This year, the holidays are different. In all fairness, curfews and quarantines easily damper the mood. However, throwing all festive dressing ambitions out the window would be downright disheartening. Elegant velvet, glittering sequins, and shimmering metallic fabrics still very much deserve seasonal recognition, but rather than on a party circuit, on-point party-at-home outfits are more like it. If anything, dressing up is crucial for maintaining a cheery disposition, especially in a year like 2020. Some great news: This season’s offerings are plenty spirited, but the challenge is striking the perfect balance between comfort and glamour that feels right at home.
If you’re itching to dress up and embrace the holiday season’s signature sparkle and shine, keeping personal style in mind is important — it’s so easy to feel swayed by a dazzling dress or embellished pair of heels when perusing the latest offerings. For some, that’s a totally on-brand look. But if it’s not something you can see yourself wearing regularly, it’s wiser to seek out luxe items — like a cashmere knit or liquid silk slip — that befit your day-to-day taste. These types of pieces are guaranteed to be more versatile in your wardrobe, but at the same time, they’re the perfect anchor to glitzier items and bring an element of ease when you’re hanging at home.
Wherever you lie on the celebratory scale this year, ahead, get inspired by 10 party-at-home outfits fashion stylists, buyers, designers, and boutique owners are embracing this season. From full-on festive to cheerfully cozy, you’re sure to discover a formula to perfectly suit your aesthetic. Plus, an edit to shop if you’re ready to buy.
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The Party-At-Home Outfit: A Stretch Suit + Simple Beauty
“After the year we’ve had, I absolutely want to take the opportunity to get dressed to celebrate, but it will likely be via video-conferencing or with small gatherings at home, so I’m adding a healthy dose of comfort to my looks. Think: stretch everything and not a heel in sight,” Lauren Chan, founder and CEO of Henning, tells TZR. For parties with friends, Chan will lean on a stretch-satin tuxedo or suit with a slicked-back bun and a red lip.
The Party-At-Home Outfit: Luxe Loungewear + Sparkly Earrings + Socks
For relaxed moments like a family FaceTime gift exchange, Chan says a cashmere loungewear set will be her cozier go-to, with sparkly earrings and super-plush socks in the mix.
The Party-At-Home Outfit: Pajamas + A Cardigan + Slides
Natalie Kingham, fashion and buying director at MATCHESFASHION’s, is all for elevated comfort for time — be it virtual or otherwise — with family and friends. “On Christmas Day, I’ll be wearing something comfortable to relax in that still feels elegant,” she says, citing silk pajamas from Asceno, a Christopher Kane crystal-embellished cardigan, and a pair of satin slides from Carlotha Ray. “It’s a great excuse to buy a few new pieces that I know I will continue to wear throughout next year.”
The Party-At-Home Outfit: Knitwear + Glitzy Jewelry
To effortlessly style playful, bold jewelry this season, Kingham likes opposition, recommending a beautiful and cozy piece of knitwear with statement jewels.
The Party-At-Home Outfit: A Glamorous Dress + Heels
“I do feel ready to dress up again. I think it’s great for the spirit to be able to put on a dress and heels even if you are staying at home,” says Kingham. For New Year’s Eve, the fashion and buying director favors all-out glamour, such as a sequin dress (her favorite is this striped number by Ashish) or a bold boot like Harris Reed’s glitter and patent-leather platforms. “I think due to the current climate and what we have all been wearing around our homes, it’s easy to forget that fashion is also about bringing joy and having fun.”
The Party-At-Home Outfit: A Festive Top + A Skirt + Boots
“This year, I plan on being the queen of festiveness," stylist Courtney Madison tells TZR. "I usually travel to somewhere tropical over the holidays, so this will be my first holiday season in my own house. I’m planning on going all out and dressing up the house and myself.” Highlighting balance as the key to at-home holiday dressing, she says, “No one wants to be uncomfortable at home. My trick is party on top and comfort on the bottom. You want to look festive and fabulous in pictures but comfortable enough to eat and maybe even sit and play with the kids on the floor.” Her planned outfit? A dramatic top in a festive hue with a metallic skirt and knee-high boots. “Maybe even a bow or ribbon in my hair. It will be like bringing my childhood photos to life.”
The Party-At-Home Outfit: A Monochromatic Sweater and Skirt + Low Heels + A Cuff
“I think people are going to be secretly excited to get a bit glitzy for the holidays at home this year, but they won’t stray far from the comfort that’s become a key part of everyday dressing,” Coeli Hilferty, a cofounder of the New Orleans-based boutique Pilot and Powell, tells TZR. “At-home celebrations are going to be the perfect excuse to splurge on something that you’ve had your eye on during lockdown or to pull out a special piece that’s been neglected during the pandemic.”
Hilferty says her go-to formula this season will be an elevated play on the grey sweatpant-and-sweatshirt sets and jersey tees that became ubiquitous during quarantine. “A slouchy grey midi-length skirt by Isabel Marant has my name on it, paired back to its matching turtleneck.” To accompany the monochrome look? A pair of sandals with a low heel and colorful chunky cuffs. “I find wearing earrings with my mask cumbersome, the boutique owner adds.
The Party-At-Home Outfit: A Long Dress + Luxe Flats
“When the traditional reasons to get dressed up become obsolete, getting dressed up becomes the reason, no? True elegance comes from an effortless attitude, so this holiday season, I will meld comfort with luxe for a relaxed but vibrant approach to stay home style,” Pilot and Powell cofounder Kathryn Bullock says. “I love the ease of a long column dress in an artful print paired back to a flat in a rich texture, like satin or shearling. Elevate the overall aesthetic by adding a waist-cinching belt or a glamorous gilet. It’s all about the finishing touches!”
The Party-At-Home Outfit: Coordinating Knitwear + Jeans + Pumps + Gold Jewelry
“This season, there’s definitely a tendency toward comfy at-home looks while still adding a bit of glam with knit dresses and plunging necklines or an open back,” Tiffany Hsu, mytheresa’s fashion buying director, tells TZR, highlighting the retailer’s capsule in collaboration with Khaite, set to launch on November 18. “[It] includes beautiful festive stay-at-home looks. The cashmere-cardigan-and-bra combo is one of my favorites. I will wear it with denim for comfort, chunky gold jewelry, and my Amina Muaddi pumps for a bit of fun. I like the mix of dressing down but making it glam at the same time.”
The Party-At-Home Outfit: A Mini Dress + Tights + Loafers
Fashion influencer and creative director for ROTATE Birger Christensen, Thora Valdimars, says, “I’m a single mom, so Christmas and New Year’s Eve is spent at home with my son and my family. My parents always told my sister and me to dress up, no matter what. We’ve always loved pretty dresses and beautiful shoes, and we will do that this year as well.” This year, her party-at-home formula will be about mixing aesthetics, combining a feminine mini dress with pretty stockings and masculine loafers. “It looks so cool. The loafers won’t ruin the floors, so perfect for home,” she says.