What Color Do You Wear on Christmas Eve?

Christmas Eve party

You don't have to stick with the typical bright red and green colors when deciding what to wear for Christmas Eve though you certainly can. There are other, less obvious, colors to wear to Christmas Eve gatherings that celebrate the winter season and pull from the less traditional palette of Christmas colors.

Metallic Gold

For those who don't enjoy decorating or dressing in the classic red and green Christmas colors, gold, silver, and/or white are often the go-to. Metallic shades of gold are perfect for any fancy event although you can dress it down a little for more casual gatherings.

Women and Girls

For ladies, a gold skirt, like the Metallic Pleated Skirt from Forever21 (around $25) or the Alice + Olivia Katz Metallic Accordion Pleated Midi Skirt (left, available at Bloomingdale's for under $500) with a long-sleeved black bodysuit will work for most types of gatherings, depending on the length and style you decide upon.

If it's a casual event and you want to skip blue jeans, you could still pair a shimmering gold skirt with a fun graphic tee (perhaps layered over a long-sleeved one and under a jacket, depending on where you live). You could even go for a rosy gold shade, like the Topshop Fluted Sleeve Sweater (less than $100), and pair it with jeans or a pair of slacks.

Little girls have options from tutus to dresses. The Zunie Girls' Allover Glitter Mesh Dress with Sweaterknit Shrug (around $40 on Amazon) is a cute ivory/gold choice that will make her feel like royalty. It's available in sizes 2T to 12. The Sparkle Tutu from Crazy8 is just under $25 and offers a more casual look when paired with a t-shirt or sweater. It's available in sizes XS to XL.

Men and Boys

Men and boys may want to leave the metallic gold to their ties, with a choice like the Skinny Solid (less than $20) from The Tie Bar for men or the Michael Kors Solid Silk Ties (less than $40) for big boys. Pair it up with a fitted suit for a holiday-ready look that's perfect for a company party at an upscale restaurant.

Shimmering Silver

The suggestions for gold apply to silver as well. If you're wearing the metallic shade near your face, keep in mind that cooler skin tones tend to look best in silver, while warmer skin tones tend to look best in gold. Try a light gray tunic sweater threaded with shimmering silver or even a plain gray top that's so light, it looks silver.

Women and Girls

For women and teen girls who need a cute, festive dress for an event, there's the Night High Apex Bonded Mini Prom Dress from ASOS (under $100), which has a v-neckline and flared skirt. For women who want something cozy for a night in with friends and family or a casual dinner, there's the BB Dakota Harrow Cropped Cable Sweater in Light Heather Grey (right, also under $100). It isn't metallic like the dress, but its soft, pale gray and poncho style will be right at home on Christmas Eve.

Men and Boys

As with the gold, men and boys may prefer a more muted silver as opposed to a shiny, metallic finish, except where a tie is concerned. However, an option with a bit of a sheen, like the Calvin Klein Long-Sleeve Twill Herringbone Button-Down Shirt (around $80 at Zappos) is a good option for men who need a versatile option for the holidays. A silver suit (topmost image) is another lovely choice for an evening out.

The C2 by Calibrate Textured Silk Bow Tie in silver (just over $20 at Nordstrom) is a cute accent for boys who need to wear something a little dressier than usual for pictures with Santa or the family.

Bright, Festive Red

Want to stand out? Love any excuse to wear vibrant red? Christmas gatherings should be no challenge for you. Wear a slinky red dress to a formal event, or try a fitted v-neck or crewneck sweater with dark denim and casual boots (don't forget the boot socks with a cute design at the top).

Women and Girls

For ladies, there's the Home Before Daylight Dress, right, from Lulu's (just under $50), which has a fit and flare shape and tank style bodice. There's also the Tadashi Shoji Embroidered Lace Sheath Dress (right) from Nordstrom (just under $300), which is available in red or navy lace and has a fitted shape and cap sleeves.

The Rare Editions Sequin Flare Dress from Belk (about $80) makes a cute dressy option for girls who wear sizes 7-16 and love any opportunity to wear something glamorous. Otherwise, pick up a Cable Cotton Peplum Cardigan from Ralph Lauren (around $60) that can be dressed up with a skirt and tights or down with jeans or khakis.

Men and Boys

The Stafford Performance Super Shirt from JCPenney (about $50) comes in two festive reds: Red and Weston Red. Take your pick. These are available in regular, fitted, and athletic fits.

For boys who need to dress up, there's the Tommy Hilfiger Boys 2-Piece Shirt and Striped Tie Set (around $40 at Macy's). For something more casual, there's the black and red Kid Boy Plaid Puffer Vest by Carter's (under $35). Pair it with a black long-sleeve thermal shirt and dark jeans for a causal, cool look.

Wine, Burgundy, or Mulberry

These are all so similar, with wine being the deepest purplish-red of them all. These are more cool-toned than some of the traditional "Christmas red" shades, but flattering on more skin tones. These also stand out less in a crowd, so if you're shy and don't want to stand out quite as much, this is a good almost-red to go for. These types of shades pair well with textured fabrics, like lace or velvet.

Women and Girls

The Donna Morgan Stretch Velvet Shift Dress (right) from Nordstrom (just over $100) could work for ladies at a family event or even an office party. It has a 60s vibe with its 3/4-length bell sleeves and dropped waist. There's also the Le Grand Amour Dark Red Two-Piece Dress from Lulu's for just under $80. This one may not fly at an office party, but if you have plans to attend a special event and need something youthful and classy, this could be it.

A cute pair of burgundy overalls like the Corduroy Bib Overall Dress for kids at H&M (about $20) will look adorable for girls when paired with a white long-sleeved shirt and boots for almost any kind of Christmas Eve family activity.

Men and Boys

In a casual setting like a family dinner or church play, the Men's Signature Cotton 1/4-Zip Sweater in Redwood from Eddie Bauer (about $65) is perfect. It's available in small to XXXL, and if you like it so much you want it in other colors, there are five more to choose from.

Boys can don the Stretch Khaki from GAP in a deep shade of red (about $35). These pants will work with navy, white, gray, and black sweaters or button-down shirts, making them an excellent option for any event.

Traditional Greens

Anything from a mid-tone green to deep forest green will work here. Just steer clear of the brighter, more yellow-toned greens because they say "springtime" more than "holiday season." The darker greens, like mulberry and wine, work well in velvet and other textured fabrics.

Women and Girls

The Signature by Sangria 3/4 Sleeve Lace Fit & Flare Dress (left) from JCPenney is available in sizes 2 to 16 for under $100.00 and features a shimmering green skirt attached to a black lace bodice.

The Girls 7-16 Bonnie Jean Sparkling Velvet Green Santa Dress from Kohl's (under $70) couldn't be more perfect for a little girl who wants to wear something Christmasy, but doesn't want to go the more obvious red route. It looks just like the traditional red Santa-inspired dresses that show up everywhere during the holidays, but this one is done in a beautiful forest green.

Men and Boys

For toddler boys, Kohl's has an adorable holiday ensemble that features a reindeer on a green vest. It also has a red and white button-up shirt and corduroys. The whole set's regular price is less than $50.

For the men who enjoy the magic of Christmas and love throwing it back to their own childhood, there's the green Peanuts Snoopy Holiday Sweater, also from Kohl's and around $60 at regular price.

Navy Blue

Navy blue is another shade that shows up time and time again during the holidays. It's dark, but not black, so it may feel less somber in some situations than black might. Black works in most situations, but some ladies may prefer to mix it up, especially during the holidays. With the right scarf or jewelry, you can wear navy blue with silver, green, or even red. Just make sure you have a statement accessory that features both colors, in the case of red or green (like a blanket scarf).

Women and Girls

The St. John's Bay Long-Sleeve Cable-Knit Sweater (right, about $30 at JCPenney) is a lovely option for women that can be worn with jeans, slacks, or a skirt, and paired up with accessories in metallic shades, red, off white, and more to give it even more of a Christmas Eve vibe.

The Printed Fit & Flare casual dress option for girls (Old Navy, about $20) combines dark blue and stars. Pair it up with a peacoat, tights, and a pair of boots for extra warmth.

Men and Boys

Pop the men's ink blue Quilted Flannel-Lined Jacket for Men (Old Navy, roughly $80) on top of a thin sweater and/or button-up in any other Christmas-appropriate color and you'll be ready for a cold Christmas Eve evening.

For about $25 at Old Navy, there's the Corduroy Pocket Shirt for boys, available in sizes XS to XXL. Pick it up in Night Flight or Marion Berry, a deep red.

Classic Black

When is a black dress ever inappropriate for the occasion? Practically never, and that goes for Christmas Eve, too. A sweater dress in any length with black tights (consider a pattern) and black shoes won't look out of place, nor will a cocktail dress if you have something more formal planned for that evening. Men look dashing in black ensembles as well whether they are dressed up or down.

Women and Girls

Ladies, consider a black dress with hints of metallic shimmer, like the MLV Cowl Neck Metallic Sweater Dress from Nordstrom (left, just over $100.00). It could work for a Christmas Eve service, office party, or family/friends gathering.

The Girls Sno Happy Dress from Hanna Andersson (just under $80) and Girls Shimmer Snowflake Tights (around $20) are cute separately or paired together. Black holiday clothing may not be the first thing that pops into your mind for kids, but these pieces show that it works well.

Men and Boys

For the young man going out to a party on Christmas Eve, there are the Black Geo Jacquard Skinny Smart Pants from River Island for less than $80. Pair them up with a black fitted shirt and blazer for a sleek look that suggests it's not just any night out.

The Black Shortall Set is part of a selection of matching brother-sister Christmas outfits from Wooden Soldier. This particular set is available in sizes 3M to 4T. Prices vary based on size, but all are less than $90.

White or Winter White

You don't have to wear dark colors or go the official "Christmas colors" route for Christmas Eve gatherings, whether they're casual family get-togethers or fancy dinners. Winter white (or even white, though it's less common during the winter) is a gorgeous way to play up your skin tone, plus it's a perfect neutral shade ladies can use to complement a bolder makeup style.

Women and Girls

A winter white sweater with jeans or mulberry/wine-colored pants, or a sweater dress with boots or pumps, would work well for the occasion. If it's a night on the town, a cocktail dress in this shade would be lovely. Consider the B Collection by Bobeau Cable Knit Sweater from Zappos (about $80) paired with slim-fit jeans and boots.

The ecru Girls Soft & Shimmery Tulle Skirt, available at Hanna Andersson for less than $50, can be paired with almost any color of shirt and tights. Depending on the weather and the style of the complete outfit, pair it up with flats or boots for a holiday-ready ensemble that could even be appropriate for a viewing of The Nutcracker. Another option, which also incorporates gold polka dots, is the girls' Glitter Dot Sweater (right, less than $20) by Carter's.

Men and Boys

For a casual event, men can wear the Banana Republic Camden-Fit Luxe Windowpane Flannel Shirt (under $70) with jeans. To dress it up and add warmth, pair it with a black, green, navy blue, wine, or even red pullover sweater.

Boys can don a white Eddie Bauer Half Zip Sweater (about $15 from Target). Pair it with dress pants for a festive evening out or jeans or black cargo pants for an evening in.


For babies, a white top with a reindeer and a pair of black-and-white striped pants equal instant cuteness. It's available in newborn to 12-month sizes. The best part is the price, which is under $15.00.

What to Keep in Mind While Shopping

Will you want to wear part or all of the outfit again? Will you be wearing it again on New Years' Eve, only to retire it after the holiday season (at least until next year), or would you prefer to have it work for several more months?

What Color Do You Wear on Christmas Eve?