Holiday Style Decoded

Image Courtesy of Vogue, December 2013
Written by: Peyton Haahr

December 1st is upon us, meaning that the holiday season is officially here. And it’s finally cooled down here in San Diego, so here we’re excited to finally be pulling out some of our favorite winter pieces from the depths of our closets. With the holiday season comes parties, get-togethers, and spending time with friends and family – and not to mention, holiday shopping and gift-giving. Last week we spelled out our 2018 Gift Guide (go check it out!), and this week we tackle another seasonal conundrum: party dressing. While there’s no definitive guide on the subject, we thought we’d share some of our favorite trends and how to apply them to your holiday wardrobe.

Idea number one: velvet. There is something utterly upscale and sophisticated about the material, and has the same decadent feel as the red velvet cake of which it shares its name. A no-fuss way to incorporate this trend is in a dress, and pieces that are layered with chunky cropped sweaters or moto-jackets can set you apart from other party attendees. Check out how in a Vogue editorial featured a dress that combined velvet and lace for the ultimate refined sex appeal only these two fabrics can give.

If a flirty dress isn’t your thing, never fear. Alexander Wang offered a dressy, cool-girl mix of masculine and feminine. Velvet was used in suiting pieces, like tailored jackets and thigh-skimming buttoned dresses. The structured nature of the pieces (not the mentioned that they’re black!) allows them to be paired with whatever colorful holiday accessory you may want. A splash of red or deep green can be just the pop of color the outfit needs.


Images Courtesy of Alexander Wang Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear & Makael Jansson (Vogue 2018)

If you choose to shine bright this holiday season, do it with sequins. 70’s flair was exemplified at recently upstart Halpern, and buckets of sequins and shiny metallic additions were given center stage on the runway. If you’re looking for the perfect, show-stopping dress that makes sure you never have to find another party outfit again, this has got you covered. Mini dresses dripped luxuriously in red, silver, and gold sequins, and were offset with ankle boots and a chunky ring or two. For those of us who are headed to fancier parties with fancier dress codes, these looks are bound to be a knockout. Sequins are a great way to go when looking for more upscale outfits – even if you don’t splurge on an expensive dress, more mid-range price looks can still give that same appeal. Try balancing the sequined piece with something more neutral or color-blocked – you don’t want to have competing pieces that take away from the overall effect of the outfit.


Photos Courtesy of Halpern Spring Ready-to-Wear 2019; Iker Aldama /

Our last tip: suit up. Yes, dresses are the average go-to for many in the fashion crowd, but for an unexpected twist try a pantsuit. The “power-suit” is back and is back in force. For the daring fashion girl, look for matching suit pieces that may be in a seasonal color, or a neutral backdrop that can be made to fit the occasion with ease. You don’t want to look too office-y in this case. See Zoe Kravitz’ look, with an elegant red striped set that worked well with two thin chains around her neck. The color, first off, is very holiday-ready, but it’s also a much more comfortable alternative to a dress if that’s not your style. Or take note of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s matching set that she finished with a Gucci belt bag. While the color is neutral, one can easily translate this to a holiday setting with a festive tee underneath or a sparkly heel for some pop.


Images Courtesy of & Getty Images

Holiday dressing should be something fun, where you get to show off your style and probably wear that favorite piece that you only get to pull out a few times a year. It shouldn’t be cut and dry either, and while the little black dress is all fine and well, it can play second fiddle to something different this season. If you’re in a rut when it comes to party dressing, we hoped we’ve shared some easy-to-implement tips to make it less about worry what you’re going to wear and more about making memories to last a lifetime.