The Style Girlfriend Guide to: Dressing for Holiday Parties

By Megan Collins | Last Updated: Oct 12 2016

December’s a great month to be a snappy dresser, isn’t it? Thanks to a jam-packed party schedule filling up the calendar (well, depending on how popular you are, I guess), you get to pull out all the sartorial stops, night after night. With the invites already stuffing your inbox and mailbox, let’s get you dressed to impress for all your holiday party hopping.


If your company holiday party kicks off directly from the office, show up in the morning prepared to go from day to night. For guys, a suit is always, always a great way to elevate your look. If your workplace is casual and you feel weird wearing the whole shebang all day long, stow the jacket til you’re ready to flip the switch from work to play. If you already suit up for work, throw on a festive tie (I’m talking a red plaid, not Rudolph), some extra-fancy cuff links, and you’re out the door.


In a setting not monitored by HR, feel free to dial up your outfit’s merriment even more. Your friends are used to your typical wardrobe; why not show them a fancier, more festive side of you? Women take parties as an opportunity to wear something sparkly, like sequins, satin and bling. I’m not suggesting you show up in rhinestones, but try going outside your clothing comfort zone. Paisley-printed pants, maybe a crimson blazer with black piping. I have a friend who takes any opportunity he can to wear a bow tie. He loves it. With flaming red hair, his favorite is a turquoise plaid number (similar to this one from Forage) that plays off his skin tone perfectly. It looks better than it sounds, I swear.


Don’t let the casual nature of a family gathering dampen your sartorial spirits. Up your around-the-house game in a luxe collared sweater in camel or navy (I like this one from Gap) and pair it with flannel-lined khakis. A plaid shirt and skinny tie combo, tucked into belted jeans works too. You’ll look appropriately stylish whether you’re headed off to church, temple, or just sitting down to your annual viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life.


The dress code here is pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve never been to an ugly sweater party, I suggest you throw one, immediately. Instruct your guests to wear the tackiest holiday sweater they can find, then wait for merriment to ensue. We’re talking jingle bells sewn onto sleeves, anything with antlers, maybe a blinking menorah across the chest. Now, this is the only time you’ll hear this advice from me, but the uglier, the better! To find your own ugly sweater, you may need to wander into the women’s section – think Christopher & Banks, or the section your grandma shops in at JC Penney.

Now go forth and be merry!