Holiday parties at home or at informal festive restaurants are usually smart casual in setting and this calls for a more toned down yet appropriate holiday look (unless a particular dress code is specified on the invitation). You have lots of options when it comes to what to wear.

Here are some ideas:

  • A-line day dresses with knee high boots are one of my favourite ensembles and any age group can wear the look. I was having lunch at Seattle’s flagship Nordstrom Grill last week and saw two elderly ladies, both clad in dresses, coats, knee high boots and rather theatrical hats. They looked fabulous and were the perfect example of looking great at every age.
  • Sparkly tops always go down well and your pick from shiny girly blouses, shimmery knitted tops and sequined cardigans are all great. Match these tops up with dark wash denims, trouser jeans, a denim skirt or a pair of fab slacks. Be sure to add a smart shoe or boot (heeled or flat), carry a small handbag and leave those gigantic totes to rest for the night.
  • A festive skirt with a plain top is a super and versatile option. A button down shirt, simple knitted top or piece of knitwear usually works best with any skirt. Finish the look off with a tailored cropped denim jacket, a pair of heels or boots and a cute clutch bag.

Hose or bare legs are equally appropriate and knee high boots are an excellent way of giving your look more coverage if you’re a little leg shy, or instant drama if that’s what you’re after. Enjoy the festive occasion and relax into the evening with both style and comfort.

Antonio Melani 'Sandra' Skirt Norma Kamali 'Greta' Long Sleeve Dress Stuart Weitzman Navigator

A roomy fancy skirt and simple top, or easy A-line jersey dress with fabulous knee-high boots gets my vote as the best casual holiday party looks this year (I’m going to rest my jeans on these occasions). These Stuart Weitzman boots were shown on Oprah’s style and beauty show last week and left quite the impression.