Hanukkah parties are notoriously difficult to dress for: What’s appropriate? How much sparkle is too much? Will Jim from marketing get sloppy drunk and spill his spiked eggnog all over you? It’s basically a crapshoot.
But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go all-out; we believe that when it comes to holiday parties, there’s no such thing as too much sequins or any sort of shiny thing, really. And since these dresses are all under $100, you won’t lose it when Jim from marketing spills his drink on you YET AGAIN. So skip the stuffy black cocktail dress, and instead opt for something a bit more festive and fun. You will look fabulous, and isn’t that really all that matters?
1) Not Your Mama’s LBD
There’s a reason black dresses are so popular — the color is supremely flattering. But they are also so, well, boring. A lush velour fabric and pearl embellishments jazz up the classic LBD, like with this dress from H&M.
H&M Velour Dress with Beads, $79.99, hm.com
2) Do The Twist
Don’t just sparkle; glow like the luminous light of the moon. Opt for a silver metallic silk dress that drapes across the body like a luxurious hug, like this twist-front dress from Fashion Union Plus.
Fashion Union Plus Twist-Front Dress, $56, asos.com
3) Pleats Please
When a simple metallic just won’t cut it, and you want to be, shall we say, a little extra with the lustrous alloy color, choose a dress with an intense silver hue and pleated fabrication.
4) Disco Queen
When you’re pregnant, it’s difficult to find a dress that fits the bump and sparkles like the dance floor at Studio 54. This dress from Queen Bee has a flattering wrap silhouette and sequins for days.
Queen Bee Silver Sequin Wrap Dress, $79, asos.com
5) Tuxedo Time
Love suits? Have one too many blazers in your closet? No need to buy a dress that doesn’t quite fit your menswear aesthetic. Just add a bit of length and a hefty dose of sequins with this Zara dress.
6) Purple Haze
A simple silhouette doesn’t need to be boring. A rich purple color in a sumptuous velvet makes this H&M dress party-ready.
H&M Draped Dress, $49.99, hm.com
7) Flapper Girl
Sure, sequins and metallics are fun. But you know what’s even more fun? Fringe that flits and floats as you move and, preferably, dance. This dress from Zara has both sparkle and movement, so you get the best of both worlds.
8) Seeing Stars
Shockingly, there are some people who aren’t so into the whole “bathe yourself in bling” thing. For the sparkle-averse, try a dress that is printed with shiny stars in a glittering night sky. This star-print wrap dress from Asos also has a contrasting lightning bolt print for an added jolt of electricity.
Asos Design Star and Lightning Print Wrap Dress, $67, asos.com
9) Knitty Gritty
Hanukkah parties are laden with food — specifically, oily and greasy food (don’t look at me — it’s a mitzvah!). The subsequent bloat makes fitted cocktail dresses just a little too tight and just a little uncomfortable. Plan ahead and get a knit dress that you can move in with ease. This blue number from Zara has metallic threads woven in the zig-zag design for a subtle sheen.
Zara Pointelle Dress with Metallic Thread, $59.90, zara.com
10) All The Colors Of The Rainbow
Because sequins and sparkle are de rigueur for the holiday season, wearing a dress with some metallic sheen won’t exactly make you stand out from the crowd. For the attention-seekers amongst us, there’s an easy solution: turn up the sequin volume at max and wear it in all the colors — literally. This rainbow colored sequin shift dress from Collusion is guaranteed to put all eyes on you.
Collusion Rainbow Sequin Mini Dress, $87, asos.com