Unless you’ve got the kind of friends who plan winter shindigs during summer (which sounds stressful), holiday party invites typically start rolling in right after Thanksgiving. Yep, just when you were about to bless your food baby with a name, suddenly you’ve got to turn around and slip into something fun, festive, and most important, something that STILL FITS.
Since drooling over pretty clothes is basically our job (OK, it’s totally our job), we went ahead and did some of the frock-shopping grunt work for you. Behold! Holiday dresses at plenty of price points and in several different styles: short cocktail attire, gowns, and long-sleeve minis. Belly on up to the fireplace with a cool glass of eggnog (or, like, a Pumpkin Spice Latte) and check out some of our favorite picks below!
SHORT COCKTAIL ATTIRE
Photo: ASOS/Pixie Market
Whether you’re going barelegged with peep-toes or pairing it with tights and a chunky heel, each of these cocktail dresses will definitely snag you a smooch under the mistletoe. Show off your stems in a structured cap-sleeve number from River Island ($109), which boasts a stunning, metallic jacquard snake pattern and a super futuristic feel. But if you’d rather look to the past for inspiration, the plaid print on this red and black sleeveless shift dress ($79) is perfect for embracing your inner-’90s grunge girl. The delicate lace trimming and the open V-back amp up the sexiness factor of this day-to-night piece, which would look just as killer with Doc Martens as it would with platform pumps. And, OK, yes, we pretty much love everything leather right now—but the silver and bronze studded details on this black strapless dress ($94) really seal the deal.
Photo: Topshop/Nasty Gal/ASOS/Nordstrom
Oh, you fancy, huh? It’s not every day you get an excuse to wear a long gown, so you might as well make the most of it with a bold print or unexpected texture. Like this tea-length midi dress from Topshop ($72), for example: It’s black velvet with a jersey stretch, covered in a TON of gold, red, and pink glittery leaves. SO FUN. Or, take your velvet crush (heh) to the next level with this silver, double-slit maxi ($218). It’s got a little bit of give at the waist (your food baby thanks you) and adjustable criss-cross straps (#options). Bright, slinky, and covered in sequins, we’re getting some major Greaty Gatsby vibes from this floral, art deco gown ($317). Finally, if you’re ballin’ on a budget but still need to look like a million bucks, this racer-back snake print find ($20) is on serious sale (no shade)—but there’s only one size left so GO NOW!
Photo: Nasty Gal/Pixie Market
It IS December, despite what California thinks, and aside from providing a little extra warmth, each of these dresses will have something that sets you apart from the crowd: SLEEVES! The more (fabric), the merrier, amirite? Just don’t dance TOO hard, because there’s not a whole lot of underarm ventilation going on. We can’t take our eyes off of this metallic sequined floral mini ($110). It’s got the feel of a vintage find, and TBH, it’s just, like, really, really pretty. We’re also digging the surprising appeal of the bubble sleeves on this LBD from Pixie Market ($78). Bubble sleeves usually recall Renaissance Fair paupers and maids, but the half-lace, semi-sheer top makes a typically heavy arm look a lot more delicate. Last but not least, you’ll be feeling all KINDS of festive when people start putting presents at your feet in this green sequined stunner ($98). BTW, the multiple layers of sequins on this dress change color in the light, too—which basically means you’ll be one badass walking Christmas tree. But without all the pine needle sheddings and stuff.