Doing some research sounds like a no brainer, but it is actually one of the easiest ways to take the stress out of figuring out what to wear this holiday season.  During the holidays you already have enough to stress about.


Start with your holiday invitations.  Most invitations will specify a dress code.  If not, just ask the host what the “dress” for the party is.  If you are going to a work party with a mystery dress code, talk to your colleagues.  Find out what others are planning to wear, and what they might have worn last year at the party.  This should give you a good place to start planning your outfit.


Two of the most common dress codes found on holiday invitations this time of year are cocktail attire and festive attire. 


Cocktail Attire is fun because as a woman you have so many options.  Typically women wear short elegant dresses or separates and men wear a dark suit.  Women can also wear dress pants with an elegant/dressy top.  Another great option is your little black dress.  That is something many of us have already have in our closets.  The little black dress is very appropriate and can have many different looks just by changing your accessories.  Remember that accessories can be the key to dressing up or down a look.  Also, don’t be afraid to wear color.  There are a lot of beautiful vibrantly colored cocktail dresses in the stores for the holiday season.


Many of us already have the beginnings of a cocktail outfit in our closet.  The little black dress is a cocktail attire staple, but it doesn’t have to be black.  You may have a great dark dress in your closet that you can glam up with accessories.  Play up your bag, shoes and jewelry to make over a plain dress.


Most of us have some type of dressy or evening top in our closets.  Pair that with dress pants, a skirt, or even a suit for a more conservative office party. Your shoes can play a big role in dressing up your look.  Metallic shoes, or shoes with lace, satin, patent leather, and embellishment are a great way to dress up an outfit.


Also don’t forget about your bag.  Leave your day bag at home and opt for a clutch or evening bag.  Bags are a great way to play with color, and can do wonders to tie your outfit together.  Remember that your bag doesn’t have to match your shoes.  That is an old outdated rule.


Festive Attire is another common dress code found on invitations this time of year.  Festive attire is not as dressy as cocktail attire but more dressy than casual attire.  Festive attire is meant to evoke a fun, flirty, party atmosphere.  Think metallics, beading, ruffles, bows, velvet, holiday colors, etc.  This is a great time to have a little fun with your wardrobe and the party will probably be pretty fun too.


For more help deciphering what to wear to all of your holiday parties contact the Charleston Style Concierge.

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