Right around this time of year, you’re probably finding your inbox (and Insta feed) inundated with Christmas party outfit ideas – which if I was to hazard a guess, are pretty much all about sequins. Really… Sequins for the festive season? Ground breaking.
Now, before I’m accused of being a party season Grinch, let me preface this by saying I have been known to wear the odd disco-ball inspired look around this time of year. But, when it comes to party dressing and alternative christmas party outfits I want to stand out – which is surprisingly hard to do in sequins, when everyone else is wearing a variation of the theme.
Not to mention, if your style tends to fall more on the minimalist side, sequins probably won’t quite fit your less is more taste. And then there is the environmental impact of the seemingly innocuous small, sparkly bits that cover our festive wear; most sequins are made from petroleum plastics and synthetic resin, which are both toxic to produce and pretty much non-recyclable. And when you consider that that sequin dress you’re considering wearing for new years eve will at best, sit in your wardrobe for the vast majority of the year unworn, or at worst be turfed out to sit in a landfill after one wear, it puts a bit of a dampener on the festive spirit.
More party season inspiration:
- The 5 Christmas party-approved dresses you NEED this festive season
- Sequin season is here – here are the best styles to buy before they sell out
- 35 statement jewellery pieces that’ll add all the sparkle this party season
That’s not to say you shouldn’t find something glam to wear to celebrate the upcoming party season, so – whether for environmental, personal style reasons, or perhaps a bit of both – you’ll be glad to know I’ve rounded up the best sequin-free alternative christmas party outfits for a stylish silly season and beyond.
All about velvet
As festive as sequins, but slightly more understated (and thankfully, less ubiquitous) opting for a velvet look this party season is a chic alternative to sparkles. The lushness of the fabric lends itself well to jewel tones like cranberry and emerald; this ruched mini dress is an excellent case in point.
If those tones feel a bit too lady of the manor for you, there are lighter hues too, like this pale pink top which would contrast beautifully with a silk skirt. Otherwise opt for a slightly embellished velvet dress (worry not, no sequins in sight) like this Mango style – just add platform heels and you’re party ready.
The little black dress
Just because we’re entering the silly season of christmas party outfit ideas, it doesn’t mean classics have to be put aside until the new year. A simple, but chic little black dress will *always* have you on the best-dressed list.
If you don’t already have an LBD in your wardrobe or are looking to add another one to your collection (can you ever have too many?), brands have stepped up their offerings with twists on this style that are anything but boring. From huge bows to embellished necklines, this seasons LBDs are fun, playful and perfect for a party – or 10. Change up your styling for each festive event – like a pair of art deco earrings or colourful shoes – and you’ll have a dress that can take you through the festive season and beyond.
The party suit
If you’re wanting to ensure your partywear has a life outside of festive season, look no further than investing in a party suit. An eye-catching two piece is an effortless way to put a modern, androgynous spin on festive wear; then come the end of party season, wear the trousers and blazer separately with your wardrobe basics (jumpers, slip dresses, tees) to extend its wear.
But what makes a suit party-appropriate? It’s all about fabric choice – swap your cotton 2-piece for a suit in satin, velvet or brocade and you’ll be guaranteed to make an entrance. Another reason to love a party suit? It’s an ideal look if you’re double booked (as inevitably happens over festive season); wear yours with a silk cami to your office party, and when you head out with the girls swap the cami out for a lace bralette, or if you dare, go bare under your blazer.
Feathery finishing touches for an alternative christmas party outfit
In the past couple of years, feather adorned pieces have evolved from fancy dress into a wardrobe staple for dressy nights out. And whilst an outfit with feathery finishing touches might not be suited to die hard minimalists, it’s a look that’s decidedly less in your face than sequins – but just as much fun.
Silk and feather PJs have been a favourite of influencers for a few seasons now and aren’t going anywhere, so if you haven’t yet, now is the perfect time to invest in a pair for a christmas party outfit idea. But if you’re after something a little different, you’ll find feather finished dresses, tops and jumpsuits aplenty on the high street.
Dare to go bare
Barely covered with a layer of tulle, lace or mesh, skin baring looks have reached new heights this season; along with classic styles like sheer sleeves and mesh cut-outs, the high street has taken inspiration from designers like Saint Laurent and adopted sheer trousers and see-through dresses. Although it’s not a look for the faint hearted, you can still keep your look *somewhat* covered up for alternative christmas party outfits; for mesh trousers, team them with an oversized black blazer that covers your derriere.
When it comes to a sheer dress, it’s all about getting your underwear right – a great pair of high waisted knickers and matching bra are almost as important as the dress itself. And if it all feels a little too risqué for you, just a touch of sheerness like the sleeves of this River Island dress will still look on trend.