It might be cold AF outside, but it’s party season, people, and a little bit of winter weather isn’t about to get in the way of you achieving your fullest sartorial potential. Ugly sweater parties are easy — a fabulously tacky jumper paired with a pair of everyday denim and ankle boots is effortless and cozy. But when the occasion calls for something with a little more oomph, your standard skin-baring party dress (brr!!) just isn’t going to cut it. So what’s an It girl to do? Enlist the help of midi silhouettes, of course. Long-sleeve options are your best bet, but with a little layering action you can instantly transform even the slinkiest of styles into a scene-stealing defense against freezing temps and frigid event spaces. We’ve gone ahead and curated a list of OMG-worthy holiday options that will keep you warm and your #OOTD game #onfleek all season long. The only thing missing? A pair of glitzy heels, a statement coat and a ready-to-party ‘tude.
1. H&M V-Neck Sequined Dress ($70): Life of the party status officially achieved. Shining brighter than the disco ball is an effortless exercise with this shimmery stunner on standby. Channel your inner glamazon by going all out with a faux fur topper, ankle strap heels and a velvet pouch.
2. Free People Midnight City Midi Dress ($228): With a lengthy list of upcoming soirees on the agenda, you need a gorgeous getup that’s willing to pull a bit of overtime. Before you reach for that trusty LBD, take a gander at the embroidered beauty above. With a classy midi length, fab flutter sleeves and floral embroidery, it’s a total package, as far as fancy affairs go. Dress it up with embellished heels and a side-swept chignon for a winter wedding, or take it along to after-work cocktails, pointed-toe ankle boots and a bold cuff in tow.
3. Zara Contrast Sparkly Dress ($36): Like your fave LBD, only better. While a slinky sequin slip is best reserved for out-of-the-office affairs, this minimalist number is ripe for the picking, as far as work parties go. Keep it classy with black v-shaped pumps and streamlined drop earrings FTW.
4. Mango Wool Blend Oversized Dress ($130): Not every holiday event calls for glitz and glamour. For more low-key occasions, like a gift exchange or dinner party at your bestie’s abode, a cozy sweater dress will do. Just pair this winter white option with a minimalist waist belt and chandelier earrings. One and done.
5. C/meo Collective No Competition Dress ($185): Introducing the LBD to end all LBDs. While the petite polka dots are undeniably sweet, a modern asymmetric neckline and sultry slit send this form-fitting frock straight into style goddess territory. It totally slays on its own, but the addition of a sheer turtleneck top would render it cold-weather appropriate while racking up a few extra style points.
6. ASOS Plisse One Shoulder Midi Dress With Tie Belt ($58): So much YAS. This red hot dress is reason enough to celebrate this season. Between the one-sleeve styling and pleated details, it has endless cool-girl edge built right in. Dial it up with a gold cuff and stiletto booties for a swanky dinner date with bae, or opt for the unexpected at an upcoming work-related event with metallic Oxfords and statement studs.
7. Silence + Noise Madison Striped Velvet Mock-Neck Maxi Dress ($89): These aren’t your standard Breton stripes. Dramatic lines and velvet accents make this sheath dress feel seriously luxe. Just add patent boots, a sleek chignon and modern hoops to the mix for a contemporary-cool ensemble that’s ready to deck the halls.
8. Topshop Disc Sequin Midi Dress ($280): If making an entrance is at the top of your to-do list, let us steer you in the direction of this scene-stealing gold dress. Look-at-me sequins and a high-neck silhouette combine for an effortless look that needs no introduction. Save it for NYE or a buzzworthy gala, teaming it with architectural heels and a bold berry lip.
9. Warehouse Star Embroidered Mesh Dress ($134): Lazy girls, unite! Puttin’ on the glitz may not be your thing, but your Sunday-not-so-best isn’t exactly going to cut it for Christmas Eve cocktails or an upcoming charity event. That’s not to say you have to don a billowy ball gown — with its relaxed fit and t-shirt-inspired styling, this bronze beauty is just what the doctor ordered. For a seriously you edge, team it with a pair of Doc Martens, a bomber jacket and don’t-care hair. #nailedit
10. Factorial Label Flared Strap Dress in Wine ($218): This just in: We’ve just uncovered the midi dress that’s about to become a fixture on your party circuit. A prime candidate for pairing with any number of metallic separates in your closet, it’s the type of dress that would score serious points at your annual gift swap and at the office (when layered carefully, of course). Try it with a quicksilver button-down and shimmery sheer tights to keep things festive without offending HR, then add a glitter-flecked minaudière and a smokey eye come party time.
11. Zara Long Floral Embroidered Dress ($129): File this embroidered beauty under date night looks that SLAY. Be it the premiere of a hot new production or a gallery opening, this pretty little number checks all the boxes — and then some. As for styling, we commend reaching for dramatic red lipstick, lace-up booties and chandelier earrings.
12. Bec & Bridge Heather Mist Dress ($306): You’ve been riding high on that ‘70s throwback train and show no signs of slowing down. Get ready to swipe right for this pleated metallic dress that we think Stevie Nicks herself would swoon over. A saucy plunge neck and midriff-level cutouts balance the otherwise modest silhouette, creating a show-stopping piece that proves that less is most definitely more. Top it off with a layered necklace and platform heels for a fancy free-wheeling look with disco glam undertones.
13. Bardot Makayla Spliced Slip Midi Dress ($89): This fiery red slip is a shoo-in for an upcoming stint at a local wine bar or even a holiday gathering with your crew. The streamlined design would look best teamed with embellished block heels and a sleek choker necklace.
14. Free People Astrid Pointelle Midi Dress ($168): If your idea of a good time this holiday is sipping vino by a roaring fire, then run, don’t walk, to snatch up this standout knit. Boasting major around-the-clock appeal, this metallic sweater dress proves its style power whether you’re kickin’ back on the couch or heading the weekly board meeting. Style it for daytime with knee-high boots and a sleeveless blazer before subbing in a next-level teddy coat and laser-cut booties for post-work drinks.
15. Reclaimed Vintage Extreme Drape Sequin Midi Dress With All Over Star ($181): What to wear when you’re hoping to sneak into an exclusive NYE event? We thought you’d never ask. This star-studded shift has VIP written all over it. But don’t be mistaken — it can hold it down for more casual events with cropped jeans, backless loafers and a messy topknot for a lazy-girl-gone-glam look.
16. Free People Medusa Midi Dress ($228): Hello, velvet dress of our dreams. We’ve been waiting for you. There’s something ridiculously alluring about this sultry velvet dress that calls for a perfectly painted pout, embellished frame purse and a romantic ‘do (read: I-woke-up-like-this tresses). The daring neckline isn’t exactly parent-approved, so layer it over a bralet, cami or sheer frill-neck blouse for a bit of added coverage.
17. Topshop Asymmetrical Hem Midi Dress ($190): Expect all eyes to be on you when you roll out in this chiffon-and-lace masterpiece featuring gold flower appliqués and an asymmetric hemline. Whether you have an annual family gathering planned or an approaching GNO, there’s something to be said for an LBD that makes you look and feel like a street style queen. Pair this free-spirited style with anything from a velvet blazer to patent trousers for an Insta-worthy ensemble.
18. ASOS White Burnout Check Organza Midi Dress With Rib Detail ($128): While understated in design, this checked frock makes a bold statement, making it ideal for the minimalist who wants to stand out. For a festive look that feels anything but OTT, metallic ankle boots and oversized drop earrings are a must.
19. Missguided Plus Size Slinky Kimono Midi Dress ($51): Meeting the ‘rents this holiday season? This is the dress you want on your side. Between the kimono styling and dark burgundy hue, it exudes sophistication and boss-lady vibes. Team it with a killer pair of pumps and a vintage clutch — guaranteed conversation starters that’ll score you some serious bonus points with Mom.
20. Mango Decorative Buckle Dress ($100): You just can’t mess with a classic. Doing the office-to-after-hours-event shuffle is no easy feat, but rest assured, the whole process will become an effortless exercise when you add this structured number to the mix. Layer it over an elegant blouse for the office, then switch things up once you punch out by rockin’ it solo with sky-high stilettos and statement stud earrings.
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