31 Outfit Ideas for a Sparkly, Stylish and Rather Festive December
Last year we spent most of December rocking statement earrings, sparkly headbands and embellished sweaters (plus our trusty fleece sweatpants) for virtual holiday parties and Zoom cocktail hours. And while we’re not quite back to the same jam-packed holiday schedule we were used to pre-pandemic, there are definitely a few more IRL cookie exchanges and in-person meet-ups on our schedules to celebrate the end of 2021. Here are 31 gorgeous outfit ideas to inspire you to dress up from now until we ring in 2022, whether you’re going all out for a Secret Santa fête or just want to look good on your way to pick up gifts at the mall.
1. Try an Easy Black-and-White Combo
Crisp black and white will always look chic, even if you’re sporting a simple T-shirt and trackpants. (Although it never hurts to add a swipe of berry lipstick.)
2. Add a Hint of Velvet
All-over velvet can feel a bit too fancy for a day at the office or casual drinks with friends, but it is one of our absolute favorite festive fabrics. Compromise by sporting velvet pumps or carrying a velvet clutch rather than breaking out a full velvet maxi dress or suit.
3. Get Cozy in a Sweater Dress
This subtly sexy style is the ultimate hybrid of comfortable and dressy. Go simple with a pair of tall boots, like Babba Canales does here, or jazz things up with some spangly jewelry and a pair of pointy-toe flats.
4. Go All Out With Denim
This is how city girls do cowboy chic: Update a Canadian tuxedo with white ankle boots, a cozy white turtleneck and tiny sunglasses.
5. Choose Accessories that Pop
Coterie member Coco Bassey’s dusty rose ensemble would look beautiful on its own, but it’s the addition of a colorful, feather-trimmed clutch that really made us fall in love with her outfit. You don’t even need to pick something in a coordinating color, just opt for something special like sequins, feathers or super-bright hues.
6. Try Sporting a Summer Print
Rock your spring florals with an otherwise seasonally appropriate outfit, like Coterie member Katie Sturino did with a pastel topper and sparkly booties. Those mini buds suddenly have new legs.
8. Swap your winter jacket for a cozy vest
Keep your core warm and your arms free to move as they please. You'll really appreciate this tip when you discover your chunkiest sweater sleeves will not fit into any of your coats.
9. GO HEAVY HANDED WITH JEWELRY
Even if all you have planned for the day is a Zoom call with your colleagues, adding a few baubles and gems will help you feel more put together (and make it a little less obvious that you’re still wearing the T-shirt you slept in).
Shop similar styles: Bryan Anthonys necklace ($46; $32); Tini Lux earring ($32); BaubleBar earrings ($38); Sterling Forever necklaces ($90); Missoma earrings ($97; $73) and bracelet ($219; $164); AUrate ring ($120); Monica Vinader necklace ($685; $487)
10. Match Your Coat to Your Dress
While not exactly monochrome, this two-tone red look is gorgeous and easier to pull off than you might think. Just be sure to pick items made from different fabrics—like faux leather and cashmere, or wool and silk—to make it clear you’re not out to perfectly match your outfit.
11. Swap Plain Leggings for Faux Leather
Even if you keep the rest of your outfit super casual (oversize T-shirt or sweater, simple booties, etc.), faux-leather leggings will give your look an instant upgrade, a tip we learned from Coterie member Liz Teich.
12. Wear All-Over Beige Without Looking Boring
Beige gets a bad rap as a “boring” color, but it can actually look incredibly chic. For example, the texture and structural silhouette of this turtleneck sweater gives a particularly luxe vibe, especially when worn with tailored trousers, crisp white kicks and a simple-yet-elegant coordinating handbag.
13. Try a Leather Dress
Leather and faux leather are both surprisingly warm, meaning you can wear something like a leather minidress or pencil skirt and not have to worry about freezing in the chilly December air. (Although we do recommend adding a pair of tights if it’s truly frigid.)
14. Pair Sequins with (a tiny bit of) Leopard
Sequins and leopard print are two statement-making details that run the risk of looking pretty overwhelming when worn together. But adding just a hint of one to accent a major splash of the other is just the right balance of quirky and cool.
15. Stick to One Color Family
Pick either warm tones (yellows, oranges, reds) or cool ones (blues, purples, greens) and mix and match shades until you find your perfect combination. (P.S. This works best with solid pieces, but feel free to play with prints if you’re more of a maximalist at heart.)
16. Invest In Some Kicks That Make You Smile
Some days we just can’t be bothered to put together anything more fashion-forward than some jeans and an oversize blazer. But a pair of smile-inducing sneakers, like Tyla-Lauren Gilmore's bright Nike kicks, will make you feel that much more put together and add a fun pop to even the most basic outfit.
17. Tie a Sweater Over Your Coat
If you often find yourself overheating in a super-warm coat (especially one that’s more appropriate for an arctic excursion than suburban living), simply wear a thin tee under your coat and tie your sweater around your wist. Then, when you get wherever you’re going, take off the coat and put on your sweater.
18. Rock Red and Green the Grown-Up Way
Nothing against ugly holiday sweaters, but some of us prefer our festive outfits to be a bit more subtle. Try mixing cherry red or Kelly green with more muted shades, like mint, turquoise, burgundy or mauve. It’s every bit as festive without being quite so on the nose.
19. Try a Standout Scarf
Picking up a bold new blanket scarf is less of an investment than a scene-stealing coat but has the same “look at me!” impact that will make you stand out from the crowd.
20. Slip Into a Festive Blazer
Wear a bold, cushy topper like this one over your winter whites and finish the whole look off with a pair of smart suede loafers. You're officially ready for any and all invitations that come your way, from your office holiday party to your best friend's cookie exchange (even if they’re just over Zoom).
21. Rock a Chunky Sweater Over Pinstripe Pants
Our weekend and work wardrobes have melded together to become one big, stylish family. So why not mix and match your most classic office trousers with a super-cozy chunky knit?
22. Create Your Own Colorblocking
Play around with any and all bright solid-hued pieces in your wardrobe to create a bold combination all your own.
23. Think Outside the Layering Box
You wore your long-sleeve lace blouse over silky camis all summer long, but now it’s time to rock that baby under your chunkiest sweater for a fresh contrast of styles.
24. Really Embrace Celebratory Dressing
We’ve had so few reasons to truly dress up these past two years, so even though Christmas still may look a bit different, we plan to go all out with our holiday looks. Yes, even if we’re simply hanging in the living room trying to prevent pets from knocking over the tree. Bring on the tulle skirts, candy cane knits and all things glam.
25. Dress Up an Ugly Holiday Sweater
Sweaters covered in tinsel, pom-poms, blinking lights and unexpected holiday scenes have become as much of a December staple as sequins and velvet. And while you can always wear yours over some simple jeans and boots, dressing them up with tights and a sexy skirt or embellished accessories just adds to the fun.
26. Layer a Turtleneck Over a Fancy Maxi
Turn a formal wedding-guest dress into something more appropriate for a holiday dinner or a festive cocktail party by pulling a chunky, cozy knit over the top. Keep your hair and makeup minimal and add a few brightly hued accessories to really tone down those fancy vibes.
27. Embrace the Power of the Puffer
You resisted the practical puffer for so long, but it’s finally time to give in. And hey, there’s no need to resign to looking like the Michelin Man when there are so many colorful, fun and even flattering options out there.
28. Wear Sweats All Day Long
Opt for a sleeker pair than the grays you usually wear the to the gym, like a slim-fit cream set or camel rib-knit. Then finish with a long tailored coat, some elegant jewelry and either sneakers or ankle boots, and no one will even notice you're wearing your pj's out and about.
29. Slip Tights On Under Your Jeans
We’re all pretty well versed in the basics of layering tops, but when it comes to our legs, they often get left out in the cold (literally). Slip on a pair of tights to give your stems some extra protection.
30. Break Out the Colorful Faux Fur
When it comes to faux fur, we say the more faux the better. That means super-bright colors and unnatural prints galore. They are meant to be fun, after all.
31. Bring on the Sequins
For New Year's Eve, think beyond black, gold and silver. We're partial to rosey pink but seafoam green or deep plum could also work. (P.S. Pair your over-the-top sparkles with a touch leather moto or luxe faux-fur coat to keep the party vibes going on the way to the event.)