Shop Your Closet: 8 Holiday Party Outfit Ideas With Cords


While I love the idea of a sparkly sequin dress, when it’s cold outside, I almost always wear jeans to holiday parties. Figuring out how to dress up denim is a particular hobby of mine and, frankly, any of the ideas below would work with denim. That said, there’s an easy swap for denim that feels especially festive this time of year and that’s…corduroy.

The rich texture of cords (whether in trouser, pant or denim form) lends itself to the season, taking denim party outfits in a surprisingly unexpected direction. Yet the vibe is still unapologetically casual, so these outfits retain that easy glam vibe of the best denim holiday outfit. So if you happen to have an old pair of cords in your closet…dig ’em out.

8 Ways To Wear Cords To A Holiday Party

Truthfully, any color of corduroy would work here, but after a bit of trial & error, I’ve found that for my personal style…I love gray. Gray cords are easy to pair with shine and sequins, can stand up to black, yet allow other colors to pop. I’m pulling outfits together with old standbys in my closet – and I suspect you likely have many of these pieces, too (black cashmere turtleneck, graphic tee, silk tank, button-up shirt, etc).

Team TME’s Favorite Cords

NOTE: The gray cords I’m wearing in every outfit below are by Wit & Wisdom. They’re under $100 and ridiculously comfortable, so if you happen to be in the market for cords, I highly recommend! They run a bit big. I’m often a size 6 in designer pants (or Reformation), but I’m wearing a size 4 here. Lastly, I’m also wearing J.Crew’s silver Maisie double strap heels in most outfits. They are fantastic. Surprisingly comfortable and walkable, too.

Let’s get into it.

1. Monochromatic, But With Sequins & Sparkle

holiday party outfit idea silver shoes

top (s) | pants (4)| heels | bag | earrings

Because this outfit is, in fact, monochromatic, I can layer sparkle on sparkle on sparkle and the result is playful and flirty, without being over-the-top. That said, swapping out the gray cords for a colorful pair would still still work – it would just be a bolder vibe.

Shop More Sequin Tops

2. Textures & Shine

easy holiday party outfit idea gray cords

top (similar) | pants (4) | heels | bag | earrings

So this is the exact same idea as the sequins, but with something shiny and smooth. Again, just showing how unassuming, casual cords play so nicely with fancy textures.

Shop More Shiny Tops

3. With A Black Cashmere Sweater

easy holiday party outfit idea with black sweater

sweater (s) | pants (4) | heels | bag | earrings

Truthfully, this is what I wear most of the time. I’ll typically layer a sexy little top underneath in case I get too hot and need to lose the sweater.

4. With A Sexy Little Top

easy holiday party outfit idea with cords

top (similar) | pants (4) | heels | earrings

Yup. This one. Suuuper easy and just festive enough. Add a cozy cashmere sweater if you get cold, or one of those oversized cashmere cardigans that slide off one shoulder.

Shop More Sexy Silk Tops

5. With a Graphic Tee & Silky PJ Jacket

easy holiday party outfit idea with graphic tee

tee (s) | jacket (similar) | pants (4) | heels | bag | earrings

I picked up this pj-inspired silky jacket years ago (it’s by Maje) and it has become that layer that always works. It just elevates every outfit, but because there’s something lux-casual about the silkiness & the piping…it never feels stuffy. It’s the perfect way to make casual pieces – like a graphic tee – work for a holiday party. And the texture play with cords is especially good.

Shop More Silky Jackets

6. Layer a Button-Up & Sweater

holiday party outfit with a button-up and sweater

top (s) | sweater (s) | pants (4)| heels | bag

There’s something so French-girl gamine about layering a sharp, buttoned collar under a simple sweater – it’s a combo I’ve been relying on for years. And while that fitted, white button-up we all own is perfect for this (especially under a boring black sweater), for a fresh twist, I combined an oversized button-up with a cropped sweater. Both ways work!

7. With a Statement Sweater

gray cords with rag&bone pearl encrusted statement sweater

sweater (s)| pants (4) | heels

Nothing says ‘holidays’ like a cozy, bejeweled sweater, and I especially love the nonchalantly casual cut of a slightly oversized sweater paired with a little bling. Again, the more texture the better – nothing looks cozier with cords.

Shop More Statement Sweaters

8. Pops of Color

gray cords with lavender cashmere sweater and oxblood coat

sweater (s) | jacket (similar) | pants (4)| heels | bag | hat

For a cheery little take, I love layering colors in similar tones. These are both shades of purple, which is why it works. And the cords just soften the whole look up. Easy & cute. I’d also recreate this outfit with a mint + emerald green combo, or red + oxblood, or blush + hot pink, etc etc etc.

Happy holidays!




  1. Great post! I could see myself wearing so many of these outfits. I very much remember a time when cords for fall and winter were a must in my wardrobe, too.

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