How To: Dressing for Holiday Parties

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by Chloe Karaskiewicz, Fashion Writer

The holidays are marked with twinkling lights, flickering candles, glitzy ornaments, mountains of food, piles of presents – all representative of a time of plenty. And whether the economy is good or bad, the holidays are an opportunity to appreciate what we do have and focus on our hopes for the future. It should come as no surprise then, that holiday style reflects a season of celebration with staples in glitter, baubles, metallics and jewel tones.

Holiday party looks can go in several different directions, so I’d like to take you on a tour of this year’s biggest holiday trends and give you some options for every occasion, from family dinner to sophisticated soiree.

Marc Jacobs is calling it the “Gold Standard,” and we’re announcing that the metallic sheen we’ve seen on runways across the globe has found its way home for the holidays. Use this trend as a focus for your outfit: keep it simple and classy – one piece will say enough. Metallic fabrics, brocades and embroidery all abound this season, and can be found in dresses, skirts, shirts, blazers and even pants to fit any style and budget. Pair a statement piece with toned down supplements to make the whole ensemble pop. I am a big fan of a black blazer over a cool dress, such as a sequined blazer over an oxblood dress or a black tuxedo jacket over a gold metallic mini, all paired with ankle length cigarette pants (try them in sequin or tuxedo).

A throwback to yesteryear, art deco beading stages a comeback for eveningwear in darker shades and richer metallics and patterns. Monochromatic beading on a similarly hued fabric is a great feature of this trend, making it easy to accessorize and work into an outfit. Try it as a dress in modernized flapper style, or pair it with a simple body-conscious skirt or skinny cut pants for a more casual look.

Finally, the jewels. The trend of jewel tones and sparkling stones brings you the rich reds of the holidays as well as the classic deep purples, teals, and even a pop of pink à la J.Crew. Jewel encrusted collars are also returning for the season: substitute an embellished neckline for a necklace, and pair a dazzling top in a neutral color with a vibrantly hued pant or skirt.


This first look is a red velvet dress – a holiday staple and time honored classic – paired with black and gold accessories (a major trend for this season!). Find this dress on sale at ($49) – where it also comes in a beautiful dark purple if red isn’t for you – or try the body con version Urban Renewal Velvet Dress ($69), also from Urban Outfitters, online.

Also featured: Charlotte Russe pumps ($45), Forever 21 flats ($20), Oasis Glitter Hard Case Clutch ($39), Couldn’t Filigree More Bracelet from Modcloth ($24), and Black Feather Necklace ($13).

These looks are all about options with sequined dresses and structured blazers. Go all out with a colored, full body number from H&M ($21) with a waterfall blazer ($24), a sparkly skirt from AX Paris ($48) with a Kirna Zabete for Target blazer ($35), or focus on the top with a cocktail dress and single button blazer from New Look ($48 and $32, respectively).

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