How to Dress for a Holiday Cocktail Party

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The Holiday season is filled with formal affairs and gatherings that are only more festive when you feel that you look your best! Knowing a few "go-to" colors and styles of winter cocktail wear will have you dressing confidently and ready for many nights of holiday cheer in styles that flatter!


1. When an invitation reads "cocktail attire" it is usually referring to a knee or tea-length dress made of more elegant fabric (e.g. silk) Sometimes, a skirt and top can be worn with the right accessories, like a great pair of heels or jewelry that compliments. The first step is simply thinking along these lines.

2. Next, know what colors are appropriate for a party in the winter months. Jewel tones, such as rich purples, crimsons, and emeralds have remained a popular choice. To choose a more "classic" route, there is always the "little black dress" or dresses in silver and gold which always look very "Holiday".

3. Once you have thought about colors you attracted to and find flattering, considering the style of dress is next on the list. Strapless, halter, and "sweetheart" necklines are all very classic looks. This season, the one-shoulder strap dress has really made a comeback. (It makes for a really dramatic effect if you pull your hair to the side opposite the strap) Also , a pretty pashmina (a convertible scarf/shoulder wrap) can provide warmth and lots of style in the winter months.

4. Shoes and jewelry are an important compliment to the dress you plan to wear. Heels are always a "go-to" choice when dressing "cocktail", (they are even more "stand-out" in a patent finish) but there are a lot of attractive flats on the market these days also. Pointed-toe flats are very flattering. In regard to jewelry, consider the neckline of your dress as well as how you plan to wear your hair to the event. If neckline is "busy" (lots of design, very strappy, etc.), a necklace is probably not necessary. If your hair is up and the neckline of your dress is simple, earrings that you find attractive are flattering. (Make sure your earrings are large enough not to "fade" into your outfit.) If in doubt, consult a friend!

5. Put your outfit together and apply any last finishing touches! You are ready for a Holiday evening out :)


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