6 Outfit Ideas For Your Holiday Party That Isn’t An Ugly Christmas Sweater

Every year, the holidays come and I feel less and less prepared. I pull this sweet move where I opt out of gift giving; call it younger child syndrome, but is it really that impractical to expect a mutual forfeiting of gifts?

But it’s not just gift-giving that I’m atrocious at. I’ve been a consistently terrible guest at holiday parties too. In fact I decided to throw in the holiday-party-towel altogether when I accidentally swallowed someone’s fart at a scrumptious holiday party last week. I like Mariah Carey, of course, but what I like more than Mariah Carey is Mariah Carey’s colossal, supremely comfy-looking couch. I’d be more than happy cuddled up on that couch until the holiday wave passes over, but it’s hard to do that when you’re MISSING AN INVITE, MARIAH.

Holidays have this funny way of making me revert back to my 7-year-old self. Despite my JOB, my taxes, my healthcare — despite my newfound taste for chess and whiskey — I just can’t seem to approach holiday season with the same adult disposition I assume when ordering a ricotta gnocchi à la carte on Seamless. I dunk my latkes in ketchup and, I swear, it thrills me.

But then, when I took my new silvery-pink, VERY shiny pants out for their very first spin and everyone was all, “Look at you in the holiday spirit!” it occurred to me: getting into the holiday spirit might not be so bad after all.

There are plenty of cool and understated ways to show you’re in the holiday spirit without having to be Chevy Chase, sing, or drink dairy-based alcohol. Like Anna Gasteyer’s new holiday album I’m Hip, you too can be hip over the holidays. Scroll down to see how.



1. Wear a bejeweled bag.

Sights like the Christmas tree at Rockefeller center and Saks Fifth Avenue’s holiday windows would be far more enjoyable if it weren’t for the tourist roadblock we’re required to wade through first. Which is why you’re much better off ogling the glistening bags of, say, Dolce & Gabbana or Fendi. They’re bright like a front yard gnome and, unlike the average Christmas tree, won’t ask you to get hypothermia with a group of choir kids if you suddenly have an urge to sing under them.

2. Wear a sequined turtleneck.

There’s bright and then there’s sequin bright. During the holidays, if a bright shirt does the job then a sequined shirt does a job worthy of a promotion. Wear one and you’re essentially a human tinsel garland, the benefits of which are twofold:

  1. You won’t be getting another earful about your deflated holiday spirit, and
  2. You can blend in with the Christmas tree at a moment’s notice when the time comes to swap gifts.

And then there’s the added bonus of wearing a sequined turtleneck — that you don’t just win Christmas, but you also, incidentally, win at life. A win-win, as they say.

3. Put on some sparkly shoes.

Ah yes, we meet again…murky connection between the holiday season and shiny, sparkly things. And sparkly shoes just so happen to be another great option too. Hedi Slimane does them really well for Saint Laurent and for more affordable options try Carel Paris or Miista.



4. Wrap your neck like a present.

For those in the throes of holiday party crunch time, relish in this handy quick-fix. Find some version of a neck scarf — could be silk, could be a bandana — and tie it around your neck into a sweet little bow. You still might not have a present to give, but it does resemble the look of a wrapped present and, right now, this is the best you can do.

5. Do as Marc Jacobs’ resort 2015 collection would.

In case you haven’t caught on, the theme here is: dress like a present when you don’t actually have one to give. And for his Resort ’15 collection, Marc Jacobs seemed to be channeling this same humans-as-presents motif. Dresses come adorned with oversized bows — either at the halter neck, falling by the hips, or to hold together a low-cut V-neck. A palette of crushed reddish-pink velvet, crystals, gold, silver, and green practically emanates that “Santa baby” song we’d all rather not sing.

Even the shoes will startle you with their holiday spirit, and their insistence on morphing your feet into two, decadently-wrapped presents.

6. Slip into some Christmas-y socks.

What looks tacky printed on an oversized sweater often looks much cuter – “darling” or “winsome,” as Etsy might say — when printed onto a pair of socks. It’s like your holiday spirit, peeking out from your shoes to say hello and, unlike the ugly Christmas sweater, can be tucked back into total darkness and obscurity as soon as the spirit goes sour. Madewell makes some nice fair isle socks. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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