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The 7 Holiday Party Outfits Our Style Editor Swears By

Crushed velvet, sequins, and ugly holiday sweaters you can’t help but love (the felt Rudolph with a red light-up nose just makes you smile!)—it’s officially holiday party season. And before your social calendar starts to completely fill up with corporate cocktail hours and festive potlucks, consider finalizing your sartorial game plan ahead of time—aka now. That way, when you’re struggling to figure out what to gift your Gen Z niece (opens in new tab) or how exactly one roasts a turkey to perfection, you’ll at least have all your best holiday party outfits already planned.

Ahead, find seven looks for different festive scenarios, ranging from casual and intimate gatherings with family to glamorous New Year’s Eve soirées where attendees are encouraged to Go! Everyone! Out! (Spoiler alert: Sparkles make an appearance in all of the outfits below, so prepare to get your shimmer this year.)

For a Holiday Work Party

Rebecca Vallance holiday work party dress

(Image credit: Rebecca Vallance)

As fashion stylist Shea Daspin tells Marie Claire, assembling an outfit for a holiday work party “is a delicate balance of looking office appropriate, cool, and festive all at the same time. If you are in-between options, opt for a more conservative look but accessorize with edgier pieces or materials like latex, layered jewelry, and a killer heel. Don’t forget to add a little shimmer and consider keeping your look holiday agnostic to respect everyone represented in the office,” she says.

For a Holiday Cocktail Party

the model wears a sparkly cocktail dress from Moda Operandi's Club Moda

(Image credit: Moda Operandi’s Club Moda)

“A cocktail party is where you can really go all out! There are no rules here. Anything indicative of holiday dressing is perfect: velvet, sparkles, and fringe are all good,” says Daspin, a known maximalist. “You could even get away with a fun headpiece or accessorize with holiday trinkets to make it a little campier,” she adds, inviting you to opt for a glittery style that would coordinate perfectly with a sequined holiday party cocktail dress.

For a Family Get-Together

model wears outfit for a holiday work party from J. Crew

(Image credit: J. Crew)

“With a close family gathering, you can go one or two ways: Either very casual or very dressed up,” the stylist explains. “Personally, I prefer something on the more casual side that still incorporates luxe fabrics, sparkles, and shimmer”—a comfy cable-knit sweater teamed with pants made of a woven sparkle knit, for example.

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