Feather Embellishments Are the New Sequins, as Far as Holiday Parties Go

Mia Maguire
Feather Embellishments Are the New Sequins, as Far as Holiday Parties Go
Photo: Edward Berthelot/Getty Images.

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Sequins, faux fur and glitzy foil are undeniable staples in the permanent collection of embellished holiday dressing. These tried-and-true classics never go out of style, regardless of the influx of new trends that pour in year after year. But 2018 tells a somewhat different story—one ’90s revival trend seems to be taking the festive fashion lead this holiday season, displacing sequins, fur and other winter wardrobe go-tos. Feathers.

MORE: 21 Eye-Catching Embellished Pieces to Rely on This Season

If you came of age in the ’90s, you likely remember the starring role feather accents once played in the sartorial space. Sure, feathered fashion got its start in the Prohibition-era 1920s, with flappers sporting both sequin- and feather-embellished ensembles during performances and parties. But the resurrection of the old-timey trend during the ’90s (and honestly, the aughts, too) made wearing feathers feel approachable and wearable—and took the embellishment from night to day.

In 1995’s Clueless, heroine Cher Horowitz not only rocked a baby-pink marabou pen in debate class, but also famously wore an ostrich-embellished jacket while getting robbed at gunpoint. Then there was the feather-trimmed off-shoulder LBD Kate Moss wore to the Cannes Film Festival in 1995, which later inspired one of the best-selling pieces in the supermodel’s 2007 namesake collection for Topshop.

Ten years later, the feather boa dress has made yet another return—this time with a modern makeover that even minimalist dressers can get behind.

MORE: Your Everything Guide to Holiday Dresses

While the idea of rocking feather- or marabou-inspired embellishments may seem to costumey (or, let’s be real, reminiscent of budget lingerie from seedy adult-only shops), this season’s feather details are anything but the flimsy, shedding-prone feather boa you purchased at the party supply store before high school dances.

From fringed ostrich-feather-trimmed cocktail dresses to fluffier marabou-lined evening tops, vintage-inspired feather embellishments look elevated and forward while still feeling whimsical and flirty—making them the perfect addition to any holiday-party ensemble. Here, some of our favorite trendy feather pieces to shop this season.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Nordstrom.

Vince Camuto Feather Trim Off-the-Shoulder Dress, $179 at Nordstrom

This off-the-shoulder LBD is reminiscent of Kate Moss’s 1995 feather-trimmed cocktail dress.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

ShopBop.

Loeffler Randall Laurel Twist Slides with Feathers, $380 at Shopbop

These silver fur-adorned slides are as sexy as the famous marabou slippers sold at luxe lingerie stores, but these look just as good outside the bedroom as they do in.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Urban Outfitters.

UO Clarissa Feather Trim Dress, $99 at Urban Outfitters

This sexy mini dress is lined with faux feather detail for a subtle throwback vibe that still feels contemporary.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Net-a-Porter.

16Arlington Feather-Trim Sequin Tulle Top, $695 at Net-a-Porter

While feather accents may be giving sequins a run for their money this season, if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. This glam top is playful and fun, but still looks elevated enough to impress at your office’s holiday party—or even a NYE bash.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Neiman Marcus.

Milly Nicole Feather Cuff V-Neck Dress, $455 at Neiman Marcus

Thanks to its feather-adorned cuffs, this classic, long-sleeve LBD is anything but basic.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Revolve.

Lamarque Deora Feather Coat, $225 at Revolve

This “fur” coat gets a nuanced, of-the-moment update with a rosy-hued feather textile. Pair it with jeans or layer it over your cocktail dress for an instant glam upgrade.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

ShopBop.

LIKELY Romy Dress, $248 at Shopbop

Another classic LBD with a twist, this sexy bodycon midi features soft marabou-lined sleeves for a touch of texture.

STYLECASTER |

Matches Fashion.

Charlotte Olympia Salsa Feather-Embellished Suede Sandals, $638 at Matches Fashion

Sometimes, our footwear choice serves as the outfit’s lead character, and these scarlet-hued marabou heels will steal the show in the best way possible.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Misguided.

Peace and Love Nude Bardot Dress, $110 at Missguided

This blushy bodycon looks sexy but demure thanks to feather fringe detail and a dramatic off-the-shoulder profile.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Revolve.

LPA Aida Top, $138 at Revolve

This sweetheart-cut bustier top looks just as chic with vintage denim as it does tucked into your high-waist wide-leg trousers. A going-out top redefined.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Revolve.

Chrissy Teigen x Revolve Jet-Lagged Bed Jacket, $248 at Revolve

If you’re on board with the lingerie-inspired trend, you’ll surely appreciate this lacy feather-embellished over-jacket—which is basically just a natural evolution of the iconic slip dress.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Net-a-Porter.

Loeffler Randall Zadie Feather and Leather Bag, $350 at Net-a-Porter

There’s a reason this fuzzy rose statement clutch has endured a seemingly endless cycle of selling out and being restocked since it launched. Get your hands on it while you can.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

Farfetch.

Prada Twill Robe Coat, $1,630 at Farfetch

Another vintage look inspired by luxe loungewear, this silk robe jacket features contrasting black feather cuffs for an unexpected touch of texture.

STYLECASTER | Feather Embellishments Are Replacing Last Year’s Sequin Trend For Holiday Parties

ShopBop.

Jocelyn Pull Through Feather Scarf, $115 at Shopbop

This versatile feather scarf will instantly make over any outfit, whether it’s a jeans-and-tee combo or full-length formal gown.

 

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