These Party Dresses Are Just What You Need Right Now


Retail therapy, courtesy of ModCloth

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

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On Jasmine: Flirty Festivities Jumpsuit ($89.99) |  On Meg: Captain’s Dinner and a Movie Sheath Dress ($89.99)

There are a few reasons I love ModCloth. First, women-owned businesses will always have my heart (and my dollars). And second, their commitment to representing all body types, and making cute dresses for every size, is basically unparalleled in this industry. But this week I discovered a whole new reason to get on board the ModCloth bandwagon: retail therapy.

Because you know what? Sometimes the best way to emotionally recharge after an exhausting month, and prep for the insanity of the holidays is to throw on a frilly dress, try out that lipstick you’ve been working up the courage to wear, and dance around in the mirror until you are ready to face the world. (Just me?) So, do you need a frivolous pick me up? Just realized you have that office holiday party and whoops, have nothing to wear? Looking for extended sizes and want to shop somewhere that will make you feel awesome and accepted? ModCloth has you covered. And bonus: their dresses are the kind that make people go, “OMG WHERE DID YOU GET THAT IS IT VINTAGE YOU LOOK FANTASTIC.” Which is scientifically proven to make you feel like a badass.

And just because we care about you, we made sure to test out our ModCloth party outfits against a variety of scenarios one might find themselves in this season: on roller skates, in manufactured snow, with a giant candy cane, surrounded by vast swaths of disco balls, etc. Because you never know what December might bring, and we’d hate to send you out into the world unprepared.

And if you’re headed somewhere fancy this season and want to get your #lazygirl hair and makeup on, we’ve got you covered there too. Check out this great vintage hairstyle, this amazing gold leaf idea for short hair, plus tips on how to copy Meg’s cat eye and everything you wanted to know about red lipstick.

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If your holiday plans involve any sort of physical movement, be it getting down at your company party, or just getting up to get another plate of mashed potatoes, do yourself a favor and get your fringe on. Bonus: you can totally re-wear this dress in non-holiday seasons. Hello next year’s winning wedding guest outfit! (Greatest Glitz Sheath Dress, $159.99)

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For all ample-chested humans who are sad that they can’t wear deep-cut dresses, let me introduce you to my new best friend. It even has sequins. Swoon. (Center Stage Courageous Sequin Dress, $89.99)

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Did you ever have one of those dresses that you put on and it just works? This is that. Pairs well with baked goods and sparkly fascinators, in that order. (Evenings Overseas A-Line Dress in Ruby, $119.99)

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It goes without saying that a party dress need not be a dress. Particularly when you have a super hot jumpsuit at your disposal. Giant candy cane not included. (Flirty Festivities Jumpsuit, $89.99)

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Gold is a neutral, which means this dress can officially be your go-to fancy frock throughout the whole year. Plus, in the event of an impromptu dance party, you know you’ll look fly. See: above. (On Meg: Glam Tidings Sheath Dress, $129.99; On Jasmine: Center Stage Courageous Sequin Dress, $89.99) 

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Need one of those staple dresses that works for every occasion (even the slightly more conservative work function you have next month), but still has your signature sass? Got you covered. Comically large ornaments sold separately. (Captain’s Dinner and a Movie Sheath Dress, $89.99)

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Just in case you needed to see what your holiday outfit could look like with roller skates. Because, obviously. (Greatest Glitz Sheath Dress, $159.99)

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This post was sponsored by ModCloth. ModCloth’s holiday boutique has all the sequins, sparkles and party attire you could hope for. And ModCloth’s commitment to body diversity means you don’t have to settle for something boring just because you’re not a sample size. P.S. Getting married? Click here to browse all of the amazing wedding dresses ModCloth has to offer too.


The Info:

Photography: Allison Andres for A Practical Wedding | Venue: Oh Happy Day Studio | Props: Oh Happy Day Shop & Target | Dresses: ModCloth Holiday Boutique | Hair and Makeup: Shana Astrachan of Fox & Doll

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

Staff Picks

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  • Laura C

    This post is making me think “oh, crap, should I go shopping before our holiday party Saturday?” Except I have about eight total hours (four of them with my husband’s participation) to clean, bake, and shop, so, no. I should shop in my damn closet since I never wear any of my clothes as it is. As fun as it is to have something new.

    Maybe I should just bust out my favorite wear-to-weddings dress for Saturday, and make all my guests feel like they’re underdressed when really I’m overdressed.

    • Jess

      Hosting parties while fabulously overdressed and wearing bright lipstick is pretty much my hobby!

      It makes me feel like I’ve got all my shit together (even when I’m totally unprepared and was crying from the stress of the world an hour before guests show up).

      There’s something magic about a fancy outfit and a strong red lip.

      • Gaby

        I keep trying to pull off the strong red lip for work but it feels so dressy so I always end up wiping it off and saving it for the weekends. Might finally do it at our holiday party next week though!

        • Jess

          Yeah, it would be very out of place at work for me (engineering, I mostly dress like Jake from State Farm).

          But weekends and parties and sitting on my couch reading a book and drinking wine? YES PLEASE.

    • lamarsh

      As a person who just wore a romper made entirely of gold sequins to my birthday party (which I hosted at my house) last weekend, I wholeheartedly support this plan.

      • idkmybffjill

        I am a devoted believer that one should always be overdressed on their birthday!

      • Lisa

        Details of this magical romper? I’m starting to watch out for my perfect golden 30th birthday outfit.

        • idkmybffjill

          OMG SLAY. Golden 30th??? LUCKY.

          • Lisa

            I’m trying to figure out what to do with it! I’d always thought I’d have a big party, but my friends and family are so scattered that I’m not sure that will be a possibility. However, I can wear a full gold-sequined outfit no matter what I end up doing!

          • idkmybffjill

            Totally!! I am also a big fan of, “Host it and see who can make it!” in party planning. (So long as it’s somewhere everyone can just show up)

          • Lisa

            Yeah, I guess my concern is that people won’t travel just to go to a birthday party, and we live near maybe 1-2 close friends or family at any given time. Even when we’ll be in a new location next year, the likelihood is that the people I’m closest to will be at least a couple hour plane ride away. I’m considering a trip to a gold themed location (Golden Circle in Iceland?) as an option. No matter what, I can wear gold sequins though!

          • idkmybffjill

            Oh UGH. I’m sorry.
            DEF vote Golden Circle + gold sequins :).

        • lamarsh

          Of course! https://www.renttherunway.com/shop/designers/shoshanna/gold_zena_romper

          I can attest that it is perfect for 30th birthdays.

          • idkmybffjill

            OOOOOH.

          • Lisa

            Thank you!

    • idkmybffjill

      I have two really pretty vintage looking ModCloth dresses in my closet RIGHT NOW and this post just reminded me about them #grateful.

    • Gaby

      I bought one splurge-y dress for the holiday season after having it on my mind for two months AND needing convincing from my friends. But I’m also going to try to shop my closet more often because I hate having underused garments!

      • Jane

        Also! Get your friends to shop your closet – if you have any girlfriends the same size. I’ve always justified my collection of too fancy dresses on the basis that all my friends and sisters know I have too many fancy dresses and borrow them all the time.

        Then again, you also have to accept that something could happen to your beautiful dresses. For example, one of my friends is borrowing one of my favorite dresses for a New Year’s Eve party out of town. It’s black silk and has gold beading. So it’s a little fragile. But if it gets ripped or stained, so be it. I’m mostly just thrilled that it’s being worn again.

  • Jessica

    I really wish I had more holiday parties to go to, just to justify getting more dresses than I *need.* As it is, I have a couple dresses I bought and haven’t worn yet.

    • idkmybffjill

      Literally just emailed my husband to be like, “Can we host a party, I would like to wear a Christmas dress”. If a party doesn’t work I’m thinking of proposing a fancy holiday night out. #dresses

      • Her Lindsayship

        This is not related to ModCloth at all, but fiancé and I have been thinking we would host a holiday party this year, only to realize like a week ago that we just hella don’t have time… Unfortunately we had already purchased matching llama Christmas sweaters ( https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/515%2Bt5DlP9L.jpg )!! I guess we can still wear them to somebody else’s holiday party. But for some reason that seems weirder to me than dressing like that as the host.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          There is nothing unfortunate about having matching llama Christmas sweaters.

          • idkmybffjill

            Seconded.

        • Alyssa

          My best friend bought this for her fiance! Apparently the Llama is super soft.

        • Jane

          Doesn’t seem weird at all to wear them to someone else’s party or just wear them for anything you like. You can also just take some sickeningly cute Christmas pictures in them.

          Even now that I’m almost 30, I’ll wear matching Christmas things (e.g. reindeer antlers that light up) on my head with my mom when we have to run errands at busy Christmas times. We always get compliments and it’s really easy to spot each other if we get separated.

        • BSM

          My husband and I buy new matching Christmas sweaters every few years and wear them all day on Christmas and to any parties we end up attending. It’s really fun and silly and may actually be our first holiday tradition.

          We got some AMAAAZING xmas sloth ones last year that we’ll use again this year.

        • Eenie

          My husband has tried to buy me this sweater for three years running. They never have my size when be thinks to look. Our sweaters are coordinating hat wearing sloth and cat sweaters.

        • Still time to plan a twelfth night party?

      • Lawyerette510

        Another great party is the “January Blues Party” we have friends that hosted one for a few years, and it was awesome. They’d have it a few weekends after NYE, and we’d all wear fancy festive kind of wear. It was a nice way to see people around that time when you’re starting to bum on all the festivities being over.

        This year might be a little hard to muster celebration around the same time as the inauguration, but it would work well as a party in February.

        • idkmybffjill

          Oh I love that! Hell, it could even be an “Inauguration blues” party. Or a march after party w/e.

        • Colleen

          I used to host a Groundhog’s Day party to help with the mid-winter blues. I should revisit that idea!

          • Lawyerette510

            Groundhog’s Day party! I love that idea. Bring it back!!!!

      • Mallory

        Every year my husband and I go on a Holidate. He makes reservations and finds Christmas lights. I wear the pretty dress and heels I rarely get to and we have an awesome time.It’s just for us and we LOVE it.

      • Shawna

        This is why we have fancy date night (get dressed up and go out to celebrate it being Tuesday or whatever and us liking each other’s company). It’s often been to go to a nice bar or restaurant, but as we’re trying to be frugal lately, thinking we might go somewhere totally casual but be dressed to the nines anyway. Great way to use those dresses that otherwise don’t get enough wear.

        Has anyone tried to bowl in a nice dress? Is that a stupid idea? It’s my current idea for next fancy date night. Mostly because I want to go bowling.

    • emilyg25

      Our friend group sometimes does fancy dress gatherings at a nice bar. It’s super fun!

    • Morgan D

      I have lots of holiday parties, and no dress budget! Be my +1 and let me shop your closet? ;)

      Game plan for real is recycling old dresses for evening events and, for daytime shindigs, wearing various sparkly sweaters and then putting my hair up and adorning it with tiny holiday-themed craft supplies.

      I felt a little embarrassed at first about not getting a proper “ugly sweater” for one party, but now I’m actually pretty excited by the requirement to think outside the box! Plus, who doesn’t want to have Christmas and Hannukah in their hair?!

  • Another Meg

    Just one more time I’ve wished with all my heart that Modcloth carried maternity clothes…Sigh. I guess it’s better this way. I’d be in SO much trouble with that kind of temptation.

    • Danielle

      Yes. I am also pregnant and just starting to need new clothes. Kind of dreading what “maternity” styles are out there…

  • Rebekah

    “Gold is Neutral”: possibly the most APW sentence ever. Love you guys.

    • Lisa

      APW is the place where I learned sequins are a neutral. Truer words were never spoken.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Can attest. I have sparkly gold heels. They go with every dress I own.

  • Her Lindsayship

    That fab hairstyle + bold lip combo on Meg? SLAYYY GIRL.

    • Gaby

      Yes Meg! If I were you I’d be posting that Captain’s dinner and a movie dress pic EVERYWHERE

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah I think it’s my new FB image for sure.

      • Morgan D

        Agreed! At the risk of seeming creepy, I stopped and just stared at that one for awhile. It’s sooo pretty, you look damn happy, and work-appropriate sass is my fav! Makes me wish our fancy parties were next weekend instead of tomorrow, just so I could wear that dress!

        …I also maybe got stuck in a fit of giggles because at first glance I thought you were pretending to weight lift with the ornaments, and then I realized that’s just what I would have done ;).

  • Kelsey

    Here for the party menorah and all sequins forever.

    • Morgan D

      I noticed the menorah, too, and was really grateful for the nod to non-Christmas traditions!

  • BSM

    My husband and I are headed to my big, fancy company holiday party in NYC next week, and we are VERY excited.

    In honor of HRC (and because it’s going to be cooold), I bought a pink (dusty rose) pantsuit to wear, and I seriously cannot wait. I’ve also bought like 4 different potential tops to wear with it, but that’s neither here nor there. Now I just need to procure some awesome statement earrings that won’t cost me $30 to get here in the next few days…

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