Let’s be clear: sequins are delightful little creations that can instantly take a skirt or shirt next level. But come holiday season, sequin anything is an obvious choice. It checks all the sartorial boxes, sure — fashion-forward, easy to wear, party appropriate — but there are so many other festive looks to choose from. Think high-contrast metallics, lace, ruffles, and lush velvets in fresh silhouettes like long dresses, pantsuits and jumpsuits, and structured blazers.
Here are 16 holiday party pieces that will not only make you shine as bright as Rudolph’s nose, but that you can wear well into the New Year.
Holiday outfits that don’t involve sequins
Velvet pantsSomething about velvet feels like you're wearing pyjamas in public. Soft, chic, party-appropriate pyjamas. What's better than that? Elevate these velvet pants with a silk cami or tone it down with a grey crew-neck sweatshirt.
Le Fou Wilfred Verdet velvet pants, $145 at Aritzia. Aritzia
Green pant suitThe majority of folks gravitate to red come December, so this forest green culotte and blazer set will stand out from the crowd. It's polished and on trend, and sure to win you a (100 per cent consensual) kiss under the mistletoe.
Forest green pantsuit, blazer, $81, and pants, $52 at Asos. Asos
Tuxedo dressClassic menswear with a womenswear twist is our kind of formalwear. A tuxedo dress mixes the right amount of sleek with the right amount of glam. Pair with heels or booties for a look that'll stop them dead in their tracks. Or soften it with some ballet flats.
Rachel Zoe tuxedo dress, $543 at Shopbop.Shopbop
Pink lace miniMrs. Claus would surely approve of this playful lace mini. The pink fabric looks refreshing on the Christmas party circuit, and the versatile shape works when belted or worn loose.
MICHAEL Michael Kors scalloped floral dress, $275 at Michael Kors. Michael Kors
Jersey and lamé dressThis black-and-gold combo looks like a separate shirt and skirt, but it's actually one piece. How rad is that? The off-the-shoulder black top is stretchy jersey material while the skirt is an on point pleated lamé, and when combined, it creates the most cool-girl party look.
Alice + Olivia jersey and lame dress, $595 at Net-a-Porter. Net-a-Porter
Puff-sleeved blouseYou've probably got a plethora of skirts and pants to pair with a new holiday top, and this sheer V-neck blouse with gathered 3/4-length sleeves is it. Dress it up with look-at-me bottoms for a holiday gathering and dress it down with jeans after.
Georgette blouse, $20 at H&M. H&M
embellished peter pan collarsPeter pan collars have kicking around for some time with new iterations every season. Now, a more feminine touch has emerged with sheer and delicate fabrics and trims, rather than the starched Wednesday Addams look we've grown to love. Throw on a mohair cardigan to look chic and cozy.
Coach Prairie Dog Rose Double Collar Dress, $435 at Coach.Coach
Metallic trousersThese gold trousers are everything. They're glam and trendy and the elastic waist means you can eat a few too many sugar cookies, and not have to worry about bursting a button. Win!
Frame metallic trousers, $609 at Shopbop. ShopBop
Lace mini dressEveryone should own an LBD, but this version is more sophisticated than most. The intricate lace detailing is oh-so pretty and the back zip means it's easy to squeeze in and out of. Wear as is to your fete and after, throw on oversized knit sweater--to just show off the skirt portion--come the New Year and beyond.
Wilfred Janvry dress, $135 at Aritzia. Aritzia
Silk slip dressSlip dresses may feel more like a summer style, but this champagne-hued silk number is perfectly holiday appropriate. It's all about how you style it, so accessorize with patterned nylons like polkadots or herringbone and a leather vest or jacket over top.
Heritage side-ruffle slip dress, $170 at Banana Republic. Banana Republic
Velvet BlazerSometimes all it takes is one key piece to bring new life to an existing wardrobe. Enter the velvet blazer, a versatile piece that can be worn over pretty much anything from a mini to midi skirt, wide-legged trousers, and even something as casual as overalls.
Velvet open blazer, $80 at Reitmans. Reitmans
Feather-embroidered dressIf your go-to hue is black, always, and you're not willing to budge, opt for something with a hint of glam. Feathers, for example, look so luxe, you don't even need jewellery.
Feather-embroidered matte jersey dress, $225 at Michael Kors. Michael Kors
Ruffle sweater dressFrom royalty in the UK to Hollywood street style starlets, ruffles continue to prove they're a trend with staying power. And it's easy to see why: they add depth and volume to any look. Take, for example, the tiers of ruffles on this dusty purple knit sweater dress. Consider bare legs and booties for party mode, and leggings paired with flats for the nine to five.
BP ruffle knit sweater dress, $80 at Nordstrom. Nordstrom
Long-sleeve maxiThis long-sleeved jewel-toned maxi looks more like a work of art that deserves to be on a pedestal covered in a cloche. But with a price tag like this, you're going to want to wear, and wear it often. Don't be surprised if you're sick of attention and compliments after a night of rocking this bad boy.
Attico Raquel dress, $1,200 at Farfetch. Farfetch
Velvet jumpsuitThis velvet jumpsuit is the best of both worlds; it's comfortable like a pair of loose pants, but gives off more of a polished maxi dress silhouette. The raised floral appliques are subtle yet feminine, as is the neckline. Wear to a holiday soiree as is, and layer a turtleneck underneath to make it office appropriate afterwards.
Laurette velvet jumpsuit, $178 at Anthropologie. Anthropologie
Woven midi dressMetallic stripes are in. The vertical stripes on this midi-length frock are flattering on all figures and the high neckline and long sleeves makes it appropriate for an office gathering. Consider dressing it up further with long dangling earrings… or don't. The shine makes a statement on its own.
Protagonist woven midi dress, $556 at Net-a-Porter. Net-a-Porter