When do you think the festive season starts? I know some people put their Christmas trees up at the beginning of November, others hold off until the start of December and I think a lot of Americans wait until after Thanksgiving. For me, the festive season doesn’t start at a definite date, but is more of a feeling that grows gradually over a few weeks. Retailers start to put up their decorations, Christmas carols start to filter through shopping centre speakers, holidays films suddenly seem to be all over your television and it’s suddenly seasonally appropriate to watch Love Actually. Every. Weekend.
Of course, along with all of these changes comes the sudden ramp up in your social calendar – in warmer countries, it’s peak wedding season especially here in Aus where January and February so hot that lots of people avoid these months when wedding planning. You’ve got your work Christmas party, any parties for suppliers you work with, family gatherings, end of year ‘just because’ dinners – really, we’re just surfing the wave right on through until New Year’s Eve. So, you’re anything like me, you’re probably starting to think about what you’ll wear to all of these gatherings, especially given there’s probably going to be a mix of formal and casual occasions. Take Christmas Day for example – even though my family’s Christmas celebrations are always super casual, I usually like to have an easy dress to throw on that I still feel good in and can eat my body weight while wearing, and is easy to get in and out of for the afternoon dash to the pool. That said, I know some families (especially it seems, those in cooler climates) do a more formal holiday gathering. Or maybe you’ve just got a heap of parties to go to. Be it a Christmas Eve gathering or a racous Christmas Day with wrapping paper everywhere, a million people coming and going and a kitchen full of family members wandering in and out to ‘taste test’, or a simple meal with friends and family (by the pool, with plenty of prawns and champagne please), there’s something for everyone on this list. Additionally, any one of these dresses would also be a lush choice for New Year’s Eve, if you’re so inclined to be that organised!
The big trends for the season? Red, lace, embroidery, sleeve details… these trends transcend summer and winter and are across both season, in different fabrics and slightly different styles. So, here’s 28 party dresses for all climates and occasions.
A couple of notes: there’s a pretty big variance in budget here. The cool climate dresses are predominantly from USA based websites with international shipping (Shopbop & Nordstrom), while the warm climate dresses are largely from Australian based retailers. If you’re after a dress for a specific occasion within a specific price range, let me know – I love playing personal shopper (no but seriously – email me or fill in the contact page!)
One final note: keep an eye on my Holiday Outfits pinterest board as I add all these dresses, along with accessories to polish your outfit and other dreamy skirts, tops, dresses, jumpsuits, pants and so on that I’d love to wear during the holiday season.
Formal Dresses for Cold Climates (L-R):
Formal Dresses for Warm Climates
Casual Dresses for Cold Climates
Casual Dresses for Warm Climates