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Party Attire: What to Wear to your Holiday Events


Guest Post by: Carrie Leaders

Party Attire: What to Wear to your Holiday Events…

The holidays tend to bring a barrage of party invitations, many with phrases like “cocktail attire” and “black tie optional.” For the inexperienced fashionista, these terms may be daunting, but I’m here to help you decode them all. It is important to know how to follow a dress code so you don’t show up wearing something completely inappropriate (like jeans while everyone else is in a ball gown). Don’t be “that girl” this holiday season! Follow my simple rules and you will rock any room you enter!

Invite says: Casual Attire

You wear: Jeans + nice top

If the invite does not specify a dress code or it calls for casual attire, you can relax and throw on your trusty jeans. Keep it chic and stylish by pairing them with a blazer or vest and some boots. I love this red and black plaid vest because it’s comfortable but still polished (and so warm)!

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Distressed jeans from Aero | H&M blazer | Forever 21 tank Lane Bryant jeans | Avenue vest | Old Navy shirred tee

Invite says: Business Casual

You wear: Dress pants + blouse

For many business’ holiday parties, the dress code will call for business casual attire. The word “casual” tends to throw people off and they assume that jeans are fine. While dark denim may be appropriate, it’s still best to play it safe and pull out your black pants or khakis. A pencil skirt will work as well! You can still have fun with your look, but keep it classy. Don’t show too much skin and keep those hemlines appropriate! This patterned blouse is young and fun, but still looks put-together enough for an office environment. The green is also the perfect shade for the holidays! Now is a good time to throw on a pair of heels or cute flats, no sneakers allowed!

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Old Navy jacquard pants | Old Navy white button-up Torrid black pants | Torrid leopard blouse

Invite says: Cocktail Attire

You wear: A short party dress

This event is where you get to have a little fun. Go sparkly! Find a fun pattern! Obviously, keep in mind the company and dress appropriately and classy. If you’re afraid to step outside your comfort zone too much, a little black dress and fun shoes will be perfect; plus, you’ll get to wear the LBD time and time again! You can also have fun with your accessories. A metallic clutch or chandelier earrings will make any look a little more festive!

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Lulu’s navy blue dress | Lulu’s ivory strapless dress | Lulu’s heels  Avenue black lace | Torrid red bodycon | Urbanog leopard heels

Invite says: Black Tie

You wear: A formal (read: long) dress

A black tie event calls for a long, formal gown. This is not the place for short dresses. Remember, this isn’t prom so cutouts and crazy designs should be left at home. I like sticking with classic shades such as red, royal blue, or black. You can’t go wrong with them and they look fabulous on anyone. Formal gowns can run a little on the pricey side, but Rent the Runway allows you to rent designer gowns for as little as $50! This is your night to really feel like the belle of the ball, so spend a little extra for an updo at a salon!

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Rent the Runway Catherine Deane gown | Cache gown (as seen on me) Rent the Runway Carmen Marc Valvo gown | Macy’s Xscape gown

If you ever find that you are unsure of what to wear to an event, remember that it is better to be overdressed rather than underdressed! A little black dress is perfect in these situations because it can easily be dressed up or down.

I hope I have helped to quell some of your dress code fears and given you some ideas as to what to wear to your next event. Don’t stress too much about your outfit and always remember that there’s nothing a few glasses of champagne can’t fix. Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram under the handle: @wildflowersandmerlot! Happy Holidays to you and yours!


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