Holiday Style: Office-Party Chic.

Whether it’s gathering ’round the table with family and friends for a big, stuffed bird, or decking the halls with colleagues in a little, black dress, this time of year brings so many unique opportunities to mix things up in both your routine and your outfits. But before you panic about what to wear for all of those in-between work parties, cool-weather dates with your man, or mom’s nights out, a word from someone who’s been there.

sparkle

A sparkly miniskirt totally works — just keep your top slouchy and your tights super-opaque.

Last year I found myself racing from the office to a cocktail get-together for my husband’s work with no notice. I distinctly remember standing in the basement at a TJ Maxx in DC debating between turning a long sweater into a party-appropriate dress by adding leggings, or swapping out my jeans for the only sparkly mini skirt in the whole darn place. (I went with the sweater). Don’t find yourself in wardrobe limbo — be prepared with some easy holiday staples.

B4804_RD6483_mInvest in a work-appropriate dress that can totally party all night long. I love this shift from J. Crew that’s deceptively simple. The comfortable, breathable design accommodates a full day of meetings, lunches, and stress, yet strategically placed gold zippers add some sundown sex appeal. I adore how they’ve styled it here with a wildly patterned flat — there’s no need to put on heels for a party after a long day. And while it comes in black and ivory, both totally gorgeous choices, this electric red is not only holiday-ready but eye-catching in the very best way. $138, J. Crew.

racer

Comfort and style are easier to marry than the average magazine ad would have you believe. I’m all about a racerback tank in silk — this way, you have plenty of movement across the shoulders throughout the day, without feeling like you’re too casual. Throw a blazer on top of this one and then lose it for the party. Straight black pants and patent leather shoes with a pop of sparkle will do best. A.L.C. silk racerback tank, $210, Saks Fifth Avenue.

hmprodH&M ups the sparkle ante this season with sequined separates so gorgeous and cheap, there’s no denying we ALL need them in our closets. But what’s so great about the look above is that you can rock it at work, too, just piece-by-piece. Love the top? Don it with a pencil skirt or pants and simple black pumps and just stay that way for the after-hours festivities. Ditto the skirt — you can make it work with tights and a simple black shirt, even paring things down by adding a flat boot. Shirt, in stores. Skirt, $34.95, H&M.

pants

Party pants are the perfect casual-girl loophole. For those of us not obsessed with glitter and gauze, you can still be festive in fitted, jacquard pants that show a bit of ankle and pair perfectly with your basic blouse or sweater. However, if you want to make any sort of a splash at the party, I would suggest a statement necklace to complete the look. Her multi-chain option is cute, but I’m thinking more over-the-top for good measure. Think rhinestones, big beads, and so on. Check out Francesca’s or Zara for cute, cheap finds. Jacquard pants, $118, Garnet Hill.

Happy Parties!


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About Jenny

Jenny Studenroth is a cosmetics junkie and bridal blogger from New York City. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2007 with a creative writing degree, she went on to the beauty departments at Elle and the Wall Street Journal magazines, before becoming a freelance writer. Her wedding blog is BorntobeaBride.com. Jenny and her husband Josh split their time between Brooklyn and Washington, DC along with their cat Dolce and pup Harry. The family is expecting their first human baby in the fall.