As a boutique owner, the holidays are when big sales happen if you have the right outfits in stock. People throw parties to host and attend from Thanksgiving to New Year. These are not the ugly sweater and gag gift office parties, either. Holiday parties range from fancy to fun to formal, and you need to supply the perfect women’s holiday outfits for your customers to match.
It’s essential to think about reaching your target customer before you start buying holiday clothing. Think about age group, career, and types of parties they would attend. Are they going to the annual exclusive country club’s formal gala? Were they invited to a themed party? How about a church program followed by caroling in the neighborhood?
We’re here to help you choose the best women’s holiday outfits to add to your store. Below, we break down popular dress codes and give you examples of outfits that match the code.
Casual Women’s Holiday Outfits
When you wear casual outfits, it is usually to business-related events, like the annual office party or after-work celebration. You can dress up or dress down a long maxi dress or jumpsuit for the occasion. It is also an excellent look for first dates, luncheons with clients, and happy hours.
Jeans and t-shirts are allowed for the casual look, but avoid jeans with rips and tears, sweatshirts, and tees with stains. Instead, get a hint of glitz by accessorizing with delicate earrings or a necklace. Also, avoid graphic designs, even holiday themes.
Dressy Casual Women’s Holiday Outfit
Dressy casual is fancier than casual and may be best worn to parties at churches, dinners in high-end restaurants, and office parties of their spouses. Women want to make their dates look great without taking away attention from other women at the party.
To achieve a dressy casual style, you need at least one fancy piece to pair with casual pieces. For your customers, think dress pants and a button-down blouse. Or a skirt that falls just above or below the knee, a soft sweater, and boots.
Offer clothing in higher-end materials, like silk tops, tweed pants, and high heels. Wearing a solid-color blazer elevates the style and gives your customer a staple piece for many years.
Cocktail Party Women’s Holiday Outfits
Christian Dior coined the term “cocktail attire” in the 1940s to describe an outfit between formal and casual. You often wear cocktail attire to holiday pageants, banquets, engagement celebrations, and weddings.
Cocktail attire is more about glamming up a classic item. Cue the solid color dress (a.k.a. the little black dress for many). Start building your cocktail holiday outfit with a solid color dress or pantsuit. Your accessories will turn it into cocktail appropriate.
Think off-white wool pants, a shimmery blouse, an off-white blazer with black high heels, a black statement necklace, and onyx and rhinestone earrings. Another option is to pair a black dress with lipstick, high heels, and a satin jacket of matching colors. You can also see diamond or diamond-ish jewelry.
When buying cocktail options for your customers, keep these words in mind: metallic, statement, rhinestone, and color pops.
Black Tie Holiday Outfits
When you hear black tie attire, you may think of evening gowns to match the tuxedo worn by your date. While this is true, there is more to it. Women can choose an evening gown of any length and style if it is classy. You can look sexy, but in a sophisticated “I’m not trying to look sexy’ kind of way. Don’t show too much leg, back, boob, etc. Keep it simple by avoiding a lot of different colors.
Black tie events are often several hours long and made for socializing. Make sure your customers will feel comfortable. If it’s cold outside and their dress is sleeveless and strappy, have them wear a stole or wrap and gloves.
If the event says, “black tie optional,” that means the event is less formal and is likely a fundraiser, dinner party, or wedding. It means don’t spend money on something new, but please wear something nice. However, the “optional” part does not allow wearing jeans and a tee.
White Tie Holiday Outfits
White-tie attire is as formal as it gets. White tie gowns are often made with high-end fabrics and showcase elegance. Many pair the gown with long gloves, but that is not a requirement. Prepare your best floor-length gowns, fur, or faux fur wraps, and get grandma’s authentic jewelry from the safe.
You know the debutante balls and lavish weddings you see on television where everyone and everything is dripping with luxury? That’s a white tie formal. Today, even the elite aren’t attending too many white-tie events. But when they do happen, it’s the gowns that are talked about the rest of the year.
New Year’s Eve Women’s Holiday Outfits
New Year’s is about new beginnings, starting over, and hope for the future. It’s also about celebrating the end of the previous year. How do you see yourself dressed for that occasion? A New Year’s party is quite flexible regarding dress code. Most importantly, it fits well, is unique, creative, and stands out.
You’ll likely be dancing and moving around a lot so make sure your clothes and jewelry can move with you. Wear leather, velvet, corduroy, or suede. You can even wear a combination of fabrics, like this velvet corduroy red dress that will turn heads.
New Year’s outfits are fun for boutique owners because you can help customers express themselves and who they plan to be in the upcoming year.
Customers depend on your fashion expertise. Paying attention to the dress code instructions on invitations is essential simply out of respect for the host. To get it right, you must understand the various women’s holiday outfits to add to your store.
The more your customers get the dress code right, the more business you will get from them. It’s a holiday outfit win-win.