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A grand, old style dress designed to make it clear it's to be worn for the holiday season.
The standard form is a dress with a tasteful bodice (though it can include an Impossibly Low Neckline or Absolute Cleavage), a full length bell-shaped skirt, and a generous amount of trimmings such as fur (that's usually white), Jewelry, ribbons, etc. Best designed to wear during a formal dance, lounging around the fireplace, or walking around on a clear night after the snow fell.
Red is the most common color, followed by white (especially if worn by a Winter Royal Lady), green, and even gold. If blue is used, it is often paired only with white to evoke an icy appearance, especially if worn by a Winter Royal Lady.
This is meant to equate the lady wearing it with Mrs. Claus, but her typical outfit is of the homely 19th century grandmother type, while these dresses can be quite extravagant.
This trope may date back to Victorian times (especially if royalty dressed up for Christmas).
Side-Story Bonus Art, particularly with anime and manga, often has holiday pics with female characters wearing these dresses, as does a majority of chapters/episodes that take place in December.
- In Digimon Adventure 02, one of the International Digidestined is seen wearing a fur trimmed dress that's red and, compared to most character's outfits, very fancy. Since the battle Catherine was involved in happened on Christmas Eve night, she didn't really have much say in the matter, as there was no time to go home and change.
- In the Christmas episode of Chrono Crusade, Rosette wears a Santa suit while delivering presents to a local orphanage. Chrono was forced into a reindeer outfit.
- The main heroines of Suite Pretty Cure done Santa-like outfits for their Christmas episode.
- Katy Keene had had several.
- One of the best examples is the dresses the Haynes Sisters wear at the end of White Christmas. You can see them in the picture on that film's page.
- The red Christmas morning dress worn by Julianne Moore in Far From Heaven.
- The "Miss Merry Christmas" in Steel Magnolias wears a long, red dress with a white faux fur neckline and muff.
- In The Christmas Toy, the precursor special to The Secret Life Of Toys, one of the toys was a Captain Ersatz of Barbie, and she wears a grand dress until she decides to get changed for the rescue mission.
- In the Christmas Episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Miss Yvonne wears one that also includes Opera Gloves, white feather trim on the gloves and dress neckline, and her hair done up like a Christmas tree.
- Named for the "Happy Holidays" Barbie line, which has several different kinds of these dresses.
- There are other dress lines as well, like the "Winter Princess" line.
- The American Girl dolls.
- Often turns up in Virtual Paper Doll games.
- Claris's dress in Christmas NiGHTS.
- The Mrs. Claus outfit in the Holiday packs for The Sims 2.
- In Sparkling Generation Valkyrie Yuuki, Yuuki and Chiaki wear grand dresses for a seasonal job.
- The Disney Princess merchandise shows them in various holiday dresses, usually made from the base design of the canonical dresses the princesses wore in their movies, but also with a shared theme (white fur-trimmed dresses and white fur muffs, gold dresses, Gem-Encrusted dresses, etc.). Often they have matching capes.
- Belle wore an original holiday dress for Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
- The Ghost of Christmas Past (formerly a tooth fairy), wears a blue dress with snowflake decorations.
- I the video Princess Sydney Christmas: Three Gold Coins, Sydney wears a red christmas dress with a thick, white fur hem and neckline.