Choosing the Perfect Dress for Every Holiday Occasion

The holiday season is one of the most exciting times of the year. It is never complete without a few fun gatherings. From casual get-togethers to formal cocktail parties, picking the right attire can be tricky. Below, we share our outfit ideas for your next holiday occasion.

Understand the Dress Code

It’s hard to choose the perfect dress if you can’t “decode” the dress code. This is why you should ask about it ahead of time. Here’s a quick guide.

A “black tie” invite can mean anything from a formal cocktail dress or elegant jumpsuit to a full-length gown. Dress as you’d expect the hostess to and you won’t go wrong. Balls, galas, and other highly formal events require a gown. You can wear a little black or white dress with statement accessories if you’ve been invited to a black tie work function.

An ultra-formal (white tie) invite requires a full-length gown. Cocktail attire means an elegant short or midi dress.

Formal Holiday Event

For a formal Christmas or New Year’s event, you won’t go wrong with a classic ball gown, column gown, or even a mermaid train. A formal party on your calendar leads to more questions than answers. Can you wear a strapless or one-shoulder dress? Off-shoulder or V-neck?  Is there ever a risk of dressing too formally?

Full-length is always best if you’re going to a highly formal event. Other than that, almost any design, color, or shape will work. Statement jewelry and embellishments like sequins, beadwork, or rhinestones are recommended.

Column Gowns

Column gowns elongate the silhouette. They are usually sleeveless with a natural waist. For a formal holiday party, you can choose a gown with a high neckline, embellishments, and a slit because gowns without slits restrict movement. The column style is a combination of sleek bodices and long, flowing skirts. You can’t go wrong with it at a gala or red carpet, particularly if paired with the right accessories.

Ball Gowns

Ball gowns are spectacular – look no farther if you want all eyes on you at your holiday formal. For a highly formal event, sleeveless and strapless styles are best. If you really want to party in style, go for a ball gown with rich augmentation in the form of silk or lace. You can choose an asymmetrical design or an embroidered bodice.

Office Christmas Party and Other Semi-Formals

As the name suggests, a semi-formal outfit is basically one between casual and formal. For an office party, it’s always best to choose elegant and professional attire. Your dress shouldn’t be racy. Stick to your office’s regular dress code. Here’s a nifty hack from New York Dress – if the party is right after work, spruce up your work attire with a few high-end accessories to add a bit of dazzle.

Office party attire is all about striking a balance between elegance and chic. Opt for a trendy, elegant cocktail dress and pair it with gold jewelry and statement accessories. For a sleek finish, choose mid-heel sandals or stilettos.

Cocktail Party

Cocktail dresses are generally shorter than semi-formal ones and come in many different styles, fabrics, and colors. Every woman should have a versatile cocktail dress to wear to almost any occasion. Cocktail dresses are usually knee-length. A more casual party allows for a loose-fitting dress, while a more formal cocktail event requires a well-tailored, tastefully accessorized piece with signature jewelry.

Casual Holiday Party with Friends

Casual dresses can be perfect for holiday parties with friends or even work. The type of dress you choose will depend on the venue. Ask about the dress code. If there isn’t one, opt for something you feel confident in. It shouldn’t be restrictive in any way. You should be able to move around and have some fun. Choose a festive holiday color. Slip dresses and mini dresses are totally appropriate for a party with friends, especially if you want to get someone’s attention. Add some jewelry and a stylish, yet roomy bag to give your look a fun twist.

To nail the sexy holiday party dress look, show skin in one (no more) area of your body. One option is a backless dress, but that’s not really ideal in winter. A deep V-neck or sizzling thigh-high slit will make sure you look elegant and chic. Alternatively, you can opt for a simple, yet elegant off-the-shoulder style. The hottest colors this season are burgundy, minty green, and anything metallic. However, classic colors like navy, black, and red never go out of style.

Fit & Flare Dresses

Fit and flare dresses are perfect for almost every body type, and women of all shapes and sizes feel comfortable and confident in them. These dresses are streamlined at the top and flare out at the waist. They exude serenity and work for casual as well as formal holiday parties.

A-Line Dresses

Like fit and flare dresses, A-line dresses are uniquely flattering to all body types. They are fitted to the waist, attracting attention to the narrowest point of the body, and come in different lengths. For casual occasions, knee-length is best. This style minimizes the hips, thighs, and abdomen. Well-endowed women who want to draw attention to this feature of theirs could opt for an A-line with spaghetti straps or a V-neck. Because they are so incredibly versatile, A-line dresses can be worn over and over again on all kinds of occasions.

Floral Prints

In the midst of the cold and dreary winter, why not light up the room in a delightful floral ensemble?

Small Family Gatherings

Wear a comfortable, casual midaxi or even denim dress to a small family gathering. You might find this article on midaxi dresses helpful. They are a mix between maxi and midi dresses. These dresses can be worn not only for holiday events, but all year round, because they are universally flattering.

It’s easy to make a choice as long as you’re aware of the venue or event’s dress code. Have fun dressing up for your next holiday party, and have a great time!


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1 Comment
  • Jane Estrada
    December 20, 2019

    Those dresses you featured are so pretty. Wish I had an excuse to buy one…

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Choosing the Perfect Dress for Every Holiday Occasion

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