The new year is right around the corner and like many people, we’re excited to bring this somehow chaotic, but nevertheless, very eye-opening year that was 2021 to a close. After nearly two years of celebrating the holidays from home and dreading what has happened and what’s to come, people are finally straying away from the comfort of loungewear (I say this lightly) and are more than thrilled to throw the biggest and most festive holiday bashes, which also means we’re searching for the right outfits to party in.
Luckily for you, 2021 introduced a lot of eclectic and fun party-ready fashion trends that you absolutely must add to your going-out wardrobe, like form-fitting catsuits (as seen on Hailey Bieber), colorful suiting, and embellished shoes. This year also brought back some fan-favorite holiday party outfit ideas from years past, like velvet pieces and dazzling metallic ensembles, all of which are guaranteed to add elegance and vibrance to of your winter celebrations.
Check out 11 of our favorite holiday party outfit ideas and trends to shop for 2021, ahead.
We only include products that have been independently selected by NYLON's editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 1: Feathers
When it comes to holiday fashion ideas, feathers always make the very top of the list as a must-have trend. While this airy and light material can be daunting to wear at first, it’s actually a lot easier than you think. Ease into the look with just feathers as a trim detail, and after the holidays, if the look has become your favorite, upgrade to full-on feathered garments.
Elevate any of your party looks with feathered bottoms, best worn as a mini skirt from Rebecca Minkoff or as a pair of cropped silky trousers like Commando. Feathers also make a great statement top as you can wear them all over or opt to add just a touch of it to a satin camisole. If you’re feeling a bit daring, you can even dedicate an entire ensemble to making feathers the life of your outfit (and the party), like Karen Miller’s suited mini dress with feather detailing on the hem.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 2: Going-Out Pajamas
We haven’t fully let go of the comfort of loungewear, so who said you can’t wear your pajamas out to parties? Over the course of two years, loungewear has completely evolved into actual outfits that you will have you looking comfy and equally festive for all of your holiday celebrations.
If you’re aiming to go a bit casual this year, Sleeper has an endless supply of fun pajamas, including a must-cop lavender set that is adorned with feathers at the bottom. But any silk set works for just about every party, like a bright cherry red silk two-piece or a cream-colored set. You can even opt for a comfortable dress, such as Deiji Studios’ skirt dress or Lunya’s limited-edition ribbed green fitted dress.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 3: Mini Skirts
Mini skirts will continue to dominate the top of our trend radar for the holiday season and you’re just in luck because you can pair the now-popular mini skirt in so many ways, even beyond your winter celebratory needs.
There’s nothing that screams holiday partying more than sequins and vibrant patterns, as seen at Reformation and Urban Outfitters, and you can also experiment with textures, like silk or tweed. If you’re feeling extremely bold, feel free to rock the micro-mini skirt trend, with our go-to selection being from Miaou which is also adorned with a slit at the thigh.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 4: Sweater Dresses
Staying warm this winter can still be fun and festive, and you can never go wrong with a sweater dress.
Kick off all of your winter partying in these cozy and cute knitted sweater dresses, ranging from neutral-hued chunky options, like a cedar-colored midi dress from Anthropologie and a chocolate brown mock neck dress from the Banana Republic. You can never go wrong with navy and cream-colored pieces either, and our top (and more affordable) picks are from H&M and J. Crew. You can even add a pop of color with Staud’s signature two-toned ribbed sweater dress, coming in a variety of colorways, including “lava peony.” Add a pair of your favorite heels or a pair of lug-sole, knee-high boots to finish your easy (and warm) look.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 5: Embellished Shoes
With every party outfit comes a good pair of footwear, so we’ve put together our top picks of embellished shoes that will have everyone turning heads at your upcoming holiday functions.
As you’re investing all of your time and energy in coming up with the perfect celebratory outfit, you shouldn’t stop at your shoes as it’s arguably the most important part that ties the whole look together. This time around, we’re in love with all of the sparkly and embellished shoes, so feel free to throw on a pair covered in pearls, crystals, and more to top off your night-out ensemble or let your dazzling footwear take the outfit spotlight instead. We’ve picked out our top sparkly, embellished shoe picks, like Christine Quinn’s crystal-embellished pink pumps, sparkly emerald sneakers from Betsey Johnson, and going-out sequin boots from Brother Vellies.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 6: Colorful Suits
We’ve all seen every celebrity and influencer rock a very good suited look over the years, and you can wear it at your next party, too! Of course, we have a slight twist in mind, as colorful suits have been all the rage this year and it seems it’s not going anywhere any time soon.
Step into your upcoming holiday functions in a jaw-dropping power suit, like a sequin set from Amazon and a hot pink satin one from Missguided. There are also some even more vibrant options, like Topshop’s bright green blazer-and-trouser set and River Island’s matching orange ensemble because neon is always party-worthy. And if you’re looking for a more subtle look, Aritzia has a chocolate brown-colored option that’s still one to make a statement.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 7: Pearls
Pearls have already made their mark as one of the biggest beauty trends this year and it’s not stopping there. This winter, you can expect to see all of your friends and loved ones decked out in pearl embellishments as it adds just the perfect dose of elegance and chicness. We’re envisioning a (holiday-inspired) Blair Waldorf moment as these sleek additions make for just the cutest accessories, from studded heels and hair pieces to handbags — and a pair of pearl earrings is always a solid choice.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 8: Velvet
Every winter, we’re reintroduced to perhaps one of our favorite trends of the holiday season, which is none other than velvet. Not only is the material super soft and stylish, but it keeps you a bit warmer than some of the other winter options. This time around, we’re taking it to another level by experimenting with styles and silhouettes that are sure to match this year’s celebrations, from coveted tops to halter dresses and blazers, and it even looks just as stunning as a pair of elbow-length gloves.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 9: Catsuits
Catsuits have become the latest “going-out” trend as of late, as seen recently on Hailey Bieber as she celebrated her 25th birthday in Saint Laurent’s black velvet piece, as well as some of the most-watched style icons, like Olivia Rodrigo lace look at the 2021 Met Gala or Cardi B’s green pleated suit from Richard Quinn while attending Paris Fashion Week.
As the catsuit was once a popular “going-out” outfit choice back in the disco era during the ‘60s and ‘70s, we’ve recently seen this silhouette make its comeback as the go-to nightlife style in a number of ways, like velvet, lace, and a statement color or print. This holiday season, it’s about time we swap out our mini dresses for something a bit different, like glittery catsuits to trippy patterns, and we can’t leave out the cutout trend with the one-piece ensemble.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 10: Statement Tights
In the past few years, we’ve witnessed the resurgence of tights as they’ve made their way as a must-have closet staple. Today’s tights are not the opaque and skin-itching stockings you dreaded wearing growing up, but brands from the likes of Gucci and Ganni have completely changed the tights-wearing game, making you want to add tights to just about every look. Finish off just about any of your holiday party ‘fits with a pair of statement tights as it comes in a variety of designs and styles, like monogram logos, bejeweled finishes, and printed mesh.
Holiday Party Outfit Idea & Trend No. 11: Metallics
What better way to close out the year than by shining in some metallic going-out pieces? Get into the holiday spirit with dazzling metallic selections that will have you looking like a million bucks. If you’re aiming to make a bold fashion move this winter, the shimmery material has been seen on a number of dresses and jumpsuits. You can also add a burst of glitter by opting for a pair of metallic jeans or a sparkly long-sleeved top.