5 Steps to Nailing Your Holiday Party Outfit {No Matter the Occasion}

Nail your holiday party outfit every time using these 5 steps

It’s officially December – and you know what that means….

Holiday parties.

Whether a formal occasion, casual get-together, or wild and crazy night with friends.

Tis the season to get dressed up and par-TAY.

Contrary to popular belief “sparkly” isn’t the only way to get dressed up for a holiday party, nor is there any need to be in a rushed panic to fit yourself into some bodycon monstrosity. I would actually argue that it’s just as important to be comfortable and warm, in addition to looking glamorous and festive.

So today I want to take a look at how to get ready for your biggest event this month – whether it’s Christmas with your family, an out-of-this-world NYE party, a festive office get-together, or any other holiday event.

Here are 5 steps to nailing your holiday party outfit every time.

Step 1 – Set the Stage

The first step to planning an outfit for any occasion, is finding out exactly what you’ll be doing.

This is key to avoiding scenarios where you’re in your highest heels at a party with a huge dance floor and little else or a super short dress with sheer tights at an all-night outdoor event.

Be sure to ask the basics – where, who, what, how, and when. Write a detailed set of guidelines for your look to keep in mind during your outfit planning.

Step 2 – Dream & Scheme

The next step is very similar to planning a whole wardrobe, only on a much smaller scale.

You’ll want to put together a good ol’ fashioned mood board, either digital or physical – whichever floats your boat. Gather inspiration and see if you can spot an overall theme.

Do you want a look that’s fun & flirty? Classic & chic? Casual yet festive?

Go through and refine your mood board until you have something you love and looks coherent. Then start extracting individual elements: specific colors, items, textures, combinations, make up, hair, etc.

You’ll probably find far too many elements to put into one look so rank them by priority. Then examine how they work together, cross out anything you don’t like 100% and aim for a final set of 4-10 elements you’d like to incorporate into your final outfit.

Related Post: How to Build Your Best Fall Wardrobe Yet & Using Pinterest to Define & Refine Your Style


See the full look here: How to Style Plaid for the Holidays

Step 3 – Form Your Foundation

Let’s start with your most important part first – your main items: dress, coat, top skirt, footwear, etc. {Ignore accessories, hair, and makeup for now – we’ll incorporate those later.}

Inspect your final elements and mood board. Ask yourself which main items and combinations would best represent your overall look.

Maybe it’s a long sleeve sweater dress with thigh-high boots or a patterned mini skirt with a billowy silk top.

You essentially want to browse through your existing wardrobe and online shops to select pieces that could form your foundation. Consider a few different options and be sure to filter your ideas through the set of guidelines you created in step 1.

Step 4 – Embellish

This is where it starts to get even more fun!

Go back to your mood board & elements and start thinking about what could supplement your main pieces to express your holiday party look even better.

Ask yourself what elements are not yet represented? Which need to be emphasized?

This is the time to think of your hair, makeup, jewelry, nail polish, tights, bags, belts, and any stylish details like rolling sleeves or tucking hemlines.

Write down your ideas and then play around with a few combos until you find one that speaks to you 100%.

Step 5 – Test Run

While having a detailed visual concept is great, only a test drive will tell you a) if a look works in it’s entirety and b) if there are any functional shortcomings before the big day.

Reserve about an hour a week or so before the event to test out your look, from head to toe.

Be sure to pay attention to 3 factors:

Time – how long does it take you to create your look from start to finish? This will save you tons of stress later and give you the opportunity to tweak anything.
Look – does it express your concept well? Does everything fit together or do you need to change some things out?
Comfort – can you walk, dance, and sit comfortably? Is anything tugging, scratching, riding up, pulling, digging, or feeling bad against your skin? If you want to have a good time at your event don’t sacrifice your comfort for style.

Step 6 – Final Prep

A few days before take time to get all your individual items ready.

Clean and iron main items, handle any minor repairs. Dust off jewelry and accessories. Fix broken or worn down heels. And check you have all makeup & hair utensils you’ll need.

Now it’s time to grab a cup of tea or glass of wine, put on your comfiest lounge clothes, and RELAX.

You’re going to look fabulous, darling.

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