What to wear to a holiday party

Work party. Photo courtesy of H&M.

Lily Martis

‘Tis the season to party! From the break of dawn to the cover of night, holiday parties call for fashion statements and memorable outfits. With the countless pictures taken, your outfit should make a lasting impression, so it’s important to dress your best for the holidays.

The only time it is ever acceptable to wear the stereotypical Christmas sweater is at “Ugly Sweater” parties. Hit up a local consignment shop for the bulkiest, ugliest sweaters you can find, and then dress the outfit up with leggings and ankle boots.

For family parties, maintain a more-modest look and save your more-radical outfits for another day — unless you want your grandmother looking at you like you’re some homeless hippie. Although high-neck sweaters are back in style, don’t feel like this is your only option when it comes to family gatherings. To avoid dad’s hemline rule and mom’s neckline rule, a sweater and pants combination is the best option. This season, try a pair of fitted black-and-white printed trousers. Pair this with either a black top or a bolder, solid color such as yellow-green, teal or bright blue.

Work parties allow you to let loose in the workplace while maintaining the perfect amount of class. If you choose to wear a dress, opt for a three-quarter-sleeve midi dress. Midi dresses have a long enough hemline to be work-appropriate but still allow you to show off your figure. Pair a tight, three-quarter sleeve midi dress with either an infinity scarf for a more-casual look or a statement necklace for dressier parties. If you choose to wear dress pants, pair it with a shimmery top and a blazer.

Holiday parties with your friends are your time to sparkle, and what better way to shine than with a sequin dress? Pair with sheer black tights for warmth. Or, make a bold statement in jewel tones like red, royal blue, violet or emerald green.

Makeup should be natural with a matte face and minimal eye makeup with thin eyeliner, one coat of mascara and a bold red lip. Black patent heels will be your best friend during the holiday season as you can match them with virtually anything. For day-to-night styling, change from flats to heels and add a cropped faux fur jacket. If your curls start to fall out, pull your hair into a messy top-knot bun for instant glamour.

With men, there are essentially two looks for holiday parties: formal and casual. For formal parties, such as work-related and even some family and friend parties, it’s important to look clean and classic. Dress pants and an Oxford button-down shirt are vital for these events. Add a thin tie or a bow tie for more classier parties. For casual parties, such as those with friends or family, you still want to look clean, but it’s OK if your shirt isn’t tucked in. Try a flannel shirt with a sweater over top and jeans for the ultimate casual party look.

The holidays are a time to celebrate with friends and family but are also a time to glam it up. What you wear could be remembered for years down the road, so it is wise to dress to the nines. This is your moment to shine and show the folks back home what they’ve been missing. Be sure to take plenty of pictures and look your best for the holidays.

Contact Lily Martis at [email protected].