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It’s the most wonderful time of the year—and not only because we get to experience all the pretty lights, delicious food and quality time with the family. These are definitely some of the best aspects of the season, but something that really gets us excited about the holidays is the dresses. Finding the best holiday dresses to wear for the season isn’t always easy, though. There are so many retailers pushing festive (and, more often than not, sequined) frocks, it can be difficult to sift through all of them and strike holiday dress gold. Whether you need something to wear to a cocktail party with friends, your family’s annual holiday soiree or Zoom happy hour (2020, y’all) we have your back with the picks below.
To give you a bit of a rest during this busy season, we searched through all your favorite retailers to find the cutest holiday dresses out there. Think of this like your curated holiday shop—the only stop you need before you find the perfect festive ensemble. The holidays are approaching ridiculously quickly, so don’t wait to snag your favorite dress before you’re in a sugar cookie coma. (We’ve all be there, right?)
It also helps to be a bit strategic when searching for your own winning dress (or three). Keep an eye out for frocks you can wear throughout the following year in addition to the holidays. If you can wear the dress to a wedding, a bachelorette party or even a dressy date night out as well as your annual Christmas Eve party, you’ve probably found a winner. Seek out unique textures and flattering silhouettes for looks you can wear over and over without getting sick of them.
Below, you’ll find 19 holiday dresses sure to get you through the entire season—and beyond. We won’t blame you if you end up purchasing more than one.
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Emerald Satin Slip
This Christmas tree-colored slip is such a dreamy staple piece to pair with bold earrings or a fun clutch.
Navy Sequins & Feathers
PSA: when it comes to holiday dresses, you should never have to choose between sequins and feathers.
Ribbed Merlot Midi
I’m seriously fangirling over this ribbed knit midi. Dress it up with heels or down with boots and a leather jacket.
Classic Silver Sparkle
This V-neck bodycon mini is basically the holiday go-to, so if you don’t already own it, it might be time.
Talk about elegance! This black dress is understated but beautiful. Pair with your best necklace and earrings.
When all else fails, an itty-bitty metallic mini paired with black tights for contrast is always a great idea.
Red Ruched Shimmer
A classic red dress is just so holiday in all the right ways, and I love the ruched details at the shoulder.
Black Ruffle Halter
This standout silhouette features the dreamiest ruffle neckline and organza overlay. Very Ari when paired with thigh-high boots!
Green Flapper Flair
We’re technically in the ‘20s, aren’t we? This fringed flapper dress is a gorgeous pick for any holiday soiree.
Tiered High-Neck Shimmer
I love the ladylike silhouette of this tiered, high-neck dress, and the metallic keeps it from feeling too stuffy.
Bodycon Mesh Midi
If you want to show off your curves but still be covered up, AFRM’s sheer overlay dresses are about to be your new faves.
If red and green aren’t for you, opt for a pink glitter moment instead like this one with unique draping.
Black Draped Sparkle
There’s just something so flirty about a mini dress with long sleeves. The contrast looks so good!
Personally, I’d pair this simple silhouette with a faux fur shawl for added glamor. Do it up!
Va-va-voom! This gorgeous dress gives off-the-shoulder realness, but the small straps still provide support.
If you’re a fashion girl, you’ll love this ruched leather bodice and puffy sleeve. So chic with a boot and mini bag.
If a classic sequined dress feels too basic for you, spice it up with some structured sleeves for an extra statement.
Floaty Swiss Dots
This pretty pink hue is an unexpected choice for holiday that pairs well with the metallic of your choice.
I love the astral vibes of this frilly mini decked out in silver stars.
A version of this article was originally published in 2017.