials is not only acceptable – it’s encouraged. This will make an interesting look.
Dress Code Guidelines
When it comes to the holidays and the dress codes for women, it is important to look stylish yet appropriate.
Use these general tips to help you decode the dress codes for the holiday events you are invited to.
For a low-key holiday gathering, choose an outfit that’s chic but not too overly dressed up.
A comfy sweater with a pair of jeans or leggings and cute ankle boots or flats will surely have you looking both fab and casual.
Increase the holiday factor by spicing up your ensemble by accessorizing with a statement necklace or a cute beanie.
Many women love that the cocktail dress code allows for a dramatic look, with full permission to wear a short dress - it is the night their legs will shine.
Stick to a knee-length dress or longer with beautiful colors and prints while not being too formal.
A nice pair of heels will make your legs look longer, along with nice statement earrings and a small clutch.
For formal events, you will want to wear something a little more glamorous.
This could mean that you get gussied up with a gown in a floor-length, luxe fabric like satin, chiffon, or velvet.
Formal gowns need not be in plain colors.
If you are a more daring type of girl, try a brightly colored gown or one in a metallic fabric. Lastly, be sure to top off your look with some fabulous shoes, a killer handbag, and some sparkly jewels.
If the party has a specific theme, make sure you embrace it with your outfit!
Whether it’s an ugly sweater party, a black-tie masquerade ball, or something as cool as pajamas and pancakes, have fun and match those on-theme elements when you show up.
If your party theme is a cozy and casual pajama party, pick out a cute and comfortable matching lounge set or go all out with a festive onesie.
And if the theme is “an ugly sweater party,” scour the internet for the most outrageous and fun holiday-themed sweater you can find – don’t forget to add some cute festive holiday hats or fun and outrageous holiday socks to complete the look!
Keep in mind the venue, weather, and culture when interpreting a dress code, and feel free to add some of your style to any outfit!
Confidence is the key to unlocking any dress code!
Accessorizing for the Holidays
The perfect way to take your holiday outfit to the next level is to learn how to accessorize.
Our tips for accessorizing your way to festive fabulousness will inspire you to think outside the box this season.
Statement Jewelry: Big, bold, glitzy jewelry pieces can bring attention to your outfit.
Go for a pair of big earrings or necklaces, stackable bracelets in metallics, or sparkly gems that can make a statement on their own.
Clutches/Evening Bags: If you want to set your outfit off, just add the perfect clutch or evening bag in a contrasting color to bring all the attention to it.
Of course, add a little sparkle, like sequins or metallic touches.
Headwear: With the holiday spirit all around, don’t be afraid to accessorize your hair as well!
Whether you go for festive hats, headbands with feathers, glitter, sequins, or a cute beanie hat, don’t hold back. Being festive in style is just as important!
Belts: Add some definition or interest to your dress or jumpsuit by looking for fabulous waistbands.
Whether you choose contrasting colors or metallics to make a statement, you’ll surely love the finishing touch it gives to your look.
Hosiery/Tights: When wearing a dress or skirt, add patterned tights with festive designs like stars, polka dots, and snowflakes.
You’ll definitely elevate your outfit. Even sheer stockings adorned with glitter could make a sexy showing.
Hair and Makeup
It’s the season of joy, giving, and party-hopping, which also means getting dolled up!
With the right hair and makeup, any outfit you choose can make a stunning ensemble.
So we went ahead and helped you make all those millions of holiday party decisions! Look and learn how:
What To Do With Your Hair?
Glamorous Updos: A sleek high bun, a textured top knot, or a braided crown is a sophisticated way to elevate your look.
For added dimension, dress it up with sparkly pins or decorative headbands.
Soft Waves/ Romantic Curls: Our go-to for effortless chic—because who doesn’t love to look like she walked right out of a Garnier Fructis commercial at a holiday fête?
Add a little volume and some movement to your tresses, and you’re instantly party-ready.
How To Do That Gorgeous Face?
Bold lips: There are few makeup statements as classic as a bold lip.
Deep reds, berry shades, and classic reds—there’s a color for every style and preference.
Just be sure to start with a smooth surface. Apply a lip moisturizer a few minutes before you begin applying lipstick to ensure a flawless canvas.
Smoky eyes: Another iconic look, the smoky eye, can be created with shades of gold, bronze, or silver to add depth to any face.
For a foolproof smoky eye, apply a dark eyeshadow to the outer corners of the eyes and blend.
Glowing skin: Capture some natural radiance with highlighting products.
Apply highlighter to the apple of your cheeks, brow bone, and bridge of your nose for a complete and beautiful glowing finish.
What Are Holiday Nails?
Finally, nothing says “holiday spirit” quite like a set of glistening party nails.
Whether you naturally travel the path of golds and reds or choose to give metallic polish or glittery accents a try, your fingertips will be ready to do some talking.
Holiday Party Outfit Ideas
With the holiday season in full swing, it’s time to start planning the ensembles you’ll wear to all those festive fetes.
Below, check out five themed looks, complete with garment options and accessories, that are guaranteed to help you slay the holiday party circuit.
For a black-tie event or a glamorous New Year’s Eve bash, don’t even think about leaving home in anything but a show-stopping gown.
Opt for velvet fabric or shiny satin for added luxury.
Add on crystal-drenched statement earrings, a bejeweled clutch, and metallic strappy heels.
Finish off the look with a sleek updo and a bold red lip to amp up the glam factor.
Shine brighter than the twinkle of the stars in a sequin ensemble that’s made for the diva that lives inside of you!
Opt for a sexy, statement-making mini that’s adorned in silver or gold sequins, really putting the pizzazz to any cocktail party.
Slip on a pair of black suede thigh-high boots just to keep things unexpected, because why not?
Delicate stud earrings will catch the subtlest hint of light, while the remainder of your essentials will be safe and snug in a boxy clutch.
Smokey eye makeup finishes the seductive combo!
Leave the ordinary day dress in the dust this year and step up your game by wearing a chic, sleek jumpsuit that screams confidence and style.
Try one on in plush, luxurious black velvet or rich emerald green satin to make the right impression.
Dangling tassel earrings and layering on the statement necklaces (they don’t have to be worth as much as a car!) add just the right amount of dramatic glamour.
Snag a few chunky bangles, and you’re good to go. A pair of strappy ankle strap heels and a jewel-encrusted clutch polish off the look. Perfect for any whiskey bonfire!
And for more casual celebrations at home and intimate dinner parties, embrace cozy chic style while still looking polished.
Maybe try a chunky sweater with pearl details or one in a fair-ish pattern.
Add a pair of simple gold hoop earrings, ankle boots, and a structured tote, and you’re good to go!
Lastly, indulge in the classic by including retro-modern velvet in your holiday look. For a 90s flair, the flirty velvet skater is the perfect piece to mix with a ruffled chiffon blouse.
But a (velvet) blazer worn over a sparkling sequin cami, worn with faded jeans, works too.
And don’t forget—vintage pearl drop earrings. They will add the ultimate retro-chic element to your look!
Regardless of which outfit idea you choose this Christmas season, know that confidence is always your best accessory.
Wear your prettiest dress impeccably, own the room, and spread holiday cheer with style. Happy partying!
The holiday season is a prime time to luxe up your wardrobe with the glitzy, glamorous garments in which to celebrate.
From festive dresses in every length to downright chic but altogether cozy-on-Chardonnay separates, the possibilities for a perfect party outfit are endless.
Match a show-stopping gown with a statement piece (or three) of jewelry. Don a sparkly clutch, and walk tall in a gorgeous pair of pumps. Whatever you do, do it with confidence.
Cheers to you, your impeccable taste, and to turning heads this holiday season while decked out in unforgettable party clothes.