Holiday Party Attire: Daytime Affairs

Holiday celebrations, annual get togethers with friends, or daytime work parties create a lot of outfit opportunities in December. For daytime holiday parties either at work or around town, I need plaid, metallics, festive patterns, and some seasonal mixed media.

Outfit 1

Holiday Outfit 1

Outfit number one is a statement maker, but around the holidays, I think more is always more. I think these pieces make an impact together, but can be worn separately throughout the season for several outfits. I have and love this super soft plaid shirt from JCrew Factory. The fun metallic skirt from Banana provides texture and formality contrast (this from JCrew factory is also festive, or there are some shiny pants and a similar skirt from Loft). The tights are DKNY and the shoes are Vince Camuto.

Outfit 2


For a whimsical but slightly sleeker look, it would be great to do a non-ugly holiday sweater with a fashion forward pant. Something like this sweater from the Loft (it’s hard to tell but it’s white and navy), another fun Loft option, or a fun fair isle pattern. Even though it’s very trendy, the drapey pant can be both comfortable and flattering. This look would also be great with a velvet or faux leather pant. And then finish it with a classic metallic pointy toe pump or another neutral pump in your closet.

Outfit 3


Outfit number three is a far cozier and casual look, great for a cold day. A cable sweater dress like this one from the Gap can hide a multitude of sins (or christmas cookies) and a cable sweater is festive by default. Pairing it with flat booties and cozy tights makes it extra easy. Top it with an infinity scarf and you’re all set!

Don’t forget: the key to any holiday outfit is the holiday earrings!


Hits and Misses

I do a lot of shopping around, waiting for sales, comparing options, and I try to be strategic with my purchases. Inevitably, some items impress me, and some disappoint. Here are some reviews on my recent purchases.


Ann Blouse

I’m always looking for a good, versatile blouse because they always multiply my outfit options more than any other piece. I recently got this one on sale at Ann Taylor. I like the pattern because it’s more interesting than plain shirt, but it’s still a neutral that’s relatively subtle. I think it will work in all four seasons.

lands end gloves

I was shopping around for leather gloves because my standard black leather gloves are way past their prime. These caught my eye at Lands End and I was impressed by the cashmere lining and the option to monogram. Not to mention, the price was on point. These will get a lot of wear this summer.


Banana Honeycomb

I was hoping this sweater from Banana would be a great neutral chunky sweater that I could wear to work with a pencil skirt or on the weekend with jeans. Two main problems: 1. the fit is bizarre, it was baggy under the arm but not a dolman sleeve which was just very bulky and unflattering; and 2. it’s super super warm, like I couldn’t wear it indoors warm. I should have taken the reviews seriously, because they practically said that word for word. It’s a return.

Banana Dress

Another Banana miss. I thought this dress would be another work or weekend option, but it was not flattering. I bought my normal size, but it seemed clingy and baggy in all the wrong places. It also had two sweatery layers of fabric which added bulk. Maybe if I sized down it would be a sleeker look, but I’m over it. Return.

Work Wear Staples

I’ve made a conscious effort this year to make smart choices when it comes to clothes shopping. I’m trying to think about cost per wear, and invest in pieces that I will wear a lot. This also means I’m being more restrained with trendy items, or looking for inexpensive options for pieces I know I’ll wear less.

Button Down Shirts

Perfect Shirt

I don’t like button down shirts. They are not a cute look for me. No matter what size I get, they gap between the buttons at the chest and look baggy everywhere else. That said, I’ve found it necessary to have a couple white button downs because it’s such a classic office look, and a good layering piece in the winter. The closest I’ve come to a good button down is Ann Taylor’s perfect shirt. I buy my usual size and it fits decently, plus the fabric is not heavy but not totally see through. The collar is a little small for me, but you can’t win ’em all.

Dress Pants

Banana Pants

Banana Republic has become my go-to for dress pants this year. I really like their lightweight wool pants which I have in navy and black in the Martin fit. They are a suiting material but they fit me well and thus are comfortable. I’ve had some rough dress pants in the past, and I’ve realized that suiting material is not always so forgiving, which means the fit is paramount. For a slimmer ankle pant look, I like also like the Sloan slim ankle-fit pants. Though I find dress pant options from The Loft less durable, it’s nice to have a couple machine washable pants in the mix as well.

Pencil Skirts

Pencil Skirt

I think the most reliable pencil skirts I’ve bought in the last couple years have been from JCrew Factory. They keep the same wool skirt in their repertoire and just offer different colors and patterns each season. I used to think washable ponte skirts from The Loft or Ann Taylor were the way to go, but those can look stretched and worn out after a few wearings. The JCrew Factory skirts have held up really well for me so far and always look professional.



Blazers are definitely investment piece territory. I have a love/hate relationship with blazers because they will either look great on me or really frumpy, so I try to be very careful. I do think there is a direct relationship between price and quality when it comes to blazers. I’m actually in the market to upgrade my navy and black blazers and I’ve been watching sales and planning my purchase of the Campbell blazer from Jcrew. I think JCrew’s Campbell is great for Monday through Thursday, and their Regent style is great for Fridays and weekends with a more casual bottom. These are investments at about $200, compared to a discounted $50 Loft blazer, but I think they fit better and will last much longer.

What are your go-to work pieces?