What To Wear When: Holiday Party Edition

Now that the holiday season is in full swing, the party invitations and opportunities for more-festive-than-usual “happy hours” will start to fill your calendar. Now is the time to throw open your closet doors and determine those pieces you already have or may need to purchase, to complete your look for the impending festivities.

Eat, drink & dress merrily!
Eat, drink & dress merrily! (Photo credit.)

Read more after the jump for a list of ten items that both Nina Garcia and I agree are sartorial staples for today, tomorrow and any time you need to be ready to party this season!

1. A-line Dress

When being Type A is A-dorable.
When being Type A is A-dorable. (Photo credit.)

As I have mentioned in my many declarations of love for dresses, the beauty of these little (or not so), is that they are an outfit in themselves. Depending on the temperature, often all you need to pair with a dress is a sweet pair of shoes or a cute little cardigan or a sparkling pair of earrings. Okay, fine, just keep reading…

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2. Ballet flats

If it's good enough for Audrey Hepburn then it's good enough for me.
If it’s good enough for Audrey Hepburn then it’s good enough for me. (Photo credit.)

Many work parties begin at 5:01pm which, coincidentally, is exactly enough time to only change your shoes. But what to wear if your work day requires you to spend the entire day in heels or flats? Have fantastic but classic flats! Audrey made these a staple but you can make them your best friend.

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3. Cable Knit Sweater

Cozy, chic & classic.
Cozy, chic & classic. (Photo credit.)

For parties that require a little less glam, cable knit sweaters with anything from skirts to jeans can make for an effortlessly classic look, even if you’re just sipping hot cocoa around a fire.

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4. Diamond studs

Sparkling is always a good idea.
Sparkling is always a good idea. (Photo credit.)

When understated class is in order, sometimes a little bling is okay. In these instances, I recommend a gentle display of something like diamond studs. Even if they’re not the real thing, diamond earrings have the stunning factor that every winter outfit needs.

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5. Evening gown

Black tie NOT optional.
Black tie NOT optional. (Photo credit.)

Because this might be the most luxurious thing on this list but you never know when you might need one, an evening gown should most definitely be on your long-term wish list. They can be long, short, sheaths, lace, sleeveless, capped-sleeve or yolk-paneled. It doesn’t matter what it looks like, just how you wear it…

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6. Fishnet tights

Barely there is sometimes a good thing.
Barely there is sometimes a good thing. (Photo credit.)

On the days when it’s chillier than it should be to expose bare legs, tights are the perfect way to cover-up. One of my favorite looks for the winter is a dress or skirt over tights and black leather boots. Pair them with whatever you want but they are a must-have when thinking about straying from pants this season.

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7. Gentleman’s hat

Hats off to headwear!
Hats off to headwear! (Photo credit.)

Sometimes winter hats won’t cut it, especially if you’ve spent a considerable amount of time on a head of hair that doesn’t do well with static. In the cases where time is an issue and your head needs to be covered (if, for no other reason, to spare your dignity), a gentleman’s hat is a fantastically stylish way to do just that.

Shop it here.

8. Hobo bag

Holiday party chic is in the bag.
Holiday party chic is in the bag. (Photo credit.)

When you need a bag that carries everything from your wallet to your T pass and your cell phone to a wine bottle for the hostess, the hobo bag is more than happy to answer the call. A monochrome, slouchy bag is chic and sleek and carries everything you could possibly need.

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9. Khakis

For that "I woke up like this" look.
For that “I woke up like this” look. (Photo credit.)

Khakis: the most versatile pant you could own. Wear them to work, wear them to the bar, wear them on the Cape, wear them to an interview, wear them out. Pair khakis with graphic tees or blazers for comfortable, menswear-borrowed style that is both classic and casual.

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10. Leather pants

Is it biker chick or biker chic?!
Is it biker chick or biker chic?! (Photo credit.)

Leather is always the edgy and unexpected detail of an outfit. When made the focus, it will steal the show. Leather pants are a luxe way to wear utility tops (seen above), cable knit sweaters and playing up the patent in shiny new ballet flats (as recommended by your favorite blogger).

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For more of my favorite things, my style & other style upgrade ideas, follow me on Polyvore, Tumblr, & Twitter!

xo, Vanessa

This post inspired by:

Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.


Published by

Vanessa M. Gatlin

-Blogger, dancer, fashionista -Self proclaimed "political junkie" with a strong interest in international affairs -2011 graduate of Emmanuel College in Boston

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