With the holidays right around the corner, now is the perfect time to start compiling looks for all the festivities that will surely fill your calendar in the upcoming weeks. Because there are a plethora of choices, it can be overwhelming and time consuming wandering the mall – or Internet – in search of the perfect ensemble. Plus, who wants to fight for a parking spot when you can be relaxing on your couch with a glass of wine (and popcorn, natch) catching up on “Scandal?” So, to save you precious time and futile trips to the store, I’m here to break it all down.
One of my favorite looks for the holidays is a fun, flirty shoulder-baring top, dress or jumpsuit (who else is loving this trend?). Although I rely on a cozy sweater and blanket scarf by day, when it comes to dressing up, I prefer pieces that show off my arms and shoulders (just be sure to invest in a good sunless tanner for a subtle faux glow). I typically opt for black because it’s perpetually chic, effortless and versatile, but I always love a fun pop of red, green or even gold this time of year.
So, whether you’ve been invited to a fancy shindig, an elegant dinner party or a casual get together, I’ve got you covered!
- Alexander Wang One Sleeve Top: This piece is optimal for creating a variety of looks. You can dress it down with jeans and booties for a girls night out, with a sleek leather pencil skirt and heels for an edgy – yet polished – feel or with black wide-leg trousers and a leopard clutch for a sophisticated take.
- Armani Red Cocktail Dress: If you have a festive evening planned, this dress is perfect. I love the sweetheart neckline, fitted bodice and flared skirt. Pair it with these heels, clutch and cape, and you’re ready for a night on the town!
- Donna Karan White Asymmetrical Top: This top is incredibly feminine and flattering. The angled hem and off-the-shoulder neck give this piece a modern yet refined look. I would style it with black cigarette pants, caged heels and a red clutch.
- Helmut Lang One Shoulder Silk Blend Top: This top is seriously so chic. I love the self-tie detail, which creates a lovely blouson waist. Whether paired with cropped trousers or coated denim, this blouse will be on major rotation all year long.
- Ramy Brook Black Jumpsuit: I’ve put this jumpsuit at the very top of my holiday wish list. It’s so easy and effortless. Just accessorize with a chunky bracelet, this metallic clutch and these heels, and you are good to go!
- Vera Wang Jacquard Dress: The color and detail on this dress are exquisite. I love the rich green tone, the straight neckline and the high-low hem. Keep the rest of this look simple with black patent leather heels and a classic clutch.
- Trina Turk Metallic Jumpsuit: How fun is this color-blocked jumpsuit? I love the metallic top and the cropped pant length. It would be perfect styled with black strappy heels and a tuxedo blazer.
- Monique Lhuillier Cocktail Dress: I absolutely love the tea length detail and the tulle overlay on this dress! It channels that Grace Kelly 1950s vibe, so I would pair it with this purse and these heels with a red lip, and replicate her iconic coiffure.
- Halston Heritage Sequined Strapless Top: Consider this a great investment piece, because you will have it forever. Whether worn under a tuxedo blazer, a faux fur bolero or simply styled on its own, this piece will instantly elevate any look.
- Remi Beaded Party Dress: This dress has such a youthful vibe. I love the shorter length and the full skirt. I would pair it with a cropped leather moto jacket for a more casual feel. Perfect for toasting in the New Year and dancing the night away!
Of course, when all else fails, there is always a girl’s best friend…the tried and true LBD. I always go by the mantra of less is more, so a simple, well-constructed black cocktail dress will never steer you wrong. My absolute favorite one is the “Jackie O” version by Black Halo. In my opinion, it’s worth every penny. The structured shape, belted waist and asymmetrical neckline make this piece a timeless staple you will turn to again and again.
Kate Dunphy is the author of Taffeta & Tulips, a lifestyle and fashion blog created to inspire and elevate the every day through timeless and approachable fashion choices, healthy and easy recipes, and creative and simple ways to improve your living space.