It all started when I found out there was a wedding on New Year’s, and it was black tie.  And by it all started, I do mean the inevitable freak-out-moment of, “What am I going to wear? Long? Short? Sequins?  Safe-bet-black?  Do I really need to get my hair done? My make-up?”  There are just so many options out there and it can be a little overwhelming. I searched high and low and rounded up my top picks for holiday parties, NYE’s and winter galas (in case you are the type that goes those things…and why shouldn’t you be?), weddings and company parties.

From Cocktails to Company Parties

My Dad believes a woman should only wear black dresses and diamonds to any somewhat formal event.  I can’t say I totally disagree. It’s a classic look and you really cannot go wrong, which is probably why so many of these are black. Subliminal brainwashing, but I’ve added some color, too.

These are my top picks for a rehearsal dinner, a company party, Christmas cocktails, or a fun night out over the holidays; the all-encompassing party dress.   My favorites from these are the Alexis Fia dress, which is selling out (featured above) and the strapless, cobalt dress by Likely, which comes in multiple colors.  For both of these, size up as they run small.  These are classic, easy-to-wear looks that are flattering on everyone and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. I also love the Sasha dress. It’s so simple, elegant and feminine. The Alexis Rilla Knit dress is also gorgeous. Alexis makes some of the prettiest, chic pieces that are timeless, but always have a fun detail or two.

The Long Story

Long dresses are admittedly tough for me to love.  I feel like you either see dresses with a slit all the way up to places you really do not need to show, or they look like something a mother-of –the-bride would wear in a bad movie.  I look for long dresses with clean lines, an interesting, subtle detail that gives it a little bit of excitement, but will allow you to wear it again.  Let’s face it, they are typically going to be a little more costly.   That said, I do love the red dress by Calvin Klein.  It is a stunner.  The color and cut are perfect, and despite that this is bold and memorable, red really never goes out of style so you can wear it again and keep it for years to come. This would be perfect for a wedding or black tie gala.

For something simple, the slip dress is an easy win.  I love the one by Johnny Was.  It comes in three colors. Size down on this one. It runs big. I also love the gold Intermix gown. That’s a simple dress that screams chic. However, of course my favorite is the Michael Lo Sordo blue lame gown, which is also the most expensive- go figure, however, this is one you can keep around as well.

Short & Sweet

The mini dress is a favorite of mine.   They are fun and festive, but they are also not for every occasion.  I’ve included a good mix of color and style, but I do love a good sequin’s mini dress. However, unless you are going to Vegas, you do have to be careful with how bold your sequins get.  With a sequins mini, sticking to champagne or black sequins that have a little bit of sparkle, but are slightly muted, is always a safe bet.  With the muted tones, you can get away with these for cocktail parties, semi-formal weddings or semi-formal gala. You can always trust Parker to keep sequins mini-dresses chic and sophisticated.  If you want to go for a bit of a bolder look, the Intermix dress is a knockout. And for something short, sassy and all lace,  the For Love & Lemons lace mini is adorable.

The Skirt

Holiday skirts are a huge trend this year. I love them. You can wear them from day-to-night with a quick change of your top. They are great for day with a classic, short blazer and cami.  And for night, pair the long metallic skirts with a simple bodysuit or cami for a holiday party.   For a fun, classic look, pair a tulle skirt with a structured, white button down. That is great, easy look for a more conservative affair.  From tulle to metallic, all of these are a win and well-priced.

The Tux

Confession: my very chic friend inspired my new-found obsession with a tux for holiday.  It does not have to be a full tux; you are not going to prom. But a jacket with satin lapels and straight-leg pants is perfect.  My favorite way to wear a tux is with nothing underneath the jacket. But if you are a little less daring (or your husband gives you the stink eye when you come walking out like that), add a very low-cut cami that does not interfere with the neckline. It’s sophisticated, sexy and chic.  I also love a classic, structure white button down, buttoned one button too low, under a black jacket.  It’s very Lauren Hutton meets Katharine Hepburn, and such a great way to change up the traditional holiday dress.

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The Jumpsuit

I love a jumpsuit, and obsesses with the velvet options out there.  My two favorites are the bright blue one from Amanda Uprichard, which comes in another color. You can always trust her cut and sizing. And, the big surprise, the low-cut velvet one from Express, yes, Express.  It comes in two other colors, and the price alone made my mouth drop ($52). But, I also love the fit of this. It’s stretchy, a little sassy and you can keep this one around for a few seasons. Size down in this.  For something perfect for NYE, the Tularosa jumpsuit is a win. The sequins are a great color and this is a fun 70s throwback.  I included two by Ramy Brook because her pieces fit well and are super-flattering.


  1. February 16, 2018 / 2:57 am

    So many wonderful outfits and such a variety of different styles as well! The metallic pleated skirts along with the short & sweet dresses were definitely my go-to for the holiday season! 🙂

    • glossandharbour
      February 16, 2018 / 7:24 pm

      Thank you so much!

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