Fashion & Beauty

Puttin’ on the Ritz

December 13, 2022

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Made for celebrating. Clockwise, from left to right: sequin leggings, golden gloves, a party pink bag and a sparkly top.

By Janet Kelly

FIRST LADY Jill Biden glistened in a custom Oscar de la Renta hand-beaded, off-the-shoulder crêpe floral gown for the first state dinner of the Biden presidency. Guests, including celebs like Juila Louis-Dreyfus, who wore a Monique Lhuillier black velvet floor-length sleeveless halter-neck dress and Vogue’s Anna Wintour, who dressed in vintage Chanel, accessorized with lots of shiny layered gold necklaces and strands of pearls. The White House itself gleamed with more than 83,000 twinkling lights.

We here at MyLittleBird are taking it as a signal for us all to celebrate the season as we RSVP “yes” to parties for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s.

If store windows offer any hint of what to wear now, it’s sequins galore on skirts, dresses and tops, along with shiny, sparkling gloves and bags. More subtle but lush and expensive-looking, velvet is also starring—on this season’s blazers and pants.

Here, 14 what-to-wear-to-a-holiday party suggestions—from Saint + Sofia’s bronze pants to Massimo Dutti’s flowing blue silk suit and shiny satin-and-tulle gloves from Queen Elizabeth’s glove maker. Plus, elegant velvet pants from Armani, Banana Republic’s hot pink blazer and  a vintage bright red wrap blouse.


Make a statement in Commando stretch-jersey leggings ($218, Net a Porter) with twinkly sequins. With the brand’s smoothing internal waistband and flattering high-rise fit, they’re a perfect party pant, especially when paired with a luxe tuxedo jacket.

A colorful botanical print on Peruvian Connection’s versatile Fabienne Jacket ($350) shimmers with delicate sequins. Wear over your little black dress or add glamor to everyday jeans. Thoughtful details: it’s fully lined, long enough to cover your rear end and has pockets.

When a friend told me she had bought this coppery sequin swing coat dress for a holiday soirée, I had my doubts, thinking it looked like a dress for a drum majorette. I quickly revised my opinion when she told me how she planned to wear it–with a black turtleneck, leggings and ankle boots. It’s $575 from Batsheva.

Suits are back in style. And Banana Republic’s structured velvet blazer ($280) with matching wide-leg pants make for a fresh holiday spin in hot pink. Although we’re partial to that hue, it  comes in forest green, burgundy and a paisley print, too.

Giorgio Armani proves he’s still the master of minimalist luxury. These impeccably tailored, feminine velvet high-waisted pleated trousers with hidden zip at the side and ankle were shown on the runway in the Emporio Armani fall/winter 2022/2023 fashion show. They sell for $675. Expensive admittedly, but I’ve had a similar pair from Armani for at least 15 years I still wear on repeat.

Zadig& Voltaire gives its short-sleeve sequin top the Midas touch for an extra dose of shine. It’s $498 at Nordstrom.

Cos clothing is evolving from its mostly utilitarian looks. Take this organza pencil skirt decorated with sparkling sequins to catch the light. A navy panel on the back makes sitting comfortable; a slit at the hem, for sex appeal. It’s $190. Make it a match set with coordinating sequin top ($135).

This rock candy-like mini bag from London designer Clio Peppiatt is straight out of a fairytale. Quite the confection, Clio Peppiatt’s “Quartz” bag is hand stitched by artisans in India and embellished with recycled acrylic beads in shades of pastel pink (shown) and green, as well as moody blue and purple. It sells for $371 at Moda Operandi.

From Queen Elizabeth’s glove maker Genevieve James of Cornelia James comes these midnight blue duchess satin gloves with a tulle tutu cuff, glinting with Swarovski crystals. They also come in black, pearl, champagne, rose and ivory for $235.

These Cynthia Rowley Bea leather gloves have already sold out once in gold (above) and in silver. They’re also available in six other colors, but for festive eves, nothing beats the shine of metallic and the drama of elbow-length gloves. They’re $395.

Clare V’s hand-beaded, “waterfall pearls” bag with chambray lining can accommodate your phone, keys, cards and a tad of touchup makeup while looking quite glamorous. The leather ribbon tassels in red and navy knocks any seriousness out of this fun pochette. It sells for $275.

The relaxed look and feel of  this Saint + Sofia wide-leg pant in bronze comes courtesy of its soft plissé jersey fabric and raw hem finish adjustable to one’s desired leg length. A reliable party piece, it’s $109 from Saint + Sofia.

For holiday fêtes and evenings out all year long, Massimo Dutti dresses up the suit in satin wide-leg flowing trousers ($199) with ankle slits and a matching double-breasted blazer ($299).

Founded in Tuscon, Arizona, Desert Vintage also has a brick-and-mortar store on 34 Orchard Street in New York City. If you can’t make it to either one, check out their website. It offers a mix of vintage from the turn of the century through the 1970s, such as this circa-’70s Calvin Klein silk wrap blouse. It will have tongues wagging about that chic woman in holiday ready-red.

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3 thoughts on “Puttin’ on the Ritz

  1. Nancy G says:

    What fun! Now just need a place to wear any of this. Particularly the items that sparkle!

    1. Janet Kelly says:

      Out for lunch with a friend—think a twinkly top with jeans.
      Dinner at home by the fire?

  2. Lauren says:

    Such a fun and festive collection of holiday wear, Janet! I haven’t much thought about pretty holiday attire since the before times. Just imagining that there is again the possibility of a holiday soirée with sequins and sparkly gloves, feels like a wonderful breath of fresh air.
    Merry, merry everything to you!

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