Dressing Up for the Holidays for Less: Holiday Party Outfits Savings

3 sparkly holiday blouses—red, silver and green, hanging on hangers.

Our priority at MoneySmartFamily is to help readers improve their finances and we partner with companies that could help you. Some links on this page are from our partners. Read how we earn money here.

Holiday party outfits can be expensive, and everyone wants to look fantastic for the holidays. How can you get a great Holiday look without spending a fortune of money? We’ll share how you can dress up for the holidays with a minimal cash outlay, and look fabulous in the process.

Reader Question About Holiday Clothing Expenses

I know that I’ll be invited to several holiday parties this season and will need to get dressed up. And there isn’t money for new clothes right now. But I want to look good, and not put a balance on my credit card. What should I do?

Less Stress for Holiday Party Outfits!

The holidays can be stressful, and wanting to look fantastic can be expensive . . . unless you know a few of our frugal and fun, money-saving tricks.

Take a breath and don’t worry — there are probably more solutions than you realize. Spending money is not your first nor your only option. Our money-saving suggestions will initially take some time, but the results will amaze you. And the more often you do this, the easier it will become.

Tip 1: Reorganize your closet

We know this isn’t as much fun as going shopping at the mall, but it is a great place to start . . . and in the process, you may find some awesome things you had forgotten.

Start by going through all of the clothes in your closet, reorganizing and evaluating everything. Make a list of what you have, noting which items have more festive, Christmas-time colors such as royal purple, bright red, cranberry, forest green, royal blue, sliver, gold and black sparkle. Mix and match. If you have a nice pair of black slacks or a black skirt, pairing it with a holiday-colored blouse and some inexpensive accents can make a smashing outfit.

If you feel overwhelmed, ask a friend for help with your personal fashion evaluation.

3 sparkly holiday blouses—red, silver and green, hanging on hangers.

After this exercise, you may still need to buy a few things, but not as many as you previously thought.

Tip 2: Look at your shopping options

Make a list and head out to a thrift or consignment store. You can easily find a smashing blouse for between $2 and $10 at a thrift or consignment store that will dress up a pair of black slacks and make your holiday outfit fantastic.

In Arizona, we like to shop at:

Other Places to Shop for Your Holiday Party Outfits

  • TJ Maxx
  • Ross
  • Marshalls
  • Ebay
  • Poshmark

If you’re not familiar with thrift stores in your area, visit TheThriftShopper.com – they have a directory of more than 12,000 charity-based thrift stores in the U.S.

Thrift Shopper Logo

If you can’t find what you want at these stores (which is highly unlikely), check the clearance racks of retail stores or go to Nordstrom Rack or Last Chance.

Remember, stick to your list. And keep your eyes peeled for deals – there are bargains everywhere if you just know where to look.

Tip 3: Start Right Away looking for Clothing

The sooner you start, the more choices you’ll have. Time and patience will pay huge dividends. We’ve found that shopping our favorite thrift and consignments can yield great finds faster than trudging through store after store at the mall.

You can look terrific this holiday season and no one needs to know how little you spent.

For more great tips for clothing, visit our money-saving tips page for clothes.

Tip 4: Dress up Basic Black

Black is one of the most versatile colors out there for holiday clothing. Take a black dress and add a couple of sparkly accessories (earrings or necklaces) and you’ll be holiday party-ready in no time.

Facebook Friends Clothing Tips

We asked our Facebook friends how they save on clothing. These tips are useable all year long, but can also apply to holiday party clothes.

“I shop Amazon. I find something I like, buy one, and if it’s a good fit, I go back and get it in every color. (Disclaimer – I HATE shopping for clothes in stores, so this works for me).”

Suzanne Ward 

“I usually buy in store, find a brand/size I like then buy online. My favorite is buying brands and sizes I know fit at SWAP.com and Threadup.”

Get 35% off your first purchase at Swap.com using the code SWAPHOWYOUSHOP at checkout. Restrictions apply.

Leanna Thompson 

“I shop Poshmark for gently used clothes. Great for our entire family but especially the kids. We have also done well selling on there.”


“The most important thing for shopping online is to stick with brands that you know fit you well. For example, I know exactly my size for Nike shoes. So I can shop for them on deep clearance and know I am getting a good fit.”

Paul Moyer

If you want more clothing money-saving tips check out these pages:

Holiday Clothing that looks great but doesn't cost a fortune!

We love hearing from you! Please leave a Comment Below

Let us know about your greatest Holiday Clothing Find – we love hearing your stories of frugal fun!

Watch our Today Show Thrift Store Clothing Challenge.

6 thoughts on “Dressing Up for the Holidays for Less: Holiday Party Outfits Savings

  1. Julie

    Love the idea of taking a simple pair of black pants or a skirt and dressing it up. You can always find those at second hand shops cheap and dressing them up they always look dressy!

  2. Ann Magner

    I wasn’t shopping for a holiday outfit but did find some nice basics at my local Savers to wear to work at a fraction of the cost that our uniform supplier charges,one great score was a fleece jacket that’s more than $40,I got one for under seven dollars.I use my Senior discount,and often have a donation discount card. You can find all kinds of great things to wear and for your home in these stores.My little sister says ” I let rich people be my personal shoppers ” many things are new with the tags on,other people’s returned gifts.I’m a newly single mom with three young adults living at home,and using the tips in your books and on your blog has helped me stretch my money with a goal of being debt free.
    Ann M

    1. Steve Economides

      Ann, thanks for sharing your clothes shopping strategies – love the deals you found at Savers Thrift Stores! Your sisters attitude of “letting the rich people be my personal shoppers” is hilarious . . . but so true!

  3. Hallie

    I have a party to go to tomorrow. Wearing an Ann Taylor LBD (little black dress) which was only $16 at my favorite resale shop! I started shopping this way after reading your books and we paid off all of our credit cards and our second mortgage! (And I never feel like I’m missing out on shopping by shopping this way!) I got my mom hooked on it too and they are debt free for 5 years now!

    1. Steve Economides

      Hallie – we love the idea of simplicity and resale shops. There are so many bargains out there – there’s no need to pay retail! Love your enthusiasm to be debt free! Hope you have a great Christmas!

Leave a Reply