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One Dress, Ten Holiday Parties

November 28, 2019 | Filed in: Your Closet

It hasn’t even been a week since Thanksgiving, and chances are your December is already at least halfway full of invites. Yes, it’s officially holiday party season—the time of year when every woman asks herself the same two questions: “Why did I say yes to three parties in one week?” And, “What the heck am I going to wear?” We can’t answer the first question for you, but we are total experts on the second. And this year, we’ve got a trick up our sleeve. We’ve decided to style one dress—the Rachel—for ten different party scenarios. We’re talking work drinks to dinner parties, wine and cheese at home to Mariah Carey Christmas karaoke.

How our stylists, Nyjerah Cunningham and Sam Michel, planned the ten outfits.

But this wasn’t just a fun styling challenge, it was also a way for us to help you get the biggest bang for your buck. Because if you do wear the Rachel ($240) to ten events (which we highly recommend), the cost per wear is only $24—which is definitely cheaper than any taxi in New York City this time of year.

Here’s how to wear one dress to ten different holiday parties. 

The Saturday morning breakfast with your in-laws.

Every year, your in-laws have this tradition of coming into the city to look at the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and every year, you forget which weekend they said they were coming. Don’t fret. You’ve got this! Throw the cozy Angelou shawl over the Rachel dress and pair it with the Pellestrina earrings, and you’re done. Now the only thing you have to decide is: French toast or an omelet?

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The Saturday afternoon hot cocoa that might lead to karaoke.

We’ve all got that one friend who says she wants to keep it low-key when what she really means is she wants to eventually go out for holiday karaoke (and we love her for that). Show up prepared for anything in the Rachel dress, with your trusty Tamar Blazer and Ella sandals ready to go.

The dinner party where you don’t know anyone.

Your significant other started a new job this fall, and now you’re the +1 at a dinner party full of colleagues you’ve never met before. Break the ice by wearing something sparkly, like our new Woolf jardigan in gold, paired with the Rachel dress and the Ginger pump. It will definitely be a conversation starter.

The dinner party where you know everyone.

All your favorite people are going to be there, dancing to your favorite music and eating the Christmas cookies you baked just for them. It’s pretty casual (hence the Para pullover over the Rachel dress), but you still want to look elevated (see: the Lana boot).

The Friday night at the Nutcracker.

Feel like a kid again but look like a grown woman by making an elegant choker out of the Tie, thus showing off the sexy back of the Rachel dress. When paired with the Williamina earrings for added sparkle, this outfit gives off major holiday magic vibes.

The holiday dinner that’s more of a work thing.

You probably don’t want to look like a Christmas ornament while you schmooze with clients, so bust out that Carson jacket, and cinch it over the Rachel dress with the oversized Beebe belt. Do a red lip (because you deserve to be a little festive), and you’re ready for steak or sushi at whichever fancy restaurant your assistant booked this year.

The party without a dress code.

You hope this isn’t an ugly sweater party, because you don’t have room for anything ugly (or even ironically ugly) in your closet. But you also don’t know if it’s the total opposite, and everyone is going to be in cocktail dresses. Play it safe by wearing the Walker top over the Rachel dress and opting for the comfy Zelda boots (you don’t know how much standing you’re going to do, either). Make sure to bring the Cheryl jacket in case it’s a long walk from the subway.

The party where you don’t intend to stay long.

It’s your former co-worker’s post-divorce first solo apartment-warming/holiday party and you’re so excited to see her (you say through your teeth). You’ve set a mental timer for an hour, and then you’ve got plans with your couch and 90 Day Fiancé. But you need to at least look like you tried, so throw on that Rachel dress once again, grab the Gosia dress and wear it as a jacket, and slip into your trusty Ginger pumps. Who knows? Maybe it will be fun…

The party where you remember you love the holidays.

Maybe it’s the twinkly lights, the romantic soundtrack, or the call of the mistletoe, but something about this night just feels special and gives you that warm, fuzzy holiday-time feeling. Also, your outfit is amazing. Combine the Rachel dress with the Rivers top and the Beebe belt for an unexpected cocktail party vibe you’ll want to bust out year after year.

The party to end all parties—New Years Eve, baby!

TGI-almost the end of holiday party season! Still, you want to go out with a bang. Give the Rachel dress one last hurrah by topping it with the sheer (and subtly sexy) goodness of the Hamilton sweater. While everyone else is jingling in sequins, you’ll be looking like a sophisticated woman who is going to have the best year ever in 2020. Cheers!

Photos by Rich Gilligan.

Styling by Nyjerah Cunningham, assisted by Sam Michel.

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Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and Read more of Caitlin's posts.

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