The Holiday season is upon us. But we all know what it means—parties, parties, parties! Whether it is a Holiday office party or a cocktail party with your girls, we all know that we want to look good. The key to look amazing at all of these different occasions is planning ahead—and trying it on! We have all been in that situation: you envision the perfect outfit and you make sure you have every piece to complete the look. Fabulous…until you put it on. And somehow it just doesn’t work. Not trying on your outfit is like going on a blind date—it is rarely as great as you had imagined it would be.
No matter what type of party there are a few rules to follow. First, consider the venue and the crowd. You do not want to show up in jeans when everyone else is in dresses. Second, do not try to hard. We have all been at a black tie event and that one woman walks in and looks a little too much like Lady Gaga. Third, classy always beats trendy. There is nothing wrong with achieving a trendy look—but do not sacrifice class to look trendy. The fourth and most important, smile. There is nothing that dresses up a woman better than a genuine and confident smile (ask a man, a smile is often far more captivating than an outfit.)
The Office Party:
Whatever your office environment, casual or dressy, I can guarantee that the Holiday party will not be less dressy than your day-to-day office. Jeans are not even up for consideration. However, your office party is still your office party. That’s right, even if you know people will be indulging in a large amount of spiked eggnog, you still need to look work appropriate. Think elegant and comfortable—this is not the time to be worrying about your outfit—it is a time to engage with your co-workers in social setting.
The perfect outfit: Start with a simple base like a black pencil skirt or ankle-length, pencil cut, dress pants in black. Then add a loose-fitting silk blouse in the color of your choice (white/cream or read is always festive.) Add a pair of heals with a matching belt. Looking to make it more fun? Try a leopard heal and a skinny leopard print belt. Use your jewelry as your opportunity to add some jazz to the outfit—big gold earrings, a simple and long gold necklace, a simple gold bracelet, and a big, chunky, gold ring. If you know that this Holiday party will be more of a black-tie sort of event, replace the clothing above with a classic, black velvet, cocktail dress—a classic style that is very stylish a the moment.
The Cocktail Party with Friends:
Office parties are always a lot of fun. But Holiday parties with your friends are your time to really celebrate and have fun. So be a little bit
more creative with your outfit and really get into the Holiday spirit. We all remember those pretty, puffy, frilly, dresses that out mothers put us in as children. And while some of those dresses might make you cringe, admit it: you miss feeling like a princess at a holiday party. Think classy and festive.
The perfect outfit: Try an a-line, above the knee, cocktail dress. The color is up to you, but black is always a good choice. If you really want to feel like a princess, find an a-line that really goes out from the waist down. Fabrics can make or break an outfit, especially a cocktail dress. Since it is winter, regardless or the temperature, avoid cotton. Try a black velvet dress with a heart-shaped top, bow, or other festive detailing.
Leather accents on velvet look fabulous. Add a black or cranberry heal with sheer, black tights. Throw on some rose-gold jewelry, curl your hair, and enjoy!
Semi-casual party with the family:
Most family get-togethers around the holidays revolve around three things: the company of one another, the food, and the drinks. With this being said, these are your family and family-friends, so you should not have to worry as much about what you are going to wear. The key to family: look presentable, but above all be confident in what you are wearing.
The perfect outfit: I know that we ruled out jeans, but this is your time to cheat. A nice, dark, dressier pair of jeans can be acceptable (and comfortable.) Try a dark, charcoal pair of skinny jeans. Add a black or white silk dress-tank and a long, long, Native American print, sweater. Throw on your most comfortable pair of suede, healed booties and a matching belt. (If the belt matches a color in the sweater, that is okay too!) With a long necklace, giant earrings, a bracelet, and a few rings you will be ready to take on whatever the family brings. Think casual but chic. And you know that a million pictures will be taken—so smile, you look great!
There is no doubt that we all want to look incredible this season. And you will! You deserve to! We have all spent the past eleven and half months working hard, rolling with the changes of life, and focusing on a million other things. So use this as a time to feel great about yourself. Treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure, a facial, or a massage. The Holidays can be stressful, but we all still love them. Reduce the stress by treating yourself and planning ahead. And when we all have that moment when we are completely overwhelmed, just remember, above the parties and the outfits we are all just lucky to be here celebrating together!
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Anna Ziverts is a Denver native who recently returned home after living in Dallas, Texas for five years. Anna lived in Paris, France for a number of years as a child and credits this experience for her incredible love of fashion and art. She believes in the importance of self-expression through style and shares her musings with the lovely readers of 303 Magazine.