Holiday Party Outfit Ideas That Keep You Warm

Baby it’s cold outside… As much as I adore that song, it tends to ring a little too true this time of year! I love dressing up for the holidays, but frosty weather has a way of cramping my holiday style. December and January can be pretty bitter in the Midwest, so this style guide is dedicated to Holiday party outfit ideas that actually keep you warm. We’re focusing on heavier fabrics, cozy knitwear, and styles you can easily pair with tights and boots.

However, before we dive in to our Holiday party outfit ideas, let’s decode some dress codes. Most of these are straightforward, but some are a little ambigious… and we don’t want any oops moments. It would feel a little awkward if you showed up in jeans and an ugly Christmas sweater when the rest of the room is in sequins, right?

  • Black Tie – This means formal. Tuxedos for men and floor-length or dressy cocktail gowns for women.
  • Black Tie Optional – Still formal, but with flexibility. You can rock an evening gown, an LBD, or even a tux-style pantsuit.
  • Creative Black Tie – Formal and funky. Creative Black Tie calls for a touch of playfulness or theme-related elements in your accessories/attire.
  • Cocktail – A cocktail dress (obviously) and sleek heels for women, a dark suit/tie for men.
  • Festive –  Sequins, velvet, vibrant colors… Dress to impress!
  • Business casual – The “casual” in business casual is a bit of misnomer. This is not a jeans/tee scenario, but rather a professional look that isn’t overly dressy (e.g sweater and pencil skirt/trousers).
  • Casual – What you would wear for a relaxed evening with friends.

christmas party outfit ideas

Bow Sweater | Ruffled Skirt | Heels 

If you can’t tell what the expected dress code for an event is, take your cues from the venue or invitation. Is it in a ballroom or a restaurant? Evening or daytime? When in doubt, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

Now, let’s talk stay warm strategies… and how to kick your holiday party outfit ideas up a notch!  

holiday party outfit ideas

holiday party outfit ideas - red dressDress (also in black) | White Heels 

Stay Cozy With a Festive Sweater Dress

Knitwear is a Christmas must and really goes the distance during the holiday season! If you live in a really cold climate, a thick cable knit sweater dress would be ideal. Alternatively, you could opt for a more playful cut like this red knit dress with gold buttons. I’m rocking the Chicwish number with bare legs because it was shockingly warm the day I snapped these photos. However, I would typically pair this dress with tights and over-the-knee boots for added warmth.  Sweater dresses also look lovely topped by an elegant coat, should your gathering be outside. For those curious about the fun/flirty shoes, be sure to check out the post linked below. These offer slipper-level comfort!

holiday outfit ideas knit combos

Opt for An Elegant Knitwear Combo 

Sometimes two pieces are better than one! Whether it’s a chic pencil skirt or a feminine pleated number, knit skirts play so nicely with light-to-midweight sweaters. In fact, this might be the warmest of our holiday outfit ideas. Pair your look with boots/tights and you’ll amplify the toasty vibe even more. The skirt I’m wearing above really surprised me with its thickness. It is supremely cozy. Finish off your look by adding a dash of gold – statement studs or dangling earrings.

Christmas Party outfit ideas

Use Texture to Create a Festive Look

Highly textured materials, like this ruffled skirt, add so much interest and flair. Think feathers, pom pom knits, billowing silk, ruching, faux fur… You will look party-ready in an instant! When you’re working with a voluminous silhouette, be sure to balance it out by keeping the other elements of your outfit simple and fitted.

holiday outfit ideas statement coat

Make Your Coat The Star Attraction

Yes, coats are meant to be functional… but don’t let that limit you! Your coat (or a faux fur vest) could be a jumping off point for your holiday party outfit ideas. There are so many statement pieces on the market, including this faux fur number. It’s cozy and it’s fun! I’ve had it for about five years now and keep finding new ways to style it. For instance, you can pair it with some chic trousers, classic pumps, and a pop of color.

Keep That Neckline High

Finally, let’s ward off the winter chill with a higher neckline! I’ve always loved turtleneck and mock neck styles, both for their practicality and for their elegance. They seem to elongate your body in all the right ways. Not a fan of turtlenecks? Try topping your blouse or dress with a faux fur shawl or beautiful scarf in a cheerful holiday hue.

What’s your favorite way to stay warm and stylish?

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