For most people, the holiday season means a serious uptick in social activity. Between the office parties, family gatherings, get-togethers with friends, and New Year’s Eve, it can get a little overwhelming—especially when you start thinking about all of the different outfits you’ll have to put together.
But don’t let the sheer volume of socializing that’s coming your way scare you. If anything, take advantage of the merry vibes by whipping out your most festive winter outfits—because, after all, no one likes a Scrooge.
Whether you’re dressing for a full-blown black tie operation or a more casual cocktail hour, here are three holiday outfits that’ll get you through this season of good cheer.
An Elevated Holiday Sweater for the Office Party
Who would have thought that those ghastly sweaters your grandma used to gift you each holiday season would become such a huge cultural phenomenon? The iconic knitwear has spawned a plethora of memes and theme parties over the years, but truth be told, a holiday sweater doesn’t have to be ugly and worn ironically. The trick is finding a minimal pattern that evokes the season’s wintry spirit and avoids overt graphics (so, no badly decorated trees, glittery snowmen, or dancing reindeer).
Go with a print that’s subtle and abstract, like this Ralph Lauren Purple Label RLX cashmere Fair Isle sweater. It’s a dialed-down version of your typical festive sweater, but still has all of the colorful character, making it a great option for an upcoming holiday office party or catch-up drinks with hometown friends.
To really make sure you break away from ironic-sweater territory, wear it with a simple blazer, a sharp pair of tailored trousers, and a brogue or monk-strap shoe.
A Colorful Blazer for Family Dinner
Getting dressed for a holiday family dinner is surprisingly tricky. You don’t want to show up in some old sweatshirt and track pants because, come on, your mother taught you better. But a formal suit and tie can come off a bit stiff. Go with an outfit that has personality—something moderately colorful that looks put-together and stylish.
This purple velvet formal jacket from Ralph Lauren Purple Label is a striking and fun piece that adds vibrant life to any pared-back outfit. The texture lends a warm, wintry vibe that’s suitable for the entire season (not just the holidays), and its royal color distinguishes it from your average navy or black blazer.
Keep things from skewing too formal with faded jeans and a brown or black crewneck sweater. Throw on some leather lace-ups or suede loafers, and you’ll soon be dubbed the king of festive nonchalance.
A Green Velvet Tuxedo for New Year’s Eve
In the olden days, going out at night meant black tie–a tux, a bowtie, shirt studs, and a vest. But today, the getup is mostly reserved for weddings and the occasional charity gala. The holidays, however, herald its triumphant return thanks to all those swanky dinners, New Year’s Eve parties, and theater outings. But how can you really stand out when everyone around you is dressed in an identical black penguin suit? With a green velvet tartan one, of course.
This Ralph Lauren Purple Label tuxedo is a more festive approach to black-tie dressing, but done in a modern and tasteful way. The tartan pattern adds subtle flair against the rich dark-green color, while the sheeny velvet fabric offers a luxurious texture that’s elegant and even a bit adventurous. Just make sure to pair it with the black tie classics: a white poplin tuxedo shirt, a vest, a silk satin bow tie, and—for something little different—a pair of plush velvet slippers.