Don’t you just love an excuse to get dressed up? I do! Holiday parties are the best excuse around this time of year. It’s time to pull out your special occasion clothes and go for it! Today, I’m sharing one of the outfits I’m wearing to a holiday party, and giving you lots of ideas for how you can use what’s already in your closet (maybe with one or two additions) to make your holiday party look pop! I’m also sharing some dos and don’t for women over fifty when it comes pulling your holiday party look together. (Um, so you’re not too poppin’ — if you know what I mean!) Finally, if you need more inspiration, I’ve curated a boutique at the bottom of this post with some beautiful options. (And lots of them are on sale right now!) Click any of the pink links or images throughout the post for more information.
So far, Bob and I are going to three holiday parties. (And one of those is one we’re giving!) The biggest one we’re going to is his company’s party, which is held in Miami every year. While it took us a few years to get used to feeling Christmasy in such a warm climate, after going to the party every year, we now really look forward to the warm-weather getaway. It’s become a sweet time to reconnect and slow down in the midst of a busy month! In fact, I wrote a post about it last year. (Of course, I did!) BTW, recently I was included in a fun post about favorite holiday getaways on my friend Suzanne Stavert’s travel blog Adventures of Empty Nesters. If you’re looking for ideas for a December getaway, this is the post for you! She pulled together some friends and asked them their favorite places to travel for the holidays. I was honored to be included. You can read that post here.
Dos & Don’ts For Your Holiday Party Look
Are there some general guidelines we should follow when we’re over fifty and trying to pull together a holiday party look that feels festive and a little bit glam? I think so! Here are the dos and don’t that I follow.
DO Shop Your Own Closet First
Hey, the holidays only come around once a year, so probably nobody will remember what you wore last year (and especially not the year before!). If it’s still in style, still fits, and you feel pretty in it, wear it! If you need to add a little embellishment to update it or make it feel special, try adding a pair of sparkly shoes, an eye-catching belt, or an epic pair of holiday earrings. This year, I’m wearing a pretty gold metallic tunic that I bought last year to one of our parties. (Similar here.) To update it, I bought a pair of SPANX velvet leggings. (Velvet is always big in December, and this year it’s huge!) I’ll slip on my classic black Sam Edelman pumps and be ready to go.
DO Add a Mouth-Dropping “Statement” Element
Be sure to include a “WOW” piece in your outfit. I’m not talking about an accessory here! Rather, this is the item that will have everyone at the party complimenting you up a storm. I’m talking about something like a sweater with feather trim, a faux-fur wrap, or a to-die-for plaid skirt.
DO Up Your Makeup Game
Add a little more makeup than normal! If you’re ever going to wear red lipstick, now is the time! My go-to red for years has been Dior Red Smile, but my makeup artist, Bebe informed me before my last photo shoot that it was completely wrong for me! Oooops!!! She said the blue undertones in it were better for skin with cooler undertones, and that I needed a more orangey or brownish red for my warm skin tone. We went ahead and used it because I wanted to be able to reapply during my photo shoot. (I usually shoot 6-7 outfits at a time and it takes a couple of hours.) If you check out the photo below that is lips down (It’s meant to be a detail shot of my necklace.), it’s clear she is totally correct! Wow. Okey-dokey then. Y’all, I was so intrigued by this, I’ve decided to do an entire blog post next week all about how to choose the perfect red lipstick for your skin tone! (If you’re not on my email list, you might consider subscribing so you don’t miss any of my upcoming posts!) BTW, I haven’t found a red I like yet, but I’m working furiously on it!
When it comes to your eye makeup, consider adding a little extra sparkle to your eyeshadow to brighten your eyes. If you like a subtle shimmer, you might want to try this one from Urban Decay. Fun fact: It’s actually an eyeshadow primer (read that: it masks uneven skin tones and discoloration) and I wear it as my everyday eyeshadow pretty much every single day! For your holiday party look, it’s okay to add some extra eyeliner, but don’t get too wingy with it. (It looks like you’re trying too hard!) I like this eyeliner because it blends easily and has a built-in smudger and sharpener.
On your nails, you can go with an awesome red (a deeper red is more current), or you could go with one of the fun, sparkly metallic polishes from the new OPI Nutcracker Collection that I featured in November’s SO in the KNOW post.
Finally, do not do anything crazy like use body glitter, people! Just because you used it at your Prom, doesn’t mean it’s still okay for you! (Hahahaha!) Instead, try something like the new Jergen’s body lotion I told you about (also) in my November SO in the KNOW post. It boosts and evens skin tone and covers imperfections.
DO Wear Something You Can Move In
In the boutique I created below, I tried to give you options in lots of different styles, shapes, and price range. I also tried to give you options of tops, bottoms, and dresses with give and stretch. They are so much more comfortable than something that will have you pulling, tugging, or checking for your bra straps the entire evening!
DON’T Overdo it
Too much of a good thing is just, well, too much. Don’t overdo it on the sparkle, the accessories, or even on the bling. One “WOW” piece is probably enough! (Read about my shoe choice below for more about this.)
DON’T Settle for What Everyone Else WIll be Wearing
Let’s be honest. If there’s a go-to holiday party look, it’s black slacks, a black top, with a blazer, cardi, duster, etc. on top. C’mon, we’ve all done it! This year, I’m urging you to be a little more creative and fun when it comes to your holiday party outfit. (That’s why I’m doing this post now instead of a week from now!) Take some time to plan out your look, and make yourself feel beautiful. You’re worth it!
Red Scallop Ponte Dress (30% off) | Scallop Edge Nude Sandals | Swarovski Crystal Embellished Handbag | Gold Platinum Drusy Necklace | Gold Platinum Drusy Earrings | Watch | Lipstick (Color: Red Smile) | Nail Polish
I found this red dress about a month ago and immediately fell in love with the scallop detailing all over it! (I’m a sucker for scallops!)
I was originally going to pair it with my favorite red block heel sandals, but when I put them on with it, I decided it was a little much, so I went with these nude block heel sandals instead to let the dress really take center stage. (Bonus points if you noticed that my sandals have scallops on them too! See, I’m scallop-obsessed!)
If there’s ever an occasion to wear your bling, it’s a holiday party, so I added this gold and platinum drusy necklace and matching earrings. (Note the wrong red lipstick, as we discussed previously!_
My handbag is a beautiful clear bag embellished with Swarovski crystals that I originally got when we were asked to sit in someone’s box for a football game, and I wanted something really special! It comes with a removable bag inside, so you have the option to use that or not.
I hope I’ve given you some good ideas for your holiday party look. There’s more inspiration in the boutique at the bottom of the post!
Every Friday, I try to give you the inside scoop on the best sales of the weekend. Even though Cyber Week has drawn to a close, the deals are still out there! I think the best sales this weekend are at TALBOTS, J.CREW, and BANANA REPUBLIC. Click the pink links to go straight to the sites and be sure to use the extra discount codes I’m sharing where applicable!
ANTHROPOLOGIE | 40% off sale styles.
BANANA REPUBLIC | 40% off regular-priced styles + 50% off sale styles .
CHICO’S | Extra 30% off sale styles.
J.CREW FACTORY | 50% off sitewide.
WAYFAIR | The 12 Days of Deals starts today with a new deal each day!
- 12/1-12/2: Christmas Trees
- 12/2-12/3: Top Kitchen Brands (Up to 70% Off)
- 12/3-12/4: Multifunctional Furniture (Up to 70% Off)
- 12/4-12/5: Sheet Sets
- 12/5-12/6: Discounted Design Services (25% Off)
- 12/6-12/7: 3 for $30 Storage & Organization (3 for $30)
- 12/7-12/8: 8×10 Rugs (for $99)
- 12/8-12/9: Top Vacuums (Up to 50% Off)
- 12/9-12/10: Ornament Shop (5 for $25)
- 12/10-12/11: Seasonal Finishing Touches (From $11.99)
- 12/11-12/12: Eddie Bauer Throw Deal (50% Off)
- 12/12-12/13: Gift Card Promo (Buy $100 gift card, get a $20 gift card)
Happy Weekend! What are y’all up to this weekend? We’re working on house stuff on Saturday, and heading up to Oklahoma on Sunday to see our daughter in A Christmas Carol. Be sure to watch my Instagram and Facebook Stories for all the BTS photos! I’m excited about next week on Empty Nest Blessed! On Monday, I’ve got a post about how to include the seniors in your family when it comes to your holiday festivities and I’m sharing some gift ideas just for them. Then on Wednesday, I’m bringing you the aforementioned post about how to choose the right red lipstick for your skin tone. I’m still tossing around a couple of ideas for Friday’s post, and I’m stuck between a couple of ideas! Got a post you especially want me to write? Leave me a comment below and let me know!
HOLIDAY PARTY LOOKS FOR EVERY BUDGET, SHAPE, AND OCCASION