Holiday Party Style Guide: What to Wear Where

November 16th, 2018; Savers Thrift Store in Brookpark: Rosalin Wynn-Clarke, wears a classic holiday outfit from the the thrift store styled by Silk Allen. She looks fabulous and party ready in a fur coat, a little black dress and red patent leather pumps. This entire look was scored for less than $60 and each piece can be worn again and styled differently after the holiday season.

by Silk Allen

(December 2018, Plain Press)        The whole month of December is lit, from start to finish, and is filled with a whirlwind of celebrations leading up to New Year’s Eve. Our social calendars are full of holiday events like black tie fundraisers; office party shindigs; family and friend dinners; and good old-fashioned bar hoppings that all require different levels of festive wardrobe– so why not have fun and dress up? Shop your closet, the thrift store, a consignment shop, or your favorite retailer to find any of the following holiday party style tips that will get you through this joyfully stylish season.


   Dresses and Jumpsuits: The little black dress (LBD) is a staple all year round, but it’s also the foundation of a great holiday outfit and the perfect blank canvas for any hair and beauty ideas you want to test out, or the statement jewelry and shoes that you want to effortlessly show off. A jumpsuit is a fool proof dress replacement if you are feeling modern; find a flattering cut in a rich fabric and accessorize accordingly.

   Texture: If you are the type to wear black all year round, then mixing texture is perfect for you because it adds visual interest to any outfit and you don’t have to worry about your black tones matching or falling flat. A plush velvet blazer looks amazing worn over a black lace bodysuit with jeans and a pair of shiny black patent leather ankle boots. Velvet, lace, satin silk, and patent leather all look upscale in a number of ways.

   Color: Which look is more shocking: a pop of color or head to toe saturation? Find out this party season by experimenting with a supersaturated pantsuit and a vibrant printed blouse, or wear all black, and play around with bold lipstick shades to see for yourself. Now is the perfect occasion to rock in your face colors with confidence.

   Volume: Big hair, exaggerated puff or bell sleeved blouses, wide leg pants, midi or maxi length skirts and dresses, platform shoes… Go big or go home; create a look as big as your personality, but maybe choose one or two elements to avoid taking up too much space in the group photo.

   Shine: Is it even a holiday party without someone wearing something with metallic, sequins or glitter? Be that fun person in the shiny party dress that makes all the photos pop and the dance floor dizzy with your razzle dazzle of an outfit. If you are more of a wallflower than party animal, add a spark to a more subdued outfit with an eye-catching accessory. A silver or gold ankle boot screams, “party over here!”, while you vibe to the beat from your seat.

   Embellishment: Look for simple pieces with fabulous embellishments –a fur collar, a fringe clutch or high heels with tassels, an oversized ruffle; they will all help take an outfit to the next level without trying too hard, and sometimes that’s all you need.

   Accessories: When you have to fall back on the same little black dress (LBD) or a plain top and pants, don’t trip – take this time to go big with your diamonds, real or faux; rhinestones; crystals; and, gold or silver accessories. Drop and chandelier earrings; crystal bib necklaces; and gold or animal print handbags and shoes, go a long way and can easily take a look from dull to glam in seconds!

   Shoes: High heeled, over-the-knee boots covered in sequins would look lovely with a turtleneck and mini skirt, while a hot pink, pointy-toed, velvet flat would totally wake up a plain white button down and trousers. The point is, the heel height of the shoe won’t matter, as long as it adds some enthusiasm to your outfit.

   Winter Coat: You can’t wear your waist-length, puffer coat with a cocktail dress. I mean you can, but honestly a fur, wrap, wool or floor-length coat would look elegant and party ready. If you don’t already own one, now is the time to hit up your nearest thrift store to see what you can find for sale.

   Cocktail Party: Now is the time to pull out your fancy schmancy pieces like your favorite party dress in a daring and flirty color or anything from the shine department. Avoid too short, but don’t show up in a floor length gown with a long train either–if it is cold out, you can wear pants–just not jeans. This is the perfect time to wear your jumpsuit!

   Office Party: Office parties can be fun, but understandably nerve wracking when it comes to knowing what to wear. Scale back on the glitz, but keep the glamour while wearing sophisticated blouses, fun skirts and pants in luxurious fabrics, and avoid anything that is see through, skimpy, ill-fitting or that will have you talked about the following Monday. Allow your shoes and accessories to be conversation starters instead.

   Family and Friends Gathering: Even if you decide to skip all outside festivities this season and just kick back with family or friends, it doesn’t mean that you should show up in your pajamas. Embrace the warm, fuzzy feeling of love by wearing cozy knits and chunky garments. A knee length sweater dress with patterned tights is just as comfy as an oversized sweater and a pair of boyfriend fit jeans. Accessorize with festive earrings and lip gloss because selfies will be taken.

   Still have questions about what to wear for your upcoming holiday soiree? Shoot me a line or two and let’s talk about it!

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