Take Your Holiday Style To New Heights With These 6 Luxe Looks

What to wear to any holiday event.


We know you have probably received a slew of invitations, from work functions to Friendsmas to New Year's Eve. This year, we want to challenge you to go for luxe looks by wearing fabrics like velvet, sequin and metallic. These textures and colors are synonymous with luxury because they are timelessly royal. When it comes to holiday functions, whether it's professional or play, end the year strong in outfits that make you feel and look good.

Gentle reminder: it's time to carefully apply pressure. We have styled six looks to help you do just that. *in my best Billy Porter voice* The category is... LIVE, WERK, POSE!

The category is: Suited & Booted

Writer Joce Blake

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

They say, "You make plans and God laughs," and that often happens to me when I have a vision for an outfit, order pieces, and then they don't arrive for my event. Just call me the queen of remixing. Take this look, for example. I paired a sequin mini dress I copped from Zara with one of my favorite plaid suits. The chicness of the top makes it perfect for the holiday and the suit provides a clean aesthetic. You can easily take this look from day to night.

Shop This Look:

Zara Sequin Mini Dress, $50

GoJane Get Sparkly Chunky Jewel Cuff Heels, $30

ASOS DESIGN Mono Geo Suit (Similar)

The category is: The Jumpsuit

Writer Joce Blake

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

By nature, jumpsuits create a polished silhouette. They are picture-perfect for curvy girls because they keep you snatched in all the right places. A jumpsuit is all you need to turn heads at the cocktail party. Velvet will never go out of style so whether you choose a jumpsuit or a dress, you're in good company.

I went for clear PVC heels because they are on trend but you should make sure you wear comfortable shoes in case you end up dancing the night away.

Shop This Look:

Lily Rose Belted Velvet Jumpsuit (Similar)

Clear 2 Part Block Heels, $22

The category is: Sequin Realness

Writer Joce Blake

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

No holiday listicle is complete without sequin, so I made sure to give you tons of it. You can't get more festive than head to toe sparkles. This look is ideal for New Year's Eve – light up the night in the colorful crop top and contrasting skirt. When choosing accessories, I thought yellow tassel earrings would take the contrasting to another level.

If you're looking for a sparkly, multi-dimensional look, go with this number.

Shop This Look:

Boohoo Sequin Skirt

Zara Sequin Crop Top, $40

JustFab Madelina Bootie, $40

The category is: LBD x The Pop of Color

Writer Joce Blake

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

Little Black Dresses are the unsung heroes of the holiday season. The fashion staple never lets us down, no matter the occasion. Some refer to it as the Little Boring Dress but we know how to give it life. It's simple: add a pop of color with your accessories. If you hadn't noticed, popping pink is one of the colors you should be wearing this season.

This specific LBD also has some extra panache with the pronounced sequins and fringe at shoulders. I fell in love with the front ruching and its smoothing effect.

Shop This Look:

Zara Fringed Shoulder Velvet Dress, $50

JustFab Madelina Bootie, $40

Hot Pink Fur Bag, $22

The category is: Hey Goldmember!

Writer Joce Blake

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

Popular opinion: slip dresses are lit. Dress it up with a tuxedo jacket and snakeskin boots to bring haute fashion to your soiree. You can transform the 90s-styled frock in many ways, from layering it with a structured top to keeping it simple with strappy sandals. And the alluring aspect of the slip dress is archetypal for the night out on the town.

It should come as no surprise that I rounded up three different trends – a slip dress, oversized blazer, and snakeskin boots. For some sauce, I even added a pearl hair pin on the lapel of the blazer. Issa lewk, sis.

Shop This Look:

Zara Mini Slip Dress, $40

Stefni Over The Knee Boot, $80

The category is: Maximize the Maxi

Writer Joce Blake

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

Maxi dresses + over the knee boots + fur stoles = winter fun for the fashion fiend. Save the drama for your outfits by wearing a glamorous maxi dress. Cold weather doesn't equate to covering up so show some skin with a daring high-slit and neckline. The faux suede boots provide an elemental feature creating perfect balance with the dress and stole. If you're attending a fancy dinner, turn up the heat in this getup.

Shop This Look:

Boohoo Boutique Sequin Plunge Maxi Dress, $36

JustFab Mariam Heeled Over The Knee Boot, $33

ROYAL WIND Fur Stole, $25

Location: The Forum at Fitzsimons | Denver, CO

Photography by: Charlie B Photography

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

Featured image by Shutterstock

This article is in partnership with Staples.

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