holiday dresses

You guys, 2015 is almost over and I’m having a hard time believing it. This year has been a blur (but a good one!) and I’m definitely finding the adage of “time passes faster as you get older” to be true. Sad, no? But year-end parties and gatherings are my next-favorite thing about the holiday season (second only to the sugary treats, natch) because it’s the perfect opportunity to get dressed to the nines and strut your stuff in a fabulous ensemble.

Looking for a good party dress has become so much easier in recent years. I remember being in the eighth grade back in the mid-1990s, looking for a dress to the big, final junior high dance. All of my friends were able to just jet to the mall and find something off the rack at 5-7-9 or Contempo Casuals (I’m dating myself here and I don’t even care), but being a plus-sized gal back then was ROUGH. Online shopping has revolutionized the way we find clothes in general, but e-commerce is especially useful in the search for a one-time outfit for a special event. Rent the Runway has become the new online hotspot for finding designer clothes and accessories to wear for an event: if you only need a dress for one event, you want to look slammin’ but don’t want to drop a wad of cash on an outfit you’ll literally wear one and then forget about, this is the obvious way to go.

If rentals aren’t your thing, the holidays are a great occasion to shop for because, in my experience, the styles and popular colors for December holiday/New Year’s events haven’t changed all that much over time. Black and white, red, beaded, sequins, flashy… all the things you may not be wearing at any other time during the year are all trotted out for a month-long fashion show of glitz and bling. Enter: this dress I just wore this past Saturday night to my work holiday party!

IMG_5624dress: Forever 21 (exact)
tights: J. Crew (exact)
clutch: ODSY Workshop (exact, and on sale!)
boots: Lucchese (I got mine about three years ago; similar here)

This frock was found after Christmas last year at Forever 21, marked down to $39.99. Knowing this Gatsby-style dress never really changes (and that the beadwork screams “holiday party!”) I snatched it up with the intent to wear it for an event this season. And I absolutely did. The dress got many compliments, and no one could believe it came from where it did (and at that price!) For 40 bucks, this ended up being cheaper than most online rental options, and now I have a dress for a 1920s-era party (or to just add to my costume repertoire). Win / win!

Here’s the thing about holiday dresses: if you go the route of beaded/bling all over like I did, your accessories can (and should, IMHO) be minimal, so you take away the pressure of accessorizing with fancy pieces there. I already had this clutch and the black cowgirl boots (the party theme was ‘Texas chic’, which I was all over because I’m all about these boots AND it meant not having to wear high heels!) Plus, if you wear an inexpensive dress and pair it with classic, well-made shoes and other accessories, it elevates the whole look and thus makes the dress look more expensive than it is. BOOM.

IMG_5643Where my girls at.

If you’re in or around Austin, an excellent source for potential holiday dresses is coming up next month in the form of Le Garage Sale, the semi-annual event where local boutiques and makers blow out their winter merchandise to make way for the new season. I’ve scoped some gems at this event in years past, so if you’ve got your eye on something from a local boutique, this is a great opportunity to score a great deal.

What’s your go-to source for an outfit for a special event?

2 thoughts on “holiday dresses

  1. Kat Henolson

    Hey Liz, did you know your images are coming up sideways. It’s happened to a number of your recent posts. 😊love reading your fashion insight.


    1. Liz

      Thanks, Kat! Glad I can be of some fashion help from time to time. And ugh, yes, I know on the photos… I know it’s totally user error as I really stink at this kind of stuff, but the thing is, they come up normal on a computer screen but sideways on mobile and tablets. I’ll be working with the gal who designed my blog for some help on that, hopefully this will be remedied soon! 🙂


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