How To Incorporate Fancier Party Pieces Into Your Casual Winter Wardrobe
First up, I want to wish everyone a Happy New Year! Sometimes I can't quite believe we are into 2022 already – where has the time gone?! While we are on the subject of time going way too fast, I also feel like the 2021 holiday season came and went and we barely got the chance to do everything that we had planned to do; not to mention wear the things that we had been looking forward to wearing all year!
Party Wear In Winter
I know I'm not the only one who splashed out on some super fun festive pieces to wear over the holidays and just didn't get a chance to wear them. But instead of getting down about it and sadly putting them away in my closet for another 12 months, I started thinking about ways I could incorporate some of my festive pieces into my present-day wardrobe. I love a challenge, after all! And actually, to my surprise, it wasn’t too hard to do! I wonder if this is because my sartorial style has always been a mix and match vibe, or because it's actually pretty easy to dress down more extravagant pieces with some crucial staples and some clever layers. Maybe a bit of everything!
Winter Style Guide
I hope you guys will love this post about how to wear party dresses in winter, and general party pieces on a casual everyday basis, as much as I enjoyed putting all the looks together! You may have seen quite a few of these outfits on my Instagram already, because I couldn’t help myself. These party pieces were made to be seen and loved!
How To Wear Chunky Boots With Dresses And Skirts
Sequin Ombre Maxi Skirt
You may remember this from my festive outfits blog post back in 2020 – and I'm not ashamed to admit that I intend to wear this sequin maxi skirt every Christmas season for the foreseeable future. This sequin ombré maxi skirt is so pretty, and definitely not just for the holidays, as I always try to find ways to incorporate it into my outfits during all four seasons. Right now, I'm wearing it with a grey mock neck layering top, a crop chambray buttondown, heavyweight green puffer coat, a Burberry scarf, and my Chanel boots, which I think all help to make it more casual and wearable. Not to mention suitable for the colder weather!
Black Faux Leather Pants
Black leather pants aren’t the most extravagant as far as festive pieces go, so there are actually tons of ways to wear them on a more casual basis. These pants are one of my newest purchases, and I can't get over how comfy they are! People often ask, are leather pants comfortable? And the answer isn’t always yes! Sometimes leather pants can be tight and restrictive (we all remember Ross from Friends and his infamous leather pants incident) which is why leather leggings are often the comfier meet-in-the-middle, best-of-both-worlds solution. But I can honestly say that these faux leather pants, which I bought for a holiday party that I sadly didn’t get to attend, are as comfy as my comfiest pair of jeans. Now that's saying something!
I've teamed these black faux leather pants with a cuff detail Henley, my Free People inside out pullover, which I think is perfect for layering, my Golden goose sneakers, and finished the look off with my Cartier sunglasses.
Every woman needs a Balmain blazer in her jacket rotation; I think they're such a great investment as they are a timeless wardrobe staple that will never, ever go out of style! It's worth keeping an eye on them throughout the year as they do tend to go on sale every so often – and I couldn't believe my luck when I found this light blue blazer for 50% off! Christmas had definitely come early for me thanks to the Balmain blazer sale!
How To Wear A Balmain Blazer
I bought this Balmain blazer to wear over the holidays, but it is so versatile and can be worn for all four seasons depending on how you style it. On this occasion, I've worn it with a white oversized button down, a suede bow detail belt to add even more color to the look, black skinny jeans, embroidered mules, and my Bottega Veneta Jodie bag.
Accessories for Winter
When we think of festive pieces, we often neglect the accessories, which as we all know, can make or break an outfit. I wanted to give some of my favorite accessories a chance to shine over the holidays, and I know they didn’t get the outings and attention they deserved, which is why I wanted to find ways to make them work with some of my more casual pieces.
This look – which consists of paperbag pants, an Anine Bing sweatshirt, a Chanel belt, a Hermès scarf, Bottega Veneta Tire boots, and Chloe sunglasses – was my very first outfit of 2022, so I wanted to start the year as I mean to go on. I.e., with my signature cocktail of high low and smart casual pieces. Downplaying more OTT and lavish accessories is totally doable if you keep the rest of the outfit casual, or if you add a few other midway pieces so they don’t pop as much; both of which I have done when wearing some of these staple accessories.
How To Wear A Corset In Winter
What to wear with a corset is sometimes challenging. I purchased this floral corset top because I thought it would be so fun to wear over Christmas with some glamorous accessories, but akin to so many of my other outfits, I didn’t get a chance to give it the outing it deserved. However, I didn’t let it get me down too much, as I think I might love the more casual everyday way of styling it even more than what I had originally planned for it.
How To Wear A Corset Casually
I wanted to embrace and make the most of all the colors in the corset, so I teamed it with some coral colored corduroys to bring out the colors of the floral corset even more, and added a corduroy oversized blazer to keep out the chill and bring the whole look together, as well as Nina Payne heeled lace up boots with festive sparkly sheer socks, a Hermès belt, and my Chanel flap bag.
Sequin Mini Dress
I didn’t think I was going to get much wear out of this sequin mini dress after the holiday season was over, but I was so wrong! I was so inspired after binge-watching Emily in Paris (a guilty pleasure – who's with me?) and instantly thought of different ways to style this sequin mini dress with sleeves for everyday occasions. The Emily in Paris wardrobe department seem to have found the perfect balance of understated Parisian glamour paired with over-the-top high fashion trends, resulting in quite a unique aesthetic that I am enamored with.
I've teamed the sequin mini dress with an argyle cardigan (you couldn’t get two more different pieces; am I right?) a French-inspired beret, my Stuart Weitzman lowland boots, and my Bottega Veneta cassette bag to add even more color. I've selected so many cute dresses to wear with boots over the next few months, and this sequin mini is definitely going to get a few more outings! I think this is a very interesting look in terms of contrasting pieces working with each other – and I kind of love it! Do you?
Tulle Bow Midi Dress
You may remember this dress from my previous post about things I would be wearing for the holiday season. It was one of my favorite pieces of the entire post, and I had purchased it specially for New Year's Eve. Unfortunately, I tested positive for COVID-19 just before NYE, which meant I couldn’t attend the party I was so looking forward to attending. (Thankfully I was fully vaccinated and only had a slight cold, and was only really feeling bad for two days, so I'm grateful that I had a mild case.)
While I was in bed isolating myself from my husband and the kids, I was already thinking up ways to style the dress in the new year, so that it wouldn’t go to waste. And I think this way I have styled it is a great compromise. I've worn my tulle bow midi dress with an oversized gray cardigan, which instantly brings the look down a casual peg or two, and added some Chanel pumps (although ankle boots with cocktail dresses also work great!) and a Bottega Veneta pouch. I love the soft and understated hues of this entire look; and I know that one day in the future, this stunning midi dress will get a chance to shine at a glamorous party the way it truly deserves to.
Dolce and Gabbana Slippers
Every so often, spouses do actually pay attention and get the not-so-subtle hints that we drop. After a few years of hinting, my husband bought these gorgeous Dolce and Gabbana female slippers for me for Christmas, and I can honestly say that I love them even more than I thought I would. They were definitely worth the wait!
The Dolce and Gabbana slippers aren’t the things I love about this outfit. If you remember looking at my @Lily_Tracy Instagram, you'll already know the story of this entire outfit, which is why it's very significant and special to me. I saw one of my dearest friends wear this very same thermal with a maxi skirt at a baby shower, and I instantly wanted to recreate the look for myself. (With her approval, of course!) I love style stalking other women and getting inspiration from their outfits and then putting my own spin on them, which is what I have done here. I’ve teamed this casual thermal top with a gorgeous floral mix print maxi skirt, and added the aforementioned Dolce and Gabbana slippers and a Chanel 19 bag. I'm obsessed!
How To Wear A Jumpsuit In Winter
A floral jumpsuit doesn’t actually sound like a particularly fancy festive piece, but the fact that it's velvet instantly makes it more luxurious and therefore perfect for the holiday party season. If I was wearing this velvet jumpsuit for a fancier occasion, I would wear it on its own with a sharp blazer, heels, and statement jewelry.
How To Wear A Jumpsuit Casually
However, to wear it on a more casual everyday basis, I have worn my floral burnout velvet jumpsuit with a ruffle t-shirt underneath (always a great hack for wearing dresses and other summery pieces when it’s colder or to simply dress the pieces down) an edgy leather belt, Louis Vuitton loafers, Chloe sunglasses, and my Chloe Faye bag.
Green Stripe Pants
You know I love my traditional festive colors, and I'm always drawn to red and green in particular when looking for things to wear over the holiday season. I bought these green stripe pants on a whim for a back up holiday party outfit (which I sadly didn’t get to attend) but I'm so glad that they are now in my life, as I know they will get their fair share of outings.
To incorporate them into my smart casual winter ensemble, I've teamed them with an oversized white button down which I am so obsessed with, especially because of the raw edge detailing, and added a waist-cinching wrap belt (perfect for showing off my figure when wearing oversized pieces!) Dior espadrilles, Chloe heart shaped sunglasses, a Gucci pink velvet bucket bag for an added pop of color, and a Hermès CDC bracelet.
Tailored Check Trousers
These pants are actually the only pair of check tailored pants that I own, if you can believe it. I've had these check tailored pants for a few years and while I think they're great for wearing over the holidays – especially because green check pants are so festive and they can be elevated really well – I actually prefer the challenge of dressing them down over the rest of the year. Since I don’t ever wear office attire, I love finding new ways to dress them down every year; and the great thing is that it’s surprisingly easy to do so!
Adding a sweatshirt to women's tailored pants or even things like mini skirts or mini dresses is a great trick to instantly make the look more casual, and that's exactly what I've achieved here by adding my Anine Bing graphic sweatshirt to the check pants. To dress them down even more, I finished off with a Burberry cap, Hermès sneakers, and my Bottega Veneta cassette bag, which wasn’t necessarily added to make the look more casual, but I feel it ties everything together nicely. And who can resist another pop of color?!
Mini Tunic Dress
My final piece is a mini tunic dress, because I was keen to showcase one of the many ways to casualize a mini dress, since our wardrobes are probably overrun with mini dresses that haven’t had the chance to shine over the past few years. Tunic mini dresses in particular are a great choice if you want to buy a dress to wear over the holiday season or to a party, as they can be elevated even more for the special occasion, and then instantly and easily dressed down the rest of the time. I always remember this if ever I'm shopping for a new piece to wear for a particular occasion. (Click here to see some other ways I like to wear tunic dresses, and for all-round dress-inspiration!)
Planning in advance and thinking of different ways to wear a party dress or any investment piece is a great way to reduce waste, save the planet, and just ensure that your closet is full of pieces you love, and pieces you can re-wear for a multitude of occasions with different layers and accessories. I think this tunic dress ticks all of those boxes! I've gone for a monochrome vibe with this dressed-down look, and teamed my white tunic dress with some fun patterned tights (a huge Spring 2022 trend!) and added Chanel platform color block shoes, my black leather jacket to keep out the chill, and finished off with my Chanel flap bag.
Thank you for reading my post about how I'm re-wearing and repurposing some of my favorite festive party pieces. I hope I have inspired you to give at least one of your party pieces a second chance over the next few weeks!
Love, Lily x x