Academichic Style Workshop: Holiday Party Dressing

December 17th, 2010 § 22 comments

It’s that time of year again when holiday parties abound and seasonal social events give us the opportunity to break out the sparkles, satin, and sequins. However, tailoring an outfit to the appropriate formality of the gathering can be challenging. E., A., and L. decided to put together some outfits that could work for the holiday parties we’ll be attending (or at least imagining attending!).

Cocktails with Colleagues:

Cocktails with Colleagues, originally uploaded by academichic.

On E.:

  • Sweater: Banana Republic
  • Skirt: made from Wet Seal dress
  • Belt: thrifted
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden via DSW
  • Scarf: vintage store in Chattanooga

On L.:

  • Dress (as tunic): Sweetees
  • Pants: Anne Taylor
  • Belt: Betsey Johnson via Filene’s Basement
  • Shoes: Steve Madden via DSW

On A.:

  • Ruffle Tank: J Crew
  • Blazer: Express
  • Jeans: Banana Republic
  • Pumps: Seychelles
  • Brooch: Vintage Threads, etsy

Meeting up with friends is a more common event, but the holiday season is a great reason for jazzing up an outfit more than you might normally. As you can see, each of us is wearing a little more sparkle than usual. E. pairs her full black skirt and sweater with more dramatic lace tights and booties and tops it off with a golden scarf. L. takes her black ponte pants up a notch by wearing this grey and silver sequined dress as a tunic of sorts and a patent leather belt and heels complete the look. A. plays with textures and wears a rich velvet blazer over a ruffled shirt and denim jeans. Teal shoes add a little pop of color, and she uses a sparkly brooch to keep the blazer in place.

Party with Professors:

Party with Professors, originally uploaded by academichic.

On E.:

  • Blazer: Forever 21
  • Blouse: Forever 21
  • Skirt: Gap
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden

On L.:

  • Shirt: Banana Republic Outlet
  • Dress: Banana Republic
  • Belt: Betsey Johnson
  • Stockings: Calvin Klein via Filene’s Basement
  • Shoes: Steve Madden

On A.:

  • Shirt: Anne Taylor
  • Belt: F21
  • Skirt: Banana Republic
  • Tights: Target
  • Pumps: Steven Madden Girl

End Notes:
Cocktail parties with professors or bosses can be especially hard to navigate since the level of formality is ambiguous and outfits tend to be a little more conservative while also festive. Short skirts and low tops should probably be shelved in this situation, but style and fun need not be! E. uses a shirt with cascading ruffles and textured tights to accent her more structured black jacket and full crinkly navy skirt. A. too mixes black with navy pairing a more casual blue embellished T and tights with her black satin-banded skirt and shiny patent belt. L. breaks all the “rules” of redheaded style by wearing a bright red bubble dress. What you might not realize is that this dress is strapless, but belting a tailored black shirt over it makes this look more understated (and less prone to wardrobe malfunctions!).

Dinner with Donors:

Dinner with Donors, originally uploaded by academichic.

On A.:

  • Dress: J. Crew (customized by E.)
  • Belt: sister’s closet
  • Tights: BR Factory Store
  • Pumps: Madden Girl via DSW
  • Necklace: borrowed from E.

On L.:

  • Dress: vintage (thrifted)
  • Belt: Betsey Johnson
  • Stockings: Calvin Klein
  • Shoes: Steve Madden
  • Necklace: gift

On E.:

  • Dress: Banana Republic
  • Belt: borrowed from A.
  • Tights: Target
  • Booties: Steve Madden

End Notes:
While we don’t often have reason to dress up to this extent, it is still fun to imagine going to a holiday fete at a museum or dinner at the chancellor’s house. A. “winterizes” the beautiful (and customized!) dress she wore to her autumn wedding party by adding grey tights, a black belt with sparkly buckle, and black patent shoes. A statement necklace of several strands of grey beads draws attention to the lovely neckline of the dress as well. E. also plays with a dramatic neckline in this one-shouldered satiny magenta dress. Geometric textured tights, booties, and a simple belt add more structured elements to the delicate and diaphanous material of the dress. L. embraces the 2010 trends of jewel tones and lace in this vintage sapphire colored dress layered with shimmering lace. A wide patent belt creates a defined waist, and a simple necklace accentuates the scooped neckline while highlighting her collarbone.

As always, we don’t pretend to be experts on this! What will you be wearing to your holiday parties this year?

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§ 22 Responses to Academichic Style Workshop: Holiday Party Dressing"

  1. Jeni says:

    Love all the outfits, esp how E. wore the same booties for all the outfits. They look super cute and comfy!

  2. Vicky Yang says:

    You are all very creative. Love your outfits for different occasions.

  3. notmensa says:

    You ladies look wonderful!! I love your wardrobes, your attitudes, your super chic styles. What an inspiration!

  4. It’s so much fun to see y’all in pictures together! I sometimes forget that you’re actually all in the same place. You must have had a ball playing holiday dress-up…and you look great, as always!

    We don’t have a department party for my program (I think to many of us a drowning beneath piles of grading), but I have a holiday party with my husband’s physician’s team this week. Still deliberating the outfit–but you guys have given me some good ideas!

  5. angie~* says:

    lovely outfits! but why isn’t the xmas tree decorated? it looks a little sad and naked with no decoration!

  6. Dee says:

    Thanks! I love this! And it’s great to see the 3 of you together.

  7. Sara says:

    Hah, I was just about to post the same comment as Dee :P

  8. Eunice says:

    Great post! Lovely outfits and wonderful photography.

  9. MONKEYFACE says:

    Ladies, I love this! It’s always fun to see you together and the varying degrees of holiday partywear is just fantastic. I totally want to attend a dinner with donors and you guys :)

  10. I love all your different styles and tastes! Such gorgeous outfits.

  11. Secret Squirrel says:

    It’s so lovely to see you all together, as well as giving me some good ideas…

  12. Em says:

    Great post! Enjoyed all of the various outfits and the details to achieve the looks.

  13. Fun photos and great outfits. I especially love the ensemble with jeans and velvet blazer. What is it about a glammed up pair of jeans that just makes my heart sing?

  14. Rachael says:

    Great points to consider about the right way to dress for each situation!

  15. Amy says:

    Gorgeous, ladies! Love seeing how three of you with diverse body types and styles craft your holiday looks. You look straight out of a Real Simple spread or something!

    Although I love all your looks, I think L really shines here. I can tell how all three of you love “playing dress-up”, as it were. Sounds like a great Saturday afternoon!

  16. Christina says:

    I LOOOOOVVVEEEE all of your looks :). Dressing up for the holidays is one of my favourite things to do (even if I have nowhere special to go!). I especially love L’s cocktail outfit and all of the donor’s dinner outfits. I like seeing more colour during the winter, so kudos!

  17. [...] actually did go to a party with professors this weekend! But after already photographing some holiday party looks, the shine had worn off a [...]

  18. Hope J says:

    For today’s office holiday party, I’ve got a metallic-y brocade-y gold/white skirt with a black wool blazer, black tights, black patent heels and some vintage gold chains. For the casual colleague gathering after work, I’m going to switch the blazer for a black turtleneck and the heels for black knee-high boots, but keep everything else.

  19. Darcie says:

    I agree with Amy about L shining in these pics. I don’t usually identify with her style but she looks fantastic in these!

  20. wendy says:

    You gals (I’m Canadian, we say things like that..)look so terrific!!!
    Many moons ie: 5 sons ago I was a doctoral student at Cornell and then taught at college. Seeing you in your wonderful outfits brings back alot of memories. Merry Christmas to all!!

  21. Iris says:

    I love all the outfits you came up with! You look lovely :)

  22. [...] to L.’s heart. L. finished the year with a trip back to Academichic Central (to shoot the Holiday Party Dressing post and really just for a visit with friends!) and is looking forward to more blogging in [...]

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