Holiday Dressing

Dressy Jumpsuits that Wow for Special Occasions!

If you have a formal event to attend and are shopping for a fancy dress, think about this. How about wearing a dressy jumpsuit instead? Dressy jumpsuits can be just as lovely and glamorous as cocktail dresses. Plus, they are comfy and modern too.

A classy jumpsuit is perfect for special occasions like Christmas, New Year’s, or a major birthday celebration, but can you wear one to a formal dinner or a company function? What about a dressy jumpsuit for a wedding?  The answer to all is a simple yes!

You can Wear a Dressy Jumpsuit to a

  • Cocktail party
  • Wedding – summer, fall, anytime!
  • Special Occasion Birthday Party
  • Fancy Restaurant/Date
  • Formal Charity function
  • Christmas Event
  • Holiday Party (Including Company party)
  • Vacation/Cruise
  • Dressy Wedding/Baby Shower
  • Red carpet-type occasion
  • Dressy reunion
  • When you are the bride – Yes, it’s now a thing!

I’ve listed many places where it’s OK to wear a dressy jumpsuit (some of which may surprise you), but here’s the key.

If you wear a dressy jumpsuit to one of the functions listed above, be mindful of the type of jumpsuit you choose and how you style it. Here are some of the best dressy jumpsuits I’ve seen lately, plus tips on wearing a dressy jumpsuit to look classy and appropriate for these special occasions.


How to Wear a Dressy Jumpsuit


Classy jumpsuits burgundy and rust

burgundy jumpsuit |rust jumpsuit | shoes |bag |earrings

1. Choose a Sleek, Tailored Jumpsuit

A formal occasion calls for a more tailored jumpsuit. Whether you choose a slim-cropped style or a more soft, flowy, wide-leg jumpsuit, be sure it is well-cut and gives you structure and shape. This is especially important at 40+ when our bodies are softer and rounder and need that extra structure.

Also, choose a jumpsuit that nips in at the waist. A definite waist looks more formal, and it’s more feminine. As for the neckline, many can work. For example, this dressy jumpsuit with the halter neck bow tie is trending for fall,  but A V-neck is always very flattering.

2. Fit is Key

Jumpsuits can be tricky. They can make you look short or plain sloppy if you don’t get the right fit. Make sure your jumpsuit fits perfectly – not too tight like a catsuit, but not too long in the crotch or hanging down in the bum.

Petite gals – be careful, or you will look swamped in fabric. A jumpsuit with slim pant legs helps with reduced volume.  If the pant legs are long, make sure the material doesn’t bunch up at the ankles.

pink jumpsuit | pink jumpsuit here too | bag | shoes | earrings


3. A Solid Color

Black is the number one color for dressy jumpsuits because it’s always appropriate and slimming.  Other neutral colors like navy, white, blush, and burgundy also look classy. Depending on the event or time of year, a solid, brightly colored jumpsuit, like this stunning pink, strapless number, can look fabulous too! If bright pink is your personality, go for it.

Prints are more formal than solid colors, so save those print jumpsuits for casual occasions.

4. Well Accessorized

The right bag and quality jewelry go a long way to creating a polished, formal look. Try a dressy clutch to look elegant or a small, structured bag. Avoid soft bags with boho style or heavy-looking daytime bags or totes.

Most jumpsuits look plain without jewelry for formal events. Don’t be afraid to choose a bold piece to stand out, such as a cuff bracelet, chunky necklace, or chandelier earrings. Gold, silver, and gemstones look sophisticated worn with formal jumpsuits, while colored costume jewelry is more casual. One of my favorites for modern, sophisticated jewelry is Dean Davidson!

black jumpsuit | bag |shoes | earrings

5. High Heels, Please!

A gorgeous pair of sexy heels will dress up your jumpsuit and make you look tall, slim, and elegant. And they don’t have to be sky-high.  Even kitten heels look fabulous with wide-leg evening jumpsuits.  Any embellishment on your shoes, like crystals or gold detail, always looks formal and is a great way to add magic to a solid plain jumpsuit color.

5. Check Your Hair and Makeup

When wearing a formal jumpsuit, make sure your hair looks fabulous too. Wearing it up looks beautiful, but if you want to wear it down, that’s fine too. Just be sure you spend some time styling it. You don’t want your hair to look like you just walked off the beach.

Makeup should be classic or sexy. Red lips look great with a formal black jumpsuit, and you may want to throw on a touch of bronzer if you find black washes you out.

7. Wear a Jacket

If you want extra style points, try adding an evening jacket to your jumpsuit or draping one around your shoulders. This creates a chic, polished look and helps when the air conditioning is blowing, and your jumpsuit is sleeveless. Take it on and off and on as needed during the evening.

8. A Cropped Jumpsuit can be Dressy

The newest type of jumpsuit is a cropped flare jumpsuit, which can be dressed depending on the material and how you accessorize it. This chic look can be worn with heels or elegant flats.


Here are a few other dressy jumpsuits that are trending right now:

dressy white jumpsuit

white jumpsuit |white jumpsuit

White Jumpsuit

If you like a super feminine touch, you’ll love this or one of the many evening jumpsuits in all-white. This one has a fabulously beaded neckline, which makes it formal. White looks excellent in warm climates. If you can’t wear heels but need height, a pair of dressy wedges can work with a wide-leg pantsuit.

dressy black satin jumpsuit

satin jumpsuit

Satin Jumpsuit

Everything is coming up satin this fall, including jumpsuits. This stunning black satin jumpsuit is gorgeous with its asymmetrical neckline and elegant wide legs.

dressy green jumpsuit

green jumpsuit



Green Jumpsuit

This is just a beauty for fall. I love that rich green color and can see this at a fall wedding!

dressy strapless blue velvet jumpsuit

velvet jumpsuit


Velvet Jumpsuit

Velvet always adds a formal element to anything, which is the case with this jumpsuit. This sexy strapless velvet jumpsuit would be perfect for a formal evening event, especially at Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s.

dressy, red one shoulder jumpsuit

one shoulder jumpsuit

Off The Shoulder Jumpsuit

A bold, colorful,  off-the-shoulder jumpsuit is summery and festive and makes an exciting style statement. It’s glamorous, sexy, and a real head-turner!

dressy purple jumpsuit

purple jumpsuit

Purple Jumpsuit

Purple is always regal, and this eggplant shade is modern and classy. The elegant folded neckline has a unique artsy look, and I love how the gorgeous bow at the waist creates a stunning focal point!

dressy black mock neck jumpsuit

boat neck jumpsuit

Boat Neck

I adore this black asymmetrical boat neck jumpsuit that’s elegant and slightly dramatic at the same time. This would be my choice!

These are just a few ideas for how to wear a jumpsuit.

What about you? Would you wear a dressy jumpsuit to a party? For bigger gals, plus-size jumpsuits are here. Did you see the cropped jumpsuit I also like wearing?

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51 thoughts on “Dressy Jumpsuits that Wow for Special Occasions!

  1. Hi Deborah, I purchased a dressy coral-colored jumpsuit to wear to a wedding this month (May). The wedding is formal, and I intend to dress it up with accessories. My concern is the shoes. The reception is bayside on a grassy lawn. They will have a dance floor, but I don’t want to sink in the grass with spiked heels when I’m not dancing. Would a chunkier heel be appropriate with a jumpsuit? Thx for your help….and your article.

  2. I found your blog on Pinterest! I am looking for a jumpsuit to wear to a function, and the mauve jumpsuit with sleeves and tie stood out. The jumpsuit was paired with beige shoes and accessories. Where might I find the jumpsuit?

    1. Hi Monica, So sorry, but that was a DVF jumpsuit that sold out quickly. I would check out Nordstrom for others. They have a great selection of cute jumpsuits.

  3. Hi Deborah, My son’s graduation is coming up, as money is tight. I have a midi black+cream polka dot dress and would appreciate your advice on accessories +shoes I was considering nude shoes +bag 70

    1. Hi Kathleen, nude or black shoes would look great. And if you have a red bag, that would make it pop. If not, a nude or black bag would be nice. Have fun!

  4. Hi Deborah-

    I started following you and was happy to see your post on jumpsuits being dressy enough for a wedding. I have a Cache jumpsuit that I have debated wearing to an evening wedding; it is a black polyester halter style with a fitted waist and open-leg palazzo pants with a bold cream Asian graphic print. The wedding is near Indio, CA, and is expected to be hot. I confirmed it is not a black-tie affair. There were no jackets or ties for the guys. I have doubts about this look and hoped to dress it up more with shoes and either gold or silver jewelry.

    Hoping you can provide some ideas about whether I should go for it or stick with a dress. My legs are one of my best attributes, so that either option would be flattering! If the jumpsuit seems appropriate, your thoughts on shoes and accessories would be great!

    Thank you for the beautiful style tips; they are so helpful, as I love fashion, but I focus more on striking the right balance with polish and grace now that I’ve reached the fabulous age of 50.

    1. Hi Suzanna, No jackets for the guys sounds pretty laid back so that it might work at night. However, there are a few things I wonder about…I’m not sure what you mean by open-leg palazzo pants. Do you mean there are long slots in the legs? The halter style might make it too sexy for a wedding, especially since the jumpsuit also has a bold print. Solid colors, especially dark ones like mine, are more formal than a print. Any idea what the bride is wearing? Sexy or sweet dress? Also, is the ceremony in a church or the exact reception location? Is the reception at a city dinner club, grand hotel ballroom, or smaller, more rural hall? Three very different types of dress. Also, what did the invitation look like? The style of the invite will give clues as to what to wear. For example, formal invitation, gold and black embossed fancy script font (black tie conservative-long gown or cocktail attire) vs. pretty floral invite on the textured recycled stock in a natural color with the more handwritten font (casual wedding- lovely dress) – Two very different weddings. Think more about all these things and I bet you will know. In the end, if you are not sure, I would not wear it because the last thing you want to do is to secretly worry if you look o.k. or if you are dressy enough. (It’s always better to be a little overdressed than underdressed.) Finally, it’s the bride’s day so make sure she is the focus of attention. Cheers, Deborah

  5. Thank you for this morale booster. As a 5″2 ladies of Asian origin and not reed thin either, I purchased a burgundy sleeveless jumpsuit on impulse.. was not sure whether I would be able to carry it off for an evening event… this article motivates me to take the plunge :)

      1. Thanks, Deborah, for shining the light on jumpsuits. I have a couple of them but never wore any because I just wasn’t sure ….. however, after reading your piece on them, I’ve had a change of heart. I’ll wear them. Thanks a million.

  6. I love the look and would like to own one. What keeps me from buying one is the hassle of removing it if I need to use the restroom, and at 4’11, I tend to drown in fabric. I do own a pair of palazzo pants, and I love love love how comfortable it is. If they come up with jumpsuits for petite people, I might give it a go.

  7. Hi, I have a family wedding at the end of May. I have been looking at a navy/cream jumpsuit….bottom navy top cream. It is sleeveless, and I would like to be able to cover my arms. It is a jumpsuit. Can you suggest something? Would I like to dress it up as this will be a fancy wedding? I do not look great in dresses so a jumpsuit suits me better.

    1. Hi Marie,
      It sounds very modern with the navy and cream color blocking, so I would stick to a simple, sleek wrap frilly, heavy, or embellished. An all-one color sheer cream wrap would be nice.

  8. I love the jumpsuit look, but at only 5’2″, I have a hard time finding one that fits well. I would love to see pictures of a nice jumpsuit that will suit a petite woman.

  9. I like the elegant look of the jumpsuit, but I always wonder how easy it would be to use the lady’s room in a restaurant when the stalls are small. Could you tell me how one would get in and out of a jumpsuit?

    1. Roll up the legs and remove the top by sliding your arms out…..and lower down and grab the fabric….take care of business, and you are all set.

  10. I’ve always loved the idea of jumpsuits, but even though I’m “only” 5’7,” I have a super long torso and rather large breasts. I remember trying to wear jumpsuits in my teens and ending up with “camel toe” and a “wedgie.” I guess the tall model types have them custom-made. I can never find one-piece swimsuits either.

    A Frustrated 45yo

  11. I just hit my mid 40’s, and I love the jumpsuit trend, especially DVDs, but I cannot afford to drop $598 on one outfit. Are our websites, stores, or designers comparable in style but more affordable? I don’t want to be cheap, but I’m looking for one for around $150.

  12. I’ve just turned 56, and I have a couple of jumpsuits. My favorite “go-to” is a black strapless with palazzo-style pants. I get a lot of compliments when I wear it, and the best part is a few accessories, and you’re dressed yet feel as though you’re wearing jammies.

  13. I love the look of these on-talk people – not feeling confident at 5’2!!! I also agree with the comment on length – a few of the photos seem to me to have gone from elegant to daggy because the size drags on the floor – not a classy look for anyone.

    1. Hi Lisa, I think many of these stars get loaned things last minute and go as is. A jumpsuit should be long but not dragging on the floor- a touch from the bottom is good if the jumpsuit has wide legs to give you that sweeping effect like a maxi dress. Cheers, Deborah

  14. At 52, I wore a pants suit for my daughters evening Bridal Shower. It was great. I bought another one that I wore for the engagement party! They are the best! Now, I wear them whenever I want to “do me”!

  15. I planned to purchase a black jumpsuit for the holidays next week. They can look exquisite, and finding the perfect one which can be dressed up or down is my mission right now! I think I will need to wear excellent body support underneath, and it will be a pain when I need to use the lady’s room, but it may be worth it. I really like the jumpsuit, and I want to stay “current” in fashion!

  16. I’m 56, tall, and relatively slim (though a bit squidgy). I used to wear jumpsuits in the early 80s and see they’re back in fashion. I’ve seen a couple online that I loved, but I thought I might be too old – but they weren’t tight fitting, low cut, or anything else, so WHY do I hesitate?

    Thanks for the post. Did you end up buying one for yourself? I think I’m going to buy one from Revolve. It’s by Wilt and is comfy slub cotton, with a drawstring waist to give it shape… What the heck…

  17. I’m in my 50s and would wear a jumpsuit if it looked good. An innovative black type with chunky jewelry would look fab.

  18. Hi. I’m 57, slightly overweight, and just purchased a FABULOUS chocolate brown knit jumpsuit that looks dynamite on me. Age is relative, ladies.

  19. I love the look of a jumpsuit. We are seeing them ALL over the South of France right now. I am 5’10”, so they don’t fit me (most French women are quite a bit shorter!), but I hope to find one when I come to the US this summer!

    1. Hi Megan,
      Thanks for writing in and giving me an update from the South of France!! We are just entering warm weather back east so we should start seeing them around too.
      Is anyone out in LA or the South seeing them???
      Please send photos! This is a new trend~

  20. I just turned 40 and am only 5’4 and bought a tremendous black jersey knit jumpsuit. The pants are long and wide-legged, and the top is like a sleeveless wrap. I have pulled this off at weddings and parties and feel comfortable. I usually wear it with cage high heels and a simple long necklace. It is a fun trend!

  21. Deborah, I’m definitely with you – I love long dresses. We’ve just seen a lot around in our Summer (I’m an Aussie) & am looking forward to them being around for a long time. I had to laugh at the lady’s room dilemma comment re the jumpsuit & yes, I do recall – what a business that was.

  22. Hi Lucy,
    I love all the different opinions! You are right, it is not for everyone, so it is interesting to hear the pros and cons!
    Something like a jumpsuit might take the right gal with the right attitude to pull it off.
    We still see lots of long dresses for Spring (like last Spring). That might be a more accessible alternative than going with a jumpsuit.

  23. No, not for me; at almost 45, I think I’ll pass. If I remember wearing it the first time, I’m too old to wear it the second time. Leave it for the teens & twentysomethings, I think, the maybe early thirties at a push. A bit too try hard for me, but that’s just my opinion.

  24. Hi Deborah, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate all the tips and advice you give. You make us feel very confident navigating our mature years. I trust your advice and often recommend your site to my friends, who are amazed atat how knowledgeable I seem. LOL
    Thanks again. Keep up the excellent work. We NEED you!

  25. Like you, Deborah, I had a favorite jumpsuit in the ’80s. Mine was animal print — really, it was terrific (and even understated for animal print). I wore it until it had holes! I would consider one again (I especially love the one here with the cowl neck, but I wish it came in chocolate brown instead of black) — somehow I’m just not sure I want to (let me be frank) have to take the whole thing off to use the ladies room — maybe just too much trouble, but I’m open. I can safely say, however, that I am so not a fan of the rompers — I’ll leave those to the teenagers!

    1. Hi Ginger,
      My favorite jumpsuit was a crisp, white, shiny cotton one with a fitted waistband that I bought in Hawaii. It had white zippers all over it. I also remember a lilac one when I was about 19 that was more flowy and dressy.
      Too bad there’s so much black out there now. Chocolate brown is softer, and navy would be better for me than black. Black seems to wash me out these days.
      As for those rompers, I agree. I was looking at some and thought they’d look silly on a grown-up gal!
      Cheers, Deborah

  26. The black is the most versatile and can add inches to the more petite. The fun part is putting a fabulous belt w/ texture or metallic that changes the look instantly. I’m tall, so I find the challenging part is the torso length and the rise. Not so comfy. But love the elegance and ease of it overall.

    1. Thanks for your suggestion Leslie,
      I love the way accessories can magically change an outfit. Fabulous jewelry can transform, too, as well as gorgeous shoes. That’s where you can bring some personality in.

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