December  –  the time for parties, pictures and parading around in your best Christmas outfits. The holidays are supposed to be a break in our everyday lives, something special that lifts us out of the ordinary. Part of what makes an occasion feel special for us, and contributes to an atmosphere that makes it feel special to others, is how we dress. Sit down to Christmas dinner in a t-shirt and jeans and it feels like any other day; dress a little sharper and it feels more like a holiday.

Learn how to show your jingle bell jolliness without looking like a Christmas catastrophe!


Make sure you find out ahead of time what the dress code will be. It can be awkward showing up to a dressy event in sweatpants and flats. A business casual dress code usually works, just not too casual. Remember, people take pictures that will inevitably end up on the company/family/neighborhood web page.

The basic formal holiday attire is pretty simple. A ruffled cardigan, short dress, long dress, pantyhose, heels, flats, a blouse, and dress pants are all you need. Mix in a little color with it. Red, green, and gold are traditional Christmas colors, so try to incorporate them into your clothing. Sequins, spots, and sparkles are perfect.

Christmas-themed earrings, necklaces, or bracelets make a bright, holiday statement, even with a black dress.

When in doubt, ask another person what they are wearing. That way, if you are both wrong, you will only get half the ribbing.

Dress your man! The way your man dresses will show your overall mood about it as a couple. Give him a few choices instead of laying out exactly what he has to wear. A blazer, oxford shirt, dress shoes, trousers, and dress socks make a simply elegant outfit. Make some variations on this depending on the nature of the party. For example, if the gathering is a bit more laid back then it would be best to lose the blazer or tux, but keep the dress shirt and maybe the tie. A pair of slacks or khakis is also an excellent choice as well. The Christmas theme should be subtle, but noticeable, in the outfit. For example, one could wear a green dress shirt along with a red tie and maybe include a gold pocket square.

Dress the kids. Christmas kids are absolutely gorgeous. You really don’t have to follow any rules for them, pretty much anything goes. Only do it if they agree or are too young to notice.


Christmas Costumes. Depending on the nature of the party, a Christmas costume can be a fun choice. This may not be the best plan for an office or professional party, but costumes are ideal for gatherings of friends and family.

The ugly Christmas sweater is a great choice, as it is a great cross between a costume and a professional-looking outfit. It is goofy enough for a casual party, but neat enough for any office party. Best of all, you can buy a pre-made ugly sweater or make one yourself. Making an ugly sweater is as simple as using a hot glue gun to apply some pom-poms or battery-operated lights to the front of a plain sweater, so it is worth a shot.

A joyous Christmas everyone!