Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 4.26.09 PMAs I was perusing the web, attempting to answer a reader’s question about her upcoming holiday party (more on that later), I couldn’t help but find some gorgeous cocktail dresses that would be perfect for moms.  On the off chance that some of you are living fabulous lives that involve high heels, cocktail parties, and babies that sleep…I thought I’d share my finds.

psst:  Does anyone else love this all-white look as much as I do?  It’s actually this shirt and this tulle skirt from Shabby Apple.  Genius!  And also comes in black (shirt and skirt).

For the Busty or Over-all Curvy Mom

Most of the dresses below have the following in common:  A neckline that can be worn with a serious bra, a nipped-in waist, and a slightly lower neckline to show off ‘the girls’.  Curvy mamas, dresses with a bit of structure, and ones that show off your tiny waist are your best bet.

HolidayDressesFor Curvy Moms




Red carpet dress
$105 –


BB Dakota sheer dress
$97 –


$80 –


Zara lace dress
$80 –


Vintage style dress
$58 –








If you are pretty well proportioned, I’m loving Shabby Apple’s El Capitan or Beverly Hills dresses, both pictured below.  (And everything at Shabby Apple is currently 20% off, until…uh – oh wow.  Until tonight!)

Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 4.02.28 PM  Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 4.03.02 PM

Oooo…I’m also loving the plum LA dress and the lace Holiday Hills dress.

Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 4.25.16 PM  Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 4.30.37 PM

Gah!!  If only I didn’t have this pooch!!!

Aaand, on that note…..

For the Poochy Mama

Sigh.  These are dresses that should hide a pooch – and some, (like the bright blue number from ASOS, top right) should even hide a post-partum pooch.

Look for sheath dresses (like the leopard below), and keep ’em short to make them feel sexy, rather than dowdy.  And please ignore the ridiculous pose by the Victoria’s Secret model – this dress could actually be pretty cute.

Poochy Mama Cocktail Dresses




Red dress
$100 –


Victoria s Secret dolman sleeve dress
$98 –


ASOS knot dress
$81 –


Zara dress
$60 –


$245 –






For Moms Who Hate Their Arms

I just noticed, the other day, that my arms wobble.  Which, OK – it’s beyond time to get back to ballet class.  And…that’s probably not gonna happen anytime soon.  Happily, winter is a great time to stock up on dresses with sleeves.  And split sleeves – which just let the top of your arm peek out (ahem – the toned part) can amp the dress’s the sex appeal.

(Whoa.  That’s the second time I’ve talked about sex appeal in one article.  What’s gotten into me today?  I can tell you what hasn’t gotten into me today…heh heh heh.  JOKING!  I’M JOKING!)


But seriously – how cute is the star dress?  I think I’d be Raines’ hero in a space-themed dress.  Also, poochy mamas, the DVF number would also do an amazing job of pooch hiding.


Dresses for moms who hate their arms




Diane von Fürstenberg sleeved dress
$234 –


Damsel in a Dress sleeved dress
$150 –


Zara dress
$90 –


ASOS flared dress
$81 –


Victoria s Secret sleeved dress
$50 –







A note about DVF dresses:

Screen Shot 2011-11-30 at 4.16.57 PMGang, these dresses are seriously amazing.  Yes, they cost a bit of cash, but they literally never go out of style, look good on virtually any body type, and have killer drape.  They look good at weddings, cocktail parties, work, date nights, whatever.

I tend to recommend going with cheaper holiday dresses, simply because we don’t wear them that often, but a DVF dress, because of it’s versatility, is an exception to that rule.

I’m currently loving (in addition to the ones above) the Emsley Vintage Silk Jersey Dress, $345. (IknowIknowIknow!)


Happy maternity and postpartum fashion makes for Happy Holidays!!!




ps.  Nursing Mamas, I didn’t forget you.  We covered holiday nursing dresses last week.



  1. LOVE this post! I actually just bought a dress yesterday and it was quite the challenge as I’m 11weeks with my 2nd and my belly has popped out making the more structured dresses look awkward and maternity dresses (are there even any affordable ones out there?) just too baggy. But I found this one at Kohls and it is just stretchy enough that it hugs all my new curves, including the belly – which looks like a prego belly now rather than the dreaded ‘pooch’!

  2. The hubby & I have a black tie holiday party in a few weeks…. he’s wearing a tux, I’m lost about what I should wear. Would any of these work? If not, any suggestions for that? I can’t be the only mama out there who doesn’t have a clue what black tie mama clothes look like! 🙂

  3. Ugh why do I love the Victoria’s Secret ones??? I decided I am anti-VS when I discovered they (the standard setters in our culture for what constitutes beautiful breasts & bras) don’t carry my size at all, but they keep luring me in with fabulously gorgeous drapey sweaters and dresses!

  4. I LOVE ModCloth, I got my holiday dress from them. A cute, dark blue one shouldered cocktail dress. I am hoping it’ll be comfy, and flatter my hourglass figure. Being married to a vet (and me being a nanny) always makes me feel like I have to prove something, I think this dress will do that for me :o)

  5. Katie, any black tie event I have gone to usually means a floor length dress however it would be interesting to hear what S thinks.

  6. Jenny – nice find! Thanks!
    Katie….Um…yeah. I mostly agree with Denise – black tie typically means floor length gowns. BUT…I would argue that the notion is changing. With the trend of shorter bridesmaid dresses (and J.Crew is often showing girls in shorter dresss paired with men in tuxes)…I think you could do black tie with a shorter dress. I’d keep the fabric “fancy” (no cotton) and make sure the bag, shoes, jewelry are all glitzy. Any of the lace dresses above would work (except Zara’s and ASOS’s – they look a bit too casual for black tie), Modcloth’s red carpet dress would work, and any of the Shabby Apple dresses would be great (El Capitan I’m on the fence, however. The fabric might be a touch to casual for black tie).
    Crunchy Con Mommy – I’m a sucker for a comfy dress too. 🙂
    EmmaKate – Ooo, that sounds amazing!! Thanks for sharing. And as a nanny, you shouldn’t have to prove a thing. You probably have more patience and grace than the rest of the room combined. 🙂

  7. Totally off topic…but I’m taking the SnapShop course with you online. Have been an avid reader and fan of your blog for over a year now so I was amazed when I saw “Shana” who “does a bit of mom-fashion blogging” in the intro. Felt a bit like I was taking a class with royalty. 😉

  8. These are great! I would love a post about what to wear to the more casual but still festive holiday events, like a holiday brunch, cookie decorating party, children’s concert, etc. I usually default to a sweater dress/tunic with leggings and boots or jeans with a sparkly top.

  9. Erica – LOLOL! Hunh – my husband (and Dad) refer to me as “the Queen”. But uh, YEAH – sarcastically. But how much do you love that class??? I am, however, a TERRIBLE photographer and haven’t uploaded any pics. Most of mine are crap. Sigh. I need to get over myself and just upload some. Promise not to laugh? 🙂
    Ann – You are reading my mind! Look for it next week, actually!

  10. OK, these are all great, but you missed a MAJOR category–Moms who are nursing!? Nothing more depressing than wearing pants to a holiday party. Where are the nursing friendly options?

  11. I was having a tough time finding a dress for my work’s fancy holiday party that was dressy enough and conservative (i.e. not a lot of skin showing).
    I fell in love with this dress at Nordstrom:
    I couldn’t swing the $98 price tag, and managed to find almost the exact same dress for half off at Macy’s on Cyber Monday:
    Just got it in the mail and it is fabulous! I feel so pretty and elegant. First time I have felt that way since I got pregnant with my son (who is almost one!).

  12. The hubby & I have a black tie holiday party in a few weeks…. he’s wearing a tux, I’m lost about what I should wear. Would any of these work? If not, any suggestions for that? I can’t be the only mama out there who doesn’t have a clue what black tie mama clothes look like! 🙂

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