The Perfect Dresses For EVERY Holiday Party

You don't even need to set foot inside a major department store to get the memo that the holiday season is upon us. Tinsel and turkey and bells of all sorts will soon remind you that's it's gosh darn unavoidable, and then slowly, the invitations (read anxiety) will roll in. Chill out and plan ahead. There's sure to be a mid-week bash with everyone from the office, the annual family reunion, and at least one friendly holiday soiree featuring he-who-must-not-be-named (not Voldemort, silly — we mean your ex). So, cut the seasonal stress, and get decked out in all the appropriate ways with R29-approved style for every bash you're invited to.
Photo: Via Topshop, Stefani Bags, Nordstrom
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Office Party Where You'd Like To Avoid Any Sideways Glances

Show off your glamorous side, since they've been seeing you in your professional wear five days a week for the past year. Just make sure you cover up… embrace the festive occasion with fun embellishments.

Topshop Embellished Sleeve Dress, $175, available at Topshop; Michael Michael Kors Josie Back Zip Pump, $174.95, available at Nordstrom; House of Harlow 1960 Tilly Clutch, $250, available at Stefani Bags.
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Family Brunch Where You'd Want To Skip Any Nosey Relatives' Third Degree

Family get-togethers are definitely the highlight of the holiday season, but nothing kills your buzz more than Aunt So-and-So's tricky game of 20 questions, including the all the details of your job search, when you're getting married, and that crazy two-bedroom apartment you live in with six roommates. Give off a confident, cool-as-a-cucumber vibe in a sweet festive outfit that looks more perfectly pulled-together than, say, your life.

H&M Necklace, $3.19, available in-store at H&M; Tibi Belted Wool Dress, $495, available at Net-A-Porter; ASOS MARS Metallic Shoes, $50.32, available at ASOS.
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The Hometown Reunion: Make Your Ex Eat His Heart Out

With the good old crew back in town, a run-in with your ex is nearly impossible to avoid. Remind him what he's been missing, but skip the freakum dress (c'mon kids, it's the holidays). Go super-sexy in a subtle way, with pieces that say "I'm cool, but I'm not trying."

Reverse Belted Peplum Dress, $68, available at NastyGal; Bird by Juicy Couture Leather-trimmed tweed biker jacket, $530, available at Net-A-Porter; Dorothy Perkins Stone Chain Clutch Bag, $22.68, available at Dorothy Perkins; Sam Edelman Lyla ankle strap heeled court, $260.57, available at ASOS.
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I'm-The-Hostess-With-The-Mostest Friends & Family Potluck

There's nothing like good food and good company, and tonight's got it all. Sit around the Horn of Plenty and indulge with your nearest and dearest, who won't judge you after your third helping. Just in case, choose something comfortable and floaty, to camouflage the impending food baby.

H&M Dress, $34.95, available at H&M; Urban Outfitters Delicate Initial Necklace, $18, available at Urban Outfitters; Falke Fashion Tights Floral Twist, $44, available at Intermix; Stubbs & Wootton Medal Slippers, $400, available at Stubbs and Wootton.
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Winter Wonderland Fundraiser Hosted By Your Fave Fancy Charity

'Tis the season to give back, and in a big, big way. Anyone who is anyone will be in attendance at this winter's bash, so pull out all the stops and slip into something a little more glamourous. Skip the expected shades of holiday reds and greens, and go for a chic, creamy, neutral frock with some added sequins to top it off.

Alexander Wang Asymmetric silk-crepe dress, $675, available at Net-A-Porter; Christian Louboutin Duvetter 120 Metallic and Patent Leather Pumps, $675, available at Net-A-Porter; ICI Blazer Luma, $84.99, available at WeLikeFashion.
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If-I-Hear-Carol-Of-The-Bells-One-More-Time-I-May-Scream Blackout Rager

Nothing says "I couldn't give a reindeer's ass it's the holidays" like metal bodywear and a sexy open back. Nothing. Break the mold and opt for a one-piece wonder rather than a frilly hemline to go out, dance like a fool, and give cheers to… well, whatever.

ASOS Tuxedo Jumpsuit, $44.93, available at ASOS; Dannijo Aram Collar Necklace, $158, available at Dannijo; H&M Strappy Shoes, $56.49, available in-store at H&M.
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The Ugly Sweater Party Where You Don't Want To Be That Ugly

We're usually the first to jump on board the ugly-sweater bandwagon, but that doesn't mean we're willing to make a complete mockery of ourselves. Mix heinous yuletide threads with a few super-cute pieces that balance out the silly. Pin-on sleigh bells are (not entirely) optional.

L.L.Bean Kingfield Sweater, $94, available at L.L.Bean; Modcloth Recharge Your Batteries dress, $39.99, available at Modcloth; Pour la Victoire Lace-Up Boots, $158, available at Joan Shepp.
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Champers Chez Your Friend's Friend's Friend's Penthouse

You don't really know anyone here but Steve (and only sort of), so bust out your friend-makin' shoes and your "friend"-makin' dress. Hubba hubba!

Miss Selfridge Open Back Dress, $52.45, available at Miss Selfridge; House of Harlow 1960 Natalia Haircalf Platform Booties, $295, available at Shopbop; Tasha Metal Mesh Box Clutch, $98, available at Nordstrom.
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Your Favorite Boutique's Karaoke Party (Which You're Crashing)

Whether you're planning to belt out your go-to tune or your favorite seasonal standard, first you'll need to sneak into a party where you may or may not be on the guest list. Go for a sweet "who me?" effect with a demure party frock and booties. Fun accessories will work perfectly when you make your big debut on the mic.

Opening Ceremony Pointed Collar Dress, $460, available at La Garconne; Zara Frilled Ankle Boot, $99, available at Zara; Warehouse Facet Stud Earrings, $7, available at Warehouse.

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