Two Festive Casual Outfits for Home Entertaining

I do a lot of casual entertaining all year-round, but I especially enjoy having friends and family over during the holidays. Of course, that always begs the question… what to wear?

When I’m the hostess, I want my outfit to be comfortable but festive. This generally isn’t a time for layering because I don’t need the extra warmth, and I don’t want to wear anything that’s bulky or cumbersome when I’m working around the kitchen or serving drinks.

Instead, I like to wear a festive top that can stand on its own, and I usually wear it with a favorite pair of jeans and shoes that are comfortable enough to stand in all night but still look a little bit special.

Alfani Shine Stripe Sweater (S) // Levi’s 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans (29) // similar Marc Fisher pumps (8) // Spode Christmas Tree Wine Glasses

This shine stripe sweater from Macy’s is exactly what I’m talking about. It’s comfortable and not scratchy at all; the inside actually has a brushed sweater-like finish, but the sparkle in the stripes speaks to the holidays.

So many festive tops are low-cut or sleeveless, but this crewneck sweater is comfortable and warm and modest. There’s also no wool content, which is great news for those who are sensitive.

This is a great top for Christmas or other winter holiday events, even New Year’s Eve.It also comes in red, ivory, and grey, and it’s currently on sale for $29.99! You seriously can’t beat that.

Because the top is so much fun on its own, I kept the rest of the outfit simple with black skinny jeans and black suede pumps. Here’s another option for the pumps with better inventory.

These jeans are the full length style, with a 30″ inseam, but they also come in a short length, and they carry plus sizes as well. These are a really good classic black jean, and the material is soft and comfortable. I sized up to the 29, as I typically do in Levi’s, but I think I could actually wear the 28 in these.

When my gatherings are more casual, I usually opt for blue jeans and flats with a cozy sweater that has some extra detail, like this Free People Cotton San Vicente Pullover.

Free People Cotton San Vicente Pullover // Levi’s 311 Shaping Skinny Jeans (29) // similar mules // similar Spode mug

I love the neckline, the exposed seams, and the modern cropped length. I chose the Birch Bark color for this sweater because it seemed a little more holiday appropriate than the Cherry Peach Combo, but the Silver Sapphire would be nice as well.

This sweater is 100% cotton, so again, nice for those who can’t wear wool. It runs true to size, although you could size up for the length and a little more slouch.

And these are the same Levi’s 311 jeans as the black ones above, but the Hawaii Ocean wash. It’s a versatile mid-indigo wash with ripped knees for texture and a little toughness.

I actually cut these off to be more of an ankle length, which is what I prefer for a casual look like this one, especially with the mules. Once they’re washed, the hem will fray and look more natural.

This is the type of outfit I often wear on Christmas Day or for getting together with close friends during the holidays, and then I can keep wearing it all winter long. If I wanted to dress it up a bit more, I could add statement earrings and a pair of rhinestone embellished flats.

Macy’s has already started their Black Friday Early Access, so the prices on all the items featured in this post are at an all-time low. In addition to festive holiday attire, they carry lots clothing gifts for the people on your list. C has this coat and this cashmere turtleneck on her wish list.

And speaking of home entertaining, I love the Macy’s housewares department and their selection of holiday dishes and linens. I started collecting the Spode Christmas Tree dishes when I was newly married, and I add a few pieces every season when it goes on sale at Macy’s. I have the older mugs that are only 8 oz (the ones I’m holding in this post) so I just ordered this stackable set of 14 oz mugs. And my mom collects the Lenox Winter Greetings set, which is a little more formal. Both have lots of pieces that make lovely gifts.

Here’s a roundup of more holiday gift ideas for the home from Macy’s.

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photos: Alison Cornell

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22 Responses

  1. You look so pretty in these outfits!
    FYI-the link to the jeans isn’t taking me directly to the product.
    As always, great job!

  2. Love both outfits! When you cut the hem of the jeans, do you use any sort of special technique to measure? From where do you measure…inseam? Do you lay the jeans flat or fold them in half lengthways? I have two pair of Express jeans that I bought because they fit great but are too long – didn’t have my length in store – and I’ve yet to cut them because I don’t want to ruin them or have uneven hemlines. Also, is it ok to just wear the cut hemline or should they be cuffed…probably personal preference, huh? Any info is helpful! Thanks!

  3. Love both looks! Thank you for highlighting what has or does not have wool for those of us with wool sensitivities. 36 days left till Christmas – time sure is flying back quickly.

  4. Great Post. The photo’s of you are so pretty. You are so photogenic. You must have your house all decorated for Christmas already? I’m hosting Thanksgiving, so when I do, I wait until everyone is gone to do my Christmas decorating. This year I’m ready to get onto Christmas for some reason. I think its the way they push Christmas so early with everything, it make us feel like we need to get going on it. But, I need to take time out to be Thankful for the many blessings and my families health. We have all been healthy, no covid, but my elderly mom and she just got the severe fatigue and no other symptoms of covid. She is 82 yrs. old and lives in assisted living. So thankful she is okay. Neat to have a set of dishes they still make the pattern too. I have some red ones that are from Germany and they were discontinued years ago, but I have a lot of them and the different pieces and I can still find pieces off of replacements. com Isn’t it funny how much smaller the mugs use to be? I noticed that right off the bat in your photos. 🙂 My mugs to my white everyday dishes are the same way…..smaller, but the ones to my red dishes are bigger. Thanks for all the work you put into your post to get us ready for the holidays. Your post really are quality and above and beyond. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Kathy. I appreciate that! 🙂 We weren’t decorated yet, I pulled that tree up from the basement for this shoot, and sent it back down. Haha! However, I did get my LR tree and garland on the foyer banister up yesterday. I always do it early so I can shoot for the blog. Otherwise, I would be the same as you. I really prefer to enjoy each holiday separately.

      1. LOL…… nice to have a basement and have your tree all ready to go. The season to enjoy our trees etc. is so short, it really is nice to have it up early. We have always done a live tree but for the last couple years I’ve been really wanting to switch to artificial. Less mess, you can put it up early and not have to wait on the weather to go chop one down or get off a tree lot etc. I looked already for an artificial, but I’ve been disappointed in how “fake” and plastic the ones in the stores are this year. Still looking. I know Balsam Hill are suppose to be the “King” of trees but of course you have to order those online and I want to see what they really look like and feel like and they are “spendy.” Enjoy your day.

  5. Love the post, everything is so beautiful! Could you share what size the Free People sweater is? I know they usually run big and got to have this ?wine color.
    Caroline has such classy taste for her age, love the coat she picked out. You make me want to go ahead and decorate, still have my fall decor up.

  6. Jo-Lynne, you look so pretty in both outfits! How wonderful to find the Free People sweater on sale at Macy’s! I will wear this and the other sweater during the holidays. Thanks so much for all your posts. I enjoy reading every one of them!

  7. You always seem to have the best fitting jeans with your outfits! I’m soooo envious! It has to be real denim for me every. time. (no matter what the torture of falling over the edge of the bed to get into them involves!). I can’t stand the look or feel of stretch jeggings. Too many jeans with a high spandex content (IMO) just tend to look like a poor imitation of the genuine article and ruin the classic style of them. I’m a “prisoner” (lol!) of having grown-up in the late 80s and, still like to pair tucked-in turtlenecks or scoopneck bodysuits with jeans for a cute casual dressy Fall combination (with a blazer over it and booties).

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