Holiday Outfits You Already Have In Your Closet

It's midweek. Your calendar app frantically alerts you that the holiday bash you RSVP'd to weeks ago is this Friday. You rush home, inevitably tearing through every article of clothing you forgot you even owned. Evaluating the wreckage around your bedroom, the answer is what you feared (but honestly knew all along): Nope, not a single "party frock" in sight. Shocking. But then you remember, oh yeah, you've never splurged on a wear-once bandage situation or frilly matching set in your life. Of course there's one thing you have plenty of: denim. You live in it, look good in it, and feel great in it. So this year, why not keep it 100 through the season in your fave style staple? With some wish-list-worthy Levi's® and a few pieces that were made for turning up — e.g., sheer pumps or a disco bodysuit — you can easily upgrade this everyday foundation to best-dressed-guest material. Still hesitant to ditch the special-occasion-only dress? Follow our lead below, and remember, 'tis the season for believing.

Let Your Socks Shine
A classic denim jacket is like a quick swipe of mascara — throw one on with a sweet printed minidress and you’ve got an insta-look to take on the day. Later on, add some tinsel to your proverbial tree with one of our favorite current trends, the sparkly sock. Pair a silvery lurex version with glossy loafers and watch 'em shimmer under the string lights (or the disco ball).
Swap In Sheer Layers
Didn’t see this denim style coming, did you? Far-from-sloppy tailoring (see: tapered legs and a more structured fit) gives these overalls the cred they need to make it past sunset, but replacing a standard sweater or tee with a sheer pussy-bow blouse produces surprisingly chic results. Add a chain-strap mini-bag and black pumps; then, make a beeline for the punch.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan.
Think: Dark Equals Dressy
Truth bomb: You can never go wrong with black or indigo skinny jeans. In our opinion, the deepest-dyed ones actually stand in for so-called “dress pants” better than the real thing. (Save worn-out or over-washed pairs for the day after.) We love a playful flash of knee or ankle topped off with a tucked-in, semi-sheer shirt and the daintiest holly-berry-red flats.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan.
Slip Into Something Slinky
The mission: Take your most flattering, curve-loving skinnies to a gilded-invite soirée. The plan: Turn heads with a cut-down-to-there bodysuit that feels as fancy as a predictable cocktail dress, but is so much edgier. Wear with a fitted black blazer and pointy metallic pumps to sleek, hyper-alluring effect. Need we say, "Mission accomplished"?
Dust Off Your (Canadian) Tux
Ever notice how sometimes, it’s the more casual plans that trip you up in the outfit-assembling department? You definitely don’t want to overdress, but on the other hand, there’s also a good chance group pics will go down. Hit just the right note for dive-y karaoke with a formula that transcends dress codes: super-clean, suit-like denim on denim.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan.
Let The Details Take The Spotlight
Sneaking your comfiest jeans into any celebratory gathering is all about subtly jazzing things up elsewhere. Keep an eye out for embellishments, like a sophisticated print on a silk shirt, a swath of satin tied at the neck, and a dramatic dangling earring. Elevate things further by sticking to pieces in classic black and white.
Crush It With A Bold Color Combo
Typically, slim, killer-fit jeans allow for the most minimal of looks, but the girlfriends’ gift exchange calls for a little extra peacocking. Layering a red shimmery tank over a tan turtleneck embodies simple, impactful colorblocking at its best, while snakeskin-textured booties add another shot of visual interest.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan.
Subtly Get In The Spirit
Go ahead and shine on in a pine-needle-green skirt and gold pumps, but layer on a shearling-lined jacket to keep the result from reading too literally. An ornament-like brooch serves as another wink at the seasonal theme, while an alt-vibe hat lends personality to a look that works as well for a family affair as it does after-hours festivities.
Photographed by Emman Montalvan.

More from Styling Tips

R29 Original Series