It’s party season

December and January tend to be busy months for Christmas parties and year-end celebrations, not to mention New Year’s Eve.

If your social calendar is starting to fill up, you’re probably wondering what to wear. Many party dresses are sleeveless – which is great if you live in Arizona. In the frozen north, however, it’s tough to look dressy and keep warm.

Here are some ideas to sparkle-and-glow your way through party season:

  • The Little Black Dress (LBD) is a staple in any wardrobe. If your dress has sequins or other sparkly embellishments, but sure to keep jewelry to a tasteful minimum.
  • Colour is a great way to stand out in a sea of LBDs. Jewel tones work especially well at this time of year.


Lacy dress, David’s Bridal

  • Look for luxurious fabrics. Silk, cashmere, suede or leather lend an upscale feel to any outfit.
  • Hot this year are dresses, blouses and sweaters with built-in embellishments, such as faux necklaces sewn right on the garment. Be sure to strike the appropriate balance with jewelry: mustn’t overdo.
  • Make a statement. Choose a focal point for your outfit, such as a statement necklace, chandelier earrings or a sparkly cuff. Choose one only.
  • Classic and elegant are always in style. Avoid very trendy or deconstructed pieces that might appear to casual for the occasion.
  • Carry a wrap. This is a much more elegant way of keeping bare shoulders warm than a jacket or sweater.
  • Heels are always appropriate for dress-up parties. Choose pumps as they are much more in keeping with our winter climate. Slinky sandals can work if you wear boots to the event and change into your shoes. Carry a drawstring bag into which you can put your boots and check the bag with your coat.
  • Consider slimming shapewear to ensure a smooth silhouette.
  • Mature women should avoid miniskirts. At or just above the knee with a killer pair of heels is very sexy.
  • If you’re not comfortable in a dress or skirt, consider loose, wide-legged trousers paired with a tuxedo jacket. Very of-the-moment and perfectly appropriate if styled with a gorgeous piece of jewelry. When wearing trousers, heels are de rigeur in order to maintain the feel of elegance.

If you’re unsure what the dress code means for your next event, check out my previous post on navigating dress requirements:

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