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What to Wear to Two Different Types of Holiday Party

Outfits for a celebration peppered with champagne-laden silver plates or spent bouncing between dive bars.

Chandler Bondurant

The holidays are here. So, before you ring in the new year with pomp and prosecco, you want to prepare with a 'fit of cosmic proportions befitting yet another trip around the Sun.

While the festivities are universal, the parties you attend are not. Show up tux’d to your local dive or thrashed tee, socks and ‘stocks to the black-tie benefit dinner and you’ll win bragging rights for the next decade for Worst Missed Memo. That’s why we’ve thought up two different outfits for two different holiday celebrations.

Whether it’s a soiree with silver plates of champagne weaving through well-to-dos or a dinner-and-drinks shindig with close friends, use these get-ups for inspiration — they’re certified foolproof. Better yet, they present formulas for success. No, you can't buy the exact same outfit, but you can put together one like it.

The Formal Party

What to Wear: A weatherproof overcoat to protect your textured blazer, contrasting sweater, smart slacks and serious shoes.

how to dress
Sunglasses: Jacques Marie Mage, Jacket: Auralee, Blazer: De Petrillo, Sweater: NN07, Pants: AMI, Shoes: Mr P.
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      You are probably not going to an actual black-tie event. But if you are, then all you need is a tux, a white dress shirt, a black tie and black dress shoes. For the rest of us going to less prestigious yet still formal family celebrations, there’s more room to play. The formal flexibility is nice but can leave you prone to choice paralysis. So keep it simple and don’t think about it too much.

      Black dress trousers give a solid foundation that can go any number of directions. A single pleat lends itself well to dressier occasions. You might be tempted to go with an oversimplified recipe of a white dress shirt and a tie, but remember, it’s still a party.

      Toss some sauce on it and have some fun. Swap the button up for a sweater like a turtleneck, the MSG of winter garments. It’s got no room for a tie but still dresses up an outfit. From there, don a patterned sportcoat for garnish and you’ve got a winning dish. Trust — the fashion landscape has shifted and the concept of “formal” has eroded. And just because you’ll hang your coat up as soon as you arrive at the scene (a fashionable 15 minutes late) doesn’t mean you should wear a Patagonia fleece with it. Couple your dressed-up duds with a classic long coat.


        how to dress
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        The Casual Party

        Chinos, because jeans are, well, too casual, a sweater (not a sweatshirt), a smarter trucker and lace-up leather shoes.
        how to dress
        Jacket: Mr P., Sweater: Emma Willis, T-Shirt: Sunspel, Pants: Auralee, Shoes: Mr P.
        Gear Patrol

        Your friends invited you over to their place for a cute little dinner. Sure, it’s casual and there will be boozy bevs, but it’s not necessarily a rager. You’re asked to bring a sacrifice (some kind of dish or a bottle of wine, just not a casserole). The TV will be playing the ball drop. The key here is comfy but still nice.

        To start, a pair of khaki chinos. They aren’t quite as casual as blue jeans but they also can’t be mistaken for being too formal. Grab a comfy sweater, maybe a cable knit because you’re, like, fancy. Whatever it is, make sure it’s not a sweatshirt. Think merino wool or cashmere. Any color will do since the chinos are neutral.

        Toss on a chore coat over that for added texture and because it’s cold outside. Really, anything with an inside pocket for a flask in the event that the party sucks. For the feet, some classic white sneakers will do or a pair of moccasins if you’d rather avoid getting pinot on your Air Force 1’s.



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