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Holiday Dresses

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The hunt is on for the perfect holiday dress, but if you're like me the hunt started several weeks ago... Also, if you're like me you are completely torn between several dresses, most of which you can't afford. So, I thought I'd give my advice on holiday dress hunting because it can be painful if you don't know what you're looking for, especially with the holidays coming up, which is a stressful season as is.

Basic Tips:

  • Do NOT go Black Friday shopping with the intent on trying on thousands of dresses. This system doesn't work; you'll feel rushed and buy whatever you can find. Instead, I suggest perusing the mall or online beforehand and picking out a dress, that way you can get in and get it out, if you are a Black Friday Shopper (which I am not).
  • Do NOT procrastinate. Try to purchase a holiday dress in early November (I understand it's a little late, though. My bad), that way it's ready and waiting in your closet by the time Christmas season rolls around. So, instead of hunting down a dress, you can be hunting down Christmas gifts or accessories to go with the dress instead. 

First Step: look at your schedule. Try to gauge what type of parties you're going to be attending that way it will be easier to pick out a dress. The way I see it, there are three types of dresses for holiday parties. Invest in a dress that will get you through most of them. And remember, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed.

1).  Informal Ensemble 
I imagine this type of dress to be for a family party, where you want to look nice, but not too overdone. After all, they're your family.  The best type to go for are shirt dresses that can be very flattering. Make sure it has sleeves because of the informality. Sleeveless and spaghetti strap dresses are usually reserved for a formal soiree, but not always. Here, is what I found:
The shirt dress from American Eagle is a beautiful holiday dress appropriate for an informal get together. It's in a jewel tone, which is appropriate for the holidays. I would suggest pairing it with tights and maybe boots or flats, depending on how daring you're feeling.
The sweater dress from Delias is really fun and playful. It's perfect for a family party. Again, I would suggest wearing tights and flats with it. 

2). Sophisticated with Style
This type I would suggest for something a little more formal. Maybe if you're meeting your boyfriend's family over the holiday. Or maybe a work party (depending on where you work, of course). Look for an hour glass silhouette and something maybe sleeveless, but not strapless.

Although, I'm  not sure what's going on in this picture, I quite enjoy the dress. It is from Nordstom and it's very stylish, but simple, which is really what you're looking for. And the peplum gives it that sophistication you need. I would wear a kitten heel with this and maybe some plain black tights. 

This is one of my favorite dresses from Delias. I'm simply taken by it. And it has a really flattering silhouette while maintaining modesty. I think it's beautiful and would be perfect with black heels.

3). A Party Party
I wasn't exactly sure how to phrase this last one, obviously. What I mean by this is a party that you want to look dressed up and young and fun. A party with your friends or a party where you're looking to stand out.
Although, I'm not a huge proponent of sequins, this would be an appropriate time to employ them if they are in your wardrobe/arsenal.

This is probably my favorite all sequin dress that I've found. It's from Kohl's in Lauren Conrad's collection. This would work perfectly, it's a good length and the neutral color of the dress means you can whatever color heel you choose.
This tank dress from American Eagle is really perfect. It's beaded, yet formal and would make a good party dress.

Ghost of Holiday Dresses Past:

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