What to Wear to Any Holiday Party

From cookie swaps to Champagne toasts

Welcome to the season of festivities--where the cocktails flow and the sparkles never stop. Much like summer wedding season, the time between Thanksgiving and New Year’s can send you into event overload. (You can only wear that standby LBD so many times.) So get all of your invites in order, follow our styling guide and have some eggnog, will ya?

Thanksgiving With A Crowd

Dress code: Chill

What this really means: A touch more put-together than sweatpants. Yes, you’ll be relaxing with friends and family and a vat of corn-bread stuffing. But you’ll also be posing for those inevitable Instagram moments. Opt for something cute and comfortable, like a plaid poncho and jeans. 

Get the look: Joe Fresh shirt ($19); Alexa Chung for AG Jeans ($255); BP. poncho ($38); Rag & Bone hat ($195); Hobes shoes ($139)

Dinner With Out-of-towners

Dress code: Polished (but with room to eat)

What this really means: Oops, your mother-in-law showed up six days before Christmas and you now have to entertain her while making time for all of your frantic errands. Here’s the key: You want to impress without looking like you’re trying to impress. It’s a difficult thing to achieve--unless you throw on an embellished jacket. Team it with a fun bow-tie blouse and your favorite black jeans.

Get the look: COS top ($135); Madewell jeans ($130); Maje jacket ($199); & Other Stories flats ($95); Mango bag ($60)

The Mccoys' Annual Bash

Dress code: Cocktail attire

What this really means: Dresses are highly encouraged. But maybe avoid showing up in all-out sequins. Instead, pick a tasteful outfit worthy of raising a glass--that’s not totally over-the-top. We suggest a flirty ruffled frock, killer lace-up heels and red lips.

Get the look: Banana Republic dress ($158); Kendra Scott bracelet ($175); 3.1 Phillip Lim bag ($395); Nine West heels ($109)

The Office Party

Dress code: Business not-so-casual

What this really means: Ditch the pencil skirt (and definitely ditch the pants). Let your coworkers know you got the celebratory memo and show off a bit more of your stylish side. A metallic midi skirt (no above-the-knee hemlines, please) paired with a splashy clutch will do the trick.

Get the look: Alice + Olivia blouse ($275); J.Crew skirt ($128); Melinda Maria ring ($64); Clare V. clutch ($225); Jimmy Choo pumps ($795)

"the Nutcracker" With A 7-year-old

Dress code: Dressy

What this really means: A step below cocktail attire, yet a step above what she just saw you in at Thanksgiving. Keep in mind you’ll be sitting for a good two hours, so this year try a flowy midi dress (no futzing required), your favorite knee-high boots and a furry vest (since you never know who’s manning the theater's A.C.). Your niece will think you’re a princess.

Get the look: Veronica Beard dress ($650); Topshop vest ($110); BaubleBar bangles ($70); River Island boots ($150)

Winter Wedding

Dress code: Black tie

What this really means: A floor-length gown. What it doesn’t mean is that you have to spend a fortune. Our advice? Head to your local Zara and scoop up the fanciest frock you can find (this maxi number involves a slit). Then team it with statement accessories and be on your merry way.

Get the look: Zara dress ($70); ModCloth faux-fur stole ($50); Dannijo earrings ($420); M.Gemi heels ($198)

New Year's Eve

Dress code: Festive and refreshing

What this really means: Here’s your chance to start the year on the right foot--the one where you stand out from the crowd in something other than an LBD. To do so, don a fringe-laden statement sweater and this year’s alternative to the mini dress: fancy pants.

Get the look: Equipment sweater ($485); Christopher Kane pants ($750); Carolee earrings ($45); Cuyana clutch ($125); Sole Society shoes ($42)