Natalie Timperio

Senior InsideOut Editor


In between the study sessions and Christmas shopping, fitting in time for you this December is important.

By now your calendar is likely filled until the New Year with the much-hyped holiday parties – as if you need the added stress. So, how to incorporate holiday party-wear shopping into your busy schedule while still maintaining a budget?

Shopping for holiday party-wear presents a perfect opportunity for study breaks. Plus, if you’re already doing your yearly rounds of holiday gift shopping, then squeezing in some time for holiday attire is made even simpler.

Of course, there’s added convenience in online shopping, meaning you never even have to leave your computer to shop. The only downfall to online shopping, as we all know, is the inability to try items on prior to purchasing, which can leave you fretting over fit upon the item’s arrival.

However, if you’re willing to take the risk, online shopping can definitely be beneficial for those under tight time constraints – that and the fact that most sites ship free during the holiday season.

Whatever form of shopping you choose, just be sure to keep in mind both look and cost. Men, unlike women, need to worry about over-heating; a few glasses of whiskey coupled with close-quarter interactions all the while wearing a stiff-fitting shirt and pants can leave gents beading at the brow. recommends that men stick to cotton fabrics during the holidays, as cotton fibres are cellulose based, therefore allowing heat and moisture to pass through rather than creating a personal sauna.

An added bonus is that cotton fabrics are durable, meaning that most of the time they can be washed at home rather than at the dry cleaners, which will in turn save a dime or two when it comes to cleaning.

The website also recommends that men wear a dress jacket for holiday parties.

Most holiday parties do not require a suit, however, a dress jacket is a good way to maintain that killer look without going over the top.

Dress jackets can add broadness to shoulders, give you an excuse to skip the tie, hide any extra weight you may have gained as a result of the season and provides pockets in which to keep your personals.

If you’re worried that a dress jacket may be too much for the occasion, try pairing it with jeans. Jeans will help to tone down the look while still maintaining that put-togetherness. Or, if you’re really gunning for that “like a boss” look, try tucking a handkerchief into the breast pocket – it’s an inexpensive way to boost your sex appeal.

While women need not worry about overheating in cute-to-boot cocktail dresses, there are a few things they should keep mind. Keeping it classy is key; while your body may be banging, ladies, remember that it’s the holidays (meaning lots of time with dear friends and family), so sexifying your look should be kept to a minimum.

Finding a cocktail dress that hits no higher than your mid-thigh is a good safe zone. Yet cocktail dresses can run a costly price tag. If you’ve missed out on Black Friday deals, don’t worry, as there are alternatives. Try borrowing from a friend.

No one needs to know you’ve borrowed, and, if it comes down to it, simply say she was the one who borrowed your dress before you even had the chance to wear it.

For those willing to brave online shopping, I’ve found success with

Though a U.S. company, meaning currency conversions and impossible returns, this site offers inexpensive dresses suitable for all types of holiday parties and body types.

The best part? They frequently have sales, with items into the single digits. I’ll admit that while some items can be tacky, with the models often mirroring amateur porn stars, there is plenty of merchandise to choose from, so have patience.

That foolishly dressed person seems to be omnipresent at holiday parties, so don’t let it be you.

But, if all else fails and you find yourself without time or money to shop for holiday party-wear, embrace the ugly, wool-knit sweater and hang out at the kids table.


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