December is almost here which is great because it has so many great galas and holiday parties. It’s a time for fun with family, friends, and great food; a time to reflect back on the past year on all that has been accomplished; and a time to be grateful.
Amidst all the good times and cheer comes planning and, if you’re not careful, a certain level of stress. Whether you are having a holiday party in your home, or going elsewhere for the festivity, there are many things that need to be considered. Take these into account before starting out to save yourself the stress. Plan beforehand not only your outfit, but your hairstyle as well. Have fun and find the festive styles that will fit the feel of the party you are attending.
In today’s informal world, the rules have changed. Rare in today’s world are printed invitations arriving in the mail. Holiday parties are organized through Facebook events and Evite. Nevertheless, the parties are often elegant affairs and there’s a little etiquette to pay attention. Most importantly, RSVP. If someone is planning a party and invites, it’s really rude to not RSVP and leave them hanging and chasing after you to see if you are coming. Another puzzle in today’s world is trying to decipher the language of guidance on what to wear. Have you stared into your closet like me saying things to yourself like: “Which pair of shoes is ‘casual chic,’ ‘black tie’, or ‘holiday festive'”? My advice: wear what you want to and it’s important to be comfortable and look hot. If hosts are getting creative with dress codes, it invites the guests to be creative in their response. Have fun and don’t worry.
With that said, here’s how I interpret the different language about dress code this year.
Depending on the type of party you are attending, there are a few different options as far as outfits go. Find out beforehand if the party is (black tie, cocktail or holiday attire). You don’t want to be the only one showing up dressed down, or far overdressed. If you are the one planning the party, be sure your guests are aware of what is expected of the dress code. You might receive an invite with the term “black tie optional” this mostly applied to men who may or may not want to wear a tuxedo. For women, it means you have the option of wearing a full-length gown, or a cocktail dress, as long as the hemline isn’t too short or the style is revealing.
Black Tie (a.k.a. Formal)
Translation: Old Hollywood glamour.
The safe bet: A tea- or floor-length gown is the way to go for upscale fetes, like formal weddings, charity galas, and awards ceremonies. Be a celebrity for the night and strut your stuff in a gorgeous satin, taffeta, or beaded number.
What a guy should wear: A tuxedo with a black bow tie. “Make it a real tie, not a clip-on.
Cocktail (a.k.a. Semiformal, After-Five)
Translation: An elegant party dress and a killer pair of heels.
The safe bet: The little black dress is your BFF for most weddings and engagement parties and many fund-raisers, Turn to rich fabrics, such as lace, chiffon, and velvet, to elevate the typical black. But keep the hemline modest: two inches above the knee max. Whichever you choose, fancy footwear is mandatory. (Metallic or jeweled is a sure thing.) The daintier the heel, the more graceful your shoes will look on the dance floor.
What a guy should wear: Go for dashing and timeless. Wear a dark suit that’s a well-fitted, toned-down version of a tux. That’s what separates it from what you would wear in the boardroom, “Stick to a white shirt, a dark tie, and black cap-toe oxfords.
Festive (a.k.a. Holiday Attire, Creative Cocktail, Dress to Impress)
The safe bet: Color, bold jewelry, and sparkly details show you’re ready to have a good time. You will often spot this dress code on invitations for holiday parties, but that’s no excuse to whip out the jingle-bell earrings. Go all out with sophisticated bling and a vibrant dress.
Choose the colors that fit, such as green, red, white, and gold.
What a guy should wear: Go for a playful vibe with a blazer or a classic suit with a fun tie. But “fun” doesn’t have to mean emblazoned with candy canes.
Hair and Makeup
The thing that will tie everything together comes from the way you style your hair, and the way your makeup is done. Depending on your style and how long your hair is, there are a few different options for you:
- Soft curls are just what can get you into the holiday spirit. These are easy to do using a large barrel curling iron, and last long if done right.
- Pull your hair back in a festive bun. This is easy to do and will keep your hair out of your face for the duration of the event.
- Try using variations of braids in your hair to accentuate your style. You can incorporate these other styles in at the same time.
For whichever hairstyle you choose, select the makeup style that will accentuate it.
Enjoy the Holiday Season!!