December 19, 2022


Getting Dressed for the Holidays

By: Leah Nalepa

While the holidays can be a stressful time, for many, it’s ultimately a time of joy. That joy is shown through celebrations with family and friend get-togethers, social outings, and work holiday parties throughout the month of December. But with holiday parties comes the age-old question, “What do I wear?” 

There are plenty of ways to tackle that question, but if you’re feeling stuck on what to wear, here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for or refurbishing pieces for the holidays. 

Stick to jewel tones and metallics.

Jewel tones and metallics look beautiful on every skin tone. But finding the best color and shine for you, specifically, is imperative. If discovering the right holiday outfit seems intimidating, start with jewel tones. Emerald green, dark blues, gold and deep yellows, silver, burgundy, and dark reds are all examples of this color category. These are popular choices around this season and many stores offer a variety of choices. After you choose the outfit, determine if gold, silver, bronze, rose gold, or another metallic will work best with your individual coloring and overall outfit.  

Add festive accessories. 

An easy way to elevate an otherwise basic outfit is to add festive, holiday-forward accessories. For women, a simple black dress can easily pair with a bedazzled headband or earrings (think lights, ornaments, sparkles, glam) or a jeweled necklace. For men, depending on the party, bow ties or holiday ties or socks are a great option. Manicured nails in hues of greens, reds, golds, or sparkles polishes a festive look. This is the one time of year where cheerful, holiday-inspired wear is not only acceptable but encouraged. Be bold, yet appropriate, in your choices. 

Incorporate statement pieces. 

Statement pieces – other than just jewelry – are perfect for the party circuit. Dinner jackets, for both men and women, make an appearance here. Velvet loafers, slip-ons, or glittery or brightly-colored heels and flats are fabulous options too. Cocktail rings are a fun way to subtly add pizzazz and spunk to an outfit. Even unique outerwear and or patterned clutches are beautiful adornments to a classic look.  

Be appropriate for the occasion. 

If there is one thing to remember, it’s that you must dress appropriately for the occasion. Holiday parties vary by audience and location – be it family, friends, colleagues, or another group entirely. Each of these dictate a certain demeanor and appearance. Be cognizant of who you are with and what impression you are leaving with your appearance. Many celebrations are meant to be fun, fancy, and sexy, while others—such as work parties—can mean wearing less flashy and more modest pieces while still maintaining a hint of festive glam. Wherever you’ve been invited to, read the room, ask others what they are wearing, and become familiar with the environment you’ll be in. You won’t regret it. 

Find pieces that can be worn again. 

When shopping for holiday parties, find clothing that can be worn to multiple events to get the best bang for your buck. Whether it’s a piece that can be worn to multiple parties, or an item that can be dusted off during the off-season, these pieces have the potential to become staples in your closet for special events. For men, perhaps it’s a velvet dinner jacket or unique loafers. For women, maybe it’s a few decorative accessories, a perfectly tailored little black dress, or a fabulous two-piece matching set with a top and matching shimmery midi skirt. It’s completely acceptable to acquire a piece for a singular event, but why not try to find an outfit that can be used for other occasions to make the most of your wardrobe during the holiday season? 

Holiday parties are the perfect excuse to find something new and exciting to wear. No matter what you decide, your outfit and style choices should reflect who you are: your sparkly outfit should make you glow with confidence because it feels like you. When in doubt, or limited to a tight budget, add little festive pieces like earrings, a watch, or neck tie, or statement items like a jacket or heels to complete an overall holiday look. This season is a wonderful opportunity to share joy and giving with others while looking your best!

Looking for more on this topic? Check out The Getting Dressed Podcast or reach out to Leah Nalepa about styling holiday pieces at [email protected]