Are you planning a casual gift exchange at home this holiday season? Have you started thinking of your gift exchange party outfit? I know you want to look fabulous – that, my friend, is the easy part. You’ve got that covered!
But, anytime you entertain at home, your outfit needs to be also be comfortable. Because you’ll be moving around all evening, you don’t want to wear anything too heavy or binding. Sometimes “fabulous” and “comfortable” can be a challenge.
Well, we recently hosted our annual gift exchange, just a few days ago. So, today I’m going to share the details of my gift exchange party outfit with you. I hope that this provides some inspo as you plan your fabulous, and comfortable, party outfit!
A Casual Gift Exchange Party Outfit for a Warm Holiday
The month of December has been unseasonably warm here in New Orleans. This is making holiday wardrobe decisions quite challenging. The night of our annual gift exchange with close friends was no exception. I stood in my closet, frustrated, trying to decide what to wear for my gift exchange party outfit. It needed to be lightweight, but also festive enough for a holiday gathering!
I love our city, but this weather is so frustrating! Planning an outfit in advance is next to impossible – although it’s “Winter”, all too often it is hot outside! There are only a few days each year that are cold enough to wear a cozy sweater. Therefore, most of the time it’s best to dress in layers.
Well, for this get-together I needed my casual hostess outfit to feel “Christmas-y”, despite the heat.
My Casual Gift Exchange Party Outfit
Jeans are both casual and comfortable, so I quickly decided on a pair of slightly distressed skinny jeans as the foundation of my outfit. To dress up the outfit, I paired them with a silk burgundy sleeveless choker tunic (similar top, in black).
More About The Choker Tunic
This choker-style top was the focal point of my festive gift exchange party outfit.
I am obsessed with the look of these choker cutout tops! Early in the Fall, I purchased this tunic from White House Black Market. And, I’m so glad I did, with the warm Winter season that is upon us.
I’ve worn the top several times, and absolutely love it. It’s the perfect length to wear with skinny jeans or leggings, and can be dressed up or down easily depending on the occasion.
In fact, you would love the outfit I put together with this top for a dinner date. I paired it with black scuba-trimmed leggings, OTK suede boots and a black leather moto jacket. Possibly one of my favorite outfits ever!
For shoes, I wore a pair of flat black sandals (Tory Burch Miller sandals, my fave). These Miller sandals are both comfy and fashionable, and the black patent leather added a dressy touch.
Hair & Makeup
Because it was so hot, I didn’t think twice about pulling my hair back into a ponytail. A ponytail is an excellent choice for entertaining at home because:
- It saves time getting dressed for your party.
- It will keep you cool while running around the house tending to guests.
- It’s the best choice if you will be handling food throughout the evening.
I finished the outfit off with a bold red lip (Rouge Pur Couture Satin Radiance Lipstick – I wore the shade 35 – Rouge Vernis)
Get My Gift Exchange Party Outfit Look
For those of you who actually have a “Winter”, I think this would make a great casual transitional outfit from Winter to Spring and from Summer into Fall!
Since the top I wore is no longer available, I have created a similar outfit for you below, with links to purchase.
Also, I have also included several additional options to create this look. You can find these at the end of this post.
Shop this Outfit
6 Steps to a Festive & Casual Party Outfit
Follow these tips for your holiday gift exchange party, or any casual cocktail party you host at home:
- For a casual party, jeans are an obvious choice. Choose dark or black denim for a more upscale look.
- Add a dressy top that is also comfortable. Consider fine fabrics like silk, as well as embellishments like sequins or beading to really dress up the outfit. A vibrant color also looks great paired with dark denim.
- Choose accessories with a dramatic or glamorous feel. Keep that “festive” feeling with a statement necklace, earrings or bracelet.
- Don’t hesitate to put your “party face” on, even though it’s not a formal event. Add drama with either a smoky eye or a bold lip color.
- Try wearing your hair in a simple updo or ponytail for an effortlessly chic look.
- Be sure to wear comfortable shoes.
When in Doubt, Wear Jeans!
Don’t let yourself get stressed out planning your gift exhange party outfit! Or any casual party outfit, for that matter.
You see, you can easily “dress up” a casual jeans outfit to make it look festive. Just pair with a dressy top, and accessorize with glamorous jewelry and makeup to further elevate the look.
Don’t hesitate to put your “party face” on – you can wear full party makeup, even though you are dressed down. Try wearing your hair in a simple updo or ponytail for an effortlessly chic look.
Hopefully these tips have inspired you and will help you plan your gift exchange party outfit, or the hostess outfit for your next casual cocktail party. For more ideas, check out my housewarming party hostess outfit. And, while you’re here, be sure to grab some inspo for a casual date-night outfit, for your next night out with your hubby!
I’d love to hear about your outfits, so be sure to let me know about them in the comments below. I can’t wait to see what you wear!
How to Host a Holiday Party that will Delight
How to Easily Look Fabulous for a Casual Party
Easy Housewarming Party Outfit that will Make You Look Amazing
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