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Which Cute Holiday Dresses Satisfy The “Festive Attire” Dress Code

When you receive an invitation to a holiday party with the dress code stipulating “festive attire,” what does that mean? The variables that can play into the interpretation are many. 

An attendee will need to consider the sort of event being celebrated, its venue, when it’s being held, the guest list, and whether the hosts were the ones to invite you personally. Festive to some can mean the ugly Christmas sweater or breaking out the light-up Rudolph socks. 

Others might believe it means sequins and boas for the office holiday bash, probably not the understated look HR might have in mind. If you need more clarification on the definition, it’s time to go shopping at your favorite boutique; go here so stylists can give you insight on dressing for this occasion.

Let’s look more in-depth at this unique dress code, see if we can decipher a universal meaning, and how you can dress in different scenarios.

What Will You Wear To Your Next Holiday Event With A Festive Attire Dress Code

Festive attire essentially tells guests they should avoid coming to the party in a t-shirt and jeans. Ladies might consider a cute cocktail dress in a vibrant color. A priority in this scenario is knowing the hosts.

If a friend of a friend has invited you, it will be a little more challenging to know what kind of vibe the host is going for. If the host personally asked you, you’ll have more insight into the party’s direction, allowing you a better sense of how to prepare your wardrobe. Consider these suggestions in different scenarios.

Are you familiar with the host’s personality

When you open an invitation from someone you know personally, you get an immediate instinct as to the sort of personality or vibe that will go into the event. If the individual is usually someone who sends limos to pick guests up and sweeps them away to an elaborate hall for a ball-like extravaganza, a white-tie event will come to mind.

That will mean you’ll be looking through your favored boutique for the ultimate evening gown with a bit of shimmer and pizzaz since it is the holiday. For Christmas, deep burgundy, rich emerald greens, or even navys are sophisticated options. 

Shimmery golds, silvers, and even white will ring in the year with style for New Year’s. Find out the most popular Christmas party dress colors at https://espnswfl.com/listicle/most-popular-christmas-party-dress-colors/.

Read the invitation carefully

If the words are cut and dry, like “wear these colors” or “do not wear this,” you’ll know precisely what the host means by festive attire. If, however, the invitation appears to be written in code, look for adjectives to describe the clothing preferences.

Perhaps the evening’s attire is supposed to be “cool, dressed-down, laid-back.” In that case, you can assume you can be more casual with your appearance.

If the invitation mentions “evening, your finest or best,” you should dress formally. And if you need help understanding the code, call the host and ask them what they expect with the dress code. That way, you don’t appear awkwardly dressed compared to everyone else.

A casual gathering means you can dress comfortably for you

Casual parties like a house party, dinner with friends, a simple social gathering, or maybe a Secret Santa party are scenarios where you can keep it comfortable, casual, and cute. In this situation, it’s okay to wear a simple cable knit sweater dress with a thick cowl neck in a vibrant color. 

Usually, when you’re invited out for a party or social gathering, you want to take it up a notch from jeans. These are specific for errands, shopping, or relaxing at home or a friend’s house, not for a celebratory event.

What about a soiree

A soiree can be considered a cocktail party; instead of dinner with friends, you have a dinner party or a black-tie celebration. These events involve dressing to the nines, including full-length gowns with sequins and luxurious fabrics like velvet in brilliant tones.

The topper, when dressing to impress, is adding a distinct heel to highlight the dress. Not everyone is comfortable in heels, and that’s okay too. Wide variations of sophisticated shoes can show off a beautiful gown without toppling you over.

The office holiday party

These can be casual or dressed up, depending on when the business leader decides to have the celebration. In most cases, the employer chooses off company hours so staff can enjoy themselves away from the office and often allows family or significant others to tag along.

When held in venues away from the office, it’s usually an event where you opt for a semi-formal or cocktail dress, ensuring that you follow company protocol regarding modesty.

If held in the office, probably after working hours, you can either wear a somewhat dressier outfit to work or change into a dress after the day is done. 

Final Thought

When in doubt about a dress code, it’s wise to contact the host for clarification to avoid the awkwardness of showing up in the wrong attire. Invitations can sometimes be misinterpreted or are exceptionally vague, as with “festive attire.”

There can be many ways to decipher that code, some of which involve an ugly Christmas sweater.

One suggestion from stylists who are in the know, if you’re ever unable to reach the host before the soiree and are unsure what to make of the dress code, always go for being overdressed rather than too casual.

It’s much easier to shed a few layers (maybe cover up one or two) to dress down a “too dressy” look than it is to clean up a “just woke up” look. 

The little black dress is a favored secret weapon that will never fail at any event. 

These fit everywhere, any time of the day. If you have a sudden unexpected meeting, slip a blazer over the top to make it a little more professional on the work front. 

Everyone should have a couple of these in the closet. Click here to learn if you can wear a black dress for a holiday party.