Christmas Party Outfit Ideas: 16 Trendy Holiday Details for Chic Women
by Tina Boomerina (Christina Gregoire)
Whether you’re going all out for a Christmas party to end all parties or just having a few friends and family members over for an intimate gathering, here are 16 easy fashion and beauty tips that will help you come up with glam and trendy party outfits for the 2014 holidays and beyond.
Most of these ideas are cheap; some are expensive. Other tips are unique and quirky, but holiday soirees are the perfect excuse for looking fun and festive… and creative.
Live it up, baby. Life is short.
You might want to keep reading this article even if New Year’s Eve has come and gone, because many of these tips can be used for parties at any time of the year and for formal nights on cruise ships. Nothing here is so trendy that you won't be able to wear it in 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Tips for Holiday Outfits
Several of these ideas are things you probably already know, but reading them again may help you come up with a groovy new look using stuff you already have in your closet. Other ideas involve buying yourself an early Christmas present... or two.
Note: My tips are in no particular order. I’m free associating while thinking about holiday outfits I’ve seen recently online and in fashion mags.
Cute Trendy Party Clothes
Here’s my first tip: Silver is hot.
If you already have your entire party outfit ready to go, from your sparkly earrings to your peep-toe pumps, good for you. However, if you’re the type of gal who’ll be going on a last minute run to the local strip mall to pick up something shiny to perk up last year’s holiday outfit, think silver.
1. Silver Heels: While there’s nothing wrong with gold, I’m digging the new crop of silver high heel sandals and ankle boots (and flats) for 2014 and 2015. Silver feels fresher and hipper than other metallics.
2. Silver Clutch Purse: You don’t have to match your handbag with your shoes, in fact, it might be better if you don’t. But, I’ve seen some amazing silver clutches and tiny purses on chains. My next party bag will definitely be silver… or silver and gold.
Okay, enough with the silver. Let’s go on to the rest of my random thoughts.
3. Gauzy Tops & Ponchos: Sheer tops are my favorite flab-covers for sleeveless dresses and sleeveless tops.
Many times I’ve worn a sleeveless outfit and months later I’ve run across a photo of myself… and my old, pale, flabby arms… on my husband’s Facebook page. (He never asks me. He just posts.) Other times, I’ve looked just fine in sleeveless tops. I don’t know what the difference is. When in doubt, cover your bare arms with a sheer, gauzy wrap, poncho, bolero, kimono or button-up shirt. I’m only mentioning this because lots of party dresses are sleeveless.
4. Lightly Tinted Glasses or Sunglasses: If contacts bug you and you hate wearing granny glasses at parties, get some “indoor” prescription sunglasses with a light blue or pink tint. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with readers for work and travel, but why not have some lightly colored progressive lenses put into some huge plastic frames. Large glasses will hide your wrinkles. (Check out the Advanced Style ladies for inspiration.) Frames with subtle rhinestones are extra festive, but don’t go all Vegas on me.
5. Glitter Eyeshadow: Please don’t cringe. I’m not talking about those frosted eyeshadows you wore in the 70s. These days, frosted shadows have light-diffusing particles that give you a touch of sparkle while smoothing the look of your crepey lids. The newest, retro trend involves matching the color of your eyeshadow with the color of your dress or outfit. Déjà vu? My daughter and I use MAC Pressed Pigment, Givenchy, and Laura Mercier frosted eyeshadows, but look around for colors you like in your price range.
6. Statement Earrings: Giant statement earrings will make you party-worthy even if you’re wearing a garbage bag. I buy costume jewelry every chance I get, so there’s always something fun in my fake-jewelry drawer. I just bought some faux turquoise drops from Kendra Scott that go with everything. I also have a pair of giant turquoise chandeliers (Anthropologie 2013) and women stop me on the street to say they love them. I have lots of drops and hoops and blingies, and I wear statement earrings with daywear as well as eveningwear. It seems inconceivable that a woman would be properly dressed for a party without some kind of fab earrings. Of course, a statement necklace or a few giant statement cuffs will turn any outfit into a party outfit.
7. Colored Ankle Boots: You can use colored shoes to pump up any outfit. I know it sounds weird but you can wear red (or green or purple or fuchsia or citrine) boots or shoes with an all-black outfit. I’ve seen this done in Paris, where normal men and women (not tourists) were riding the Metro and walking around the city in fab, randomly colored shoes. I’ve also seen colored shoes worn with dark outfits in Phoenix, of all places. And, I’m talking about chic chicks at the poshest places, not sad-sack old ladies with color dementia.
8. Cute Colorful Socks: You can jazz up almost any outfit by wearing printed socks with your boots or booties (or shoes). I’m not talking about Santa-face or candy-cane socks. I’m talking about festive stockings with an unexpected twist. Save the standard Christmas and Hanukkah socks for the suburbanoids who follow the herd. For your party outfit, try wearing socks with green and red flowers or black and white bulldogs or blue and yellow hearts.
Yesterday, I scored some gorgeous cobalt-blue high-heel booties that were hidden on the discount rack at DSW. I wasn’t sure if the boots would be high enough to keep my black leggings tucked in, so I bought some cheapo blue socks printed with colorful birds. Then, I pulled the socks higher than the boots and tucked my leggings in. The look was fantastic. Several chic women told me they loved my outfit. (I’ve worn this outfit many times before, and no one said anything when I wore boring shoes. My blue boots and colorful birdie socks were so unexpected that it worked.) Trust me. Snowmen socks will not have the same effect.
9. Sequin Tops & Dresses: Sequins are nothing new, but you can wear just a touch of sequins and get the same festive effect as you can with a full-on sequin-to-the-max dress. Find a scarf or beret with sequins. Or, get a dress or top with scattered sequins (or giant sequins) for a fun, trendy look.
10. Chic Christmas Party Hats: If you have a fedora, buy a sequined headband (or some sequin fabric) and make a sparkly hatband. Two other options: Take some glittery fabric and tie it into a hipster turban. Clip a giant sparkly brooch to a soft, stretchy headband.
11. Red or Jewel Tone Party Outfits: You can wear a whole outfit that’s bright and colorful or you can add a few accessories (a red scarf, a pair of purple glitter booties, some emerald green tights, a plum fedora) to a plain black outfit to make it holiday worthy. The only thing I won’t allow you to wear is anything in geriatric beige… unless you’re half-dead and your hospital gown is beige. Even then, I may sneak in and spray paint your gown a bright red or a gorgeous plum.
12. Redhead Red: If you’re an artsy type, make your hair a deep red for the holidays. Even though we’ve all heard that gray hair is “in”, fuchsia and Irish-Setter red are all the rage. What could be more fun than chic red hair and giant sparkly earrings? If you’ve never been a redhead before, consult your favorite gay stylist.
As always, I’m rambling. I’ll try to wrap this up quickly. These are other trendy details you might want to try for your holiday party look:
13. Faux Fur: Faux fur wraps and collars are hip.
14. Brightly Colored Lace: Red is good. Unexpected jewel-tone colors are sometimes better.
15. Platform Sandals: Platform shoes are easier to walk in than heels without a platform. I don't know anything about flats. You're on your own with those.
16. Christmas Plaid: Get a super long plaid scarf and loop it a million ways until you love how it looks, or wear a sheer plaid top over a cami (or a bra top if you’re a svelte twenty-something).
Create Your Own Party Outfit Trends
Younger chicks are still fearless when it comes to trying new kinds of party outfits. But, if you’re a woman over 40 or 50 or 60 or 70, it’s extremely important that you change your look every now and then. So, try new trends whenever you can.
I’d rather have people laugh at you for being a fashion victim than for being stuck in a time warp. However, if you use your good taste, no one will laugh at you at all. Instead, women half your age will walk up to you and tell you they love your outfit. Then, they’ll shyly ask you where you bought your cute hat or scarf or rhinestone cuff.
So, do something different this year. Try wearing old accessories in new ways. Go to the thrift store to find a vintage hat. Play dress up for the holidays. I’m sure it will be easy for you to make your Christmas party outfit outstanding and unique because you’ve lived through so many different trends that you know what works.
Don’t overdo it and look like a human Christmas tree, but don’t under do it and look like a typical suburban mouse. Fashion is fun. Holiday party fashion is even mo’ fun.
More Fashion Articles for Chic Women Over 40, 50, 60, 70:
Photo Credits: Prshots.com. (Every link ships to US and most of the world. Just check to see if US or UK sizing. Ask if unsure. UK has rockin' stuff.)
- Main Photo: Plain Red Shirt Dress at Wallis, black sequin top at D orothy Perkins, faux fur trim cardi at Next.
- Silver is Hot: DorothyPerkins (Silver is so hot that this dress sold out.)
- Silver Party Shoes for Christmas: Sequin lace shift dress at M n Co, silver pumps, silver ankle boots and silver brogues at Dune or Asos.
- Holiday Clothes & Fashion Tips: Red maxi dress at D orothy Perkins, cosmetics at New Look, DKNY eyewear at Sunglass Shop, sequin tunic dress at H ouse of Fraser.
- Cute Christmas Socks & Winter Boots: Miss Selfridge tan ankle booties, Dune ankle booties, White Stuff printed socks.
- Fashion Trends for Holiday Parties: New Look faux fur stole (you can find trendy faux fur stoles at Nordstrom's if in US), redhead model in a rockin' M iss Selfridge party dress for regular size chicks and very special daughters or granddaughters.
What do you think of this article? What are you wearing for Christmas this year? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.