Welcome to our virtual holiday party hop! For this festive post, Liz from With Wonder and Whimsy and Nina of Curvy Mod and myself, teamed up to bring you posts full of holiday fashion, styling and decorating tips, recipes and more! We each have different party-ready frocks that we've used to inspire our own party themes. Liz is wowing in SWAK at her Rustic Elegance party, while Nina looks posh in Simply Be at her Glam on a Budget festivities! After you attend my party, make sure you swing by theirs too!
This is the Wrapped in Luxury Dress from Kiyonna. I've featured Kiyonna many times and love them so much. In case you are new to the brand, here are a few tidbits of info: Kiyonna carries sizes 10/12 (0x) to 30/32 (5x). They provide dresses and separates in a variety of colors, patterns, and textures. From body con leopard print dresses, sweet lace looks, and easy maxis, to more practical knit tops and pencil skirts, there is something for everyone.
I don't have a lot of opportunities to get really fancy, but when I saw this dress I knew I needed to make an opportunity. The luxurious velvet fabric and deep teal hue made visions of diamond encrusted sugar plums dance in my head. This dress inspires opulence, glitz, elegance, and romance.
The fit was magnificent! I typically have issues with a true wrap dress fitting me well because I am smaller in the bust and larger in the hips. The dolman sleeves seem to balance out my figure in a way that makes this dress enhance what it needs to and hide the things it can, while still giving me the ease that comes with a maxi dress. This is the best fitting wrap dress I have tried on to date! The shoulder and waist feature gathering that creates a beautiful drape in the comfortably stretchy velvet fabric. While the fabric has a nice weight to it, I didn't find it too thick or stifling. It truly is spectacular in person.
Despite my best efforts, the teal color of the dress looks very royal blue in my photos. I want to point out that the dress is definitely teal, but possibly a bluer teal than the website photos. Because of the shift and shine in the fabric, the color seemed a little different in each room of my house, depending on the lighting. There is truly nothing I disliked about this dress. The wrap style was perfect. The sash length was great. I'm in love with the supple fabric and color. It would also make a fabulous New Year's Eve dress!
Because the dress feels like such a statement, I kept the accessories classic and simple - a drop necklace and earring set and strappy sandals.
Velvet Luxe Wrap Dress- c/o Kiyonna
Bella Beautiful Drop Necklace - Charming Charlie
Bella Beautiful Drop Earrings - Charming Charlie
Strappy Heels - Payless
Holiday Styling Tips:
- Holiday fashions should be fun and festive, but you don't want to be self-conscious and uncomfortable. Think about the fabric, whether you will need to wear shapewear, or what kind of shoes you will need to wear. Think about the party itself. Will you be standing or sitting mostly? Is there dancing? Will you be drinking a lot and need to visit the restroom accordingly? Practical doesn't have to be boring.
- If sequins and glitter aren't your thing (what a travesty!!), opt for luxurious fabric like velvet or brocade. Rich, jewel-toned hues are perfect for holiday parties as well.
- Add interest to a basic LBD with accessories - a pretty clutch, a gorgeous scarf or necklace, chandelier earrings, an embellished belt, fabulous shoes, etc. These items are great ways to add personality and color as well.
- Make sure your hair and makeup also reflect the dressiness of your attire. For me, I feel like curling my hair gives me a more polished look. For parties, I love to play up my eyes and do something fun. For this particular look, I did a gold to teal gradient to play off the color of the dress and add a more modern flair to my look. Glitter eyeliners can add just a touch of sparkle or you can go for an all over shimmer.
- Because parties usually involve plenty of eating and drinking, I kept the lips neutral and glossy. This makes it easy to touch up. Lip stains that last all day are another great option for parties.
My decorating aesthetic is more colorful and a mix of kitschy and glitzy, depending on the room. This dress definitely inspired a more formal and elegant decor style, mixed with shimmer and ambiance.
Monochromatic decor is the easiest way to create a more polished and elegant look for a table scape, mantel, or other location in your home. Add an accent color or take inspiration from your normal decorating palette. Most of my home is decorated in teal, turquoise, and green. For holiday decor, I chose fluffy faux pine garlands for my mantel and stair rail and decorated them with sparkling turquoise and green ribbon, flowers, ornaments, and tinsel. The decor seems a bit more seamless and adds to the existing decoration instead of clashing.
Whether your festive decorations are layered or minimal, candles are a must! Everyone looks amazing in candlelight. Candles can provide a stunning, magical ambiance with very little effort. Utilize existing objects in your holiday decorations. Fill wine glasses with ornaments, turn them upside down on a table, and place a candle on top. The same thing can be done with vases. Bring out your decorative trays, mirrors, placemats, scarves, jewelry, etc. Get creative with how you decorate!
If you love to use your crafting skills for DIY projects, now is the time! Use thrifted candle holders and vases to make your own mercury glass. Go to town with glitter, glue, spray paint, ribbon, sequins, decorative scissors, etc. For example, last year I bought six colorful small beaded garlands on clearance at Target. I hot glued them to tall cardboard cones and filled in the gaps with white glitter to make candy-colored, snowy trees. (That DIY project will be on the blog next week.) Adding personal touches or extra sparkle helps bring your party to life!
I would also encourage you to pay attention to the little details. Part of what makes a party special is providing a wonderful experience for your guests. Place settings, menu cards, and other little added touches do not go unseen. Have a special music playlist going. Pandora, Spotify, and Amazon Prime all have great selections. Pull up the Yule Log Channel on your television. Have some games on hand when the conversation dies down a bit. Your guests will appreciate all the special time and effort you put into making the party so memorable.
Creating a party menu is both challenging and extremely fun for me. I love trying new recipes, but these days I have to keep it gluten free at the very least. Still, there are plenty of tasty options out there, whether you are also saying no to dairy, grain, and sugar...or all of the above. Keep in mind that you can also adapt recipes to your required dietary lifestyle.
My party menu includes appetizers of Caprese Skewers (always a huge hit at my parties), Walnut Cranberry Pinwheels, and Stuffed Mushrooms.
For the main course: Pancetta-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Whipped Horseradish Cream, Wild Rice and Mushroom Pilaf, and Roasted Root Vegetables. For dessert, White Chocolate Peppermint Mousse.
Don't forget the drinks! It is easiest and most budget friendly to serve a signature cocktail at your party. Maybe you whip up a fabulous martini or you may want to offer a Pomegranate-Cranberry infused Champagne Sparkler. Starting coffee to go with dessert is also a good idea. I have a coffee bar in my dining room where I use a large coffee pot to make regular coffee and a small pot for those that want decaf. Setting out a decorative tray with coffee flavoring components is also a wonderful gesture for your guests. You can include flavored syrups, cream, sugars, Bailey's Irish Cream, and flavored vodkas.
I admit, I can totally go overboard with this party planning stuff. It is the over-achiever in me. But if you really want to take it a step further, party favors are the way to go! For a smaller dinner party crowd, there are plenty of things you can offer your guests at the end of the night. You can choose to continue the theme of the party into these gifts or have it be a simple gesture. Some ideas for holiday party favors include: caramel dipped pears, tiny potted Christmas trees, ornaments filled with ingredients for hot cocoa, wine, chocolates, homemade sugar scrubs, mini champagne bottles, or baked goods. If you plan far enough in advance, you could also infuse your own vodka and give those as gifts.
Thank you for stopping by my holiday shindig! I hope you had a great time! For more ideas, examples, how-tos, and recipes on all the topics discussed here, check out my Holiday Party Board on Pinterest. Don't forget to stop by Liz's Rustic Elegance Party and Nina's Glam on a Budget Soiree on their blogs as well!
Share your holiday styling tips, decorating ideas, and/or favorite holiday recipes with me in the comments!
Disclosure: I am a member of the Kiyonna Blogger Brigade and they provided me with the dress in this post. All opinions on the item are my own.