3 Dazzling Holiday Outfits for Any Dress Code

Whether you’re hosting this year’s holiday party or you’re lucky enough to be an invitee, toeing the sartorial line between “basically pajamas” and “uncomfortably overdressed” can be as tricky as getting dinner on the table while it's still hot. Here, three levels of easily-accomplished, comfortable ensembles—from laid-back to fancifully festive—that will earn you the title of best-dressed, no matter if you’re the hostess or a guest.



Photo by mango.com, zappos.com, marcfisherfootwear.com, jcpenney.com

Give your jeans and favorite tee a night off, and take it up just a notch with the equally cozy combo of leggings and a sweater. This particular pair of faux-leather leggings is designed with a paneled, high waist—much like exercise pants—that won’t dig in, but will keep you looking trim, even after a second (or third) helping.

Mango sweater, $60; mango.com. Lysse leggings, $108; zappos.com. Marc Fisher LTD flats, $160; marcfisherfootwear.com. Baublebar earrings, $32; baublebar.com.  Liz Claiborne bag, $53; jcpenney.com.



Photo by topshop.com,chineselaundry.com, urbanoutfitters.com, bananarepublic.gap.com

Ready to get into the holiday spirit? A look that feels a little more special and a little less “everyday” is a good way to do it—try donning a dress in seasonal colors. A silhouette that’s slightly fitted at the waist will flatter your figure, but still leave enough room for an overindulgent visit to the dessert buffet. To bring this 70s mid-calf shape up to date, finish the look with soft suede boots that come up to the knee (or above), so the hem of the dress falls well beneath their tops.

Topshop dress, $95; topshop.com; Chinese Laundry boot, $130; chineselaundry.com; Urban Outfitters crossbody bag, $34; urbanoutfitters.com. Banana Republic bracelet, $58; bananarepublic.com.



Photo by jcrew.com, lastcall.com, ninewest.com, nordstrom.com, hm.com

If you’re hosting (or attending) a more formal affair, pick pieces with slightly primmer appeal. A ruffle-hemmed skirt is a timeless, feminine option—this one’s bright green hue adds a modern feel.Accessories with a minimalist bent will feel on-point whether your event is a cocktail reception or a fancier-than-usual evening at home. On your feet all night? Look to a shoe with sturdy straps for a little support.

J. Crew Collection skirt, $275; jcrew.com. Neiman Marcus blouse, $79; lastcall.com. Nine West caged pump, $89; ninewest.com. Chelsea28 faux leather clutch, $49; nordstrom.com. H&M ring, $13; hm.com.