Get glam in these figure-flattering party dresses.
- Erin Donnelly, BettyConfidential.comEggnog, cookies galore, and mistletoe just a few feet away from your big crush-what's not to like about a holiday party? Best of all, these Santa shindigs offer the perfect opportunity to ditch your sweaters and jeans and glam up for the night. Now, will it be a tried-and-true little black dress, or something a bit more show-stopping, like Katy Perry's purple lace party frock?
Allow us to present these cocktail dress contenders for every budget and body type.
Cocktail dresses can pose a problem for petite gals. Go to frou-frou or girly and you risk looking like a six-year-old in a party dress. So scrap the bubblegum pink ruffles and opt for a dress with a little more edge-think dark hues, studs, and sleek silhouettes, like Emma Roberts. Monochrome looks will elongate the body, as will short skirts paired with sky-high heels. While a bit of draping here and there can add the illusion of sexy curves, avoid anything too voluminous as it will only overpower your slight frame.
A steely gray hue, glittering sequin accents, and a twirl-friendly skirt make this art deco-esque number a fab find. Just add finger waves and a red pout. Rebecca Taylor strapless silk bustier dress ($495, net-a-porter.com).
Hit the party circuit-or the clubs-in this fun one-shouldered dress. The girly-but-not-childish bow detail and vibrant magenta color are destined to steal the spotlight. Nasty Gal silk bow dress ($98, shopnastygal.com).
Knock 'em dead with this metallic animal print dress referencing this season's lingerie-inspired trend. The corset will boost what curves you have, while the high-waisted skirt will hide your short torso. Victoria's Secret jacquard corset dress ($79, victoriassecret.com).
Full-figured babes can't go wrong with a slimming black dress, and sequin or lace details can help up the glam factor, like Miranda Lambert's. But don't be afraid to embrace some color, though pale hues or whites may be a bit trickier to pull off (and are less seasonally appropriate as well). More importantly, focus on the cut of the dress. If you're self-conscious about your heavy upper arms, opt for a Joan Harris-style long-sleeved sheath that hugs the body without flashing too much skin.
Cinched-waist styles such as a wrap dress can help create that covetable hourglass shape. Avoid strapless, boob-squashing numbers if you're big on top, and dress lengths that hit you at the heaviest part of the thigh. Be careful with voluminous ruffles and draping, which can pack on the pounds. And don't forget your heels-they are a must for lengthening the leg and giving you a formal upgrade.
Speaking of accessories, a fab chunky pearl necklace is a great way to downplay your cleavage if you're on the busty side.
Flaunt those hot legs (paired with sexy heels, of course) in this glamorous sheath. A sheer overlay and tonal beaded stripes make this anything but your average LBD. Calvin Klein beaded sleeveless sheath ($218, nordstrom.com).
Shimmery and slinky, this belted icy blue dress boasts figure-flattering pleats and just the right amount of cleavage. Add a dangling necklace, black tights, and strappy heels. Forever 21+ belted wrap dress ($24.80, forever21.com).
Get your "la dolce vita" on in this lacy, form-fitting frock. Totally classy, yet trend-conscious. INC International Concepts sleeveless lace empire dress ($75.65, macys.com).
Tall ladies like Katy Perry (she's 5' 7"), are best off looking for dresses with longer lengths (or even a maxi, perhaps?) that hit the knee or below. Alternatively, you can show off those mile-long legs with a short and sexy minidress that's balanced out with longer sleeves or a high neckline. Color-blocked or belted looks help break up a long torso, while bows, draping, and ruffles can provide boyish body types with some curves.
Did somebody say foxy? Tall, athletic types will look fabulous in this sleek black one-shouldered dress with romantic ruffled trim. Swoon. Ann Taylor tall one-shoulder cascade dress ($149.99, anntaylor.com).
Work this season's velvet trend with this irresistible bow-tied wrap dress in gray velvet. Diane von Furstenberg velvet wrap dress ($345, bergdorfgoodman.com).
Put those gams front and center with this sequined mini dress. Because of the sparkly material, you'll want to go easy on the jewelry. Night Way sequin dress ($66, dillards.com).
If you're flexible on styles, why not focus on trying out a new trend this holiday season? "Black Swan"-inspired feathery ballet looks, lush velvet, and romantic lace accents are all the rage right now. Selena Gomez looks fetching in a ballet inspired dress.
With its black lace and bewitching midnight blue hue, this sophisticated, sublimely sexy number has an effortless, Parisian chic vibe. Pair it with black tights, booties, and a fitted blazer. J.Crew Lisette lace shift dress ($198, jcrew.com).
Get red-hot in this flirty crimson dress. Ruffles and a bow detail add a feminine touch, and the bold color will guarantee you stand out from the crowd. Nanette Lepore Unwrap Me bow dress ($348, bloomingdales.com).
Simple but chic, this ballerina-inspired strapless chiffon dress can be paired with eye-catching jewelry and your favorite pumps. Available in black, orchid haze, or licorice. Express strapless chiffon dress ($68.60, expressfashion.com).
Erin Donnelly is a London-based fashion writer for StyleList and Refinery 29.
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