When the holiday party circuit gets into full swing, there's a good chance you won't be able to stomach looking at another cocktail dress. The ubiquitous piece is chic and easy to style, sure, but it feels a bit . . . predictable, no? Liv Tyler stepped out at a book party for Modern Manners in a Stella McCartney printed sweater paired with a black knee-length skirt. She finished it off with loafer-like pumps and a black and white bag. In case you're already feeling the early stages of dressing brain, we've shopped out the look for you.
December marks a very special time in our hearts — party season! That said, the slew of holiday invitations are rolling in, and before you get befuddled on what to wear, we suggest you take special note of the holiday dress code.
If you're wondering what all of those little terms mean — casual, cocktail, formal, black tie — we're here to break it down for you, all with a holiday twist. After all, nothing is more awkward than being the only girl at the party wearing jeans while everyone else is decked out in pretty little dresses. Read all about it below.
- Dress code: casual. You're in luck: this is your chance to show your style cred in a multitude of ways; dark skinny jeans, leather leggings, miniskirts — everything goes. Just remember to add a little shine on top (metallic blazers, red silk tops, sequined tees) or bottom (beaded skirts, jacquard trousers, shiny shorts) to show off your holiday spirit.
- Dress code: cocktail. This category is one of our favorites — you get to wear pretty dresses and jumpsuits without the worry of looking too "dressed down." It's all about having fun here, so pull out that little red dress you've been aching to wear, and if you're feeling experimental, we love the idea of dressing up a chic black jumpsuit with statement jewels and accessories.
Now, it's time to talk about the trickier categories.
After buzzing around a whole lot of ecommerce sites working to bring you this season's best gift guides, we were particularly taken aback by Tory Burch's swatch of stylish presents. Whether you're on the hunt for something cozy, girlie, or simply classic, she has a product you'll love. To help you avoid present overload (as if), we're sharing our favorites.
When it comes to festive, sweet, eternally giftable items, you just can't do better than Kate Spade New York (it's a fashion fact). The brand has collected its holiday offerings online, and we sorted through them all to cull the very best. Whether you're working to cross someone off your shopping list or just need a personal pick-me-up, you owe yourself a look.
In our little black book of stylish women, Tibi’s Amy Smilovic is someone we keep on the proverbial speed dial. Whenever we need style tips, chic vacation ideas, or Fashion Week insights, she's our go-to.
Naturally, with the holidays fast approaching, we tapped Amy once again to share her chicest tips for this festive season. From where to take your out-of-town guests (Bergdorf Goodman) to what to give (think tech and music), Amy's ideas are guaranteed to make this merriest time of the year the most stylish, too. Shop below for Amy Smilovic's picks for a festive, fun, and well-dressed holiday season.
White Elephant, Yankee Swap, Dirty Santa — call it what you will, but the one thing that faithfully remains constant? The task of trying to find a cute, cheap gift that everybody will love. Thankfully, that's where we come in. Not only will all of these baubles, wares, and accessories elicit glances of envy from other swappers — and maybe even a few chuckles — but they all ring in under $15. It's time to start swapping.
Because being cozy isn't always synonymous with looking cute, even your best party look can be ruined with a bad jacket or bulky coat. To ensure that that doesn't happen, we're putting our fashion math to good use to warm up our holiday-perfect ensembles without marshmallow jackets, puffers, or fleeces.
Instead, we're making use of rich textures, like faux furs, cool leather jackets, and tailored coats — and just remember, you can never have too many pairs of tights on hand. With these on hand, rest assured there's a way to cozy up even your stem-baring, bejeweled cocktail dress. For the fashionable how-to, just keep clicking (and shop away!).
The red dress is such a festive choice for the holidays, and Jessica Simpson, Lea Michele, Rita Ora, and Gwen Stefani are giving us four very different takes on the red dress. Watch on for holiday party dressing inspiration, and let us know your favorite in the comments below.
On Allison: Equipment top, Madewell sweater
If you haven't bought your holiday look yet, you might want to hold off until tomorrow — that's when L'Wren Scott for Banana Republic hits stores. And it's not just party dresses we'll have to look forward to from the 50-piece collection! As we learned today in the New York Post's Alexa, there are cozier options, too. Of the pajamas, which Scott calls her favorites in the line, she says, "That's all I can think of at Christmas: I get to sleep in!"
As for why Scott chose the brand for her first collaboration, that decision was an equally warm and cozy one: "I have memories of growing up in Utah and saving my money to shop there. I worked for a Banana Republic [campaign] with Herb Ritts, so I have a history with them." With feminine silhouettes, seasonal hues, and prices ranging from $39 to $198, this could easily become our one-stop shop for holiday dressing. Click through to hear more of her interview, sneak a glimpse of what to expect, and get your shopping lists ready!
— Additional reporting by Randy Miller
Do you ever wish you had a personal shopper to help style you through the holiday party circuit or maybe a makeup artist to give the perfect smoky eye? While we can't teleport to you, you can hang out with us as we break down all our seasonal fashion and beauty tips. Whether you're just attending the office holiday soiree or planning a full-scale family function, our style team has the knowledge to get you dressed and coiffed from head to toe.
We'll be talking about it all in our Google+ Hangout — and you can join in on the conversation! Our hangout begins at 1 p.m. EST/10 a.m. PST sharp. See you there!
And be sure to follow POPSUGAR Beauty on Google+, too!