Sometimes it seems like the biggest focus of the holiday season is what to give and get - but the real reason for the season is time spent with family and friends, and loved ones that you might not see very often. This often means a full social calendar, with invitations to an array of shindigs - so what are you going to wear? Getting ready for various soirees can put major stress on your wardrobe, not to mention your decision-making skills. But don't fret - here are some ideas for him and her, for what to wear to different parties with changeable dress codes. Because once you get all dolled up and are dressed appropriately, you can forget about what you're wearing and enjoy a festive evening - and that's the point, right?
If your holiday season includes a few get-togethers with extended family, it's usually a casual occasion - but that doesn't mean a t-shirt or sweats. Stay comfortable in jeans or cords, and keep toasty in a wool or cashmere pullover.
FOR HER: A sweater-dress or jeans and a turtleneck, booties, colored jewelry.
FOR HIM: A plaid shirt, chunky cardigan, cords, desert boots.
If your office dress code is the pervasive business casual, dressing for the office holiday party can pose a few questions. How to deal with it? Pick an outfit that's steps above your daily work wear, and maybe a little unexpected.
FOR HER: A sparkly top, slim pants or a statement skirt, killer booties and eye-catching jewelry.
FOR HIM: Dress khakis/dark jeans, a holiday-worthy sweater or jacket, dress shirt.
When the dress code says 'cocktail party', it's definitely a signal to kick it up a notch (or several). Your everyday wardrobe won't do - this is the time to break out the party clothes!
FOR HER: A cocktail dress (mini, knee-length or midi), evening separates, fancy heels, and a jacket or wrap.
FOR HIM: Blazer and pants, dress shirt, dress shoes (with or without a tie).
BLACK TIE (OPTIONAL?)
For most people, a black tie invite is a rare one. So when it comes, pull out all the stops. The good news, ladies? This is the opportunity to wear your full-length gown - but if you don't have one, a dressy cocktail dress will do. But listen, guys - the 'optional' part of the dress code can be achieved with a suit, but if the invitation doesn't say 'optional', it's tux time.
FOR HER: Full-length or cocktail dresses (the shorter you go, the dressier the fabric should be), evening heels, sparkly jewels, an evening clutch.
FOR HIM: Black tie optional - a dark suit with a light shirt and dark tie, or a full-on tuxedo.
Black tie - tuxedo, tux shirt, bow tie, cufflinks, tux shoes (patent or velvet, or your dressiest black shoes freshly shined).
Ladies - if you're looking for more tips for holiday party dressing, check out my previous blog post - Party Tips - for ideas on how to dress if it's an evening of dancing, intimate conversation, or a sit-down dinner.