What To Wear To A Holiday Party When You’re Over 40

The holiday season is here, and with it comes the gatherings and parties. And whether the event is at a home, an office, a big banquet hall or at a restaurant, each year the same question comes up. “What should I wear to my holiday party?” You may wonder what’s on trend, and what is appropriate (especially for that office party). And when you are over 40, you want to look stylish and sophisticated for the occasion. That’s why I put together this look of a basic pair of black slightly slouchy trousers and a black tee with a rich-hued velvet blazer. Then I topped it off with a chain embellished handbag and a blingy pair of heels. This is one outfit that you can invest in, because you will wear the pieces again. Besides, the casual luxe trend (mixing lush evening pieces with casual t-shirts or knits) is big for spring 2020 as well. So here’s what to wear to a holiday party and I’ll show you how to style it with high-end pieces or low priced items.

What To Wear To A Holiday Party High and Low Style

I’m showing you this holiday party outfit two ways. You can choose to shop all high end pieces (on the left), or all low to moderate priced pieces (on the right). Or you can choose from both sides and mix it up to get high low styling. With so many sales already in progress for Black Friday, you can take advantage of getting some of the high-end pieces for a lower price.

One of the sales in particular you need to know about is at Shopbop. Today they launched one of their biggest promotions of the year, the Shopbop Buy More, Save More Sale. You can get up to 25% off full-priced items and up to 75% off sale items both at Shopbop and East Dane (for the guys!). The more you buy, the more you will save. I found many of my selections from Shopbop (both high and low) and from now through Cyber Monday, December 2, 2019 at 11:59 EST you can enjoy extra discounts when you use the code MORE19. Get all the details here!


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Shopbop Buy More Save More Sale

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Holiday Party Luxe Velvet Blazer

For this holiday party outfit for women over 40, begin with a festive velvet blazer. I choose this Smythe Velvet Peaked Lapel Blazer in cognac (from Shopbop so you will get 20% Off!) for $798. It also comes in Prussian blue. Smythe jackets are so beautifully made in both quality and style that they are worth the investment. Or you can opt to get this INC velvet blazer in port from Macy’s for a fraction of the cost at only $89.50.

The Slouchy Black Pants

To get the casual luxe look, try these basic black slouchy pleated pants. They will stay on-trend next season, and the cropped length will show off your party shoes!  You can’t go wrong with a pair of trousers like these. On the high end, try these beautiful lightweight wool Nili Lotan Montana Pants for $575 (from Shopbop so you will get 20% Off!). Or if you want to spend a lot less, Leith makes a pair for only $55.

The Casual Luxe Black Tee

You can wear a simple black t-shirt under the jacket, but I prefer a long sleeve tee for winter.  This A.L.C. Karlie Tee is $150. It has a flattering scoop neck and puff sleeves which will still look dressy and pulled together, even if you take off the jacket (for dancing, maybe?). Or try this very similar BB Dakota Sleeve Me Here Long Sleeve Tee for only $68. Both tees are from Shopbop, so add them to your shopping cart!

The Chain Embellished Handbag

Accessories are what really bring this jacket and pants look from the office to a holiday party. This multi metal chain Tom Ford velvet bag is certainly an investment piece, but you will have to make the investment of $2,490. Just as covetable and for less than half the price, you can get this chain and stone embellished L’Afshar Diba Bag for $1,035. (And you get an extra 25% off during the sale because it is from Shopbop.)

Blingy Black with Gold Heels

A pair of showstopping pumps will complete your holiday party outfit. On the high end, these Malone Souliers Marion Slingback Pumps for $625 with a gold heel and strap are drool-worthy, and have a comfortable heel height. (These shoes are from Shopbop so you will get 20% Off during their sale!) But these MICHAEL Michael Kors Ava Studded Pumps are quite impressive for only $150.

Holiday Party Outfit Styling Tips for Women Over 40

1. Wear a holiday party outfit that is versatile.

This velvet jacket and black pants combo will be appropriate for practically any event. Sure, the shoes are kind of fancy, but this is the holidays, so you can get away with looking more dressed up (even if everyone else is wearing jeans). On the other hand, if you walk into a party where women are wearing cocktail dresses (and even gowns), you will fit right in with this casual luxe look. This outfit has you covered for any occasion. If you aren’t seeing the same people, you can wear it to several holiday parties.

2. Choose a look that you will be comfortable wearing.

I know I get cold in the winter, so pants with jackets and closed toe shoes are my choice for comfort. Slightly slouchy pants are great to accommodate a few extra holiday pounds (you’ll take them off later!) and you can enjoy all the goodies at the party. I know the high heel party shoes I am showing you may not feel so great for more than 5 hours. In that case, so you can always opt for lower heel party shoes. Pumps and slingbacks with a closed toe, even with high heels, are more comfortable than strappy sandals. And in some climates, strappy sandals will look silly at a holiday party (in the snow and slush).

3. Make sure you love every piece in your outfit.

Even if the item is at a low price point, as long as it fits well or you adore it, you will keep it and wear it again. However, If you don’t think you will wear a velvet blazer very often or year after year, then go with the less expensive one. All of the pieces I choose for you I personally love and you can imagine how they will work as separates. The jacket will work with denim, the black top and pants can go on their own or under other jackets, the shoes will work with a dress (or jeans), and the handbags go with everything!

Shop This Holiday Party Look High and Low

SALE ALERT: Receive 15% to 20% off your order at Shopbop now through December 2, 2019 with the code MORE19.


SHOPBOP SALE:  Smythe Velvet Peaked Lapel Blazer, Cognac, $795 

AT SHOPBOP SALE: Nili Lotan Montana Pants, $575

SHOPBOP SALE: A.L.C. Karlie Tee, $150

Tom Ford Triple Chain small embellished leather-trimmed velvet shoulder bag, $2,490

SHOPBOP SALE: Malone Souliers Marion 85mm Slingback Pumps, $625


INC International Concepts INC Velvet Blazer in Port, $89.50

Leith Pleat Front Trousers, $55

SHOPBOP SALE: BB Dakota Sleeve Me Here Long Sleeve Tee, $68

SHOPBOP SALE: L’Afshar Diba Bag, $1,035

MICHAEL Michael Kors Ava Studded Pumps, $150


Do you know what you’re going to wear to your holiday party? Will you try this look, and will you style it high or low?

Carol Calacci

You may also like to read How To Wear Sequins And Sparkle When You’re Over 40 and What To Wear To A Winter Wedding for Women Over 40.

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