The New Rules For Party Attire With Sissy Sainte-Marie

She’s back. Los Angeles-based stylist Sissy Sainte-Marie, aka our fashion guru, is here to give us the latest rules and regulations for party attire just in time for the holidays. We’ve gone to Sissy in the past for coat etiquette and denim do’s and don’ts, and now we need her more than ever to master this season’s fancy feels. From breaking glitter norms to feeling confident and comfortable, Sissy reveals the ultimate party attire attack plan. Trust us, after reading this you’ll feel ready for every holiday party that comes your way.

Above: Calder Blake Ono jacket (worn backwards); Luz Ortiz drop earrings.

HAS FASHION’S APPROACH TO PARTY ATTIRE CHANGED RECENTLY? IF SO, HOW? I don’t know about the rest of the fashion but I’m prepared to rethink party attire and I encourage women to approach it in a way that feels right for them. Anyone else’s inbox clogged with newsletters telling them to wear bodycon sequin micro mini dresses and glitter stilettos to a holiday party? Can we please redefine what it means to be a smokeshow?

HOW SHOULD WE THINK ABOUT PARTY ATTIRE THIS YEAR? I think we can find party attire that is dignified and comfortable and still able to turn heads. The holiday season is freezing cold, we are feasting, drinking, celebrating, conversing. Let’s have the self respect to be toasty, steady on our feet, and prepared to accommodate a full belly.


Calder Blake Ono jacket (worn backwards); LD Tuttle Torch boots; Luz Ortiz drop earrings.

ANY STYLING TIPS FOR MAKING PARTY ATTIRE FEEL LESS FUSSY AND MORE MODERN? Less fuss does not have to equal apathy. Retire the old notion of scoring cool points for showing up overly casual to prove you’re not trying too hard. Please consider that you might need to try harder. Consider that it may be rude not to. As Tom Ford says: “Dressing well is a form of good manners.” You could wear jeans to the holiday party, but honestly why would you want to? Especially if this is your one chance a year to get dressed up. For your 2016 holiday party, don’t play small. Embrace looking fan-fucking-tastic and go put on a dress. You can wear jeans the other 364 nights of the year. If you’re not a dress person, wearing a tunic over cropped pants is a chill and considerate option.


Town Clothes Ruth coat, Wallace pant and Nona dress; Leigh Miller cuff and drop earrings; LoQ green suede shoes.


  1. Redefine the smokeshow.
  2. Start by feeling really good on the inside and then let your beauty radiate from within.
  3. Make it all about accessories – sometimes a simple black ensemble and terrific earrings are all you need.
  4. Work a festive color.
  5. Don’t go casual. Try harder.
  6. Loosen up.
  7. Reveal and conceal. Thoughtfully chose a garment that reveals only your favorite zones – clavicles, back, leg or face – and leave the rest to the imagination. Think open back and high neck, side slit and maxi length, strapless A-line tops and flared pants, full coverage and fabrics that drape sensuously.



Pari Desai Column dress; Leigh Miller drop earrings and cuff bracelet; LoQ Almansa heels.


  1. High-collar long-sleeve diaphanous dresses that hit just below the knee.
  2. Over-the-knee boots (paired with the dress mentioned above, not a micro mini).
  3. Column dresses.
  4. Statement earrings. Bonus points for a matching cuff and/or ring.
  5. Chokers.
  6. Statement heels, preferably painless.
  7. Tunic and pants combos.


Nikki Chasin satin top; Town Clothes Wallace pant; LoQ Lorente heels; Luz Ortiz choker.


Photographer: Eddie Chacon

Model and Stylist: Sissy Sainte-Marie

Location: The Standard