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Christmas Party Dresses Can Still Look Festive Without Being Overbearing

December 21, 2017

This holiday season make sure your Christmas party dresses are stylish – without making you look too imperious to make you the resident Grinch that dampens the Christmas spirit from around you!


Whether it’s Christmas party dresses that you are looking for, or party dresses for other festive occasions – like a family gathering or an office Christmas party, here’s how to pull off that perfect holiday look.

  ‘Tis The Season for party dresses

White taffeta full length 1970s party dress

White taffeta full length 1970s party dress


The holiday season has kicked off in earnest, and Christmas party dresses will soon be on display everywhere – at family events, shopping malls, skating rinks, on busses and trains, and even in offices. However, not all party dresses are made equal, and you could commit a terrible fashion faux pas without knowing what’s “in” and what’s “out” this season.


It’s that time of year when everyone around you is festive – some more so than others! And often, some of that jolly mood may inevitably rub onto you. In a “lighter moment”, women and girls could make unpardonable bloopers when choosing their Christmas party dresses. And with social media ever-present, it may take a long time for you to live down that moment of truth!

Off the shoulder, full length 70s party dress

Off the shoulder, full length 70s party dress


Choosing a dress for any festive occasion doesn’t have to be a stressful event. But women often feel the pressure around this time of the year – especially since everyone around you will remember what you wore to last year’s Christmas party, and expect you to “up your game” even more this year.

Here are some tips to help you get through this holiday season without running afoul of the fashion police:

Red ruffled 80s

Red ruffled 80s


  • Be Colour Conscious: When it comes to colour for your Christmas party dresses, you really can’t go wrong with traditional Reds and Greens. While red sleeveless dresses can be paired with light jackets of the same colour, adding a splash of green – in a furry cap or a scarf – will put you right at ease for the occasion


Red appliqued 80s party dress

Red appliqued 80s party dress


  • Be Colourful Too: While reds and greens are the colours of Christmas, party dresses can be made to stand out if you add hints of other colours too. For example, there’s nothing wrong with donning on a green Santa’s Elf cap with white fur lining. Or, to take focus away from your sea of red, try adding a dab of silver – either in a Christmas party favour or a lapel pin


  • Be Appropriate: The Office is one place where you always want to be properly attired – even if it’s just for a single night or afternoon of festivities. Appropriateness for office Christmas party dresses doesn’t mean being “dowdy” or sombre. You can still be appropriate and festive at the same time!

Chiffon and lace 1930s Black party dress

Chiffon and lace 1930s Black party dress

Ready For New Year

A formal black dress, or pants and top suit or jacket, with red, green and white accessories, can go a long way in making party dresses look casual yet jovial. When all else fails, even formal office attire can be transformed into something fun with that standard Christmas accessory – the Reindeer Scarf or the Elf Hat!


  • Be New Year Ready: You may not want your Christmas party dresses to be overly glamourous; but the fashion police will certainly not fault you for spicing it up – just a notch – when choosing your New Year party dresses!


Remember, these are events when friends, colleagues and family members get together and reminisce about the past, and make plans for the future. In that spirit, even if you don’t usually prefer heels – go for it now! And since this is when you send off the old year and welcome the new, add some bling and shimmer – like a statement necklace or sparkly earrings to match


Christmas party dresses don’t have to be “merry” in order to capture the essence of the occasion. By following these 4 simple rules, you’ll not only ensure you aren’t committing any major fashion crime; but you’ll also have fun with the party dresses you wear –  whether it’s for a New Year’s event, an office get-together, or a family Christmas party.

Common sense rules for Christmas party dresses

Beaded and sequined knee length 80s cocktail dress

Beaded and sequined knee length 80s cocktail dress


Now that you know the Do’s and Don’ts of what your dress should look like, lets talk some more about using common sense when picking your party dresses.


  • Respect Mother Nature: Although ‘tis the season to be Merry, ‘tis also winter – and that means you need to be dressed appropriately. While most Christmas party gatherings may be held indoors, in the proximity of a warm electric, log or coal fire, you may get the odd invite for an outdoors event.


If you are sticking with the Red and Green theme, perhaps you could add a splash of black too – black fur-lined coats over red party dresses makes for a fine colour combo – AND it keeps you warm and “merry” for the occasion too

Black metallic 90s

Black metallic 90s


  • Respect Your Host/hostess: Remember that Christmas party dresses sometimes say more about the host/hostess than they do about who wears them!


If this is an intimate family affair, you may think it’s not too important what you choose to wear – but it does matter! In some families, traditions run deep, and wearing a “non-traditional” dress to the event may embarrass the Christmas party host.  So, use your discretion in choosing the right dress


  • Work Etiquette: It’s the holiday season – so it’s easy to get carried away in the euphoria of the moment. While we spoke about being “appropriate” in your choice of party dresses for formal events – like the office party – you also need to use common sense when attending these events.

Office parties

If office parties are held during working hours, there may be some expectation that you will wear Christmas party dresses that are in line with general office etiquette. And that would mean not flashing too much skin, and watching where your hemline ends. Too much lace and overly tight-fitting party dresses with low necklines may also not be in good taste for such events.


Office parties hosted after working hours, and held off-premises, allow for some discretion in your choices of Christmas party dresses. For instance, if you are accompanied by a partner or a spouse, you might be able to get away with that little slightly revealing black dress – even though it has a slightly shorter hemline. Just make sure you have a nice long coat or cape to go with it.

Planning for Christmas party dresses

Blue satin and lace 1980s party dress

Blue satin and lace 1980s party dress


If you are the social type, chances are that you already have your holiday calendar starting to fill up. Now is the time for you to start making plans for the party dresses you want to wear for various events in your schedule.

Key pieces and accessories

Start with picking the base pieces for the outfits. These could be skirts, dresses, blazers or pants – whatever works for you. Then, add the accessories you want to go with them – one for every Christmas party you plan on attending. Good combos may be lacy tops or blingy necklaces. Try to avoid re-using these at every event – just in case you have friends and colleagues that attend them all as well!


And last but not least, your Christmas party dresses aren’t complete without some colour – like a matching or off-set clutch or handbag; or a belted trench coat or woollen scarf.


The final piece of advice, as you plan your party dresses, is that you should try the entire ensemble on – just as you plan to wear them for each event. Give yourself a good looking-over in a full length mirror, or take selfies of your entire Christmas party outfit and give them a critical look. If you do this well ahead of time, you’ll be able to have a stress-free holiday party experience, and you’ll look festive and holiday-ready in your outfits!


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