Casual holiday: Red party dress 2 ways

holiday party red dress outfit

Dressy: Lush dress (runs small, with DIY underskirt), Gap shirt (old), DIY clutch, KS heels
Casual: ASOS scarf (sold out, similar), BP “Transit” boots (review)

I’m in full-on festive mode and can’t stop gravitating towards cheery reds and all things bows and gold. I’ve partnered with Nordstrom to show two ways to wear this dress (3 colors) for the holidays, whether you’re headed to a casual gathering or something slightly dressier. There’s tons of pretty dresses on their site, from which I picked this for our annual casual Thanksgiving gathering (a meal I look forward to all year, so stretchy fabric is a must!). It’s from the juniors department, which in general for me is a tradeoff between good fit and lower quality materials. I still shop there because the fit is usually very petite-friendly, but as a heads up most items there such as this are made of thinner poly blend fabric. I liked the color (a deeper wine red), style, and fit of this dress, and thought quality felt fair for the price.

holiday party red pleated dress2

For a simple and classic look, you can style this with just pearls and neutral or black heels. I layered a tie-neck blouse underneath for the festive bow, and added a petticoat (yes…can’t believe I’m using this term in the 21st century!) underneath. I had recently made an easy tulle skirt to experiment as a petticoat under my skirts and dresses. It does a wonderful job of adding fullness to garments with less structured fabrics. Here’s how the dress looks as-is versus with an underskirt (you can also layer a bell-shaped or full mini skirt underneath for a similar effect):

holiday party red pleated dress1

Left: dress as-is  Right: dress with tulle underskirt

I don’t love fullness for every occasion (such as the office, or travel), so a poofy underskirt works well to slightly change up the look when appropriate. The ladies from the 1500’s were on to something!

Glimpse of my simple elastic-waist tulle underskirt:

tulle underskirt

For a laid-back gathering with friends, I love how it looks with a cozy, over-sized scarf and tall boots. I picked a scarf with similar deep red hues within the pattern, and found chocolate brown tights to create a more streamlined look with the boots.

red dress plaid scarf

Please note that this dress runs small, and the XS is a snug fit on me. I also would not recommend it for anyone taller than ~5’1″ unless you are short torso’d due to where the waist hits. Reading the reviews, I figured this dress would work well for my shorter self since a shopper complained about how high the waistline was on her (she was also larger-busted which may cause the waistline to shift up even higher). Sure enough it hit right at my natural waistline, and the skirt falls about 2″ above my knees.

Material is stretchy with a slight texture as shown below. It’s thinner in weight and unlined, and style is pullover with two side pockets. Label is dry clean only, however I have a poly dress from the same brand also labeled as such and I have hand washed cold and laid flat to dry with no issues (as always, though, please stray from care tag instructions at your own risk!). Measurements of XS: 14″ across armpit, 12″ across waist, 14″ from top of shoulder to waistline, 17″ long skirt, 9.5″ long sleeves.

holiday party red dress plaid scarf

Back view:

holiday party red pleated dress3

This post was sponsored by Nordstrom to share holiday dressing ideas. As always, opinions are my own.

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

When you purchase through the links on this blog, I may earn a commission. Thank you for your support!

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