What To Wear To A Holiday Party With The Family


“It’s the most wonderful time of the year!” I mean, how much fun is it dressing for the holidays? Whether I’m layered and casual or my sparkle rivals the Christmas tree, there’s an unspoken fashion code that makes Santa leggings as appropriate as sparkles. And, well, I’m all for both. But, let’s be honest, you throw a few more humans in the mix (especially the pint-sized ones) and things can get a little dicey. My little ones are as cute as they come, but dang, they have serious style needs and objections. I’m like, seriously, you were just watching TV in a dinosaur robe and football slippers, so you can turn up your nose at wearing jeans for a few hours? Ugh…when will my son ever get over his fear of “crunchy pants”? And, don’t even get me started on my husband, who refuses to wear blazer or shawl collar sweater. Yeah, it’s a bit hipster Mr. Rogers, but trust me, just this once, right?! Anyway, lemme dig out of this rabbit hole and share my least painful, and somewhat enjoyable, approach to stying the family for holiday parties.

How To Style The Family For Holiday Parties

Pick a Color Palette (But, Don’t Match)

Day 3: 12 Days of Holiday Style. Family photo shoot & holiday party prep is a struggle. Make the sartorial magic happen for the entire fam with these tips.
This mama generally wants to pick out everyone’s outfit, but this mama also tends to take on too much. I have to give up a little control if we ever expect to leave the house. Instead, I decide on a color palette and send a quick selfie or inspiration for my look to my husband. Then, the magic happens: We can wear anything that incorporates those colors. He picks out a few looks he’s considering, and I’ll help him make the final decision. We tag-team my son’s outfit and I’ll usually focus on my daughter. Either way, no one is matching, which I think keeps the grown-ups from wondering if their outfit is too juvenile or if the kids’ outfits are too grown up.

Go For It (AKA live your best sparkly, plaid, over-the-top life)

Day 3: 12 Days of Holiday Style. Family photo shoot & holiday party prep is a struggle. Make the sartorial magic happen for the entire fam with these tips.Day 3: 12 Days of Holiday Style. Family photo shoot & holiday party prep is a struggle. Make the sartorial magic happen for the entire fam with these tips.

Now that you have a color palette, live your best sparkly, plaid, over-the-top life, sis! During the holidays, you can get away with wearing all the things, sometimes all at once (hello sequin and faux fur). So, go for it! It doesn’t have to be your entire outfit; even one statement piece that you wouldn’t normally go for will get tons of mileage at your holiday parties. That’s generally how I find inspiration to wear outside of the holidays, too. I shared a sequin clutch in my gift guide I thought I’d only wear during the holidays, but it’s become a date night staple! Same for the family, too! I get so into buying staples for my children, so a Star Wars sweater generally wouldn’t be on my list of seasonal clothing purchases. Now that he has it, he’s obsessed, and it will be on repeat.

Pull It Together With Texture and Patterns

Day 3: 12 Days of Holiday Style. Family photo shoot & holiday party prep is a struggle. Make the sartorial magic happen for the entire fam with these tips.

Faux-fur, sweaters, sequins, and Star Wars may sound like the worst joke setup, but dang, it just works! Adding interest with textures and patterns is a fun way to let everyone’s personalities shine. Then, there’s the bonus that no two pics look the same. Each photo you have will be a mashup of sequins with solids, Star Wars with faux-fur…the possibilities are endless, and each more beautiful and festive than the last. That’s why coordinating, not matching, is so fun. My wish for your family party ensemble and pics is simple: May The Force of texture and patterns be with you.

Outfit Details

Faux-Fur Collar (Similar): Throw this on over a jacket or top for a little added gorgeousness. My look was missing something until I added it. Then, viola — instant holiday flair!

Cardigan: Yep, this is just a regular ol’ cardigan. I’ve never worn a cardigan as a top, but I love how it turned out. I put a tiny safety pin to keep the top secured since I’ll be corralling the kiddos. I could definitely see wearing a cute bralette underneath for a date night look. I’m wearing size M, TTS.

Wide-leg Sequin Pants: I knew I would incorporate sequins, but wasn’t sure how. These pants were a last-ditch effort of a purchase, and I love how they turned out. The actual knit pant is comfortable. The reviewer indicates, they’re long, but I wore them high on my waist and with modest three-inch heels, which was perfect. I sized down to M. If you’re concerned about sizing with the brand, but like the look, I found a similar pair in navy at Nordstrom.

Barely There Heels: Yep, they’re the same heels I’ve been wearing since the summer. I paired them with fishnet socks because my toes were beyond hideous. If I had my life together, I’d roll without them, but these sock booties looked good, too.

Mixed Pearl Necklace: I love all the colors in this necklace. I wore it for my holiday pics last year, and it’s held up so well!

Trent (Similar): Cardigan | Tee | Slacks

Baby Girl (Similar): Sweater Dress | Faux Fur Vest | Mary Janes

Little Dude (Similar): Shawl Collar Sweater | Skinny Jeans | Boots

I hope this helps take some stress out of outfit planning for your next holiday party. These concepts can be used to style your family for anything, but the holidays are probably the most fun. I’d love to see what you come up with; follow/tag me on Instagram and follow along on Liketoknow.it to instantly shop this look (AND, sneak peeks of other posts)! Cheers to a stylish holiday season!


Photos by Sweet Leaf Photography


  1. Girl!!! You look absolutely stunning!! And your kids are ADORABES!! Hubby is cute too btw! I love your style and what you’ve brought to my FAVORITE BLOG EVER!

    • Awwww…Lisa, this comment made me so happy. Especially because every time I read T’s stuff I’m always over here going OMG!! THIS GIRL!! OMG!! So glad I’m not the only one. (T, we love you.)

    • Thank you, Lisa! The fam cleans up well, which is what makes this whole thing worth it. I am also so glad (and still in disbelief, most days) that I get to contribute to this awesome blog and community. Thanks so much for reading and commenting.

    • Thank you, Cristina! And yes, I finally just had to get over hubby’s refusal to wear my recommendations because he always pulls it off, is comfortable and looks good.

  2. My five year old son has decided this fall/winter that sweaters are the devil. If it’s not a hoodie, he’s not interested. And trying to get him into a winter coat? The struggle is real (it is 32 degrees, you can not just wear a hoodie and a vest!).

    • Maybe just stick a hat and mittens on that kid? (I’m only half joking. I went through this with R. He’d roll into the playground in Feb in a tshirt, mittens, and hat because I just couldn’t DEAL. I was all LOGICAL CONSEQUENCES and he was all I see you and your logical consequences and I raise you ONE MILLION.) I just waited until the phase passed. He’s still alive. (I am NO HELP.) 🙂

  3. OMG, I love your entire outfit!!! I’m off to Forever 21 after work to try and find these pants!!! my 5’1″ self may have to resort to getting the bottom hacked off… but the look is FAB!!!

    • Thanks Adrienne. It’s probably the most comfy holiday look I’ve worn. I’m about 5’3″…in addition to hemming, you could also try leaving the cardigan untucked and adding a thin belt. Good luck! Please tag me when wear it, I’d love see how it turns out!

  4. Hold the phone…these are pants?!?! I was all ? when I saw your post on Instagram and thought it was a skirt! I’m officially obsessed. Like I said, you win Christmas with these outfits. So so good! Oh, and a heads up…he may never grow out of the crunchy pants thing. I have a 13 yo and a 14 yo who still will. Not. Wear. Jeans. The struggle is real. Hopefully you can find some “dressy” joggers that you can make work. Otherwise, they just have to stand in the back of all pictures so no one can see what they’re wearing. ?

    • LOL, yes, everyone thought it was a skirt! I switched it up just a tad this year. I just don’t get what the issue is with these kids and jeans, but banishing them to the back of the pics is a hilariously effective solution!

    • Thank you Katie! Glad to know I’m not the only one struggling w/kids and jeans, but I’ll have check out the karate jeans!

  5. Also my daughter didn’t wear jeans until she was about 10 and now won’t wear a dress unless we are going to a wedding. I found her black velvet jeans at GAP this year and we have been pairing them with lots of fun tops for the holidays. My boys favorite jeans are Old Navy Karate jeans. They are stretchy and softer.

  6. Tiara, I hope we aren’t at the same party. I have purchased everything in your last two features. It must be that C-bus sensibility! You just seem to get real women! Merry Christmas!

Leave a Reply