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 (usually) bell-shaped skirt, and a generous amount of trimmings such as fur (that's often snowy white), jewelry, ribbons, winter symbols, like snowflakes, Sparkles, sprigs of holly, etc. Best designed to wear during a formal dance, lounging around the fireplace, or walking around on a clear night after the snow fell.
This is meant to equate the lady wearing it with Mrs. Claus, even though that character's 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 (just not as often as sexy Christmas dresses), as does a majority of chapters/episodes that take place in December. It's also common in Christmas themed Virtual Paper Doll games.
- 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.
- In Digimon Adventure 02, one of the International Digidestined is a French girl named Catherine; she's 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.
- The main heroines of Suite Pretty Cure ♪ done Santa-like outfits for their Christmas episode.
- Katy Keene had had several she models. One cover shows her in a red, holly-trimmed dress when she's under a mistletoe and two guys are trying to kiss her.
- Barbie in a Christmas Carol has several. The Ghosts of Christmas each wear one (present has the skirt looking a bit like a Christmas tree), Barbie wears a white one with lots of lace, and Eden wears one with a gold Giant Waist Ribbon and a fur-trimmed cape.
- Belle wore a red and gold holiday dress for Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas.
- Olaf's Frozen Adventure:
- Elsa has a darker blue version of her ice dress from Frozen and Frozen Fever. In this one the snowflake motif is more visible, and the neckline is trimmed with white fur, giving her a festive snow queen look. It's topped off with a sprig of holly in her hair.
- Anna's outfit isn't as grand as Elsa's, but still has several subtle decorations, such as white fur lining on her jacket and hat, Hair Decorations that look like leaves with cranberries, and a bells & goats motif on the hem of her skirt.
- 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.
- Haynes Sisters wear red dresses trimmed with white fox (and had other accessories, like fur muffs) at the end of White Christmas. You can see them in the picture on that film's page.
- The American Girl dolls' outfits in their Christmas books are always special-occasion outfits, sometimes with a religious significance (such as Kirsten's St. Lucia dress in "Kirsten's Surprise"), or sometimes meant for a fancy party. The outfits accompanying the sixth book ("Changes for [Name]") will comprise the hardier, more practical winter wear.
- 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.
- Mad Men: Some episodes in the fourth season, and the Season Six premiere, featured some variations: Joan's curve-hugging red dress with the Giant Waist Ribbon, Peggy's Pine Green dress with the Season-Appropriate brooch, Megan and Trudy's coral pink dresses (an actual seasonal color at the time), Betty's red dress with the white fur stole and her gold tapestry dress with the large ribbon.
- In the Christmas Episode of Pee-wee's Playhouse, Miss Yvonne wears one that also includes long High Class Gloves, white feather trim on the gloves and dress neckline, and her hair done up like a Christmas tree.
- Turned Up to Eleven in the Ru Pauls Drag Race episode "The Queens Who Mopped Christmas" with the competitors making holiday-themed outfits from Christmas items purchased at dollar stores.
- Molly Holly tended to wear these in Santa's Little Helper matches instead of a Sexy Santa Dress like the other WWE Divas would.
- Barbie is the Trope Namer, as the the "Happy Holidays" line put her in fancy, Christmas themed dresses. This is only one such line. There are others, like the "Winter Princess" line.
- 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.
- NiGHTS into Dreams... has the Holiday Mode called "Christmas Nights", and Claris has a short holiday dress.
- The Sims 2: The Mrs. Claus outfit in the Holiday packs are a long red dress with white fur trim.
- Male example: Every December, Yume100 has two Christmas-themed events, each featuring 5-6 princes in fabulous holiday costumes, in their unawakened forms and at least one of their awakened forms, if not both.
- Guild Wars 2 has an event called Wintersday, and one of the lady outfits is a blue dress trimmed with white fur.
- In American Dad!, the Ghost of Christmas Past (formerly a tooth fairy), wears a blue dress with snowflake decorations.
- In the first Christmas episode of The Cleveland Show, Kendra wears a Happy Holidays Cape.
- In the video Princess Sydney Christmas: Three Gold Coins, Sydney wears a red Christmas dress with a thick, white fur hem and neckline.