Style - December 14, 2016

What To Wear To A Christmas Party

What to wear to a christmas party - everything you need to know from occasion details, dress style options, and more!

It’s officially holiday party time, y’all! Are your calendars suddenly seeming suuuuper full? Raising my hand over here! It’s such a fun time of year, but also pretty overwhelming, right? One of my favorite parts for the parties is getting dressed up. It’s the one time of year where fabrics like velvet and sequins are appropriate and everything feels a little fancier – I love it for a couple months! I’ll be talking about anything and everything you’d EVER slash need to know about what to wear to a Christmas party.

In this article I’ll be covering the different types of parties you might have on your calendar, the many different possibles occasions, and then ending with different dress styles and suggesting when and why each might work.

What To Wear To a Christmas Party: Things To Consider

Since there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to what to wear to a holiday party, I wanted to cover it all for you. And since having an idea of what you’ll wear to parties in advance reduces the stress big time, I wanted to write this early in the season. Hopefully, everything below will help you have a better idea of what to wear to all parties!

What kind of event is it?

First off the type of event makes a huge difference on what to wear. If its a holiday office party you might want to consider where it’s being held and how formal your office is. At this occasion, I would avoid any short dresses/skirts and anything too flashy. You want to look festive, but still, wear something office appropriate. If the party is being held by family or friends I would consider asking the host what the party attire will be. You know your family best, think about what they would be wearing. If the event is a gala or fundraiser consider that those parties tend to be on the dressier side. This gives you a chance to bring out your favorite cocktail dress or long evening gown.

Where is the Christmas Party taking place?

If the invitation didn’t say what attire to wear a good tell is often from the event location. If they request your company at a ballroom or hall. you’re probably going to wear a semi or formal dress. On the other hand, if it’s a fun and trendy restaurant or bar you might want to wear something more festive and on trend to fit in with the crowd. My go to when invited to a Christmas party hosted at someone’s house is always dressy casual.

Who is hosting the Christmas Party?

If you’re going to a friend’s party, you know the style is probably more laid back and you can get away with something showier. If it’s an elderly person’s party or someone you want to impress (say a mother-in-law or something along those lines), opt to go more conservative. Being a little more dressy and conservative will never get you in trouble!

Is there a requested attire for the Holiday Party?

So, the invitation says the attire? You have no worries then! I wouldn’t try to push too many boundaries on the dress code, but do look festive and have fun! If there isn’t, depend on the location and who is hosting to plan your outfit. A friend’s party in their apartment is obviously going to be more casual and trendy than a company party in a banquet hall.

Also, What’s The Occasion for the Christmas Party?

Office Party

This is fun because you get to show your style a little more – and wear a little higher heels – but you 100% want to be comfortable and appropriate. Just because it’s a party doesn’t mean you can forget you’re at work. I suggest wearing something you’d wear to work but switch up the fabrics. Velvet trousers or a skirt (doesn’t have to hit your knees like work but I’d avoid a mini) are a fun way to safely amp up your look! Tights work well with a dress too if you think the dress is showing too much skin without. For more specifics on what to consider when figuring out what to wear for your office holiday party, I did an entire post on the topic with a little more of my thoughts here!


Probably the fanciest party you’ll go to this season, so dress for it. I’m a big fan of long dresses made of lace for galas – or even velvet this season. You still want to look conservation – similar to a work party – but fancy. Feel free to show a little back or have a knee-high slit if you want to show a bit of skin in a classy way. A beautiful red dress (Pretty Woman style) is also ideal for a holiday gala or fundraiser!

Casual Gathering

Super easy to dress for, and probably the most creative you can get. For laid back holiday parties, I love a good leather, black, or velvet pant and then a fun top. Definitely make sure you’re not doing TOO much on both ends of your body though – if your pants are flashy, wear a more muted top and vice versa. A sequin or velvet top would be great with plain black jeans or a simple leather mini. You can get away with booties or something other than heels here too.

Semi-Formal Gathering

I’d go with a simple LBD (more on this below) or cute dress. I don’t think you can go wrong with a dress for semi-formal. Depending on the weather, who is hosting, and location, you can decide if the dress should be more classy or fun. I’d stick to heels, too.

Let’s Talk Dress Options for a Christmas Party

Okay, so you’re probs going to wear a dress (or possibly a midi skirt? more on that below), so let’s talk about the different options out there and when and why each type might be your best option.

The Little Black Dress (LBD)

This dress is a go-to for any occasion. Before you go and get a super trendy dress ask yourself if a classic LBD would do the job. I have a couple and definitely recommend having options when it comes to black dresses. You can a sexy open back LBD, long formal black dress, and a short and feminine dress. They all serve a unique occasion and are all great to have in your wardrobe. Use accessories to your favorite to up the festive vibes – a sequined clutch, statement earrings, fun shoes, etc.

The Going-All-Out Sequin Dress

This is a little harder to pull off and have it look chic, but a sequin dress can be really festive for the holidays. The trick to making a sequin dress look nice is making sure that 1) its appropriate for the event 2) it is not an overly shine-y sequin 3) its in a neutral color or muted color (not neon). It should also be classy. Since sequins are pretty flashy, make sure the dress isn’t super tight or showing off too much skin—it’s Christmas, not Vegas!

The Flattering A-Line Skirt (or Pleated Skirt)

I love a good skirt/top combo for holiday parties (in fact, I did a whole post on wearing this combo to your OFFICE holiday party!). It’s usually appropriate for any setting and skirts are just so flattering on everyone! You can have tons of options too as far as patterns, fabrics, and colors. I tend to lean towards jewel tones and think they compliment most peoples skin tones. Plus, a deep emerald skirt is the perfect amount of holiday color for a party while still looking chic.

Shop the Post: Likely Red Pleated Dress // Baublebar Crystal Drop Earring (old but Similar HERE) // Kristin Cavallari Lace Up Pump // YSL Black Clutch

More Dress and Accessory Options: