20 Editor-Approved Holiday Party Dresses for Every Event On Your List

'Tis the season for being a bit extra.
Woman wearing black sequin holiday party dress with glass of champagne and confetti
Photo: Prostock-studio / Shutterstock
carli brennan headshot
Carli Brennan
carli brennan headshot
Carli Brennan
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Carli writes freelance fashion articles for The Knot.
  • Prior to The Knot, she was the style section editor at Her Campus Media and launched the Fashion Institute of Technology chapter of Her Campus.
  • Carli’s passion for the wedding industry stems from her time as a bridal consultant and her previous internship in a bridal showroom.
Updated Dec 04, 2023
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'Tis the season for holiday party dressing. The onset of holiday parties means picking out the perfect holiday party dresses — but, no two holiday parties are the same. The dress code of your event will play a huge role in your holiday party dress. Think glamorous sequins and bows for a fancy soiree or a rich velvet dress for a work event. Festive colors like evergreen, cranberry, and metallics are always a safe bet when it comes to holiday party dresses. Brands like Free People, Anthropologie, and Lulus are some of our favorites for special holiday party outfits.

Whether you're headed to a work holiday party, a holiday wedding, or a holiday date night, we've got you covered with our 21 editor-approved holiday party dresses. Just prepare for an endless stream of compliments all night long.

In this article:

How to Dress for a Holiday Party

Choosing a holiday party dress is a bit different than choosing any other party dress because the holiday season comes with its own set of special styles and festive details. Think about holiday dress shopping as a kid — the same rules apply! You'll want to choose something that you feel comfortable and that feels like you, but elevated for the holiday season.

Festive details like tartan, bows, and sparkle are always in style. The same goes for classic holiday colors like red, green, or black. If your style leans more classic, you can opt for a timeless black dress with festive accessories, like bow adorned high heels and a swipe of red lipstick.

Tips for Choosing a Holiday Party Dress

Choosing a special holiday party dress is a bit more nuanced than your everyday dress. The holiday season brings with it plenty of sparkle and tinsel galore that you can — and should — incorporate into your holiday party look. But, that doesn't mean you have to abandon your personal sense of style. Look for holiday-inspired pieces that still feel true to you and what you feel best in. After all, confidence will shine through no matter what you're wearing!

  • Lean Into the Theme

There are so few occasions in life to dress up, so why not go all out? The holiday season is full of festive details you can incorporate into your holiday party look. Whether you go with a bow motif, festive tartan plaid, or sparkling sequins, there's no such thing as too much for holiday party dresses. Go big or go home!

  • Keep Dress Code in Mind

Holiday parties can run the gamut when it comes to dress codes. Make sure you communicate with the holiday party host about the dress code beforehand so you know what to wear. The last thing you want is to show up to an ugly sweater party in a fancy gown or vice versa.

  • Accessorize

Even the most simple dress can be jazzed up for a holiday party given the right accessories. A festive bow earring or a swipe of red lipstick can do wonders. If you prefer to invest in wardrobe staples you can wear time and time again, lean into fun accessories to inject some holiday cheer into the look.

Holiday Cocktail Dresses

Choosing the perfect Christmas cocktail dress can be so much fun! The holiday season is one of the few times you can go all out with sparkles, bows, and drama, so we suggest you pull out all of the stops for your next holiday party!

Free People Night Gaze Mini

Mini black sequin holiday party dress
Photo: Free People

Nothing says "festive" quite like allover sequins. This flirty mini from Free People is just as versatile as your favorite LBD but twice as glamorous!

Size range: XS-XL

Saylor Canter Dress

Black textured puff sleeve holiday party mini dress
Photo: Saylor

This sweet mini dress from Saylor is at the top of my holiday wish list! It features texture, puff sleeves, and a removable bow detail, making it the perfect addition to your holiday party wardrobe.

Size range: XS - L

LoveShackFancy Francie Dress

Red plaid holiday party strapless mini dress with bow
Photo: LoveShackFancy

The online description says it all: "Let your presence be the present this holiday season with the Francie Dress." This festive bubble dress is printed with a vintage-inspired plaid reminiscent of your favorite holiday wrapping paper.

Size range: 00 - 14

Wild Fable™ Women's Tube Sequin Fringe Mini Bodycon Dress

Black Tube Sequin Fringe Mini Bodycon Holiday Party Dress
Photo: Target

Sequins and fringe come together flawlessly in this mini dress. Layer it under an oversized black blazer for a cool girl spin on the look.

Size range: XXS - 4X

Lulus Sparkly Darling Sequin Long Sleeve Wrap Dress

Sparkly Darling Emerald Green Sequin Long Sleeve Wrap Dress
Photo: Lulus

This shimmering green wrap dress is perfect for a holiday cocktail party. If green isn't your thing, it also comes in rose gold, navy blue, burgundy, and white.

Size range: XS-XL

Reformation Pia Velvet Dress

Pink velvet holiday party mini dress
Photo: Reformation

Channel a modern-day sugar plum fairy in this velvet mini dress. Crystal-adorned straps add just enough sparkle and shine. Pair it with a matching silver heel and clutch to finish off the look.

Size range: 0 - 12

Formal Christmas Dresses

A formal holiday party is the perfect time to rock full holiday glam. These holiday formal dresses feature festive elements that make them perfect for the season. Consider this your time to shine — literally! Metallic details and luxe textures are perfect for an elegant holiday soiree.

Hutch Bow Shine Midi Dress

Gold strapless holiday party midi dress with bow
Photo: Anthropologie

Bows and gold are the ultimate combo for holiday party dressing. Pair it with a gold high heel and let the dress take center stage.

Size range: 00 - 16

Lulus Hollywood Heyday Black Velvet Long Sleeve Mermaid Maxi Dress

Black Velvet Long Sleeve Mermaid Holiday Party Maxi Dress
Photo: Lulus

This elegant gown is given a festive update in luxe black velvet. A sparkling rhinestone detail on the bust goes perfectly with silver earrings.

Size range: XS-XL

LoveShackFancy Aspen Dress

Black velvet maxi holiday party dress with rhinestone and pearl detail
Photo: LoveShackFancy

This bias-cut gown is effortless elegance at its best. Luxe velvet is adorned with rhinestones and crystals while delicate tulle straps add intrigue.

Size range: 00 -14

Alice + Olivia Holly Asymmetric Ruffle Maxi Dress

Red asymmetric ruffle holiday party dress
Photo: Alice + Olivia

Rock the color of the season in this ruby-hued maxi dress from Alice + Olivia. Its cascading ruffled skirt is guaranteed to make you feel like the dancing lady emoji IRL.

Size range: 0 -14

Work Holiday Party Dresses

These picks for how to dress for a holiday work party are equal parts professional and festive. Whether your job throws a fancy holiday soiree or something more lowkey, cozy sweater dresses and luxe velvet are an easy way to channel some holiday spirit in your work holiday party dress.

Free People Portia Velvet Mini

Blue velvet mini holiday party dress
Photo: Free People

A velvet mini dress is perfect for a casual work holiday party. Pair it with a tall brown boot for something casual or dress it up with a pair of high heels for a fancy work holiday party.

Size range: XS-XL

A New Day™ Women's Maxi Slip Dress

Maroon women's maxi slip dress
Photo: Target

A sleek slip dress is a closet essential. This burgundy one from Target is perfect for your work holiday party! Dress it up with heels for something formal, or layer it under a cozy sweater for a casual party. The styling options are endless!

Size range: XS - 4X

Abercrombie ​​Off-The-Shoulder Midi Sweater Dress

Grey Off-The-Shoulder Midi Sweater Holiday Party Dress
Photo: Abercrombie & Fitch

This off-the-shoulder sweater dress is just as comfortable as your favorite pajamas, making it perfect for those cold winter days when you don't feel like getting dressed. Just throw on your favorite leather boots or flats and you're ready to take on the day.

Size range: XXS - XL

Old Navy SoSoft Cocoon Mini Sweater Dress for Women

Dark green Cocoon Mini Sweater Dress
Photo: Old Navy

Cozy sweater dresses are a winter wardrobe staple! They strike the perfect chord between comfort and style. Pair this one from Old Navy with your favorite gold jewelry to dress it up for your work holiday party.

Size range: XS - 4X

Dissh Reign Stone Sleeved Knit Midi Dress

Stone knit midi holiday party dress
Photo: Dissh

A versatile knit midi dress is a foolproof choice for a work holiday party. You can dress it up or down — it's all about the accessories! Red lipstick and a high heel add just enough festive flair for a work holiday party.

Size range: XS - XXL

Sexy Holiday Dresses

Cue "Santa Baby." These sexy Christmas dresses are perfect for a holiday date night or GNO. Form-fitting dresses in festive holiday hues are a surefire way to channel your inner Vixen. After all, you can't go wrong with a little red dress for the holiday season.

Lulus Glamorous Flirt Black Velvet Feather One-Shoulder Mini Dress

Black Velvet Feather One-Shoulder Mini Dress
Photo: Lulus

There's a time and place for feathers and a holiday party is definitely one of them! This one-shoulder velvet mini features a dramatic feather trim that's sure to leave an impression.

Size range: XS-XL

Windsor Alaina Rhinestone Trim Bell Sleeve Formal Mini Dress

Rhinestone Trim Bell Sleeve Formal Mini Holiday Party Dress
Photo: Lulus

This sexy black mini features a rhinestone bow detail that's perfect for the holiday season! It would pair perfectly with these bow heels from Macy's. BRB, stealing this outfit idea for my next holiday party.

Size range: XS - L

NBD Rhiannon Midi Dress

Maroon midi holiday party dress
Photo: Revolve

Turn up the heat in this sexy, cranberry-hued holiday party dress. The ruched mesh bodice beautifully complements the flowy satin skirt and feather-trimmed hem.

Size range: XXS - XL

Show Me Your Mumu Bling Mini Dress

Bling Mini Holiday Party Dress
Photo: Show Me Your Mumu

All I want for Christmas is this glam mini dress! An open back with bejeweled straps makes this mini perfect for a sexy holiday date night.

Size range: XS - XXL

Skims Soft Lounge Long Slip Dress

Red long slip holiday party dress
Photo: Skims

The cult favorite Skims lounge dress comes in a striking red color, perfect for the holidays. Its body-contouring fabric hugs your figure in all the right places.

Size range: XXS - 4X

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