Just about every year, I look online for holiday dresses and separates that are fashionable yet affordable and create a little fashion show on Cool Yule Blog, just for fun.
Here are some of the things I consider when making my choices.
- I look at plus size clothing, because, like me, nearly 70% of American women wear a size 14 or larger.
- I think about how the clothes will wear in real-life situations. For example, if you go to the see The Nutcracker in a theater, it could be chilly, and you might want a dress with a sleeve. And, if you go to a party, a mini-dress or bodycon dress might feel awkward when rising from a low sofa or kneeling to pick up your purse. Some clothes are great for casual parties, while others are better for networking receptions.
- I look for simple cuts and necklines that will look well with special necklaces or earrings women like to wear during the holidays.
- I search for clothes that I think would be flattering when worn and easy to wear.
Here are some of the looks I picked out.
A Trio of Red Dresses for After Five
For the Christmas party with relatives and friends, dinner or theater, I like the look of a longer dress with sleeves, that is pretty but not overtly sexy. Here are three red dresses I really like because they aren’t frumpy but they still are comfortable to wear. The solid red dresses are from Forever 21 and are less than $50. The one with the high-lo hem would be great if your legs are your best feature or you want to show off some shoes. I have “cankles” so I’m partial to the full-length style. The patterned chiffon dress is from Macy’s and is $62.50. I like how the pattern is shot through with gold metallic accents to make it a great choice for an after-five dress.
Professional Holiday Polish in Red or Black Velvet
I love the look of these relaxed fit velvet trousers with long-sleeved blouses from Torrid. It’s a classy but subtle look. I could see these working well for an office holiday party or other function where you’d want to look festive but not wear anything to tight, glittery or revealing.
A Classy look in Royal Purple Velvet.
Just about everyone looks well in purple. These separates are great for women who find it difficult to get a just-right fit from a one piece dress. The skirt from Avenue ($40) has the look of a dress when paired with the matching tunic (less than $20). Just add a jeweled brooch or statement necklace for the after-work holiday party or networking event.
A Young and Flirty Look in Blue
I always like a color other than black for the holidays. The pattern of these affordable velvet separates and dress from ShopCider.com appealed to me.The side ruching on that dress is gorgeous! The corset cuts, of course, are better for younger women but those pants could be appropriate for any age, maybe with a wrap or eyelash sweater.
Two Glittery Looks for New Year’s Eve, One Fancy, One Casual.
This metallic, plisse chiffon dress from Macy’s for $97.30 is what I would pick for myself if I had a date for a big night out on New Year’s Eve… you know, a fancy dinner out or one of those big hotel parties with multiple bands, DJs, hors d’oeuvres and dancing. The thing is, with these midi dresses, you really need a maxi coat, but you might not want to spend a fortune because you wouldn’t wear it every day (probably). And a puffer coat would be too casual. So this sherpa maxi coat might work just to keep you warm from the car to coat check (Amazon, $72).
But what if your New Year’s Eve plans are more casual? For a home evening, outdoor festival or party with friends, I love the look of this wine-colored metallic tunic ($13.80 from Avenue! Also comes in black with gold thread) with wet look leggings. Flattering and easy to wear while still being really festive, and the color stands out.
So, what did you think of my choices? What will you wear this holiday season?