Fashionably Festive: 5 Classic Looks We Love for the Holidays

L to R: Leslie Howard, Norma Shearer, Gary Cooper and Lionel Barrymore. Norma sparkles during the Christmas Eve party given by Cooper at his home in 1933, Hollywood. Photo: Bettmann/Getty Images

Chic hostess pyjamas to sharp evening suits, it’s time to break out the velvet and sequins for some much welcome holiday high glam.


1. The Elegant Evening Suit


Fashionably Festive
Charlotte Rampling, Berlin, Feb. 14, 2019. Photo: JöRg Carstensen/DPA via ZUMA Press/The Canadian Press


This timeless look takes its cue from Yves Saint Laurent’s Le Smoking tuxedo and, truly, nothing is chicer. Black or navy, silk or velvet, if there were ever a sartorial splurge to gift yourself with, this classic is it. Holiday parties, formal events, opening night at the opera, dinner at the hottest high-end restaurant in town, it will never let you down. Pair it with a slinky camisole, silk blouse, or nothing at all. Just add high heels


2. The Hostess Pyjama


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Model Karolina Kurkova, Miami Beach, Nov. 30, 2016. Photo: Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Perrier-Jouet


If you’re the hostess with the mostest, enjoy home entertaining in the comfort of luxury loungewear. Fabric is the key here, find something wow. You can’t lose with a striking chinoiserie print. This will also do nicely. You can have the arms tailored to bracelet length, which allows you to glam it up with an armload of striking bangles, while keeping it conveniently cuff-free for candle lighting, drink mixing and other hostess activities. It’s low to no heels with this ensemble, kitten-heeled mules or cozy velvet slippers. 


3. The Caftan


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Portrait of an unidentified model, dressed in an African-inspired kaftan, New York, 1980s. Photo: Anthony Barboza/Getty Images


Bohemian glam that complements all figures, you’ll find countless affordable options online. Spangle it with bracelets, ropes of beads, and drop earrings. Given the cut of the sleeve, you’ll need a winter wrap, not a coat. Added bonus: The full length means no one will see the shoes you’re wearing, so you don’t need to suffer all night in three-inch ‘statement’ stilettos.


4. The Little Black Dress


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Naomi Campbell arrives at a London Fashion Week cocktail party, February 2006. Photo: Tim Whitby/WireImage/Getty Images


Available in endless variations, the LBD is a classic for a reason. Assess your best qualities. Are you showcasing great legs or looking for a fluttering, thigh-forgiving full skirt? A boat neck that accents the collar bone, or deep décolletage? Having found the cut that truly flatters, the wow here comes with ornamentation. The dress as the backdrop, you can pile on the chandelier earrings, statement cuffs, a beaded choker … Best of all, a splash of red wine from a jostled wine glass will never ruin your evening.


5. Glitter Girl


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Fashion stylist Tina Leung wears a gold sequinned t-shirt during Paris Fashion Week, Oct. 04, 2021. Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images


Nothing says holiday fête like sequins. Dress, jacket, or kimono, to side pieces like clutches, or a slim scarf looped around the neck, paillettes catch the light and are always fabulously festive.