What Color Do You Wear on Christmas Eve?

Updated October 21, 2021
Christmas Eve party woman wearing red dress

You don't have to stick with the typical bright red and green colors when deciding what to wear for Christmas Eve, though you certainly can. There are other less obvious colors to wear to Christmas Eve gatherings that celebrate winter and pull from the less traditional palette of Christmas colors.

Metallic Gold

For those who don't enjoy decorating or dressing in the classic red and green Christmas colors, gold, silver, and/or white are often the go-to. Metallic shades of gold are perfect for any fancy event, although you can dress it down a little for more casual gatherings.

Women and Girls

girl wearing gold dress Christmas holiday

For ladies, a gold skirt, like the Cedric Charlier Metallic Pleated Midi Skirt (Modesens for about $220) with a long-sleeved black bodysuit will work for most types of gatherings, depending on the length and style you decide upon.

If it's a casual event and you want to skip blue jeans, you could still pair a shimmering gold skirt with a fun graphic tee (perhaps layered over a long-sleeved tee and under a jacket, depending on where you live). You could even go for a darker gold shade, like the Ralph Lauren mock turtleneck (about $70), and pair it with jeans or a pair of slacks.

Little girls have options from tutus to dresses. The A-Line Knee-Length Gold Sequined Dress (around $50 on JJ's House) is a cute sparkling gold choice that will make her feel like royalty. It's available in sizes six months through 12 tall. It also comes in festive rosy gold, blush and champagne shades. The Childrensalon Giamo Gold Tulle Skirt is around $60 and offers a more casual look when paired with a t-shirt or sweater. It's available in sizes three to five years and five to eight years.

Men and Boys

Men and boys may want to leave the metallic gold to their ties, with a choice like the Skinny Solid (around $20) from The Tie Bar for men or the Tiemart Light Gold Premium Solid Color Tie (less than $15) for big boys. Pair it up with a fitted suit for a holiday-ready look that's perfect for a company party at an upscale restaurant.

Shimmering Silver

woman wearing metallic silver dress setting Christmas Eve table

The suggestions for gold apply to silver as well. If you're wearing the metallic shade near your face, keep in mind that cooler skin tones tend to look best in silver, while warmer skin tones tend to look best in gold. Try a light gray tunic sweater threaded with shimmering silver, or even a plain gray top that's so light, it looks silver.

Women and Girls

For women and teen girls who need a cute, festive dress for an event, there's the H&M Silver Shimmering Dress (under $40), which has a classic v-neck, bishop-sleeve look with an A-line skirt. For women who want something cozy for a night in with friends and family or a casual dinner, there's the Calvin Klein Striped Sweater Poncho in gray (around $60). It isn't metallic like the dress, but its soft, pale gray poncho style will be right at home on Christmas Eve.

Men and Boys

As with the gold, men and boys may prefer a more muted silver as opposed to a shiny, metallic finish, except where a tie is concerned. However, an option with a bit of a sheen, like the Calvin Klein Regular Fit Herringbone Point Collar Performance Non-Iron Dress Shirt (around $75) is a good choice for men who need a versatile option for the holidays. A silver suit is another lovely choice for an evening out.

The Solid Satin Bow Tie in silver (just around $20 at the Tie Bar), is a cute accent for boys who need to wear something a little dressier than usual for pictures with Santa or the family.

Bright, Festive Red

Want to stand out? Love any excuse to wear vibrant red? Christmas gatherings should be no challenge for you. Wear a slinky red dress to a formal event; or try a fitted v-neck or crewneck sweater with dark denim and casual boots (don't forget the boot socks with a cute design at the top).

Women and Girls

For ladies, there's the DKNY Puff-Sleeve Fit & Flare Dress from Macy's (just under $130), which has a fit and flare shape and puff sleeves for an extra special touch. There's also the Jump Long-Sleeved Lace Dress from Dillard's (just under $100), which has a fitted sheath shape, lovely lace and long sleeves.

The Rare Editions Low Ribbon Edge Dress from Belk (about $80) makes a cute and dressy option for girls who wear sizes 7-16, and love any opportunity to wear something glamorous. Otherwise, pick up a Sparkle Cardigan from Nordstrom (around $30), that can be dressed up with a skirt and tights or worn more casually with jeans or khakis.

Men and Boys

boy wearing red sweater on Christmas Eve

The JF J. Ferrar Easy-Care Solid Mens Point Collar Strech Dress Shirt (about $15) comes in a festive cayenne red. These are available in regular and slim fits, with a big and tall version.

For boys who need to dress up, there's the Chaps Stretch Solid Poplin Button-Up Shirt (around $36 at Kohl's). For something more casual, opt for the red Cold Control Puffer Vest from Gap (under $30). Pair it with a black long-sleeve thermal shirt and dark jeans for a casual, cool look.

Wine, Burgundy, or Mulberry

woman wearing burgundy dress for Christmas holiday

Wine, burgundy and mulberry are all similar hues, with wine being the deepest purplish-red of them all. These colors are more cool-toned than some traditional "Christmas red" shades, but they are flattering on a wider variety of skin tones. These also stand out less in a crowd, so if you're shy and don't want to stand out quite as much, this is a good almost-red to go for. These types of shades pair well with textured fabrics, like lace or velvet.

Women and Girls

The Calvin Klein Bell-Sleeve Velvet Dress from Macy's (just under $129) could work for ladies at a family event, or even an office party. It has a 60s vibe with its 3/4-length bell sleeves and sheath silhouette. There's also the Alexia Admor Long Sleeve Sequin V-Neck Dress for around $250 from Kohl's. This one may not fly at an office party, but if you have plans to attend a special event and need something youthful and classy, this could be it.

The Bonnie Jean Long-Sleeve Velvet Taffeta Dress (about $20 at Kohl's) comes in a striking stripe pattern starting with wine through a blush pink and dull gold that will look adorable for girls for almost any kind of Christmas Eve family activity.

Men and Boys

In a casual setting like a family dinner or church play, the Men's Textured Half-Zip Sweater by Polo Ralph Lauren in Classic Wine (just under $130) is perfect. It's available in extra-small to XXL, and if you like it so much you want it in other colors, there are five more to choose from.

Boys can don the Lands' End Iron Knee Stretch Pants from Kohl's in warm brick, a rich shade of red, for about $40. These pants will work with navy, white, gray, and black sweaters or button-down shirts, making them an excellent option for any event.

Traditional Greens

woman wearing green dress standing beside Christmas tree

Anything from a mid-tone green to deep forest green will work here. Just steer clear of the brighter, more yellow-toned greens because they say "springtime" more than "holiday season." Darker greens, like mulberry, work well in velvet and other textured fabrics.

Women and Girls

The Alexia Admor Oakless Flutter Sleeve Dress from Belk is available in sizes four to 18 for about $75 and features a Christmas-perfect shade of hunter green sequin covering.

The Poppies and Roses Long-Sleeve Tiered Fit-and-Flare Dress from Dillard's (about $45) couldn't be more perfect for a little girl who wants to wear something Christmasy, but doesn't want to go the more obvious red route. It looks like traditional lace, red holiday-inspired dresses that show up everywhere during the holidays, but this one is done in a beautiful hunter green.

Men and Boys

For toddler boys, Sophias Style has an adorable holiday ensemble that features a red and green plaid print on the vest. It also has a white button-up shirt, black tie, and slacks. The whole set's regular price is about $50.

For the men who enjoy the magic of Christmas and love showing their sense of humor, there's the green Sunglass Llama Knit Ugly Christmas Sweater from Walmart, for around $45 at regular price.

Navy Blue

woman wearing navy blue dress setting Christmas Eve table

Navy blue is another shade that shows up time and time again during the holidays. It's dark, but not black, so it may feel less somber in some situations than black might. Black works in most situations, but some ladies may prefer to mix it up, especially during the holidays. With the right scarf or jewelry, you can wear navy blue with silver, green, or even red. Just make sure you have a statement accessory that features both colors, in the case of red or green (like a blanket scarf).

Women and Girls

The L.L. Bean Women's Double L Mixed-Cable Crewneck Sweater (about $50) is a lovely and cozy option for women, and it can be worn with jeans, slacks, or a skirt, and paired up with accessories in metallic shades, red, off-white, and more to give it even more of a Christmas Eve vibe.

The Bonnie Jean Girls Long Sleeve Velvet Dress (Walmart, about $25) combines a dark blue velvet bodice with a blue plaid flocked organza skirt. Pair it with a peacoat, tights, and boots for extra warmth.

Men and Boys

Pop the men's blue and onyx Alaskan Hardgear Bear Hide Fleece Jacket (Duluth Trading Company, roughly $110) on top of a thin sweater and/or button-up in any other Christmas-appropriate color, and you'll be ready for a cold Christmas Eve evening.

For about $15 at Carter's, there's the Carter's Thermal Henley for boys, available in sizes 4-14.

Classic Black

woman wearing black dress on Christmas Eve

When is a black dress ever inappropriate for the occasion? Practically never, and that goes for Christmas Eve, too. A sweater dress in any length with black tights (consider a pattern) and black shoes won't look out of place, nor will a cocktail dress if you have something more formal planned for that evening. Men look dashing in black ensembles as well, whether they are dressed up or down.

Women and Girls

Ladies, consider a black dress with hints of metallic shimmer, like the Calvin Klein Mockneck Popover Sweater Dress from Macy's (just under $130). It could work for a Christmas Eve service, office party, or family/friends gathering.

The Girls Fairisle Sweater Dress from Gymboree (just around $30) and H&M's Glittery Tights (around $10) are cute separately or paired together. Black holiday clothing may not be the first thing that pops into your mind for kids, but these pieces show that it works well.

Men and Boys

For the young man going out to a party on Christmas Eve, there are the Calvin Klein Slim-Fit Solid Dress Pants at Macy's for less than $30. Pair them with a black fitted shirt and blazer for a sleek look that suggests it's not just any night out.

The Johnnie Lene Boys Formal Plaid Dressware Set from Walmart will bring a sense of sophistication to your boy's holiday outfit without sacrificing any comfort. The set costs around $35.

White or Winter White

woman wearing white dress on Christmas Eve

You don't have to wear dark colors or go the official "Christmas colors" route for Christmas Eve gatherings, whether they're casual family get-togethers or fancy dinners. Winter white (or even white, though it's less common during the winter) is a gorgeous way to play up your skin tone, plus it's a perfect neutral shade ladies can use to complement a bolder makeup style.

Women and Girls

A winter white sweater with jeans or mulberry/wine-colored pants, or a sweater dress with boots or pumps, would work well for the occasion. If it's a night on the town, a cocktail dress in this shade would be lovely. Consider the white milk Cable Knit Sweater from Gap (about $30) paired with slim-fit jeans and boots.

The Cat & Jack Girls' Tulle Sparkle Holiday Skirt, available at Target for less than $20, can be paired with almost any color of shirt and tights. Depending on the weather and the style of the complete outfit, pair it up with flats or boots for a holiday-ready ensemble that could even be appropriate for a viewing of The Nutcracker. Another option is the girls' Cream Cable Knit Peplum Jumper (about $40) from River Island.

Men and Boys

For a casual event, men can wear the Land's End Flagship Flannel Shirt from Kohl's (under $50) with jeans. To dress it up and add warmth, pair it with a black, green, navy blue, wine, or even a red pullover sweater.

Boys can don a white Cable-Knit Henley Sweater (about $30 from Gap). Pair it with dress pants for a festive evening out, or jeans or black cargo pants for an evening in.


For babies, a white Baby Starters Snowman Coverall and Hat Set means instant cuteness. It's available in sizes newborn to 12-months. The best part is the price, which is under $25.

What to Keep in Mind While Shopping

Will you want to wear part or all of the outfit again? Will you be wearing it again on New Year's Eve, only to retire it after the holiday season (at least until next year), or would you prefer to have it work for several more months? Look for pieces that will be versatile beyond the season.

What Color Do You Wear on Christmas Eve?