Family & Relationships

Dressing Your Husband for the Holidays

By Juliana Day

It's Christmas season and there's no busier time for social events, not to mention the endless task of decorating, baking and creating Christmas memories with our families. The festive atmosphere of Christmas has most of us decking the halls, and some of us also taking on the task of decking our husbands… or should I say, "decking out". Some men are hopeless when it comes to appropriate holiday attire. That's why God gave men US!

Every guy is different and I'm not suggesting they must all fit into the same fashion mold. (I could never imagine my flamboyant husband with an ultra-conservative edge). However, the following guidelines for casual and formal holiday wear will help you when shopping for your own special guy.

The Fit

The first consideration when choosing outfits for your partner is the fit. When I gained 40 pounds, pregnant with my daughter, my wonderfully sympathetic hubby gained right along with me! How sweet… The problem is that some guys insist that their snug-fitting 34/ 34 is still the right size, when a size 36 would look much better. It's always better to be on the looser side, no matter what his buns look like!

Men's Fashion Faux Pas for Holiday Social Events

  • Light pants. Store them for the summer. Though snow-white pants may seem festive, they are inappropriate this time of year, especially in colder climates.

  • Anything with a reindeer on it! I hate to sound like a snob, but the cutesy sweatshirts with snowflakes and Santa Clause are tacky (and that's an understatement). If you insist on being cute, try a Santa hat!

  • Faded pants or jeans. What you wear around your home is your own business, but when you are a guest in someone else's home, it's more respectful to wear dress pants. If you're looking for comfort, check out a local consignment store, where you can usually find clothing that is already broken in but still in good condition.

  • Short sleeved T-shirts. I practically have to pry these away from my hot-blooded man, but if you must turn on the air-conditioning in the middle of winter, try a light weight long-sleeved T-shirt. Short sleeves are inappropriate on cold winter days. I am including button down short sleeves in the category… sorry, I know there are some die-hards out there!

Casual Get-togethers

  • Your best choice for an evening with friends is a pair of good quality navy or black pants with a cable knit sweater. Also, a long-sleeved dress shirt under a wool sweater is a nice, classic look.

  • For the younger man, try a festive red long-sleeved shirt with subtle lines on the arms or across the chest. Abercrombie and Fitch have a great selection of fashion forward garments this year.

  • Go a little more hip with a long sleeved button-down shirt in white (with an edgy pattern), in dark grey or black, and worn un-tucked with nice black pants. DKNY has a great selection of shirts to match these styles.

  • Try a turtleneck - most women will tell you there's nothing more appealing than a fit man in a snug-fitting turtleneck.

  • Shoes or boots are appropriate but should be polished and in good condition. Don't wear boots with complicated laces as hosts usually prefer you take your shoes off during the mucky winter months. Classic brown or black leather are good choices.

  • Belts should always be worn! Make sure the belt matches the shoes and socks match the pants. I know I don't have to tell you that white socks with black pants are a major no-no!

The Formal Affair

  • Portly or petit, most men look pretty darn good in a black suit. Some may consider this a cop-out, but a black suit is always a great classic. For a more modern edge, try shortening the tie and making a bigger knot in the top.

  • White Tie. The most formal dress for men is "white-tie". For these occasions, black tails are a must along with a white pique shirt and vest and, of course, black pants.

  • Black Tie: The more common attire is black tie. Here are a few do's and don'ts:

  • DO:

    • Choose either a tie and vest or a bow tie and cummerbund. The latter of the two is more traditional; the former is slightly more casual, but both are acceptable.

    • Buy shiny tux shoes if you can. If not, plain, black shoes are fine as long as they are polished to a high sheen.

    • Make sure your pants have the proper cord or velvet stripe down the side.

    • Don the cuff links. Formal shirts use cuff links, preferably black and rounded.

    • Go single breasted; it's the most traditional and looks best.

  • DON'T

    • Wear a regular shirt instead of a tux shirt. It just screams, "Not fully put together". If budget is a problem, you can either rent or buy inexpensive versions at stores like, "International Clothiers".

Whatever the occasion, relax, have a great time and remember the true reason for celebrating is not for the glitz and glamour of the season, it is for a child who came into this world with nothing on and was happy to celebrate his first Christmas in swaddling clothes.

Search LifeTools for Women:

Free Newsletter Subscription

Subscribe now! Join women from around the world and get FREE tips delivered to your inbox monthly,


Judy Rushfeldt, Publisher


Reach Your Dreams!

Making Your Dreams
Your Destiny

by Judy Rushfeldt




About Lifetools
Privacy Policy
Re-print Policy

How to reach us
Writer Submissions