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What to Wear to Holiday Parties 2012

Decoding the Holiday Dress Code — What to Wear to Every Single Party

The start of December marks a very special time in our hearts — party season! That said, the slew of holiday invitations are rolling in and before you get befuddled on what to wear, we suggest you take special note of the holiday dress code. If you're wondering what all of those little terms mean — casual, cocktail, formal, black-tie — we're here to break it down for you, all with a holiday twist. After all, nothing is more awkward than being the only girl in the party wearing jeans while everyone else is decked out in pretty little dresses. Read all about it below.

  • If the dress code on your invite says casual, you're in luck. This is your chance to show your style cred in a multitude of ways; dark skinny jeans, leather leggings, miniskirts — everything goes. Just remember to add a little shine on the top (metallic blazers, red silk tops, sequin tees), or bottom (beaded skirts, jacquard trousers, shiny shorts), to show off your holiday spirit.
  • The cocktail dress code category is one of our favorites. Why, you ask? Because you get to wear pretty little dresses and jumpsuits without the worry of looking too "dressed down." It's all about having fun here, so go on and pull out that little red dress you've been aching to wear, and if you're feeling experimental, we love the idea of dressing up a chic black jumpsuit with statement jewels and accessories.
  • Now, it's time to talk about the trickier categories.

  • If your invite reads "formal," your party hostess is asking you to step up your style game. For this, you must wear either a formal cocktail dress (think elegant, and stay away from anything too short or tight) or a long gown. Since it is the holiday season, show off your spirit in pretty jewel tones like dark red, aubergine, and forest green, and if you want to shine bright, try out a sequined or metallic gown, like this gorgeous Michael Kors rendition.
  • The black-tie dress code is the highest dressing tier in the book — and for good reason. Get ready to pull out all of the bells and whistles for this holiday spectacular. A long gown (we love the idea of donning an ethereal white gown or beaded number) or super fancy cocktail dress is a must, but that's not all you need. In addition to finding the right dress, it's essential to complete the look with sleek heels, jewelry, and a fancy updo and flawless makeup palette. If you're looking for no fail brands, Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier, and Elie Saab always take our breath away with their gorgeous gowns and dresses.

Source: Michael Kors

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