Festive attire is asked for on the invitation that your are about to RSVP. However, what does this dress code mean? Well, it depends on the situation aka the event that will be celebrated, the location, the time, the date, the invited crowd, and who invited you. Sounds like squaring the circle! This overview post provides festive outfit ideas for various events, and resources where to find more on what to wear. Read to get inspired, and to dress fabulously and your best for any festivity with this ambiguous dress code.
- What is the Definition of Festive Attire?
- How to Decipher a Festive Attire Dress Code
- An Event after Christmas
- Dress Code for Events prior to or on Christmas
- What Does the Dress Code Mean for a Winter Wedding?
- This Dress Code Calls for Glam Accessories
- When to Wear a Holiday Dress?
- Festive Attire in a Nutshell
- Stylish Monday Festive and Fabulous Linkup Party
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In the English-English Interglot, the synonym for festive attire is evening wear. According to the Webster 4th edition college dictionary, the dress code would mean merry, joyous fine or rich apparel or garments. Googling the term leads you to stores with weird (?) Christmas clothing like a green or black suit with Santa Claus all over the fabric for men, and various holiday dresses for women. Think a green mini dress with a colorful twinkle-lights-like print. Add snowmen, reindeer, Santa, Christmas bulb earrings to the mix.
Looking at the rich results you read cocktail attire and as a more detailed definition: “Festive attire, also known as holiday attire, is a combination of cocktail attire, but often with holiday flair. This dress code is particularly popular during winter-time holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve.”
Obviously, the above definitions contradict themselves. An evening gown is quite different from a holiday dress like the one in my Voodoo Vixen holiday dress review. All that’s crystal clear from the above is
Please, don’t show up in jeans and a sweatshirt.
Now what? Here the first step to the solution: Take a look at the venue, crowd, day, and time given on the invitation.
Let’s start with the easiest. Unless the invitation states that the party is a belated Christmas celebration, you can exclude holiday clothing. If the venue is a at a bar in a hotel, a cocktail dress will fit the bill. When the event starts after dinner or is a ball, evening wear is appropriate. In case of a party on New Year’s Eve, read what to wear on New Year’s Eve for inspiration, and to dress your best for the respective location.
Attention: Festive attire for a Military Ball is a different beast. Learn what to wear and not to wear meet the dress code of a military ball depending on your role.
When the event is the work holiday party the time of the day an location give the meaning. The meeting room close to EoB or immediately thereafter means festive business casual. Forget about the jeans. Welcome holiday dress, holiday jewelry, and ugly Christmas sweater with (black) dress pants.
If the venue is in the evening at a hotel, cocktail dresses are appropriate. Keep your HR-approved dress-code in mind with respect to cleavage, arm coverage. More on the best looks for the office holiday party.
Also recall, when in doubt wear a little black dress:
One is never over- or underdressed with a little black dress. – Karl Lagerfeld
Some couples like my sister-in-law and her husband pick December 24 or 25 as their wedding day. It is obvious not to wear anything holiday-inspired despite it is Christmas Eve or even Christmas day. Read more on what to wear at a winter wedding.
Go for bold statement necklaces, bracelets, rings, and/or earrings. Costume jewelry like in my Happiness Boutique crystal necklaces review are fine.
Silver, gold, crystal-, pearl, beads or sequin embellished sandals or clutches are best. Put on the glam.
More is more, and less is a bore. – Iris Apfel
The holiday dress is great for family Thanksgiving and Christmas get-togethers that involve a meal in the home of a family member. They are appropriate for parties in the meeting room at work except for corporate work places and/or when the invitation states festive business casual attire. More on Thanksgiving Outfits.
Unless the venue is a ball or the office meeting room, and unless the party is related to a wedding or states festive holiday attire, a cocktail dress is in order. Gemstone colors like (ruby) red, emerald, amethyst (purple) are fine. Festive attire is all about accessories.
Stylish Monday December Linkup Party
My friends Andy from Pearls and Pantsuits, Joy from Joyous Musings, “Shelbee” from Shelbee on the Edge, Amy from Amy’s Creative Pursuits, Emma from Style Splash, Nancy from Nancy’s Fashion Style, Suzanne from Ask Suzanne Bell, Julie from Fashion Friends and Trends, and I would like to invite you to our Stylish Monday linkup party. Everyone is welcome to join with the Instagram and/or blog outfit posts.
Visit my friends for more fabulous holiday looks.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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