‘Tis the season for holiday parties, holiday parties and more holiday parties! Cue the need for a go-to dress code, complete with expert tips courtesy of Judy Inc. stylist Randy Smith, for all of the festivities you plan to attend this season. (Side note: holiday music and hot cocoa required for reading.)


Holiday dress code tip #1: What to wear to the office party

The key to rocking the office party is to strike a balance between cubicle chic and flashy evening wear. “Choose a body-con shift dress – it’s sexy and professional, but you’re not revealing anything. You never know what could happen after a few glasses of eggnog!” says Smith. “Wear it to the office, and when it’s time for the party, throw on a sequined blazer and statement necklace.”

Holiday dress code tip #2: Choose the right accessories

Finding the right accessories during the holiday rush can be a serious challenge. “For footwear, try an ankle bootie, open-toe heel or sequined slingback. Unless we have a mild winter, you have to pop your evening shoe in your bag and change,” Smith says. Luckily, shopping for festive jewellery is more straightforward. “For the holidays, you want to go for something with a little more glitz. Instead of earrings, look for a big statement necklace.”

Holiday dress code tip #3: Select the most flattering coat
You find the right dress and accessories, but you don’t want to cover them up with a bulky winter topper. Now what? “Stay away from your parka and save it for the weekend,” recommends Smith. “If you’re going out from office to evening, an oversized, cocoon-shaped coat in camel or gray is the way to go.”

READ MORE: The best holiday PARTY DRESSES under $200

Holiday dress code tip #4: How to wear leggings

Even with your dress, accessories and coat hanging in your closet, you still can’t forget about bare legs in a #polarvortex. “Leggings are a reality for people who live in Canada. Always cover the bottom – leggings are not pants,” Smith advises. Look for a pair of opaque black leggings to stay warm and look sophisticated in your party dress.

Holiday dress code tip #5: Avoid the #1 fashion mistake

Remember – less is more when crafting the perfect holiday look. “The most common error is overdoing it – you don’t want to be the Christmas tree. Too much sparkle can be overwhelming, so stick to just one sequined piece,” says Smith. “In the end, holiday dressing is all about having fun while keeping it tasteful.”

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Here are Smith’s top picks for holiday party fashion essentials every woman should own.