History in the Making

Nailing Casual Holiday Party Style, Style File Friday

We are now firmly in the season of holiday parties and get-togethers, and it is starting to now feel like one endless stream of “what do I wear” moments. Casual looks can be hard to decipher- what is too casual? What is too formal for casual? I have a few go-to ways to tackle casual holiday party style without looking like I am heading to a business meeting or like I’m just getting out of the gym. Today, I am sharing my casual holiday party style with you to hopefully make your holiday wardrobe questions easier to tackle! Nailing Casual Holiday Party Style

For anyone who is new to the blog, I completely and totally believe that you should always dress appropriately for the occasion, whatever it is. You should dress up for the theatre, dress down for the gym, and so on. Whether you like it or not, your clothing affects people’s perception of you, and can also affect your own behaviour and mental state. So, this is all to say that putting a little extra effort into what you are wearing can set the tone for the evening that you want!

Embrace the Ugly Christmas Sweater

Ugly Christmas sweaters are everywhere, and there are some excellent reasons for it- they are fun, they are warm, and they make people happy. You can find classic sweaters, cute sweaters, funny sweaters, crude sweaters, literally any kind of ugly Christmas sweater. I love them because it’s actually really cold where I live (who doesn’t love waking up to -36°C in the first week of December?), and staying warm so you aren’t perpetually frozen is a lovely thing. I am a small child when it comes to Christmas, so moving pieces, the ability to light up, or even make noise will sell me on a sweater. This one below has actual jingle bells on it, and I refuse to be sorry for that at all. Normally I have quite an understated wardrobe but I get one month a year to be stylistically loud! So grab your ugly Christmas sweater and go for it…

Jingle Bells Ugly Christmas Sweater

Balance the Casual With Details

Casual holiday party looks are usually easy to figure out the casual bit for the most part- it is the perfect place to pull out your jeans. And if you have any fun jeans, with any colour, patterns, or extra details, so much more the better! (Except for bedazzled jeans. Say no to bedazzled jeans…) I always try to elevate my casual looks with the details, though. It doesn’t take a ton of time or extra thought but adding a few details can go a long way to finishing your look for the evening. I like to add a little bit with jewellery, like a statement necklace that I wouldn’t normally wear on a daily basis, or a fun headband! I also am all about wearing the right shoes- you don’t need to default to the same pair of shoes for everything. I am currently loving this pair of ankle boots with pearl details from Zara- the pearls are the perfect touch for an evening out! It doesn’t take a lot of effort to put a pair of shoes on, and they can make or break an outfit.

Zara Ankle Boots with Pearl Detail and Suede Backing

Colour, Colour, Colour!

The holiday season is nothing if not colourful! Bring out those jewel-tones, wear those winter pastels, and those red and green combos are made for the season. This vest from Old Navy is very loud. The particular red and green is rather electric, and will stand out from 50 feet away, meaning that it’s wear is somewhat limited. However, it is one of my favourite things to wear to a holiday party! If it is an ultra casual party, a vest is perfect- you can take it off if it is too casual or if you get too warm, it allows for movement (for both party games and pushing a stuck car), and depending on your work wear needs, you might not be able to wear them the rest of the time.

Old Navy Christmas Plaid Vest


My final tip? Use texture to make it more interesting! Why I bought the vest wasn’t actually the crazy plaid (though it does appeal to me), but the velvet detailing on it. And the Zara ankle boots have the most lovely suede backs, adding a bit more dimension. I find that velvets and suedes and particularly rich fabrics can be challenging to wear in large amounts without looking like you are in costume, but those small touches are an elegant but noticeable way to work them in.

So, how are you tackling your casual holiday party style questions? Any go-to pieces to recommend?

The Historian
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