The season of holiday parties and New Year’s Eve is upon us which means not only are you shopping for holiday gifts for everyone on your list, you are also shopping for that perfect outfit to shine at all the holiday events coming up. I love holiday parties because there is no better excuse to bring out the rich fabrics like velvet, faux fur, lace, and tulle and the bling of sequins, glitter, and embellishments.
Being in Orange County, CA I have access to many great shopping malls and plazas. For my holiday dress shopping, I chose to go to The Shops at Mission Viejo simply because they have all of my favorite stores under one roof. Since I was shopping for holiday dresses, I wasn’t looking to spend an exorbitant about of money on an outfit I may or may not wear more than once. I wanted something trendy, affordable, but also something that was fitting for the holidays.
Whenever I purchase an outfit for an event such as holiday parties, weddings, or other special occasions, I have a few guidelines that I try to follow.
• If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit – nothing is less attractive than someone tugging at their dress all night long. Don’t buy something that is too short, too tight, or too big so that you aren’t comfortable wearing it.
• Budget – leave room for extras in case you need to purchase new shoes, accessories or outerwear, or need to make some alterations.
• Show off your assets – whatever feature you admire about yourself, show them off! Special occasions and Halloween are the few holidays where all bets are off and you are allowed to wear whatever you want and hardly no one will judge (see note on Audience).
• Venue – consider where the party will be taking place so you pick the right fabric to keep you warm (if outdoors) or one that is breathable (if indoors).
• Audience – depending on whether you are gathering with friends or colleagues, pick an appropriate outfit so you won’t have to “explain” your ensemble to anyone later.
• Instinct – trust your instinct, if you fell in love with something at first sight, chances are you won’t stop thinking about how amazing you will look in it.
• Confidence – It doesn’t matter what you wear, as long as you own it, you can pull off any look (just add a smile)!
So after browsing my go-to stores at The Shops at Mission Viejo, I ended up picking two looks for my upcoming holiday parties. For the first look I wanted something a little more sparkly and festive. I purchased this gold dress from TopShop at Nordstrom. I love the subtle sparkle it offers and while it is on the more modest side (meaning it doesn’t show off any cleavage and isn’t backless), it has a thigh high slit which shows off some leg. I paired it with a must-have leather jacket to add a little more edge to the look and make it more my style. Since the dress shines on it’s own, I kept the jewelry to a minimum with just a few stackable rings to complete the festive but sophisticated outfit.
For a more conservative but chic holiday party, I chose these high waisted trousers from Windsor Store. I love forest green hues for fall/ winter months and paired it with this velvet bodysuit from Zara to add just the right about of class and elegance without going beyond my budget (this top and bottom of this look are under $80 combined!). What I love about this outfit is that it isn’t just for the holidays, but can be worn together or separately throughout the year.
The Shops at Mission Viejo has a wide range of stores from department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s to my favorite stores such as Zara, J. Crew, Express, and H&M. What I also like about this mall is that they have many children stores as well like Janie & Jack, Gap Kids, Disney Store and the Lego Store. This makes it easy to shop for myself, for the kids, and for gifts without having to go to multiple places. For a full store directory, click here.
While I was shopping for some holiday outfits, it’s hard not to admire all the festive décor as well. There is just something about a big Christmas tree, all the trimmings, and merry carols playing in the background that just puts you in the spirit of the holidays. And let’s not forget a visit with Santa Claus! During the holiday season until December 24th, you can get the Santa Holiday Experience where you and your family can sit on Santa’s lap (who actually has a real beard) and tell him your wishlist of items in exchange for a candy cane and some treasured holiday photos. This Santa is really cool too, he actually didn’t promise my kids a pet or a drone saying that the parents have to okay it before Santa can bring those to them! If you go early (before 6pm), there is hardly a line and you can be in and out pretty quickly and spend the rest of your time shopping and enjoying dinner at one of the many restaurants at the mall or the food court (another family favorite).
If you haven’t visited The Shops at Mission Viejo yet, you must go and visit and get your holiday list checked off. You will definitely find something for everyone on your list and also a few things for yourself. For extended holiday hours, click here. To see all of the current deals going on at The Shops, click here.
// Merry and Bright | TopShop Outfit //
Dress | TopShop another option here
Jacket | TopShop another option here
Shoes | Lola Cruz another option here
Bag | Chanel another option here
// Elegant and Chic | Pants Outfit //
Bodysuit | Zara another option here
Pants | Windor Store another option here
Belt | J. Crew (sold out) similar style here
Shoes | Saint Laurent another option here
Bag | Valentino another option here
Thank you to The Shops at Mission Viejo for sponsoring this post and for providing me with amazing holiday looks this season as well as making my Christmas shopping so easy!
That mall looks like it has a great selection of stores. You look stunning in both of these looks. Perfect for the holidays. I love your style.
Thanks Gracie, it has all the stores you would need to shop at!
Love Mission Viejo Mall!! They have so many great stores and their holiday decor is on point! The Forever21 there is so huge, I love it! Love the looks you picked and styled!
Isn’t it the best mall? And you’re right, their Forever 21 IS huge!
You have so many stores to choose from over there! I think things have gotten bigger here too, but the stock is often pretty limited. We don’t seem to get many of the hero pieces from certain chain brands. Uh I have some Christmas shopping to do! Have to sit down and write a list!
Hi Jenelle! Yes there are so many stores to choose from and a great range of stores too!
Omg I am in love with that dress above! You look so darn fierce as always! It so great that you have so many stores to go to! You must never get bored!
Wauw that dress is so beautiful and the bags….J’Adore. You got me all in the mood for the holidays with these lovely pictures
Wow I love your outfits so fab!!!
I love shopping during this time of year! Why the lines might be a little bit crazy, and the parking is absolutely horrendous, it is so much fun to see all the decorations and all the happy people enjoying the holiday season! This mall sounds like a great place to do some fun shopping, and the outfits that you picked out are absolutely beautiful. I’m especially loving that gold glittery dress! It is definitely a wow piece!
Stephanie // SheSawStyle.com
This mall seems to be such a great place to shop! If there’s a Nordstrom I’m sold haha
I live in Montréal Canada and we don’t have a Nordstrom yet!
The holiday looks you came up with are absolutely stunning! That Topshop dress is a dream! I love the high slit and the subtle sparkle ♡ the second look is so classic ! Love that velvet top!
Oh you are such a stunner!! Those items were honestly made for you! I think you gave great tips and guidelines about shopping for a specific occasion. It’s great to keep in mind of your budget and the venue because that allows you to pick the most appropriate and affordable item.
Thank you Mariann! I definitely don’t think spending a lot on an outfit just for one party is worth it so it is nice to know that there are more affordable stores and places to shop!
Ahh I have yet to visit this mall though I’ve heard great things about it! I love your holiday look and the beautiful shots you got in the mall — makes me a little more excited to brave the malls for last minute stocking stuffers haha 🙂 xo, sharon
It’s a little far south for you, but definitely if you happen to be in the area, you would love this mall Sharon!
Thanks for sharing…and those are amazing selections of clothes!
This shopping center looks like it has such a wide variety of shops and it looks so festive too! You look absolutely incredible in both of these party looks. That gold Topshop dress with the slit is the perfect combination of classy and sexy.
Thank you Rachel! This shopping center is amazing and definitely festive for the holidays. I love TopShop for their affordable, trendy clothes.
Confidence plays a really important role how do you feel when you wear your outfit, some clothes bring you so much confidence that it turns your party into best night! Loved reading your post and outfit!
Thanks Diana! Confidence is definitely key – gotta fake it till you make it sometimes right?!
Can we talk about how divine you look in that first dress?!? It is incredible! I need it in my life.
Totally agree with your first tip – if it doesn’t sit right, don’t force it!! Some girls need to practice this more haha!
You are hilarious! Thank you so much for your compliment!
These are such AMAZING holiday party outfits! With the holidays coming up so soon, I really need to find that perfect holiday dress.. looks like you already have 🙂 Have an amazing weekend hun!
Thank you Jessi! You have so many amazing looks babe! Hope you are having a great holiday season!
You look soo stunning and classy in these outfits dear! I think there perfect luxe outfits for the holidays if you’re going to somewhere fancy. 🙂 I seriously need to some holiday dress shopping since I’ll be spending Christmas with my boyfriend’s side of the family.
Thanks Atsuna! I am frightened of the malls during the holidays but surprisingly this mall isn’t that crowded and so many stores to shop at that you can get all your shopping done in one stop!
You provide the best styling tips here Christine! And dressing for the occasion is very important for the reasons you stated above 😉 Also, I adore that stunning dress on you ~ it’s so shiny!
Thank you Aldora! I hope you are having a great holiday season!
I just love this look with the silver velvet top girl! The perfect festive combo 🙂
I wish you a wonderful Christmas time <3
xx, Carmen – http://www.carmitive.com
Hi Carmen! The velvet bodysuit and highwaisted pants is an elegant and understated look that is still very festive and affordable!
Such a great place to shop babe!!! Absolutely love both looks. OMG love this dress is so stunning and looks amazing in you.
You have such a great style.
It really is a great place to shop and get everyone crossed off your list!
Very nice and festive post, I love it. You look so glam in both outfits.
Thanks Mercy! I hope you had a good weekend!
You look so amazing in both outfits! Love the velvet top especially!
The mall looks really awesome with almost all of my favourite shops in there!! I would love to
Thank you Everest! It has all my favorite stores in here too which is why I love this mall so much!
I completely agree with you about this being the perfect time of year to pull out all the stops and opt for bold, rich colours and fabrics! I absolutely adore the glittering bodycon dress on you – perfect!
Holidays are the best excuse to get extra fancy, isn’t it?
Jesus, you look so amazing! Every guys dreammm! Something about you just spits out confidence 😉
Awww, you just made my day Yuena! Thank you so much!
Both of your holiday looks are so on point and so chic! That Topshop dress is absolutely uh-mazing!! It looks so stunning on you.
Thanks so much Jo! I love Topshop dresses and clothes for that matter – they always have amazing outfits and so affordable!
I love everything metallic!!! Totally agree with you on ‘show off your assets’. And your assets are definitely your legs! they are so fit and sexy!!! can’t have enough of them <3
Me too – what is there not to love about metallics right? I wish I had your legs and itty bitty body!
Wow ! I don’t even know where to begin after reading all of this valuable information, seeing your gorgeous outfits, and hearing about what a great shopping plaza/mall this is !! I love how you said to consider the venue and the audience and most importantly , I love what you said about confidence! So true !
The dress is truly stunning and I loved how you kept the jewelry simple and elegant with the stackable rings. The top and pants outfit was also a fabulous idea and I look forward to seeing how you style those pieces in the future. Thank you so much, once again, for a truly valuable and inspiring post !
You are so sweet Jennifer! Your comment is so thoughtful and it makes me so happy that I was able to inspire and shed some valuable tips to you!
This place looks very amazing to got shopping for nice holiday outfits. I love both styles that you are wearing babe. My favorite definitely is the first one. I love everything about it and you look so fabulous!
Hi Gina! I do love the Topshop dress as well and it is such a great holiday look for all the sparkles!
You shared such great tips for shopping for holiday attire. My favorite look on you is definitely that first dress. That high slit flatters your legs so well!
Thanks Candace! I love both looks as they are different, but I can’t resist a dress with a slit! =)
I miss shopping at Nordstrom so much! and wow at your holiday party outfit! you looks so glam and chic <3
Nordstom is definitely a great place to shop with so much variety indeed!
Love your metallic outfits,the first with the dress, and he second with this beautiful velvet body. The white accessories are on the top.
Thanks so much Eva!
I have always been inspired by your style and I love the two looks that you choose for the Holiday Season. They are both so gorgeous, classy and versatile. I also love how you choose looks from High Street Brands and accessorised with Luxury Brands (this is something I tend to do). You have totally inspired me to go shopping this week and head to Topshop and Zara.
You are the sweetest and I appreciate your kind words! Honestly, Zara and Topshop are the best brands to get amazing pieces that won’t break the wallet.
I have never been to the states. I can’t wait to travel there and hunt for really good high end designer brands in outlets. I heard and saw on instagram about this. Also you live in such a great place to be at. I love this shopping place!
Awww, you have to come visit one time! They do have amazing high end designer brands here at the outlets. In fact, Simon Malls (who owns this mall) has an outlet in Palm Desert that is amazing!
Awwwww, everything looks so christmassy here!! And I’m totally addicted to all of your great festive looks! So so stunning, hun!
Thank you Sarah-Allegra! I hope you had a great weekend!
The Shops At Mission Viejo look like a lovely place to shop! I’d love to visit when I visit Cali hehe. I really can’t get over that TopShop dress. It is seriously the perfect holiday dress! I love the little slit too. And the body suit of that second fit is so lovely! I love the way you styled it and that necklace is perfect.
It really is a great mall and not too overwhelming or crowded. Thank you for all your sweet compliments Jenn!
Oooh I love that velvet top!
Thank you Katherine! I love the grey velvet and the fact its a bodysuit. You can’t go wrong with Zara!
Ok now I just wanna shop!! love the velvet. I just can’t get enough
Frank Vinyl : A California Fashion Blog
You are the velvet queen Francesca!
I LOVEEEE the Mission Viejo mall! I live so close to it and I always head over to my favorite store there – Irene’s Story! You are slaying in both of these holiday looks and I loved reading about this awesome collaboration! <3
– Michelle Sun
Hi Michelle! Yes, it is a great mall and has so many fab stores! I like Irene’s Story too!
I need to check The mall out! I live in LA and part of my work is in Irvine so I will definitely be going there for some holiday shopping!
You work in Irvine?! I live in Irvine! Yes it is a great place to get all your shopping done and not as crowded as some of the other malls in OC.
Oh never visited! But I’ll go anywhere for a Nordstrom! Plus those holiday outfits are amazinggggg! Love the tips as well. Great guideline in purchasing outfits!
Haha, I am the same. Nordstrom has everything you need, just like The Shops at Mission Viejo!
Both outfits are great on you! The one with the hich neck and slit is so fun, yet sexy, but not over the top. The other outfit, which is probably my favourite of the two, is so on point. I love that it’s glam and effortless. Either way, you really can’t go wrong. 🙂 Both are gorgeous on you.
Thank you Miki! Both styles are definitely great for the holidays and I love that they’re affordable too.
I love your holiday style! And sounds like a great mall – I could just live in Nordstrom and Zara LOL.
I’m the same, if Nordstrom and Zara are both in the same mall, that’s such a major win!
The visual merchandising of this shopping centre is incredible! You got so many great finds! I especially love the gold dress as the detailing is incredible xx
Hi Bernice! I love the holiday decor and the spirit of Christmas that is represented in the mall.
I always preferred malls in the OC rather than LA because they just have so many more shops. Love that first glittery outfit! It’s so pretty and festive! Perfect for the holidays!
It’s true plus we have so much more parking space haha. =)
Both those looks appear so high fashion the way that you’ve shot and styled them. It’s so cool to know that you can put something together like that from your local mall.
Thank you Yasmin. That is one of the sweetest compliments ever. I think being affordable doesn’t have to look cheap and can look high fashion so I totally appreciate this compliment!
Your tips are actually really good… sometimes I struggles with one of them tho: I tend to but small things saying “I have some weight to loose” but then festive sweets happen and I never fit in that new dress! ^^’
Oh and of course… Love both your looks!
Thank you Virna, I agree, it’s hard not to reward yourself by buying a dress and saying I will lose weight to fit into it. But I also think as long as you are comfortable wearing what you choose and your confidence shines through, it doesn’t matter if you didn’t lose those pesky 5 lbs or whatever.
You are totally killing in these outfits babe, so gorgeous as always! They are definitely looks I would love to try this holiday season. And absolutely agree with you 100%, no matter what you wear confidence is what’s important to rock any outfit.
xx, Kusum | http://www.sveeteskapes.com
Awww, thanks babe. Confidence goes a long way indeed in anything you wear!
Oh this mall look so nice. Great captures. Love both of your outfit, they’re all so chic.
Thank you Rachel, if you are ever in town, definitely stop by!
These are such good shopping rules to live by! Obsessed with these pieces on you babe, you’ve nailed it!
They have EVERYTHING in that mall omg!! I need to go there because it looks so nice, but I don’t think my bank account would agree with me!
I always love your shopping tips! I have never been to this mall, but will definitely have to check it out next time I’m in the OC. You look absolutely stunning in both outfits! Major holiday party inspo!
I find it so hard sometimes to find one mall that have all the store I want to go to! Topshop for example isn’t everywhere nor are the nix and elf stores. One of my newest favorite malls is Westfield topping because they have the luxury stores there as well, including Neiman Marcus.
I wil definetely check this place out if I’m ever heading down to the OC!
I guess I’ll need to do some holiday shopping there!! Looks like a great mall 🙂
Your shopping tips are always perfect and on point just like your outfits especially that metallic dress super awesome!!! thanks for sharing babe XOWP
Thanks Warren! Have a great weekend!
I’m loving both these holiday looks! You look fantastic in everything, but that Topshop dress is a showstopper on you.
Thank you Ravayna! I like the TopShop dress as well for a more festive and dressed up party.
That topshop dress is just stunning on you! I really loved your guidelines on planning and shopping for that special thing to wear to an event – they are so wise, practical, and completely doable!! Think we’re completely on the same page about it all 🙂 I’ll definitely have to visit the Shops at Mission Viejo after reading this, thank you for sharing!!
xo Soo | http://www.BrownEyedToast.com
Thank you Soo! Guidelines are always nice just to follow some sort of rule so that you don’t break the budget or purchase something you won’t end up wearing more than once. You definitely have to shop here if you are around town! Have a great weekend!
Your post makes me miss shopping in California. I love both your looks so perfect for the holiday season but the first dress is to die for! Thank you for sharing ! xx
Thanks Caprice! The malls here like this one are amazing!
Christmas shopping can be so hectic I love this guide your provided that makes things a little simpler for us. And I’m in the OC area right now, will definitely check out this mall. Your outfits are simply stunning too Christine!
-Lily from With Love Lily Rose
You are?! Yes Lily, you have to go shopping here. It is easy and not overwhelming and all the stores are fab!
You look so incredible as always! I want to visit mission viejo sometime – it’s so close to us!
This mall looks amazing especially there is Nordstrom there!! We also have something like that here in Houston. Now lets talk about your outfits here – they are all gorgeous. Love that gold dress which is perfect for holidays. I would totally wear that velvet top/wide leg pants look to my office! Love your versatile style, Christine!
I love your velvet top and your glitter dress !
This mall looks amazing. And the christmas decorations i love it.
Thought the gold dress was silver at first, definitely makes people look twice! And love your guidelines, especially the part about confidence. Can totally see it in you! You’re just totally killing it in both outfits! Happy New Year!