There’s no more trusty a wingman than your favorite pair of slim-cut black jeans when it comes to getting dressed for holiday parties this year. They’re flattering, edgy, and nice enough to dress up or down. They also make getting dressed so much easier—and important quality during these hectic and slightly boozy times. In that spirit, here are five completely different, completely legit ways to wear your favorite black jeans to whatever you’ve got cooking this month. If you have to fill in the gaps with a few new purchases, so be it. At least you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for when you hit those crowded, chaotic shops with only an hour to find what you want. We’ve been there.
The Big Family Dinner
When you’re hanging out with mom and dad, maybe your own kids, or your grandparents, you want to treat your trusty black jeans like trousers so they look elegant instead of edgy. John Legend‘s bright red sweater and navy overcoat achieves that goal, and feels festive at the same time. The singer went with chunky lace-up boots but you could wear this fit with any type of shoe, really.
The Swanky Holiday Party
If you’ve got Lucky Blue Smith-level swagger, you can and should wear your skinny black jeans with a tuxedo blazer. A silk or rayon button-down shirt makes sense underneath, but don’t feel like you have to unbutton it quite as much as the 19-year-old male model. You should, however, copy his shoes. Pointy-ish black Chelsea boots are formal enough for the jacket and badass enough for the jeans.
The After-Work Mixer
Some office holiday parties, like GQ’s annual throw down, are “dress to impress” kind of affairs. Others are decidedly low-key. Like, so low-key you’ll probably see a few people in hoodies. If that’s your situation, follow Nick Jonas’s lead and wear your black denim with a check jacket and some chunky dress shoes. Plaid always feels festive, even in black and white, and this look is polished in a “special occasion” kind of way without coming on too strong.
The Romantic Holiday Dinner
What would the holidays be without at least one big, boozy, painfully expensive dinner? Make the night even more memorable by looking like a class act. That means dressing up your black jeans like Chris Hemsworth here with a black button-down shirt, bold color blazer, and black dress shoes. Throw on a piece of jewelry or two if you want that rock ‘n’ roll vibe.
The Holiday House Party
Let’s face it: You aren’t wearing a velvet tuxedo to your friend’s Christmas rager. For that type of gathering, the one that may or may not end with holiday karaoke, Jeff Goldblum’s got the right idea with his black polo, black leather jacket, and black dress shoes. We like the ’50s vibe of Goldblum’s short-length pants and wide-brim hat but feel free to embrace details that are personal to you.