What to Wear to a Christmas Party

Let’s face it- Christmas is a great reason to throw a party. Whether you’re doing a small get-together and gift exchange with your girl friends, an ugly sweater bash with your college classmates or a more sophisticated adult soiree, your outfit needs to impress. Since there is quite a difference between dressing for an office party versus a night out with friends, I’ve come up with a few outfits and tips on what to wear to a Christmas party.

What types of parties will you be attending this holiday season and what do you plan on wearing?


family christmas partyDorothy Perkins lace top / Dorothy Perkins oxblood jeggings / Nine West Mary Jane pumps / Kate Spade sprinkles clutch / BaubleBar gold tassel bracelet / BaubleBar pearl burst studs

For a family Christmas party, you want to make sure you dress appropriately (you don’t want Grandma to tell you to put on a sweater). However, the dress code isn’t as strict as what you would wear to the office, so choose a few trendy pieces, like these wine-colored coated leggings. Choose basic colors and pieces and update our look with fun jewelry.

ugly sweater party outfitUrban Outfitters sweater dress / Modcloth red tights / Modcloth motorcycle boots / Forever 21 bow headband / Kate Spade bow earrings / Dorothy Perkins stud bracelet

Oh how I miss the days of ugly sweater parties in college. This cute-yet-gaudy sweater dress from Urban Outfitters is the perfect alternative to a baggy sweater from Goodwill. Add fun tights and edgier boots to finish the look. Mix girly and spiked accessories to keep the look youthful.

office christmas partyModcloth dress / Dorothy Perkins black blazer / Stella & Dot Alexandria Necklace / Macy’s silver ring / Anthropologie tights / Poppie Jones envelope clutch

A knee-length cockail dress is best for an office party with a fancier dress code. Wear a blazer or cardigan to keep shoulders from being exposed (and to keep warm), thick tights to cover your bare legs, and classy jewelry. Stick to plain color palettes and avoid anything too flashy.

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  • http://twitter.com/SenseofCents Michelle

    These are all super cute!

  • http://howboutsomecake.com/ Rachel

    Beautiful outfits!  I’m throwing a casual little cocktail party at my place in a couple weeks.  Can’t wait for it!

  • http://twitter.com/HeyTayK Taylor

    Love all 3 outfits! (even the ugly sweater one! I’m hoping to rock an ugly sweater this year for sure)

  • A J

    All 3 outfits are great! I can see you wearing the first one, and thats what I would wear to my Christmas party (if I had those items!) And outfit #3 is so perfect for a work party. Festive yet sophisticated. 


    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      Aw thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/KenzeLee Mackenzie Lee

    I love that ugly sweater outfit!! 

    I’m planning on wearing a black dress, high bug and gold jewels on Christmas eve!

    xo, Kenziewww.CaveGirlintheCity.com

  • Heather

    Timely ideas- I have a Christmas party on Saturday.. thanks for the inspiration!


  • Dina Karivalis

    I love that Dorthy Perkins lace top!  Ive been wanting a peplum sweater.  Great inspiration!  Have a nice weekend!
    xo Dina
    Sweetest Somethings/ necklace giveaway

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.c.sullivan.7 Rebecca Ciriaco Sullivan

    I love all your party outfit ideas Rachel….but I’m soooo amused with that Christmas sweater….it’s not really ugly…hahaha


    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      I know- I actually love it!

  • fromproseccotoplaid

    Love all your ideas! That Modcloth dress is amazing. Have a great weekend! xo, Julie

  • http://www.sparklesandspinach.com ChristyRenee

    I love that Kate Spade wristlet & that bow headband!!!! So cute! Happy Friday =)

  • http://www.alwaysmaylee.com/ Always Maylee

    Haha the ugly sweater party. I’ve always had this fear that someone would show up in an “ugly” sweater that I actually owned, oops. Love the family party outfit, SO cute!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      hahahah! so true

  • http://twitter.com/empri88 Emily Prince

    LOVE the office party look! Pure perfection. 

  • nikicaron

    I would wear all of these!  I love the ugly sweater!  And that lace peplum top is gorgeous!  And I want the entire office party look!

  • Emily VanderBeek

    These are all really great picks! I love that ugly sweater haha – it’s puuuurfect. ;P
    Isn’t That Charming.

  • Evani Gatsby

    Great outfit picks! I would definitely wear all three, I especially love the office outfit! 

  • Katherine Byrnes

    You had me at hello with the ugly sweater party outfit! LOOOOL

    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      isn’t it funny/awesome?

  • http://kitchenclosetheart.com/ Maria

    I NEED those oxblood jeggings in my life! Great picks :)


  • http://twitter.com/drmngincashmere Amy Bishop

    I love that lace top and the bordeaux jeggings!! Perfect for a family party!  Hope you have a great weekend Rachel!

  • Allison Jordan

    Love your tips for dressing appropriately for various occasions.  So helpful. I also laughed at your ugly sweater! So awesome!


    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel


  • emily8463

    great outfits!!  especially love the family party look :)  have a wonderful weekend!!  
    P.S. check out my latest giveaway – last day to enter!! http://thesadlows.blogspot.com/2012/11/crochet-infinity-scarf-giveaway.html  XOXO

  • FierceandFashionable

    I’m heading to an Ugly Sweater party next weakend and the look you created is great! Ugly Sweater parties are my fav, so fun!! :)

    Love the bracelet from the “Family Party” look! So pretty.

    xo MichelleFierce & Fashionable

    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      I miss them!

  • http://lyssbarn.com/ Allyssa

    Great outfits! I think my favorite is the family party one! That top is awesome!

  • http://www.rachelslookbook.com/ Rachel

    Cute ideas!!!!! I literally just bought a lace top similar to the one in the first pic and it goes amazing with colored skinnies! I have an ugly sweater party next weekend…. trying to get that all put together this weekend 😉

    Happy Friday Rachel! :)

    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      so much fun! Hope to see photos

  • Marsa Lee

    i want those oxford pants! too bad i just bought black leather leggings and now i have to wait to buy something else haha oh budgeting


    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      haha I do that all the time!

  • Laura Maxim

    Great outfits!

  • Laura Maxim

    Great outfits!

  • Lauren

    I love the family party look! (Probably because I’ve been on the hunt for a lace peplum top!)

  • Olivia

    Love all of these outfits! I have my work Christmas party a week from today & still need a dress! I love the red one you picked out!

    xo Olivia
    go for the glam

  • http://feathersfreckles.blogspot.com Feathers & Freckles

    Love the family party look :) Cute!

  • Dani Shapiro

    Those oxblood leggings are obsess-worthy! And I am digging that spikey bracelet, too! :)

  • http://twitter.com/LifeAndBows LifeAndBows

    I am so in love with the family party outfit!!

  • http://urbanumbrella.blogspot.com/ Bree

    I love that first look so much, so adorable and perfect for a xmas event! <3

  • http://twitter.com/LizisWildCat Liz Nordquist

    Love the ugly sweater party outfit so much!

    <3 Liz @  http://www.imwildcat.blogspot.com

  • http://dcinstyle.com/blog/ Elena

    Great items, the sweater dress is my favorite-looks so fun and colorful

  • dancingwithashley

    That first outfit is SO me.  The peplum top with the colored jeans are perfection.


  • Kacie Ellis

    I want that first outfit! Love these outfits ideas!


  • http://twitter.com/LittleRus LittleRus

    Great ideas! I love the “ugly sweater party” title so much! 😀


  • Stephanie @twenty-something

    Love this! I’m actually going to an ugly sweater party this weekend and love that you made the look a little more trendy vs the classic goodwill sweater look. All of the outfits are great, but I’m partial to the family party one since I can totally see myself wearing it.


    • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel

      They are so much fun! I haven’t been to one since college :( Take pictures!

  • http://www.lifeunsweetened.com/ Rachel