See these great holiday looks from around the World
Landsend cashmere sweater, unbranded Christmas print silk scarf, Oliveo pleated leather skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, DIY bangle, gemstone necklace, pearl studs, upcycled boots, layering top (all own) and tights c/o Hipstik

Holidays mean dressing up

Like Christmas traditions vary from country to country so do the traditions of what to wear for the holiday. The one thing in common around the World is that Christmas celebrations ask for dressing up. No matter whether you spend the day with the wider family, go to church or have brunch at a restaurant. In some countries, even special wear exists for the holiday. Some are tastless, kitschy like the ugly holiday sweater, some are a longterm wardrobe additions that you wear over and over again. Here I am not talking about Christmas jewelry.

In this post, I show you how dressing for the holiday looks in various countries and even regions.

Holiday dressing in the Old World

In Central Europe (Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary), Christmas Eve (December 24) is the day for the gifting and celebrations. The food is more like that of a fasting day like potato salad with Wienners. Typically, this day is celebrated in the close family, i.e. only the parents and their underage kids. In conservative family, Sunday’s Best does the trick. Otherwise a posh casual skirt look is ok. The 25th is reserved for Chruch and family visits with the grandparents and in-laws. An elevated version of Sunday’s Best or new clothing (for kids) is common expectation.

Nicole of High Latitude Style in pleated leather skirt, red sweater and holiday silk scarf

Alaskan style blogger in black skirt, red top, gold heel boots, scarf

style book author inEuropean holiday look with black leather skirt
Outfit details: Landsend cashmere sweater, unbranded Christmas print silk scarf, Oliveo pleated leather skirt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, gemstone necklace, pearl studs, upcycled boots (all own) and tights c/o Hipstik

When I was a kid, only St. Nicholas would wear red-white and black. However, not on December 25, but on December 6, the St. Nicholas’ Day. He looks like Santa Claus, however, he was totally disconnected form the holiday. It also wasn’t a day off. Just kids would put their boots outside their room on St. Nicholas’ Day Eve and would wake up to find the boots filled with cookies, a little toy and sometime a piece of clothes. If they had behaved they would find a bunch of twigs. They were supposed to be used by Knecht (knight) Ruprecht to hit the kid for punishment.

Christmas was about the birth of Jesus, the Christmas Child. It was the Child who would bring the gifts.

The Netherlands

Half of the family on my partental side are Dutch. I remember my Dutch Greataunts and great cousins wearing black dresses or black skirts with floral blouses with black background and booties for holidays and celebrations of all kinds. Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style presents a typical Christmas look, but way more stylish.

Nancy of Nancy's Fashion Style in a black floral skirt, black top and leather bolero with sheer black tights and metalic booties
Nancy of Nancy’s Fashion Style in a black floral skirt, black top and leather bolero with sheer black tights and metalic booties

Note that in the Netherlands,  St. Nicholas is called Sinterklaas. He has the same role like in middle Europe. On the contrary, Santa Claus is called Kristman and comes from Lappland in Finland to bring gifts.

Great Britain

I don’t know about you, but I always google for the photos of what the Royals wore for going to church on the 25th. It’s understated solid colors and occassionally a plaid coat, simple hats and pantyhose for the women and black. Ok, there also exists the (mandatory?) ugly Xmas sweater outfit family photo from The Observer. I wonder whether it’s photoshopped.

In the British tradition, Emma of Style Splash wears an understated look. A black with gold sequin skirt with a black top with trompet statement sleeves. So cool eclectic chic.

Emma of Style Splash in holiday outfit
Emma the Britsh blogger at Style Splash wears a golden sequin skirt with all black

Holiday dressing in the New World

Here on the other side of the pond, styling Christmas outfits is complicated. It may even need some planning outfits ahead. It all depends on where you go, what the plans are, who is company, and the time of the day. This may mean changing the look several times that day.

Alaskan blogger in festive outerwear of coat and hat with boots

Alaskan stylist in long coat, boots, hat and gloves
Long designer winter coat, upcycled boots (see heel embellishment), shearling gloves, hat (thriftstore find) and silk flower (all own)

You can find much more about wearing the right look in every life situation in How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy my book now.

Casual with family and friends holiday look

When I was in High School in the early 80s, one of my friends knitted a sweater in purple and a pink Santa Claus riding his sled with several reindeers. I asked her why she spends so much time on making a sweater that she can only wear in a time slot of 26 days (Recall in Germany, they celebrate on December 25 and 26.).

Andy of Pearls and Pantsuit in casual
Andy of Pearls and Pantsuit wearing a casual holiday look with traditional sweater, leopard flats and distressed jeans

In other words, I never understood the ugly Xmas-sweater thing until Andy of Pearl and Pantsuits made me revise my pre-justice. Her version of this traditional All American Must-have looks like a graphic T-shirt with long sleeves, and I love  graphic tees. Her outfit is perfect for playing with the kids or sitting on the couch, drinking coco and munching cookies while watching the Nutcracker, How the Grinch Stole ChristmasEdelweiss, The Shop Around the Corner (known in Europe as You’ve Got Mail) or other holiday movies.

Cocktail with friends at a resort

This time of the year means travel for many Americans. Either for family reunions or vacation. Both often are at a resort. There the adults often meet at the bar for cocktails after dinner. Robin LaMonte of Hello I’m 50ish is perfectly dressed for after dinner drinks. This look is easy to pack too. It works because of the pops of red with the statement necklace and pumps.

Robin LaMonte of Hello I'm 50ish in cocktail look
Robin LaMonte of Hello I’m 50ish in a holiday look perfect for taking drinks at the bar of an upper class hotel

Like in Europe black always works. Suzanne the wardrobe stylist of Ask Suzanne Bell  went for a black sequin skirt, classic top and feather embellished sleeve cardigan to create a festive outfit.

Suzanne of ask Suzanne Bell in festive outfit
Suzanne of Ask Suzanne Bell in a festive outfit

Cynthia Scurry of Middle Sister Style wears a sequin top with a layered see-thru maxi skirt. Perfect for a fancy Holiday party.

Cynthia Scurry of Middle Sister Style in silver sequin top, tulle maxi skirt, black pumps with clutch
Cynthia Scurry of Middle Sister Style in silver sequin top, tulle maxi skirt, black pumps with clutch

Like these outfit ideas? If so, please feel free to pin them to your own Pinterest board.

Office party

Julie, one of the authors of Fashion, Trends and Friends, shows a great outfit inspiration for a party at the office. Note that plaid in any color would work as this pattern is associated with the season.

Julie Augustyn in a red plaid blazer
Julie Augustyn in a red plaid blazer, plaid booties and elegant black sweater and dress pants with seasonal brooch

Curch outfit

Nina of Sharing a Journey wears a Southern going-to-church look. She lives in Florida. It looks like she has a White Christmas.

Nina of Sharing a Journay in a posh going to church look
Nina of Sharing a Journay in a posh going to church look

What will you wear on December 25? Have you already made your plans? How is your gift shopping list doing? Just curious.

Stylish Monday

Welcome to our Stylish Monday Christmas party.
December Stylish Monday holiday style post banner collage

Let’s see what other stylish women are wearing.

Entrance to the Stylish Monday Holiday Party

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Photos courtesy to these bloggers

Photos of me: G. Kramm

© 2013-2019 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. donnadoesdresses

    Yes and here in the Southern Hemisphere in Australia we so often wear bikinis and shorts for our 40°C Christmases …. interesting post, Nicole!! Thank you for sharing!
    Donna 🧚🏻‍♀️❤️🐝

  2. Julie Augustyn

    I loved how you shared the many traditions that people have regarding the holidays and fashion! I love you boots with the gold heels! So a fun touch!

  3. thestylesplash

    It’s fun to see so many different styles. I love the heels on your boots!

    Emma xxx
    Style Splash

  4. Angie

    Hi, Nicole – I love this imaginative account of Stylish Monday! What a 😮 surprise. Wow! Thanks for sharing the fun – Angie, Your True Self Blog

Comments are closed.