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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 frocks that feel cheesy instead of special. 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 soirée or a last-minute NYE bash, our fashion team has 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 during 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 18 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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A little red mini with big present-inspired bows? Now, that’s a gift.
Glow Goals Sequin Dress
Skip the gold and go for gunmetal sheen to mix a little edge in with your holiday metallics.
One-Shoulder Ruffle Dress
I’ve never met a ruffle I didn’t like, so this ribbon-inspired detail is an easy Yes.
Winter white always makes a strong statement, but coupled with a feather neckline? It’s especially divine.
One-Shoulder Satin Cocktail Dress
Not into glitz? There’s no shame in your LBD game—just go for something with an asymmetrical neckline to add a bit of interest.
Victoria Faux Wrap Sequin Gown
Now, if you’re trying to cosplay as an actual snowflake, this glittering silver gown should be right up your snow-covered alley.
Leave it to Kate Spade to dream up the sweetest little red dress (also available in black!). Puff sleeves and a bow front seal the deal.
SJP wore the baby blue version of this dress in a coming-soon scene from ...And Just Like That. For the holidays, this metallic black version feels just right.
Wide Neckline Leather Mini Dress
Leather is always a good idea, so it’s safe to assume that a ruched leather mini is a great idea.
Anjou Sequin Fringe Sleeveless Midi Dress
I always lean towards evergreen and emerald during the holidays, and this fringed sequin skirt gives a basic sparkly bodycon a little extra spark.
The Puff Dress
Selkie Puff Dresses serve major princess vibes, so whether you want to be a Holiday Princess, an Ice Princess or whatever else, snagging one is a good idea.
Malina Velvet Bodycon Dress
Corset bodices are so in, and this unexpected blue velvet takes the silhouette up more than a few notches.
Feather Gabrielle Robe Dress
Retrofête is known for long-sleeved, robe-style mini dresses, and this winter white pick is splendid for a holiday soirée.
Vision of Elegance Sequin Cross Back Midi Dress
Nothing beats a sequined midi dress with a pleated skirt made for twirling, am I right?
Sheer Yoke Velvet Mini Dress
My newest obsession? The voluminous sheer sleeves on this black velvet number from Eloquii, adding just the right amount of drama.
Jacquard Bow Detail Bandeau Dress
Karen Millen does some lovely party attire, and the big bow down the front of this simple shift adds the perfect dose of holiday whimsy.
Beaded Fringe Bardot Corset Dress
The corset bodice. The olive green hue. The glittering rhinestone trim. Could it be any more perfect?
Velvet Sequin Dress
Lastly, a sequined red mini perfect for any last-minute festivities, for under $50 bucks. Thank you, Zara.