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Stress Less: Be The Best Dressed At Your Holiday Party

Mary Zubritsky
ByMary ZubritskyNov 17, 2021 | 12 comments

The holiday season is upon us and whether you’re celebrating with friends, coworkers, or loved ones — in person or over Zoom — it’s about time you kick your leggings and sweatpants to the back of your closet and deck the halls with a little va-va-voom.

So, I know you’re probably thinking… it’s not safe, but isn’t it time we get into the spirit of something other than drowning our sorrows in spirits that go by the name of Jack, Johnny, or Tito? Since we’ve spent almost two years of our lives locked away, it’s time we get dressed up, spread a little cheer, and lift our spirits the fashion-forward way. 

Hey, if you follow What I’m Wearing this Week, you know I believe your attire can help boost your mood and self-esteem, and we could all use a little help these days. In fact, there’s a study in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology called “Enclothed Cognition” that says what you wear has a significant impact on your physical and psychological state. See, it’s not just me! 

Now, I’m not suggesting you go out and buy a ballgown, and celebrate the holidays at some snooty five-star hotel, I just want you to do something nice for yourself. Slip into something that’s new-to-you and reintroduce yourself to the world with a little holiday sparkle and flair. 

Top 5 Holiday Fashion Trends for 2021

If you didn’t hear, fashion is back in a big way! The runways for Fall/Winter 2021 were merry and bright with bold pops of color, overdoses of fun and frill, boss lady suits, over-the-top silhouettes, and lots of body positivity.

We’ve rounded up the top 5 looks that are sure to dazzle and delight everyone you come in contact with at your virtual shindig, your best friend’s wedding, or your intimate family gathering. 

1. Take a Shine to Sequins

Shimmer is the new black, and it’s time for you to shine. Put on the ritz in glitzy maxi dresses, embellished sweaters, blinged-out blazers, and sparkly midi skirts that showcase tasteful sequin designs. 

Hunter Bell Sequin Roxy Dress

Image via Rent the Runway.

Like spotting a rainbow after a storm, this brilliant, blinged-out sequin Roxy Dress by Hunter Bell will lift the spirits of everyone in the room, or your Slack huddle. Featuring ruffled cap sleeves, a fitted bodice, and plenty of brilliance, Rent the Runway makes sure no one forgets about you.

Adrianna Papell Sequin-Trimmed Cold-Shoulder Cape Top

Woman in cape top with sequins

Image via Armoire

Since full-on sequins aren’t everyone’s cup of tea (or eggnog), sometimes it’s best to go with just a touch of razzle dazzle, and Adriana Papell’s Sequin-Trimmed Cold Shoulder Blouse offers the perfect mix of dressy meets daring without looking like a disco ball.

2. Show Your True Colors

After all the doom and gloom, it’s time to make like a rainbow and show off your ROYGBIV. From flaming fuchsia to sterling silver, and fiery red to lemony yellow, these are the brilliant hues that will dominate Fall and Winter 2021, and brighten up your life. 

Halston Cap-Sleeved Ruffled Fit & Flare Dress

Woman in ruffled pink dress

Image via Armoire

Halston’s Ruffled Fit & Flare Dress will leave you tickled pink! Discovered on Armoire, I immediately added to my must-have collection for holiday looks. Due to its bold hue, strategically-placed ruffles, dainty cap sleeves, and a twirl-ready skirt, this frock will have you rocking around the Christmas tree in no time.

Roksanda Ayres Dress

 

Image via Rent the Runway.

Roksanda’s Ayres Dress is the perfect mix of color-blocking, architectural shapes, and lots of frills and thrills. Known for her statement sleeves and bold use of color, Rent the Runway called dibs on this designer dress that’s classy, sassy and just really freaking cute. Make an entrance, slay the crowd, and then deck the halls with those bell sleeves.

3. Pick a Pattern

Prints charming reigned supreme with patterns such as leopard print, tartan plaid, houndstooth, checkerboard, and argyle all ruling the runways, but you can be the queen of your scene in bright and boldly-printed dresses, knits, blouses, and blazers. 

Joie Celyn Leopard Print Silk Dress

Woman in leopard print dress

Image via Armoire

Try patterning your holiday looks after what was presented on the runways! This Leopard-Print Silk Dress by Joie with structured shoulders, gathered sleeves, and a thigh-grazing skirt will bring joy, delight, and lots of style envy to everyone at your holiday shindig.

Le Petite Robe di Chiara Boni Plaid Thayna Sheath Dress

Image via Rent the Runway.

Audrey Hepburn and Grace Kelly would’ve approved of the Thayna Plaid Sheath Dress. Brought to you by Rent the Runway, this retro-inspired, glam, curve-hugging plaid sheath features one of the hottest prints of the season, three-quarter length sleeves, and a wide, waist-cinching belt to accentuate all your best features.

4. Cut It Out

Go ahead and show a little skin! Body positivity is in and cutouts add a little touch of sex appeal to your look without offending grandma or your boss. The cutout trend is all about expert tailoring that offers a subtle peek of skin while showing off your best assets. 

Rachel Zoe Cutout One Shoulder Mini Dress

Woman in cut-out red dress

Image via Armoire

When I spotted the Rachel Zoe Cutout One Shoulder Mini Dress on Armoire, I instantly fell in love. While cutouts can feel a little showy, a subtle peek of skin can make the difference between a basic red dress and a one that screams, Let’s Party Like it’s 2022!

Nicholas Alcina Striped Twist-Front Sweater

Image via Rent the Runway.

Comfy, cozy, and a little showy, the Striped Twist-Front Sweater by Nicholas will ensure you’re toasty and trendy at the same time. Whether you’re Zooming through the snow or having a holly, jolly good time at your cousin’s house, this knit essential will make your presents known.

5. Tough as (Colored) Leather

It’s officially leather weather, but instead of pulling out your trusty biker jacket or a black pleated pleather skirt, refresh your look with leather pieces in trendy hues like muted green, baby blue, and coffee brown. 

Nicholas Larissa Faux Leather Dress

Image via Rent the Runway.

Whether the scent of fresh leather makes you weak in the knees, or you’d rather save the animals and go vegan, colored leather is hot for the holidays and Nicholas’ Faux Leather Dress is totally cool, festive and frilly. Designed in soft and stretchy faux leather with a ruffle-trimmed pointed collar, button-front closure, and ruffled hem,  this must-have from Rent the Runway is a gift all in itself.

ONE33SOCIAL Faux Leather Shirt Dress

Image via Rent the Runway.

It’s easy being green when you’re rocking the ONE33Social Faux Leather Shirtdress. This festive frock will seamlessly take you from the Zoom calls, to the holiday party, and the afterparty with style and flair. This day-to-night sheath is rendered in a twist-front design with a front slit, and lots of ruching for an ultra-flattering effect.

Styling & Profiling

So, now you’re like…ok, this run-down is great and all, but I don’t have the time, nor the fashion know-how to pull together the perfect holiday look. Don’t fret, you know we’ve got you covered! From Armoire to Stitch Fix, and Dia & Co. to Rocksbox (for jewelry), these personal styling companies can not only help you shop, but they’ve also got the skills and expert stylists available to make sure you rock your look around the Christmas tree. 


What are your holiday plans? Let us know in the comments!

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky
If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar beauty products, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of public transportation, I now drive and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery.

Mary Zubritsky
Mary Zubritsky
If shopping were an Olympic sport, I’d be a gold medalist. And while my bank account often feels the crunch, I just can’t stop buying secondhand clothing and accessories, under-the-radar beauty products, stuffed animal unicorns (I have about 75), and toys for my pet bunny rabbit. After 20 years of public transportation, I now drive and love to tour the Virginia countryside looking for vintage shops, undiscovered wineries and breweries, historic sites, and Thai restaurants—I’m addicted to Thai food. I never leave home without a spare phone charger because I love horror movies and therefore have an irrational fear of being stranded somewhere with a dead battery.
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12 comments

Melissa

Yikes to all of this!

Mary Zubritsky

TBH, not my fave items either but the pickings were slim 😉

Carol

Great review! That plaid dress is perfect!

Mary Zubritsky

Thanks! Most of Chiara Boni items are made out of a neorprene-like material so it sucks it all in!

Jody E

Mary, fun read as always.

Mary Zubritsky

Thank you 🙂 I aim to please haha

Snow

Mary, I am drooling over these outfits! Unfortunately I don’t think my neck of the woods could handle such glamour. The most exciting thing that seems to happen here is a trip to Walmart 😆

Mary Zubritsky

Where do you live?

Snow

Goodness Mary! I think I’ve put down my area enough to know better than to out us out 😉

Mary Zubritsky

I kind of wish I had rented the rainbow sequin dress for the wedding…

Snow

I shouldn’t be so harsh on my town, but it does help to have fun, exciting places to go. I absolutely love that sequin dress, though high necklines are hard for me to pull off (though you look amazing in them!)

Caligirl

It would have been perfect on you!

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