3 Steps to Dress Up Denim for the Holidays

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited for all of the holiday parties ahead! I love an excuse to gather with friends over food. They’re two of my favorite things!

While lots of holiday outfit ideas I’ve seen call for fancy dresses, the parties I go to are more often than not casual to dressy casual. So, rather than pulling out a fancy holiday dress, I love to take a pair of jeans and dress them up a little. It’s easy to dress up denim for the holidays, and today I want to talk about a few key things to do it well!

1. Choose a dark wash, streamline pair of jeans.
Whether they’re boot cut, flares, or skinny jeans, choosing a dark wash over light or medium washes makes it easier to dress them up. I also prefer wearing a pair that doesn’t have noticeable stitching, where the thread is the same color as the denim, so that the whole thing looks more streamline. I’m showing both skinny jeans and flares above.

I’d been looking for a new pair of dark wash skinny jeans for a while, and this Lucky Brand pair (HERE) hugs my curves well without squeezing me like a sausage, is the perfect length for me without alterations (I’m 5’6”), but best of all, is fitted around my ankles.  Fair warning: this pair unfortunately doesn’t have front pockets, but I’m totally willing to overlook it because of how the ankles fit.  I’m normally 6/8 and wearing these in 8/29.

These flares (HERE) are also dark wash and are perfect for dressed up denim looks. They. Are. AWESOME. They are sooooooooo stretchy and comfortable. It feels like I’m wearing yoga pants! Plus, they cost way less than a lot of other flares I’ve seen. I’m wearing these in size 8.

2. Find a blouse with a festive nod. First, make sure it’s a blouse rather than a cotton tee, as blouses are automatically dressier. Second, while I’m not usually overtly holiday-esque, I still like to tip my hat to the holidays in my holiday party outfits. For me, that means finding blouses in holiday colors like greens, red or maroon, gold, and black or white, that have a special pattern to them, or that have sequins.

The forest green top above (HERE) is a great example, and it’s a top you’ll be able to wear through the holidays and well beyond. It can also be worn casually, semi-casually like today’s outfit, or dressier. (I’ll show those three looks soon!) I’m normally S/M and wearing this in Medium.

The black and white peplum sweater (HERE) is another great option for the holidays. This sweater is really comfortable, and while it’s a little more expensive, it’s for good reason as it’s thick and well made. It can be dressed up more with a black skirt or black trousers and red or maroon accessories. However, when paired with jeans and a moto jacket like in today’s outfit it makes a great dressy casual look!

3. Add a pair of fun heels!  In the looks above I chose leopard print pumps and a fun pair of cobalt pumps.  Fancy flats work too, but heels will certainly dress up your denim!  

What’s your favorite way to dress up denim for the holidays?

Shop Outfit #1:
Top: Nordstrom (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact)
Bag: Nordstrom (similarexact–sold out online)
Shoes: Sole Society (similarsimilarsimilar)
Watch: c/o Daniel Wellington (exact

Shop Outfit #2:
Top: Nordstrom (exact)
Jeans: Nordstrom (exact)
Bag: c/o Sole Society (similar)
Shoes: Old Navy (similar)
Below are a few more options for dark wash denim, holiday blouses, and fun heels!

Special thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!
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