Sure, cocktail hour happens every day of the week year round. But this time of year, your favorite day-to-night look might not always do the trick. The holidays ring in something special for style lovers; it's a time to let out your love for all that glitters and flashes under the light, a time to feel like your look is as effervescent as the champagne in your glass. If you like to dress up in pretty frocks, this is the slideshow for you. Get excited about your next holiday fete, make a place in your closet for a new edition, and celebrate 2012 in sartorial glory.
Let this frock be proof that one can attain a measure of comfort while still feeling dressed up enough for any little after-work or Saturday night special. This drop waist cut is never "out." Feel free to wear it more than once.
$211 at Shopbop.
Fall 2012 collections introduced a strong gothic/medieval revival that would make even the coolest girl in SoHo covet. Have a gallery opening to attend? Something serious and sexy is the way too go. This is your look.
$99 at Zara.
We've all probably got a sequined statement necklace somewhere in our jewelry box, but who's to say it's going to fit the neckline of your favorite dress? Zara has the answer: a sewn-in, perfectly fitted statement neckline. We love the classic shape of this dress. So Audrey.
$99 at Zara.
Naughty and Nice Lace
When you're talking cocktail dresses, you have to talk lace at some point. Whether it's a touch on the sleeve or all over, lace makes you think "sweet" and black lace makes you think "naughty." That's a combination that never gets tired, which is why year after year, you'll see lace cocktail dresses in stores. This year, we're loving nude underlay.
$99 at Neiman Marcus.
Your shoulders, décolletage, and neckline are a surefire classy way to show some skin while still being discreet. Gold Jacquard is very holiday friendly, nes pas?
$32.80 at Forever21.
Dark colors will always be your go-to for nighttime fetes, but if you've already got several in your closet, maybe it's time to go for lighter fare. This simple shift needs a pair of gold heels, that's it. The metallic thread and geometric woven pattern make it look much more expensive and upscale than it is.
$27.80 at Forever21.
When you want to wow a crowd that isn't necessarily the frilly, sequin-loving type, it's time to go for elements that are outside of the everyday. This backless dress is a faux wrap in the front and made for a party in the back.
$48 at Nasty Gal.
Pretty, frothy, oh-so-feminine. We like to include something for everyone. If you adore precious, this dress has it in spades, albeit in a grown up way.
$338 at BCBG.
Sometimes a dress needs only a bright, bold color to make the transition from "cute" to "wow." Peplums emphasize your waist and add shape to an otherwise less-than-shapely figure. The strapless element here shows off an attractive asset for most women. Get thee a fantastic strapless bra and impress in this dress.
$98 at Express.
Heart of the Navy
Lace doesn't always have to be black. It's equally chic in navy as you see here.
$338 at BCBG.
This faux leather dress is incredible. The long sleeves make it ideal for cool weather nights. It's asking for your statement jewelry to adorned on top of it.
$228 at BCBG.