We’ve made it to the end of the year (almost!), and will rightfully be rewarded with office parties we can use to justify buying new dresses. But which dresses?
Don’t worry. Relax. The holidays are supposed to be fun, so we gathered ten of our favourite Fall/Winter 2013 looks you can apply to the holiday/Christmas pary spectrum. All safe for work, all safer to wear after the holiday parties have ended.
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1. Slip Dress
For the record, slip dresses do not have to look like underwear. (Remember the ‘90s? Calvin Klein designed slip dresses you could wear without feeling – literally – underdressed.) Case in point: Victoria Beckham at this year’s Wimbledon (a fancy event), and Louis Vuitton, who combined slip dresses with oversize vintage-inspired jackets for a 1920s vibe. You can always cover up a slip dress with a blazer, jacket, or sweater, so if you don’t feel like channeling your inner exhibitionist, there are solutions.
2. Mod Dress
High collars and short hemlines were the rage at Valentino this year, and you can make the style office party-ready by donning opaque tights (if you live in Canada, where going tight-less in the winter is bona fide insanity). You can also borrow from someone like actress Emma Stone, who let her dress stand out on its own by keeping makeup and accessories minimal.
3. ‘50s Style
If we don’t mention that “the ‘50s are back” every year, our rights as a fashion site are officially revoked. So behold: Designers like Prada, who returned to the fitted waist and A-line skirts for their Fall/Winter 2013/2014 collections. You can also keep the style light like "Mad Men’s" Kiernan Shipka (whose style is better than all of ours), and don floral prints. Consider it a welcome contrast to red and green sparkles.
If you’re still a little unsure of what to wear, consider lace the go-to fabric in terms of holiday pieces – especially since it automatically dresses (ha!) everything up. Dolce & Gabbana capitalized on the ‘50s silhouette with black lace, while actresses Amanda Peet and Aubrey Plaza did the same, but with floor-length styles. You can do the same if you keep hair and makeup casual (unless your party is more formal, then just go for it).
5. ‘20s Influence
Like the ‘50s, the ‘20s are once again back (they’re never going anywhere – let’s just embrace this and bask in it), and Louis Vuitton showcased it with everything from pant suits (yes, you can wear them to holiday parties and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise) to feathers and drop waists. You can also look for beading on dresses to showcase that flapper style, or head pieces with feathers (and anything Carey Mulligan wears in "The Great Gatsby").
Holiday party dresses get a reputation for being “safe” or “festive,” but there’s no reason they can be anything but. Jil Sander’s leather dress is a perfect choice for a piece you can wear to work and to the work party, while actress Lake Bell’s leather Mulberry dress is a perfect example of how you can keep leather subtle and simple.
Thanks to Vivienne Tam’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection, graphic dresses (in the spirit of the ‘60s-era Carnaby Street in London) are also an option this holiday season. However, you can keep graphics Andy Warhol-oriented thanks to the likes of "Girls" star Lena Dunham, whose late ‘90s-type print created quite the debate at this year’s Emmys. Remember (for the love of all that is good): Holiday parties are supposed to be fun – you’re allowed to play around a bit.
Capes are kicking around in terms of coats and miscellaneous outerwear this winter, but courtesy of Valentino, they’re also showing up on dresses, which, frankly, is appropriate. (Winter is cold! Let’s get into it!) But if you’re not into the retro aesthetic, you can borrow from Cameron Diaz, who used the MET Gala to prove capes can look equally futuristic as they can vintage. Why else do superheroes wear them? (Seriously. Why.)
9. Anything Emerald
Canada’s own Pink Tartan proved why emerald’s been a power colour of 2013 (and it’s arguably also holiday-appropriate). And the runway hasn’t been alone: Singer Solange Knowles showed off the tone at the Grammys, actress Mayim Bialik brought it to the Emmys, while Anna Chlumsky interpreted it a different way. Bottom line: The options are endless, and you can do no wrong.
10. Winter White
And what would a holiday dress list be without winter white? (Or as we like to call it: “white.”) Victoria Beckham’s collection kept it sleek with its fitted, pencil dress, while Amy Poehler's outfit at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner is arguably the ultimate holiday dress thanks to its length, fit, sequins and beading. (But that’s also because she can do no wrong.)
Happy holidays and enjoy shopping for your holiday party dress!