Holiday Clothing Guide

Holiday clothing is fun and beautiful and can help get you into the holiday spirit. But it can also be confusing, depending on your activities.  If you have a full social schedule this season, here are some guidelines to help you determine what to wear when:

Holiday Party

Holiday party clothes can be casual, semi-formal, or formal, depending on the location and the group.  For casual get-togethers with friends and family, opt for comfortable pieces like festive sweaters with leggings or trousers.  For more formal venues like country clubs or hotels, opt for cocktail attire or evening formalwear or whatever the invitation requires.

Cocktail Dress

Office Party

If the annual office party is in the office during a break or right after work, your work clothes are fine.  If it’s at a club, hotel, or other formal venue, cocktail attire is appropriate.  If alcohol is served, be mindful of how much you drink.  Many a promising career has been derailed by tossing back one too many.

Christmas Show or Pageant

If your child is in a Christmas show at school, opt for business wear attire instead of the typical jeans and shirt. The elevated dress level recognizes the hard work that went into the production. Ballet, theater, and other professional shows also call for an elevated level of dress; opt for business, cocktail, or formal  attire depending on the production, the city, and your seats (i.e.:  your niece’s “Nutcracker” in Wilmington versus box seats at Radio City Music Hall for the Rockettes ).

Christmas or Hannukah Services

Holiday services are always the highest attended and showcase some of the best holiday fashion around-particularly on kids.  Opt for modest semi-formal attire, like festive Christmas dresses or beautiful holiday separates.  Go early to get a good seat.


Christmas Dinner

Christmas dinner is family time and for most families, means casual clothes. Opt for comfortable, festive holiday clothing that allows you to eat, drink, and be merry.  If you’ll be cooking, keep your sleeves short, wear easy-clean clothes, and keep your heels low.  Otherwise you’ll be miserable.

New Year’s Eve

If you’ll be getting together with friends for dinner and drinks, opt for casual, festive pieces like trousers and a beaded top.  If you’ll be ringing in the New Year at a trendy club or cocktail party, wear cocktail attire and heels.  Wherever you go, be sure to designate a driver or call a cab.  Do not drink and drive.

Beaded Top

Michael Kors

Christmas Vacation

If you’re lucky enough to be vacationing this holiday, be sure to follow the tips offered in How to Pack Light for Holiday Travel so you carry one suitcase yet still have plenty of clothing options.

Holiday clothing, like holiday decorations, allows you to really get into the spirit of the season.  Just remember that the formality of the get-together dictates what type of clothes you should wear.  Casual gatherings call for casual clothes; formal situations call for more formal attire.  If you remember that simple dictate, you’ll be able to go anywhere appropriately dressed.

Need some other  on what to wear when?  Occasion Magic can help.

Occasion Magic

Happy Holidays!


  • Anna

    Reply Reply December 3, 2009

    Hello. Do you offer your books in hard cover or paperback? I am adverse to e-books.

    • Diana

      Reply Reply December 5, 2009

      Hi Anna,

      Our books are currently only available in digital format. If you prefer a hard copy, you can always print it out – a lot of readers like to do that…

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