Tag Archives: holiday fashion

Festive Fashion for Christmas and New Year’s

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?



What to wear for a socially distanced holiday

It’s beginning to look a lot like a socially distanced Christmas!

I know it’s hard…but is not looking your best going to make you feel better?

I’ve thought of a few scenarios and some pieces to suit. Fortunately, they can all be ordered on-line, so you don’t have to go inside any stores. And they also make great gifts!

The Socially Distant Meet-Up

Maybe you are planning to gather with one or two loved ones not in your household…. outside…six…ten…or twelve feet apart, for brief periods. Like a grandmother I talked to who said her family holds weekly dinners in her driveway (everyone bringing his or her own meal), just to be able to see each other. Wearing masks. NOT shouting or singing because that would spread the corona virus. Just…drinking each other in. Maybe listening to some Christmas music together. That might be about as good…and as close…as it gets this year.

What to wear for that?

Well, the first thing you are going to need before you even walk out the door is a mask. Here are some nice looking masks for $8.99 each from Etsy.

it’s going to be chilly, most likely. The trend I am seeing this winter is thigh-length or knee length cloth coats with lapels. What we used to call “car” coats, worn with trousers or other full length pants. It’s a polished look that keeps you warm. I love this Donatella plaid version with the assymetrical buttons ($90).

Zoom Call Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties and Christmas Movie Watch Parties

On Zoom calls, the top half of you matters 🙂  This $20 “ugly” Holiday Time sweater (Walmart) is sure to bring a smile and it won’t break the bank, which is what you want in an item like this.

Outdoor activities

Buffalo plaid is everywhere. It’s on everything! And it’s on this soft, over-sized scarft, too, which is just what you need to look warm and cheerful when you’re delivering cookies to the neighbors or driving around and looking at Christmas lights.  $15: It comes in black and white, too! Plus, free delivery!


Snuggling up to watch Christmas movies

One thing you kind of have to watch out for is being TOO cutesy at the holidays — you know what I  mean, licensed patterns, sweaters or t’s with sayings, pajamas that look like animal costumes, with ears and tails and everything. These pieces can look childish or matronly, even.

Pick a touchable, fuzzy sweater, instead. Here’s an at-home movie date night look (Macy’s, on sale today for $20). I like the added shine of earrings. It also comes in dusty rose.


Zoom-friendly Christmas Morning Pyjamas

The trendiest look I am seeing in women’s PJs this year is the knit jogger bottom with contrast, tie waist band. They look comfortable while still being discreet and not too tight.

Here are some plush, black velour ones with a doggie print ($10)

Top with a fleecy pajama pullover (Target). You could wear this all day long and it provides a decent amount of coverage in case you are Zooming Christmas breakfast with loved ones. On your own? Select clothing that is soft, like chenille and plush. The fabric “touches” you back, making your feel less lonely when human contact is scarce. This one comes in cream, soot black and pink. $25

Safer at Home New Year’s Eve

I think it’s fun to wear something special on New Year’s Eve, even if you are by yourself at home. You want to shine a little, like your optimism for the new year! This look fits the bill with comfy jeans (or joggers or leggings) and a sparkly t. Anthropologie $98. (Too pricey? Macy’s is has a DKNY sequin t-shirt (small sequins) in lots of colors on sale today for $25.73.)

I also love this INC silver sweater with rhinestone buttons and it’s new, modified balloon sleeves. It’s on sale today at Macy’s for $36.48.

I hope you found something you like! What are you wearing for the holidays?

Black Friday Deal Dresses to Wear for Christmas and New Year’s Eve

Do you need an amazing dress for Christmas or New Year’s Eve? Well, the time to shop is now. Many dresses I saw were half of today online and in stores. I bought a green velvet dress last night from WetSeal.com for $10!

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A Gold Mine of Holiday Dresses in Gold, from $17 to $258

This knockout dress from Anthropologie will set you back $258 but you’re sure to be wearing one of the most memorable dresses in the room!

For the holiday and New Year’s Eve, it seems a shame to me to play it safe and go with a little black dress, when you could really shine at your holiday party or big night out.

Metallic fabrics and sequins are the big fashion look of the holiday season this year, but why stay with safe black?  Gold is flattering to many skin tones and it looks great next to a Christmas tree in holiday photographs!

Here are a bevy of glittering gold dresses for every budget.  Click on the dress photo to order.

Prefer long sleeves in winter? Here’s a gold sequin dress from Coldwater Creek for $200

This gold and polyester lurex dress has a pretty cut and is a steal from Wal-Mart for $17.88 plus .98 shipping!

A gold sequin Michael Kors wrap dress is $150 at Macy’s.

This gold sequin number from Dress Barn retails for $62.

Bargain Fashion Finds for Holiday 2010

Only $24!! Dots Red Sequin Dress (S, M, L, XL) stores only

What to wear…what to wear?

Like you, I want to look festive (and feel comfortable) during the holidays, and probably like you 🙂 I’m on a budget. A TIGHT budget! Many times, it makes sense to invest in quality pieces.  But for the holidays,  you may only wear these items once or a few times.  So, I think it’s worthwhile saving some money.

I fell in love with lots of the festive “Glisten Up” items at Talbots and other chic items I saw at stores this year, but all were too expensive for me.  I did find some great alternatives, however…

  • For that chic holiday party after 5: Instead of Talbots black velveteen ankle pants ($79.50), buy Walmart’s flat front, fitted black velveteen leggings: $12. These fit like ankle pants, not skin tight.  You save: $67.50.  Pretty good, considering how often you will actually wear them!
  • I also saw a fabulous sequin scarf in the accessories section at Wal-Mart in silver, black, or rose, and it was about $10.  Sorry, Talbots, it looks and wears almost like your $69 sequin scarf Save $59 smackers right there… I almost bought it.  Wish I had!
  • Need to dress up your suit for the office Christmas party?  Instead of Talbots sequined tank top ($69.50), choose Target’s Xhiliaration sequin tank top in colors like blush, black, or gold, in stores, $12-$17.  You save:  up to $57.50. I think I’d top this with one of the many soft cardigans they had in matching colors for under $20.  With a longer fine-gauge cardigan, that top would also be a great look with jeans and heels.
  • There was a fantastic lace pencil skirt offered by Talbots for $159.  Loved it.  Black lace over copper silk.  So gorgeous.  But it’s a dream.  Now the lace Covington skirt at Sears? That’s a reality.  Black lace over white satin.  On sale for $20.  You save $139.
  • White coat (Wal-Mart $20), mittens ($3) and hat ($3)

    You need a warm coat for going to see the National Christmas Tree downtown. Wouldn’t winter white be so chic instead of predictable black?  Yes, it would!  Instead of Lands End lightweight down jacket in white ($59), choose Walmart’s white, quilted junior parka, $18 (in plus sizes for $20).  You save: $41. This is a great looking coat that is actually nice and warm for most DC days.  I added a cute seasonal hat for just $3!

  • For me, New Year’s Eve is all about shine, and it’s the one night you can pull off a sequined dress.  It’s hard to beat the glam of Talbot’s tank-style sequin dress, but let’s face it — that’s a one-time only dress.  You will look fabulous for one night for $299, and then you can’t really wear it again.  I loved it, I really did, but opted for sleeves, and an A-Line cut and got a red version that kind of looks like sequins online from Dress Barn.  Hey, it fits!  It’s down to $25, now, online, if you happen to wear a size 14W.   I’m wearing mine to the One Party with a black jet necklace.  Dress Barn’s also got a great sleeveless black sequin dress with a really fabulous cut (I tried it on) for $49, online and in stores.  And, if you’ve got the figure for it, all eyes will be on you in this red sleeveless sequin, v-necked tank dress from Dots for just $24! (sizes S, M, and L).  There’s a Dot’s store in Alexandria, VA.  Buy one of these glittery numbers and save between $225 and $274!  
  • Accessories can add up, unless you know where to look.  The dollar section at Target is a great place to buy little seasonal accessories.  I bought a black jet necklace there for $1 last year that I’m wearing to a party.  This year, I bought a pair of sequined headbands — you get 2 for a dollar — one in dark red and one in black.  Or go for green tinsels and red “lights” for a dollar.  Again, since these aren’t everyday pieces, quality is not really an issue, but price is!

The fashions at Talbots and other stores are incredibly lovely, but if you haven’t got the moolah, use those looks for inspiration and find bargains elsewhere (like Target, Sears, and Wal-Mart).  I don’t think hardly anyone will notice the difference…it seems like most holiday party settings are pretty dark, anyway.

What are you wearing for the holidays?  What trends have you seen?  Have you found any bargains?  Feel free to share them in the comments.