Fashion Friday: The Holiday Party

Weavermom emailed me last week with this desperate plea:

My hubby has a company holiday party and doesn’t want me to buy anything new. Which pretty much rules out buying something that can’t be worn again, and as a mostly SAHM my lifestyle demands for nice dresses is pretty much nil. But, I could probably get away with buying a new shirt or skirt, or something that I could also wear to church. I do have a couple of outfits that would work, but like you I gravitate toward black and gray and I would like to have a little bit of color. I think. I always say that, but when I go shopping I come home with more black.

Anyway, any great links to holiday clothing ideas?

I feel your pain. I never want to go spending all outdoors on an outfit just to show up to greet my husband’s coworkers. I also understand the proclivity towards buying black.  It just feels . . . safe.

Perhaps part of the problem is that the other big Christmassy color is red, and while red is gorgeous, it is not, you know, safe.

Green is a nice way to look festive without going all out with red, but I’d suggest trying an unexpected color like purple or magenta or even winter white.  In fact, I love winter white for Christmas.  Just stick with the Chardonnay, m’kay?

If you’re trying to stay on a budget, I’d suggest wearing a pair of dress pants or a pencil skirt that you already have and pairing it with a festive sweater or blouse — something that you could also wear to church on Christmas Eve or out to lunch with the girls, so you can get your money’s worth out of it.

If you don’t mind sleeveless, this Ruffle Top is gorgeous. I love how they pair it with gray.  Be sure to add some bling to make it festive.

Or this Knot Front Top isn’t quite as bare.  It would look great under a velvet blazer with  jeans, or with dress pants or a pencil skirt.  I like it in oyster.

For color, something like this red ruffle trim cardigan could be really cute.  They pair it with jeans, but I think it would look just as great with gray or black dress pants.

HINT: When wearing a red top, gray on the bottom is a more modern look than black.  Or a gray or black tweed is nice for a change.

A sweater dress could even work.  I love this one in plum.  It’s affordable and you’d get a ton of wear out of it.

Another idea is to wear something you have and use color in your accessories. Accessorizing is an inexpensive way to update your look.  I’m a huge fan of red shoes with a black or gray outfit. Or you could get a pashmina in your favorite color.

Or even some costume jewelry with color in it will jazz up a black or gray outfit.

This gray cable knit sweater from White House Black Market is really pretty.  See how the red accessories brighten it up?

I know some of these aren’t super dressy, but they are really versatile if you’re looking for something you can get a lot of wear out of.  And you can always dress them up with accessories.  Big statement jewelry is all the rage right now, so go big or go home. 🙂

Or. If you have a basic cardigan, just pick up an embellished tank to wear under it with pants or a skirt you already have.

I hope that helps! Maybe some of my stylish readers will have a suggestion for you in the comments!

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14 Responses

  1. Oo – I love the red cardigan. And the earrings too! Shopping tonight so hope I’m able to find something that works and that fits. Thanks for a little inspiration! 🙂

    1. Wish we could meet up! I’m going shopping today to see if I can spice up my LBD with either those earrings or perhaps one of those wraps from Banana.

  2. I have that sweater dress in that color – I think that someone linked to it in a Chic Critique post… I’m wearing it to my neighborhood cookie exchange in two weeks. 🙂

    1. NO WAY! How funny. I was thinking of running out to Macys to check it out. It’s cute. Although I have also come to the sad conclusion that sweater dresses are not my friends. I tried to wear one to the Holiday Extravaganza last night and I opted for my usual uniform of jeans and a sparkly top. I just need more structure than a sweater dress affords.

  3. How about a crisp white blouse with an open-ish neckline (possibly a sequined tank underneath?) and a pair of grey slacks or dark-washed trouser jeans? Dress that up with sparkly jewelry and some great strappy heels and you’re lookin’ good, plus who couldn’t use a crisp white blouse? They’re so versatile and user-friendly!

  4. Okay, I have a question. My husband’s holiday work party this year is at his boss’s house. They sent an invite indicating the dress is “cocktail.” What the heck is that supposed to mean? I’m not sure it’s really appropriate to wear a cocktail dress for a work party, is it? Maybe I’m over-analyzing it. I just don’t want to show up completely over-dressed. Any thoughts?

  5. Don’t forget GOLD! 🙂 I am a SAHM too & my youngest is 10 months old so my wardrobe doesn’t call for fancy-shmancy stuff either. Mostly I buy it right now if I can still nurse with it on & not expose myself to the world. But anyway… I just went to Target (one of my fav stores!) and got a very cute tank that is covered with sequins that are sort of an antiquey gold color. (Think classy sequins NOT high school dance team or Miss America sequins.) To go over the tank, I got a chunky shrug-like cardigan-like sweater thing that is a brownish-creamish color & has gold threads running through it. I’m wearing it tonight to a battalion wive’s coffee with my skinny jeans & some awesome jewelry that I got at Kohls. (Another great store…) 🙂

  6. Ok, you had me at “my husband doesn’t want me to buy anything new.” Seriously? I hope that he meant he didn’t want you to go through any trouble rather than “my husband won’t let me.”

    Assuming the first situation, then I agree about the sweater advice with a dressy tank underneath, some flats and some cool, bold jewelry. If it is the latter, then I’m sad for you and hope you will treat yourself anyway!

    1. No sadness necessary. A budget is a budget no matter how much I would like a new outfit right now. 🙂 I do have something that would work, so he would rather I not buy anything new. The wish comes from him because managing the money is something I am thrilled to let him handle. And him letting me know about our budget constraints doesn’t bother me or make me sad – that’s us working together to keep our family financially where it needs to be.

      Unfortunately, at six feet tall, a bit top heavy and carrying an extra 20lbs, clothes are just a challenge. *sigh.

      But, I remain optimistic. One more week until the party so there is time to look a bit more. I REALLY appreciate all the great ideas and have one more shopping time to maybe find something!

  7. Don’t forget that a great pair of new shoes that you can wear to church but have color w/a pencil skirt and sweater is magnificent. You just add accessories and you are done. A cowl neck sweater is always beautiful with long earrings. I couldn’t go shopping this year for my work’s holiday party, so I’m making something I have work. I’d love to hear what weavermom wears.

  8. I wore a jacket like the red one last night to a holiday party. Looked so cute, and I was WARM! Great pics as always, JL.

  9. I love your Fashion Friday! This just gave me great ideas on what to wear to my work luncheon and for Christmas! I also have to go to a wedding in January- i might be emailing you about that!! I love your suggestions, the clothes are styleish but still classic enough that they can last through another season even if fashions change.
    Thank you!
    ps. I got a lot of black friday shopping deals by following links from your blog 🙂

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