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You Can Stop Wondering What to Wear to Your Holiday Parties

Laverne Cox’s stylist spills all of her holiday party dressing tips.

You Can Stop Wondering What to Wear to Your Holiday Parties

Holidays are somewhat of a marathon—making rounds to visit family and friends, stuffing your face with as much food and wine as possible (because, balance), and attending a million and one holiday parties. Just thinking about it all makes us tired, and we haven’t begun to consider WTF we are going to wear to all the parties. There can be quite a few “rules” this time of year, such as: don’t overdo it with the sequins, make sure you wear tights to your office party, and never (ever) wear bright green and red together—it’s enough to drive anyone crazy. We figured our best bet was to consult a professional stylist because, well, they always know what they’re doing. Enter: Christina Pacelli. We guarantee you know her work because she’s the one constantly sending the beautiful Laverne Cox down the red carpet in lustworthy ensembles. You see why we trust her in guiding us in holiday party dressing?


“When you’re going to celebrate the holidays with your friends, maybe that’s where the backless dress comes in.”


On the materials best suited for the holidays:

“Tulle for the holidays is super festive, [definitely do] sequins in a dress or a skirt, or in your shoes. I love a Miu Miu sequined Mary Jane, super cute and festive. Velvet is back in fashion, and it’s exciting because you can get it in a tall over-the-knee boot, or a really pretty spaghetti-strap vest with a belt. There’s a lot of tweed on the Spring/Summer runways and Resort, too—a really good time to wear it is during the holidays—a tweed trench coat draped over the shoulder is great, and then I was also gonna say lurex pleated skirts in a gold or silver metallic. Alice + Olivia makes a style that goes to mid-shin that’s super cute and festive, perfect for a holiday party.”

On how often is it okay to wear sequins:

“[The way] people celebrate and are so festive (especially in New York), you’re going to a cocktail mixer or holiday party almost every night of the week, so I’d say limit [wearing sequins] to just one of those nights in a week.”

On heels vs. flats:

“This is a tough one living in New York, when sometimes we’re taking the train to the party, rather than taking an Uber. A platform heel really does the trick. Stuart Weitzman has so many different boots with a platform or chunkier heel that range from three to six inches—know your comfort level. I have the over-the-knee boots that are a six-inch heel because I like that height, but it’s a platform so I’m comfortable and am able to wear them all night, walking around and taking the train.”



“I love a Miu Miu sequined Mary Jane, super cute and festive.”


Work and family party appropriateness:

“Cover it up for the work events and for the family events. You should dress for a holiday event like you would for work—except in a festive manner—because you’re still going to be around your boss and your colleagues. Maybe you take a little bit more edge and more risk with the shoe—wear a bright red pump, strappy sandal, or a velvet boot—that’s where you can have the pop and the excitement. Add hosiery so [a dress] doesn’t seem too short, or have a cute trench coat or peacoat draped over your shoulders if you’re showing a little cleavage so that there is balance. When you’re going to celebrate the holidays with your friends, maybe that’s where the backless dress comes in, and you’ve got a leg slit—there’s just more skin in general.”

The best way to liven up an all-black outfit:

“In the jewelry, for sure. Try a beautiful statement necklace. I’ve been feeling the one-earring trend a lot, so maybe a statement earring that you wear in one ear and then have a stud in the other. People notice that—a nice statement piece to pump up your little black dress. Adding a belt to the natural waist can pump it up and make it a bit more formal and stylish at the same time.”

How to make holiday sweaters fun and stylish:

“Metallic! Metallics feel very naturally festive. Gold metallics, [or] I love a mixed metallic vibe, so gold and silver together. If you have a gold sweater that has a chrome fabric in it, wearing silver jewelry will look great with it and will feel very naturally festive. Gemstones always feel very festive as well.”


On three holiday wardrobe essentials:

“Hosiery, flare in your jewelry [like] hair accessories—hairpins, a brooch, or a headband—and number three would be the shoes! An interesting shoe can make all the difference. I have a lot of little black dresses that I want to make work for these different holiday parties [and] you can put them with a really cute red pump or a purple platform heel—Prada makes amazing ones. [That way] you’ve got that little unique element that makes you stand out and makes it stylish.”

Never leave your house without:

“Safety pins. And if you’re going to wear white (this goes for the holidays and any time after), Shout Wipes.”

What she is looking forward to wearing most this holiday season:

“My tall dark red velvet chunky-heel over-the-knee platform boots. They’re super hot, very festive [and] they’re comfortable. I’m so glad [velvet] is back. I feel like they’re an accessory to me because, well, they’re the statement piece that I build the whole rest of the outfit around.”

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