It’s mid December and for the last two weeks the majority of my clients have been shopping for their festive, party season wardrobes. It has to be one of the most fun seasons, in terms of fashion, as many of the fashion rules we know and live by can be delicately placed on pause, for a few special weeks.
The sequins can come to life, alongside feathers, head-to-toe embellishment and not forgetting bigger, brighter and bolder than ever, accessories. Black is always chic, but festive season allows us to play with colour and experiment, just that little bit more than we usually do.
Having said this, I’m a firm believer that too much choice can be a curse. Together with your new picks of fabulous, on-trend pieces, my secret hack to the perfect party wardrobe is to ensure you start with some simple, yet fundamental, essentials.
These 7 staples will be the basis and foundation to building your party wardrobe and ensuring you are never stuck for a to-die-for party outfit.
Black jeans are the ultimate staple. They can look elegant or edgy depending on the look you are going for. You can dress them up with sky-high stilettos and a dressy top with some sparkle, or dress them down with studded ankle boots and a chunky knit. Great fitting black jeans are an easy and versatile essential that I always turn to so if you’re not currently imagining your own favourite pair, you know what to do.
For versatility purposes and to keep the look sleek, opt for a clean cut with no additional details, zips or rips. If you want a bit more of an edge, go for the waxed look jeans.
Dressy skirts are a great alternative to the “dressy top and jeans” dress code. Styled with a basic camisole and statement necklace, this essential simply had to be on my party list.
There are no hard rules here as long as the shape looks flattering on you. Usually straight or soft A-line cuts well above the knee (it’s your party piece after all so put some legs on show!) work very well but this is not to say that a flowing midi-length silk skirt can’t be your go-to staple.
Have fun with the texture – think glitter, sequins, shimmer, leather, embroidery, jacquard, fringing, studs, feathers, metallics, silk, chiffon, ruffles or whatever else will give you party vibes!
Decide which look you are drawn to the most and start looking for your perfect piece! All skirts below are from Oasis.
Statement trousers have been a huge trend for autumn/winter this year. It’s all about selecting interesting fabrics and textures with just the right fit for your shape. For the festive season, look out for trousers with a metallic edge to them, textured fabrics like velvet and on-trend floral and jacquard prints. Tuxedo style and satin cullotes/palazzo trousers are two other great options. If styled with a simple top, add some detail with statement shoes and clutch.
All trousers below are from Ted Baker.
There will always be those times that nothing will do but an LBD, and festive season is the time to ensure you have your perfect dress on stand-by. Whether you choose a simple, clean cut or a much edgier design with fuller detail, have fun with your accessories and this is where you can introduce a pop of colour or a sprinkle of Christmas sparkle.
All dresses from Zara.
A beautifully tailored, sharp fitting evening blazer will last you a lifetime (or until you fancy a new one, next year!). Adding an extra layer, a chic blazer creates a dressier and more finished look, when thrown over an LBD or completing a black jeans and cami ensemble. However, if you want something with an edgier twist, look out for velvet, cape blazers or relaxed boyfriend styles.
Tuxedo is a great investment as it can tick two boxes off – your dressy trousers + blazer. It is also a very chic look on its own with a lace camisole inside – sexy yet very subtle!
Forget about little cardigans or boleros! It’s a frumpy and dated look. If you are always struggling for a cover-up, sharp blazer is your new best friend.
Something I see on a regular basis is that women take time to create and put together the perfect outfit for an occasion. They select beautifully paired handbags and shoes to complement their evening dresses to a tee and never forget to include the perfect statement earrings or necklace to complete their look. However, they then throw over a random coat, as an afterthought, removing that first wow impression.
An elegant evening coat creates an overall more polished look so make sure your party wardrobe isn’t missing one. Colour isn’t particularly key here, it’s more about finding a coat that will effortlessly go over any dressy look, festive season or not. Black and light colours are probably the most versatile options. Opt for streamlined structure and an elegant silhouette.
Around the holiday season it’s all about making a statement and being that little bit more daring when it comes to fashion. Having a capsule selection of statement accessories in your party wardrobe allows you to approach the season with a “more is more” attitude.
Clutches can be bright and bold, no need to stick to black. Heavy embellishment or metallics are key to give your look some festive cheer. Go for a statement shoe, particularly when teaming with a midi skirt or cropped culottes and remember; it’s all about the detail.
Christmas is a great time to go big with jewellery. Statement necklaces can make simple camisoles and sweaters extra special and huge statement earrings are one of the hottest trends in jewellery this season. Mixed metal pieces stand out and add edge to a simple look.
When it comes to accessories, there is literally thousands of options there. If you are not good with mixing and matching, make sure you get your accessories in a cluster (shoes + clutch, earrings + necklace/bracelet, etc). That way you’ll never be stuck with what to wear with each specific piece. Here are some gems from River Island.
As the festive season takes full swing, you are sure to be on the invite list to a diverse selection of Christmas and New Year events and celebrations. From work parties, Christmas Eve with the family or the main event of New Year’s Eve, each occasion requires a fab and fresh head-to-toe look. Starting with stunning, but easy-to-wear basics enables you to create multiple outfits, without having to duplicate looks or buy more than you would like. Each one of these pieces can then be filtered into your everyday wardrobe, making the most of your winter investments. So take some time to find your perfect staples so you waste no time when getting ready. Happy shopping!