8 ways to style a casual holiday party outfit

Learn to style a casual holiday party outfit from clothes that you can also wear to work, volunteering at your kids school, lunch with your friends, and beyond.

Photo by Brooke Lark

“Yellow cab” a gruff voice blared through the intercom of my Russian Hill apartment.

Total panic set in, as I stood in my bra and underwear at the other end of the speaker. I was unable to decide what to wear to my 5th-holiday party of the season. And my freakin cab was downstairs.

My future husband could be at this party.

I’m going to miss out on so much fun.

I should have just kept on the first outfit.

Should I run down the street real quick to grab that sweater I’ve been eyeing?

If only I had black velvet Mary Janes…..

All of these things raced through my 20 something mind as I heard the cabbie gun his Ford Crown Vic. He headed off to the next dispatch call.

Now I’d have to start my mad dialing the cab company all over again, but first I needed to pick out a casual holiday party outfit. I wanted something that looked intentional, but not as if I tried too hard. I wanted to breeze in (now late) to the gathering as I’d just been frolicking through a Christmas tree farm and decided to stop by. Not freaking out over what to wear for the prior 3 hours. Ugh.

Holiday Party Outfits for All

Do casual holiday party outfits stress you out the way they did me in my 20s? Picking that just-right look for a holiday event can be challenging. Most of my holiday dressing is more casual these days. School events for my kids, lunches with girlfriends, or shopping in the city. I crave holiday items that are practical, but have some flair. Things I can wear again and again.

You too?

Well, you are going to love what I have pulled together for today. I took four outfits and style each of them casual and dressier—both with holiday flair. 

The emphasis is on casual holiday party outfits that will take you past the festivities of the season, into the office, the schoolyard, or anyplace you need to be all winter long. This will help maximize your wardrobe and have you looking merry at the same time.

Ready? Let’s take a look. There are details for all items in the captions below, with links under the item description that will take you to the website for purchase or further research.

Casual Holiday Party Outfit #1—The Wrap Dress

This DVF wrap dress and its different shades of green is divine. For a work party or happy hour add these beaded green earrings, a black faux fur purse, and snakeskin boots. All of these can be worn separately and paired with several items in your closet. For a dressier look, add long dangle rhinestone earrings, a metallic round crossbody bag, and rhinestone-encrusted heels. Nothing says party like a blingy shoe. This dress can take you into spring by highlighting the paler green color with an earring and/or shoe.

Casual Holiday Party Outfit #2—The Black Set

Sets are all the rage, and this one with its fringe detail on the fabric is so fun. Please take a look at this on the website on the model. It’s really pretty on. The pants have an elastic waist, and the sleeves have smoking at the cuffs. Wear it to a school event paired with the green glitter Converse and simple gold hoop earrings. If you need something for a cocktail party, then tuck the shirt in to make this look like a jumpsuit and throw on these crystal earrings, grab a red velvet bag, and slip into a pair of red sparkle slides. Totally different look, the same main garments.

Casual Holiday Party Outfit #3—A Sweater Dress

The black sweater dress is a cozy way to look festive. For a client lunch or shopping with friends, throw on the dress with green feather earrings, a metallic quilted bag, and jade green faux croc boots. The low wooden heel is so cute and easy to wear. For a casual holiday party outfit add big multi-colored earrings, a gold sparkle clutch, and black bow sandals. My most stylish friend sent me a photo of these shoes recently. They are a grown-up version of the grosgrain patent leather shoes I wore for the holidays as a little girl. 

Casual Holiday Party Outfit #4—Jeans and a Sweater

You must-have jeans and a sweater in your closet that you can festive up a bit. This sweater is silk and the green color is beautiful. Wear it with these faux mink earrings, a wooden gold and white bead necklace, fur tote bag, and gold tennis shoes for a festive I’m here to get sh*t done outfit. For a girls holiday night out, tuck this sweater in, throw on the sequence hoops, a
black velvet bag, and sparkle slides. Festive, fun, easy, and casual holiday party outfit. 

There you have it! Four outfits done two ways each. No, go dig in your closet, see what you have that you can spruce up a tad for an upcoming casual holiday party outfit. Perhaps grab a fresh accessory or two so that you can make good use of what you already have on hand this holiday season. 

Get ready for fancy holiday attire next week, because sometimes you need to bring out the big guns! That means really fancy dresses, pants, and shoes.

Let me know in the comments below which look is your favorite from the post today. 



Hi! I'm Kim.

I teach women to dress with more confidence and joy. By understanding a few style concepts, how to dress your body type and how to curate a capsule wardrobe everyone can leave the house feeling great.



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