Thursday, November 12, 2015

2015 Holiday Party Look Essentials: Express Black Friday Deals Alert + #EXPSWEEPS Giveaway! (US only)

It's that time of year again. Regardless of whether you actually celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's, you can't avoid the fact that it's the season of Hallmark-card get-togethers. You're bound to receive dozens of holiday party invitations each winter, and if nothing else, they're a great excuse to get dressed up and feel fancy.

I think everyone should have a few holiday staples in their closet, so I've done a little "window shopping" at Express to bring you my favorites for 2015! Ranging from all-eyes-on-me and bold to classic and understated, these fashion essentials, many of which are included in Express's amazing Black Friday deals, will have you covered for any occasion:

Burgundy Tones

bold: be the glitz and glam of the party in this sequined cocktail dress. The red sequins are glittery and totally holiday-appropriate while still being completely wearable due to the muted red undertones.
classic: wear something casual but still holiday-themed in a dress in a similar, but non-sparkly color like this surplice wrap dress. You don't have to take the extra effort to scream CHRISTMAS with this piece, but other party-goers will still know you've got it on your mind.

Effortless Cami

bold: sometimes you can't be bothered to go all the way with a dress, but a well thought-out outfit featuring a statement top like this lattice neck cami can make as large of a statement as a sequin dress will. I'm a sucker for the cutout patterns, and this one's sexy but not over-revealing!
classic: if bright reds and peekaboo cutouts aren't your thing, a more understated yet equally easy option is this sequin-embellished racerback. The sequin accents are just enough to put you in a party mood, but the rest of the top is basic enough for you to be able to get away with it in any context.

Festive Accessories

bold: when I wear statement necklaces, I go all out. This mixed chain collar necklace can be paired even with the simplest top or dress underneath, and still steal the show. Bonus: unusual and accent pieces like these are usually great conversation starters because everyone and their mother will be wondering where you got it!
classic: rose-gold hues are perfect for the holidays and this gorgeous analog bracelet watch is bound to turn heads without being over-the-top. Such a classy (and practical!) wrist piece that would also make a fabulous gift!

Must-Have Heels

bold: straight from the runway, these glitter and mesh heels are eye-catching and slightly experimental. You'll get compliments all night, but let's face it: you reeeaally want these because you know how amazing they'll make your legs look.
classic: yes, you could opt for flats for a less flashy look, but what's a holiday party without heels?! These sleek heeled sandals are perfectly minimalist, but still have a flare of red to really make a statement. Wear these with a simple little black dress (see below) to seriously make them pop—the color of your shoes can make or break an entire outfit!

Little Black Dress

We're nearing the end of this holiday essentials lookbook, so I'll conclude with my choices of Little Black Dresses from Express. Everyone needs a go-to LBD, holidays or not (extra text formatting thrown in on "everyone" for emphasis). And no, that's not a weird marketing ploy where I say you need this, you need that just to get you to buy my product (I'm not even selling you anything!)—it's just basic fact. It can be dressed up or down depending on shoes, accessories, leggings, outerwear, etc., and this versatility is what truly makes the LBD the quintessential all-occasion party piece.
bold: remember when I mentioned my obsession for cutout patterns? Well, I wasn't kidding you; this Grecian-style mini dress is calling my name! The daring bar pattern wraps around the entire waist to show off the perfect amount of skin, and the pleated flare skirt adds a flirty, feminine touch.
classic: in the same vein of flared skirts, this bell sleeve dress is a subtle yet completely enchanting piece that I would wear to anything, not just a part: a concert, date night, or even on vacation! It's airy and effortless, yet still slightly formal with its long sleeves, making for a truly put-together and universally flattering look.

Giveaway: #EXPSWEEPS

For the chance to ring in the New Year in NYC, check out this sweepstakes Express is hosting! You and three friends could win the chance to spend New Year's Even in the Big Apple.
For more information, and to enter to win, check out the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales at Express. You have plenty of chances to win (there are smaller prizes, like Starbucks gift cards as well!), so check it out!

Don't forget the entry eligibility terms and conditions!
Sponsored wholly by the retailer—a huge thank you to the lovely folks over at Express!
Giveaway ends November 30th at 11.59 PM EST.
Open to US residents only—sorry, everyone else! Please check my sidebar for a list of currently running giveaways that are open worldwide. There are plenty to choose from!
Void where prohibited. Refer to the fine print for more restrictions.
This sweepstakes is hosted entirely by Express LLC; Books à la Mode is merely helping spread word about the sales and event and is in no way responsible for the selection of winners or prize distribution.
FTC Disclaimer: While this post was written in partnership with Express as a sweepstakes entry, I was not compensated or paid in any way; this is NOT a sponsored post. Links are never affiliated, tracked, or sponsored. All opinions and fashion selections are my own, being that Express honestly is one of my favorite mid-range clothing stores. I'll definitely be taking advantage of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, and since Express isn't the most affordable brand around (it's actually a splurge on my student budget!), I encourage you to as well :)
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!