There’s no better time than the holidays to channel your inner debutante and take formal fashion to a whole new level. So instead of singing the praises of that little black dress or urging you to bring back taffeta, we’ve rounded up the list of dresses to try right now and how to make this holiday season your finest one yet.
We might as well begin with a bang, so as opposed to a safe, satin option, consider donning one of the year’s biggest fabrics, boasted by the likes of Zac Posen. A standard winter fabric, velvet’s witch-appropriate look doesn’t necessarily need to be worn in seasonal fashion, so instead of donning it long-sleeved ˜90s style, consider a strapless A-line mini-dress worn with tights and ankle boots.
You don’t need another 60s 101, but instead of vying for the traditional form-fitting ensemble, embrace the baggy with box dresses that boast bold prints, bright colours and the opportunity to go a little bit shorter. After all, besides giving you lots of room, mod styles allow you to flaunt the legs if you feel the need: thanks to their lack of plunging necklines or general snugness, you can don a mini and tights without being scandalous.
2011 was a big year for 1970s revival, but instead of a loud retro print paired with an above-the-knee skirt, look to Phillip Lim’s sleeveless wrap that offers a tailored, crisp ode to minimalism. Drawing attention to the waist without looking overly cinched, the wrap technique adds texture to the skirt, allowing for more give and opportunity to move and eat. (Which, as far as this writer is concerned, should be priority one during the holiday season.)
Blame it on Kate Middleton, but the English aesthetic has hit its peak this holiday season thanks to ultra-feminine silhouettes and delicate fabrics. Whether worn brightly or more dramatically (in a classic shade like black), the tea dress also piggybacks on the sheer trend of 2011. Just make sure that if you’re heading to the office party, you’re not looking overly exhibitionist.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to abandon the free-flowing style just because we’ve traded in sandals for boots, scarves and seasonal affective disorder. However, if you’re hoping to don a Maxi for a holiday party, ensure it’s not made of the same flimsy fabric you showcased all summer, and pair it with something winter-appropriate like a black leather bomber, chunky strappy shoes (worn with black tights) and a commanding colour like red, navy or even black.