5 Holiday Fashion Mistakes To Avoid This Season

Avoid These Holiday Fashion Faux Pas

Eva Herzigova attends Claridge's Christmas Tree By Dolce & Gabbana launch party at Claridge's Hotel on November 26, 2013
Eva Herzigova attends Claridge's Christmas Tree By Dolce & Gabbana launch party at Claridge's Hotel on November 26, 2013. Getty Images / David M. Benett

Holiday season can be a minefield when it comes to dressing. Any invite that says "festive" invites the question, Just what exactly does that mean? Should you wear jeans and that hilarious sweater with snowmen on it? Or, should you wear your favorite red velvet dress and metallic accessories? Your first line of defense should be to call or email the host to confirm, or ask what he or she will be wearing. Next, you have us.

With a little help and preparation, you can learn how to avoid common holiday fashion mistakes and look your like your prettiest (and most festive) self this year. Ahead, we've outlined some common holiday faux pas and how to avoid them.

Wearing Too Much Glitz

Beading, metallic and shimmer are all fine for the holidays. In fact, most women wait until a good end-of-the-year party to break out their favorite, most glitzy, sparkling pieces. But keep in mind, too much shine can overwhelm anyone—and you could show up looking way more done up than the host. In moderation, sequins, metallics and shine can light up your face and highlight your best body parts. And don't forget that sometimes the best glitz appears only in accessories: silver pumps, chandelier earrings, a black sequined bag... You get the idea

Showing Too Much Skin

Thigh-high miniskirts and cut-to-the-navel dresses may look great on the runway, but in reality they are almost impossible to carry off. Additionally, work holiday parties, family gatherings and charity events are not the right moment to flaunt your assets too boldly. Not only is it possible to dress sexy while leaving lots to the imagination, it's also the best way to look your prettiest for the holidays. The secret here is to accentuate your best features with a suggestion: a lace-trimmed camisole under a velvet jacket hints at great cleavage, a small slit on a skirt gives a glimpse at gorgeous legs, a fitted sheath dress highlights toned arms.

Getting Caught With Nothing to Wear

Nothing is worse than being invited to a fabulous party and having nothing to wear, right? By keeping a few dressy basics in your closet you can always be prepared for last-minute invitations. You can even re-wear the items and make them look totally different just with accessories, shoes and jewelry. Essentials like a great little black dress or perfect dressy black pants can take you a long way.

Making It Too Complicated

No wonder women approach the holidays with dread: trying to coordinate outfits, gifts, travel and parties can overload even the most organized woman. Instead of trying to match up dressy separates, try a little black dress this season. Not only is it universally flattering, it will take you to almost any event in style. Just add accessories and you're set. Your hair should look uncomplicated as well. Opt for a trendy half-up/half-down style or pull your hair back into a low ponytail. Keep your makeup simple, but special: pick one feature to highlight, like eyes or lips.

Being Under or Over Dressed

You know the drill: You show up in jeans when everyone else wears velvet. You wear a long dress and your coworkers are in their business casual attire. Listen, you're not alone if you have trouble deciphering dress codes on a party invitation. Most people get confused by designations as ambiguous as "Dressy Casual" or "Cocktail Attire" — and don't even get us started on "festive,." There are, however, a few dressy items that span several categories, such as the little black dress for her or dark suit for him— both of which can attend everything from semi-formal to cocktail parties.

Updated By Taylor Davies