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Not Today, Seasonal Depression: What I’m Wearing to Have a Joyful December

Don’t let the lack of holiday parties stop you from getting dressed up.

By Caitlin Abber

For the last two years, my friend Ellie has thrown a women-only holiday party at a dimly-lit wine bar in Brooklyn. The event is as much about socializing as it is about having a reason to get dressed up and fawned over by other ladies who appreciate style, sequins, and champagne. It’s one of my favorite gatherings of the holiday season, and sadly, for so many reasons, it is obviously not happening this year. 

There is Covid—yes. Nobody should be packing into bars right now. But also, Ellie and I have both left Brooklyn and moved to rural and suburban areas. She’s renovating a house in upstate New York, and I’m chasing after a crawling, teething, sleep-regressing 9-month-old in Connecticut. We have no reason to get dressed up, but we miss it desperately. We regularly text about it—how much we long for high heels, fake eyelashes, luxe fabrics, and good tailoring. Those were the days!

When we can finally socialize in person again, I imagine we’ll rent a suite at some fancy hotel in the city and go all-out (the housekeepers will be vacuuming glitter from the carpet for years!). But until then, we’re doing some fantasizing, a little downsizing, and a lot of making the best of this very strange year—and that includes dressing up, just because it makes us feel good. 

Here are 5 uplifting holiday party outfits I plan on wearing to feel more festive, modeled by our Production Manager Hannah.


A Neckline Made for Zoom Parties and Selfies

Let’s cut to the chase: One of the best things about holiday parties is having the opportunity to dress a little sexier than we normally do. Whether it’s red lipstick, a form-fitting skirt, or a teensy bit more skin than we’re usually comfortable with, ‘tis the season to just go for it. This year doesn’t have to be an exception! I’m looking forward to dressing up for an at-home holidate by wearing the clavicle-revealing Dawn top in garnet with the matching Melrose skirt. I plan on throwing on some music, FaceTiming Ellie, and taking some festive photos. I will probably want to dance, too (the skirt is so swooshy!)—hence the sneakers.

A Cashmere Moment Made for Cuddling

This is my daughter’s first Christmas, and while I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little sad we can’t have a big party to celebrate, I am also trying to embrace the fact that our little family gets to start making new traditions of our own. I’m looking forward to snuggling up with my girl and watching all the classic Christmas movies—A Charlie Brown Christmas, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Elf (there aren’t any rules about screentime this year, right?). I also want to feel as cozy as possible, so I’m going to wear my cashmere Luan sweater, the stretchy knit Rogala pants, and a matching pair of Zelda boots, just in case we want to pop out to look at some lights.

A Navy Ensemble in a Sea of Red and Green

Since we’re breaking with all traditions this year, I’m also thinking about how we can make our family holiday card stand out from the rest. While I am not opposed to matching pajamas, they aren’t really my style, and neither are matching sweaters, reindeer antlers, or Santa hats. I’m thinking of going with a blue theme—something that will really make a statement on all of our family and friend’s refrigerators. Maybe the Carrie top in starry night, paired with the Conway pants in navy? Yes, I like where this is going.

A Blazer for the Business Party

My coworkers haven’t seen me in a blazer all year, so I figure the company holiday party over Zoom is the perfect time to whip one out. A head-to-toe black look, featuring the perfect-fitting Bennett jacket, the Choe top, and the Mejia pants will make a statement for sure. I don’t plan on wearing any shoes though, because this is my house, and I’m the boss here.

A Christmas Morning, Afternoon, and Evening Ensemble

Like I said, matching pajamas aren’t really my thing, and since I imagine we’ll be FaceTiming with a lot of family on Christmas morning, I will probably want to dress up just a little bit. I’ll also be opening presents, cooking French toast, and making sure my daughter doesn’t put any ornaments in her mouth, so I need a look that’s pulled together but lasts all day. This is the perfect opportunity for the sparkly Para pullover in silver, paired with the Zhou culottes in faded stripe. I’ll keep my Lana boots by the door, just in case the in-laws swing by for a socially-distanced gift exchange.

Caitlin Abber

Written By

Caitlin Abber

Caitlin Abber is the Brand Editor at M.M. LaFleur, and an award-winning writer and content creator. Over the last decade she has held senior editorial positions at MTV, Women's Health, Public Radio International, and Bustle, and has bylines at InStyle and OprahMag.com.

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