2 Festive Tops to Jazz Up Your Favorite Jeans for Holiday Gatherings

Happy November, friends! Halloween is over, the jack-o-lanterns have been put away, and I think I just heard the starting gun go off… holiday season starts now!

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for waiting until after Thanksgiving to deck the halls and start playing Christmas music, but now’s the time to start thinking about what we’re going to wear to the holiday parties and events that are on your calendar, and the others that are bound to crop up.

There’s nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute, so I like to have a few options at the ready.

C and I are teaming up again today to share two festive tops to jazz up your favorite jeans for holiday gatherings.

(Just pay no nevermind to the fall wreath and flowers on my front porch. It is just November, after all!)

It sounds like most of you have more casual gatherings on your agenda, so I wanted to share two ways to dress up your favorite jeans, but with both of these outfits, you can swap out the jeans for pants if you want a look that’s a little more church or office appropriate.

My look features a satin cowl neck top from J.Crew Factory.

This top is right up my alley because you can dress it up or down; wear it alone; or layer it under a blazer, leather moto, or cardigan.

It also comes in black and ivory, and it runs TTS; I have the small.

For this look, I threw it on with my favorite black jeans and added black suede block heel sandals.

In reality, I’d probably wear pumps — something like this — but I thought the sandals were fun for a change, and those of you in warmer climates might like this option.

These sandals are super comfortable and walkable, and the scalloped strap detail is a nice touch. They have a 3″ heel, so they’re not as high as some.

I accessorized with crystal double hoop earrings (you may recognize these from the black tie wedding guest look I shared a few weeks ago) and a crystal stretch bracelet that is no longer available. This one is similar.

My metallic clutch is a go-to for dressy-casual events, perfect for outfits like this one.

There is no shoulder strap, so I usually only use it when I’m going out to dinner — not to events where I want to mingle and hold a glass of wine and a nibble. But it’s a nice piece to have, and I’ve gotten a lot of use out of it over the years.

Outfit Details:

satin cowl neck top | black skinny jeans (option) | suede sandals | metallic clutch | earrings | similar bracelet

C didn’t create her outfit with the holidays in mind, but her red wrap sweater can definitely look festive with the right accessories.

The nice thing about a sweater like this is, you can wear it for daily wear as well as to holiday events, so you can get more bang for your buck.

This look is more everyday, with blue jeans and nude ballet flats.

This sweater is cropped, so it works best with high rise jeans. For size reference, C is wearing the XS, so it’s true to size.

She wears it with a lace trim cami underneath.

C usually carries a bigger bag for everyday — in fact, we always tease her about her “mom bag” because she usually carries a highly organized satchel with everything but the kitchen sink.

Got a headache? Need a band-aid? Dental floss? Hand sanitizer? She’s gotcha covered, and she knows exactly where it is. 😂

But she wanted something a little smaller for certain events, and we found this bag at Lulu’s. It’s a nice size, as it holds more than a typical crossbody but still looks dressy.

She and I are both huge fans of the classic ballet flat, and these Sam Edelman Felicia flats are one of our all time favorites.

This Circus by Sam Edelman style is similar. I haven’t tried it, so I don’t know how it compares, but it is genuine leather, so I have to imagine it’s a good option for less.

While this outfit is fairly casual, you could easily swap out the flats for heels and the blue jeans for black jeans — coated denim or velvet would lend an even more festive vibe. Add some blingy earrings or a layer necklace, and you’re all set!

Meanwhile, C is enjoying wearing this sweater for everyday use. If red isn’t your thing, it also comes in black, beige, and yellow; and it’s currently on sale for under $30.

Outfit Details:

wrap sweater | similar jeans | ballet flats (option) | bag

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photos: Alison Cornell

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29 Responses

  1. What a pretty top and absolutely perfect for the upcoming holidays. YES, it’s time to start thinking about that (as hard as it is to believe it). Caroline sounds like my kind of girl! Someone has to have all the things in case of an emergency. LOL She looks darling in her outfit. Happy weekend!

  2. I think I just found my Holidays Style Sister….and it’s Caroline! I love a warm, festive sweater for December events. I just can’t do sleeveless this time of year 🥶 Seriously, she looks just lovely. As Mom to three adult daughters I love how you are encouraging your girls to find their own style. (sermon alert😂) I see too many mothers who seem to almost relish the “fight” over clothes with their daughters. Yes, we want to teach our daughters to respect themselves and others with their clothing 
     choices but these teenage years are too precious and fleeting to waste with minor battles! ( sermon over) Good job Mama!!

    Talk to me about those jeans. I have the infamous creeping down Frame black jeans and I love the look and the quality. I have had them for several seasons and notice next to no fading but I’m constantly pulling them up.  Every time I put them on a remember how much I love the look but a couple hours later I remember why I hesitate to reach for them!  How do these AGs compare…I might be ready for a change. 


    1. Yeah, it depends. I often wear sleeveless when I’m hosting b/c I always get overheated. But I’m all for cozy festive sweaters too… in fact, I just got one in the mail that I love!

      Those Frame jeans… I finally got so tired of hitching them up that I sold them. I prefer the length of the AG anyway, they’re an inch shorter. I used to like the Frame 29″ inseam with some things, but nowadays all of the inseams seem to be getting shorter, and the 28″ seems to work with everything. These definitely do not slide down like the Frame did. The ones I linked to here are a sateen — different than mine, but the same exact fit. I actually ordered the sateen to try and compare once. The ones I have are low inventory, but they’re a little thicker and more of a straight denim – https://shopstyle.it/l/9KCW

  3. Thank you for these ideas and looking forward to what else you will be posting leading up to the holidays!!  My mother just moved into an independent living facility but has nurses that administer her meds and a cleaning lady … do you have any ideas for these types of situations … we want to get them something to let them know how much they are appreciated!  Thanks again for all you do !

  4. Yasss!  So excited to see you styling some holiday options!  And your daughter, what a beauty, just like her momma!  Like you, I always give Thanksgiving it’s due, as I’m so truly thankful for all the Lord has blessed me with!  Now that the weather has turned here in NE PA, I can finally wear those fall sweaters!  Unfortunately with holiday fashion, one has to shop early, since it will be sold out by the time the Christmas holidays rolls around. I have all the fall tops I need, so looking forward to see what you’ve got in store for us going forward into the Christmas season!  

  5. When I began reading this post, I laughed out loud.  You will know why after I share my post in a bit.  Your top is so pretty and a great price, and you look so nice.  Caroline have so much in common, even though many many years separates us.  Her outfit is more what I might wear to a Christmas gathering.  She looks so good in her outfit!  I see her following in your footsteps and having her own fashion blog one day.  And like her, I am the go to gal when you need something due to the contents of my handbag and knowing just where it is.  It was 33 when I got up this morning.  Love it!!  Have a fabulous Friday!

  6. I was so excited to see the temperature falling, too, Jo-Lynne. After a hot summer, I enjoy cooler weather. The fact that I’m the most comfortable in jeans, a sweater and booties just adds to that. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be excited when spring comes again, but I will be wearing a sweater in Delaware today with a smile.

  7. Caroline love your classic looks….keep joining mom!
    Yes both perfect for my simple holiday events…still love black lace j crew from last year also!

  8. I love this look. Black jeans are one of my favorites and I love how you styled them with that blouse. Not usually a fan of the cowl neck look on me. But this one I could wear and I love that it is sleeveless.

  9. Good morning! Everything looks so good on you and Caroline.. She really does a great job! Very professional! I love the AG jeans. Hopefully one day I can go in and try some on and see if they look good on me as they do you! We are in the 30s here so definitely need a Blazer or cardigan over sleeveless tops. Thanks for all you and your family do for us!

    Cindy xx

  10. I am loving Caroline’s sweater.  Would you say it is more of a warm or cool red?   It’s so hard to tell in the photos.  

  11. I love both of these looks!  Yours would be beautiful under a cardigan for me, since I don’t do sleeveless.  I love the color!  And Caroline’s is so pretty and cozy.  And I love that she carries a handbag that holds everything. I’m with her- it’s good to be prepared!  Ha ha  

  12. Just wanted to say that Caroline seems like such a lovely young woman.  And kudos to her for taking an interest in your blog, maybe she’ll have her own in the not-too-distant future??  

  13. Do I dare say my sister and I just came from the Christmas craft fair.. and we played Christmas music there and back. Now I’m home and listening to the Christmas hallmark movies that just started today.. 🤗… our weather is a beautiful 66 today but dropping to 45 tomorrow .Nice to see your daughter join you again. Hope you’ll be sharing your new festive sweater??

  14. Both outfits look fantastic on you and Caroline….she is such a BEAUTIFUL girl!  May I ask where you got your fall front door wreath?

  15. Hi! I love your posts with Caroline. I’m curious to know what she would put together as a gift giving guide for her age group. I’ve got 3 young ladies her age with upcoming birthdays and Christmas, and am looking for some ideas- in the up to $50 price range. 

  16. I just wanted to comment on the circus by Sam Edelman. I am a teacher and wear this brand of flats every day and I love them! They hold up really well, my feet and back do not hurt at the end of the day. Just my personal opinion for what it’s worth lol

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