2 Easy Holiday Looks with Black Jeans

I’ve had some requests for more casual holiday outfits, since so many of us will be celebrating at home or with very small groups this year.

Even when I’m at home, I like to look festive, so I created two easy holiday-ready looks with black jeans. Best of all, everything is available at Nordstrom. Gotta love one stop shopping, especially during this busy time of year!

I wanted to style black jeans because they’re just as comfortable as blue jeans, but they look a little bit more dressed-up.

Of course, you could certainly wear black pants with these looks if the venue or occasion calls for it. (I highly recommend these Spanx skinny pants, or these 1.State twill slim ankle pants for a pair that’s not quite as form-fitting.) But for this post, I’m styling my AG Farrah ankle skinny jeans.

These jeans are very flattering, and the deep jet black wash gives them a more formal look, even though they’re super soft and have a good amount of stretch.

In the first look, I wore my black jeans with this boxy mixed media top by Michael Stars — a brand known for modern luxury essentials.

I shared this top in a recent try-on haul and talked about how much I love the elegant simplicity. It has a satin front and a jersey back, so it’s comfortable to wear all day, and the fabric is just luxe enough to look fancy without being extra.

The boatneck is perfect too — so flattering, but not at all revealing. And yes, it has short sleeves, but that makes it perfect for hosting events (I always tend to get overheated when hosting) or for those who live in warmer climates.

This top also comes in black and brown, but I think this rich eggplant is so gorgeous for this time of year. It runs true to size; I have the small.

Because it is so plain, I jazzed it up with a few fun Kendra Scott accessories — the Phara Tassel Lariat and the Pave Sophee Drop Earrings.

I managed to snag these when they were on sale over the weekend, but keep an eye on them. They may go on sale again before the end of the year.

To keep the look festive, I wore black suede pumps, but you could wear flats and be just as cute. I will say, though, these pumps are far more comfortable than they may appear; I can wear them for hours without any problem.

And if you are lucky enough to get to go somewhere in this outfit, a metallic crystal clutch makes the ideal holiday accessory.

Mine is from last year, but this one is similar. It even has a removable drop-in chain for when you want to be hands-free.

Then my black wool blend reefer is the perfect topper, for any potential outings. It has a slim profile with clean lines, front welt pockets, and a back vent. It’s fully lined, and it runs true to size; I have the 6.

I remember a few years back, we were headed out to my husband’s office party, and I didn’t have a single coat that looked dressy enough to cover my cocktail dress. I vowed never again to be without a black dress coat.

Camel and grey are nice to have too, but there are some occasions when only black will do, and this coat is a classic that will last many years.

Another option for a casual holiday look with your favorite black jeans is to wear a festive sweater.

Festive doesn’t always need to mean bling, and it doesn’t have to be red either… Although this sweater does come in red, if you prefer, as well as a vibrant kelly green and a few nice neutrals.

It has three-quarter sleeves with tie cuffs and a flattering v-neck, and the fabric is a nice soft cotton blend.

Those subtle details are just enough to make it special for holiday gatherings, but it’s still practical and comfortable, and you can wear it pretty much all year-round.

This sweater runs true to size; I’m wearing the small in the Plumeria. It’s also 30% off right now!

I also like how the versatile 23 1/2″ length can be untucked or front-tucked, depending on the proportions of the outfit.

This time I wore black suede sandals instead of pumps, and I swapped the lariat for a simple bezel station necklace, but I kept the pave drop earrings.

As always, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get their free shipping and free returns. And don’t forget about their BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options.

If you aren’t already a Nordy Club member, be sure to sign up so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop, and enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers, and events.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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27 Responses

  1. Such pretty outfits.. I always put my black jeans on the back burner sort of speak and reach for the blue denim but they certainly do dress up and outfit! I hope you start to see some relief in your back and shoulder.. it often takes a few visits with some down time in between 😉 to feel the difference. I just saw my chiropractor yesterday too I carry all my stress and tension in my neck. 🤨. Love your Christmas wreath!

    1. Yeah… downtime. Ha! I really am trying to move around more and take time away from the computer when I can. I told my daughter I would take her out today after my chiro appt to do some shopping. Trying to make myself get out of the house. 🙂

  2. Jolynne,
    I loved the festive outfits. I always also enjoy the decorations of your home at Christmas.
    Please share more of the home decor this year.

  3. Do you ever have trouble with the black dye in your jeans staining light colored shoes and bags? Even after washing, I still sometimes have trouble. Maybe it’s a price point issue because I’ll admit that I don’t buy $200 jeans. One comment on your shoulder…my brother had a similar problem that just kept getting worse until he saw an orthopedic doctor who gave him a round of steroid pills that ended the whole episode in a few days. He had tried a chiropractor for weeks previous to seeing the orthopedist without any relief. Good luck finding the right cure for you.

    1. Ugh, more steroids. LOL! I always have such a terrible reaction to them, but they might be what I need.

      So even $200 jeans do that. My AG black jeans always stain my hands when I wear them, and I notice it rubbing off on my light colored car seats. And yes it has happened to bags and shoes at times, although I guess I usually do black shoes and bag b/c I haven’t noticed it too bad on those. I don’t have a good solution. I always figured it was the price I pay for black jeans that don’t fade. LOL.

  4. I hope you can get some relief today. Our daughter experienced that numbness as well recently. With all the online schooling I figured it was from sitting at her desk hunched over a laptop. A few adjustments at the chiropractor and she was good to go. I have had the same in the past, it’s a weird feeling and crazy how your spine/neck really is connected to everything! Always seems to be the arm that controls the mouse too! Hoping you are feeling better soon!

  5. Thank you for all the ideas! I always look forward to your posts. I was having terrible pain and saw an OT who did a workstation assessment and determined I should use a new mouse. The normal ones aren’t really good. Look up the Evoluent mouse. Took a little to get used to but has helped me so much! I also got a automatic sit/stand desk (Vari) that also helps all my aches and pains. Good luck!

  6. For some reason the pins weren’t working.
    Cute outfits! I’m going to have to go check out the sock controversy from yesterday, I too didn’t know people were passionate!

  7. Both outfits are so pretty and look so nice on you.  I sure hope that the chiropractor gave you more relief today and that he gave you a recommendation for an orthopedic.  Good luck!!

  8. Question on the black jeans?  Are these the ones you always say you love that don’t fade? I quit buying black jeans two years ago because I don’t like after they fade and I wash in cold and don’t ever dry them. I really need a pair and a recommendation for a no fade pair. My last fade pair were LOFT. :(. 

  9. PS. So sorry about your pain. Could it be frozen shoulder? I got pain in shoulder one time and MRI showed no tear etc so I was sent to PT for frozen shoulder. They said it hits woman a lot in their 40’s. I spent 1 year in PT then they warned me it sometimes can hit the other side. Sure enough it did so back to PT for another year. It was the strangest thing and painful but the PT really helped. You loose mobility in it like raising arm fully to do hair and reach behind your back etc etc. It’s  not always deep pain but aching pain. Hurts more at night when not busy. Anyway, just a thought. Doesn’t always have to be an injury. I was told though they see it a lot in woman who lift the machines that go up and back like at those Curves excercise places. Sure enough I had been doing that very thing. Was told not good excercise for woman. Hope you feel better soon. You look so pretty in the holiday outfits. Great ideas as I won’t be going out for Christmas. 

  10. Such a great post! I have been keeping a eye on the Marc Fisher pumps and decided to purchase but when I was directed to the Nordstrom website the price was different from the price you have on the post, of course I think your price is better!

    Thanks again for all of your hard work, hope your shoulder issues gets better!

    1. I’m sorry about that. I noticed that some of the prices showing in the shopping widget were from the weekend sales so I tried to generate new links and create a new widget but I guess they aren’t caught up to the new prices. Sometimes that happens and I can’t fix it on my end.

  11. Love these looks! They look comfortable, festive and flattering. I have a question about these types of outfits – either for you or anyone. I get cold in these type of outfits – short sleeve or even the three quarter sleeves in the winter and so as much as I love the look, they just don’t work for me. Do you ever wear an under layer, like a silk top or undergarment to make them warmer?

    1. I don’t because layering doesn’t feel comfortable to me. Maybe someone else has a helpful suggestion. I usually just decide what to wear based on venue. If it’s going to be chilly, I’d wear a sweater dress and tights and boots.

  12. Thanks for these beautiful outfit ideas, Jo-Lynne. I especially like the eggplant silky top. Would you mind sharing where you got the ring you are wearing in those pictures (with the burgundy stone – garnet?). Thanks.

  13. Love the casual holiday outfits, especially the sweater! Your wreath is spectacular!
    I have had really good luck with my Madewell black jeans. They do not fade, and they do not bleed black on to my shirts. I rarely wash them, (or my blue jeans for that matter – only when when there is a spill, too stretched out, or stinky!) I wash in cold and very gentle detergent, and NEVER a dryer, so that may help. I have never found better jeans for the price than Madewell!

  14. I have had right shoulder, neck and arm pain/ soreness all day today! I think I slept weird but  I agree about the continuous sitting and using the computer for extended periods of time. Now that I’m teaching from home, I have to force myself to get up and move throughout the day. (The past three days I have not moved enough!) 
    I just saw your reply to my comment about needing a cute sweater to go with the cashmere palazzo pants i bought for my mom. I was thinking a cozy black or cream colored sweater, but my mom prefers cardigan style (she’s not a fan of pullovers. She also lives in CA but she’s always cold and actually wears quite a bit of cashmere all fall and winter.  I know you’re super busy right now, but share of you know of anything that might work. I’m still so behind in my gift shopping this year! 

    1. Yeah, I was also leaning cardigan b/c of her age, and the ability to wear a more fitted shirt under. I would go with cream, I think.

      This is on sale but YIKES, the price – httpss://shopstyle.it/l/bprT2

      Oooh, Bloomies has a bunch, at really good sale prices: httpss://shopstyle.it/l/bprUi

  15. Thanks Jo-Lynne! Bloomingdales had a lot to choose from! 🥰 Just ordered a cream colored cashmere cardigan for Mom through your link. I’m tempted to get one for me in a different style. How is Aqua brand? 

  16. I just ordered through your link the plumeria sweater for the holidays even though we’ll just be home. Can’t wait to try it!
    Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family!

  17. That eggplant top is gorgeous! And I love MS, but alas I’m on a shopping diet right now. Thank you though, as you totally inspired me to wear my black jeans. Mine have studs on them so a little more casual looking but they are VERY comfy. I have a dressy fuchsia satin blouse from BR that I’ve only worn once. Happy I can copy cat you! Have a nice weekend! 

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