Holiday Ready: Cocktail, Business, and Casual Festive Attire

Ted Baker London Wrenti Sheer Sleeve Knit Body-Con DressHoliday Ready: Part 2- I know myself well enough by now to know that if I want to arrive at holiday parties in a good mood, I need to feel good and take care of myself (which is a whole slew of other things that could be an entire separate post, but you get my point -Ha!). Plus, when I feel good, the real me is there instead of the me that just feels “blah”. I am the me that can enjoy others, the me that feels comfortable in her own skin, the me God made me to be. I guess this is the other reason helping people get dressed makes me tick. As a stylist, I learned very quickly that helping people get dressed goes way beyond just the outfit. It’s also about the feelings behind the outfit. So I hope to help you with the feelings that follow the question of “does my outfit look good?” because the answer will be “YES”! And hopefully a feeling of excitement will follow!

We crossed formalwear of the list yesterday, so let’s talk cocktail, business, and casual attire festivities.

Ted Baker London Cadyee High Neck Embellished Sheath Dress

This dress is so festive! Do you know why?

Ted Baker London Cadyee High Neck Embellished Sheath DressDress: Ted Baker

It’s the pretty glitzy neckline! It screams holiday festivities! That got me thinking, what if we were to add a statement necklace to a few of the more simple dresses, like…
Felicity & Coco Seamed Pencil Dress (Regular & Petite) (Nordstrom Exclusive)Dress: Felicity & Coco

…this one! You may already have this dress hanging in your closet. I posted it two years ago (here). Or this one

Ted Baker London Wrenti Sheer Sleeve Knit Body-Con Dress
Dress: Ted Baker

…or any of these.


Talk about budget friendly! Just add a statement necklace to a dress you already have, or with one of these more simple dresses, for an instant holiday look. Plus, you can wear all of these dresses again and again just by changing the accessories up a bit!

Here are my favorite statement necklaces to pair with these simple dresses:


I hope right now you are thinking, “Ooooo, I could wear that dress with that necklace! That would look so pretty!” That’s what I’m thinking right now anyway. Ha!

As for business attire or casual holiday parties, to me there is nothing that says festive more than lace! Ok, maybe sequins, but I digress. A lace top is the perfect thing to add to an outfit for an instantly festive look. For business attire, you can pair any one of these tops with a skirt or pants. You can even wear it to work under a blazer! For more casual Christmas parties, you can pair these tops with black pants, black denim, or coated denim! And the easiest way to achieve a festive look? Wear a lacey top!  Viola!

Here are my favorite festive lace tops:

I hope your head is spinning with ideas of what you can wear to all of your festivities! There is nothing better than having something exciting on the calendar and already having something to wear hanging in your closet. The day of scramble can leave you frazzled for the night. Plus, there is nothing worse than paying way too much for something that is just OK because you had to run out and just buy whatever you could find.  That’s why when Nordstrom asked me to share women’s wear with you guys, I accepted. Most importantly, go with what you love and what you will feel most comfortable in. That’s what really matters! If you’re not sure, order your options to the house and return what you don’t like because Nordstrom has free shipping and returns! We all want to feel ourselves walking into these festivities! If you need formalwear, check out yesterday’s post.

Picture by Traci Ling

Dress in first picture from yesterdays post (here).

Holiday Ready: Effortless and Understated Formalwear

View More: http://traciling.pass.us/carlylee

One of my favorite things to do is help people get ready for parties. I think it’s because I envision them at the party feeling good in what they’re wearing, happy and enjoying themselves! That’s the kind of thing that makes me tick, and that’s why I usually beg them to take a picture of themselves and send it to me. When they do, it makes me all giddy. I can only imagine how Rachel Zoe feels when she sees her clients walk down the red carpet! All that to say, I thought I would try to do the same for you guys. What are we wearing the most during the holiday season? Dresses! We need them for formal, informal and cocktail occasions, and whatever your occasion, I have some great ideas for you! This is part 1 to get you holiday ready for formal events.Vera Wang Cowl Back Long Sleeve Gown

If you are needing formal attire, I have just the type of dress for you. I have always been a big fan of jersey material for formal gowns. Jersey gowns are neither stuffy nor glitzy, which means they land right in the middle at effortless and understated. Plus, they’re classic. They don’t feel like they’re trying too hard, and that is very appealing to me. I also like that they are distinctly not a “mother-of-the-bride” dress.

Vera Wang Cowl Back Long Sleeve Gown

I love the way jersey lays and gathers so beautifully. It’s almost like the fabric doesn’t try too hard either. DON’T LET THE FABRIC TURN YOU AWAY!!! Combined with the right foundational undergarments and perfectly placed ruching, it can be a knock out dress for so many. Trust me!!!! Do you guys remember this post about the dress I wore post partum, the one that disguises everything? It was a stretchy, jersey material! You can check out their stretch jersey line here and here.

Here are a few of my favorite jersey dresses:


Now to complete your jersey dress look, you’ll need some good Spanx (here and here). As for shoes, go with black suede pumps, and for a purse, go with a black clutch (preferably not leather).

Now, if you would like to make my freaking year, when you wear a jersey dress and you take a photo in it and post it on social media, please tag me and use #cstyleinspo. I want to see you looking fabulous! Please!!!

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