What’s Going On December 8th?

The party season is most definitely upon us, and whether you’re diligently planning  a sophisticated soiree, or pouring vodka into a punch bowl ten minutes before your guests are due to arrive, deciding what to wear can be one of the most stressful parts of the evening (especially if all those Christmas chocolates have started to catch up with you!) However, getting dressed is also part of the fun (obviously), so I’ve thrown together a few ideas for any budget, and for any type of event. I’m never afraid to be over the top when it comes to parties; my theory is that the worst thing that can possibly happen is that you will be the best-dressed person in the room!

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One of my favourite things about Christmas is that its the only time of year in which you can be really decadent, and considering the extravagant trends both on and off the catwalk this year, there has never been a better time to shine. I’m like a magpie, hopelessly attracted to anything sparkly or sequinned, and there are plenty such pieces on the market at the moment which will ensure that you outdo the Christmas tree in all your glittering glory.

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I especially love the above dress from All Saints. At £298, its a bit beyond my financial capabilities; however, I love the opulent detail around the neck and sleeves, and the merging of a floral pattern and the animal print. My favourite part of this dress, though, is definitely the back, which is just beautiful, as you can see below.

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On the other hand, you could go with something a little less edgy and a little brighter, a little prettier; like this white dress, with its delicate floral beading and full, floaty skirt from Karen Millen. The delicate mesh finish and capped sleeves make this ideal for wearing now or in warmer weather; however, again, this is a little out of my price range at £395.

dec 8 10 At £32, this sequinned skirt from Topshop is more in my price range, and has a sense of versatility about it, without being boring or plain. I think it would look really nice with a cute blouse, or perhaps even a Christmas jumper and some of those heeled platform shoes which are so on trend at the moment.

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I also think this style of skirt always looks good with a classic brogue shoe; but, as its Christmas, it has to be a brogue with a shiny twist. How about these sleek, silver shoes, which cost £49.99 at Zara, and add a futuristic glint to any outfit, without looking tacky.

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Of course, you could mix it up and go for a playsuit, rather than the usual skirt or dress; this sparkly piece from River Island is easily as glamorous as the standard LBD, and the dropped waist and floaty sleeves give it a real vintage feel. I feel that this provides the basis for an outfit which could be easily accessorized, perhaps with a collar at the neck or some statement bracelets or bangles. 

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Of course, in a sea of mini skirts and LBDs, you could make your statement in a different way; by playing with hemlines. As Vogue’s Sarah Harris says, “Don’t be afraid to be the odd one out in a maxi. It doesn’t have to mean super glam, maxi skirts with a favourite knitted sweater were a major look at the autumn/winter 2010-11 collections – you’ll dazzle in a sea of little black dresses.”

I particularly like this lace maxi dress, which is £39.99 from New Look.

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If something like that is too heavy or conservative for you, why not be more playful with sheer panels or skirts? This polka dot dress, at £89 from Miss Patina, shows a little skin beneath the transparent sleeves and skirt, givng the maxi a sophisticated lift, whilst stopping short from being just another LBD

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Similarly, this Limited Edition maxi dress from Topshop also has that sheer skirt, whilst the cream floral pattern adds a focal point to an otherwise plain, black dress. My favourite part of this piece, which costs £130, is definitely the sleeves, which adds a unique twist to a classic style.

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Oh, and what would such a glamorous dress be without a bag? I absolutely adore this Miss Selfridge clutch, with its 1920s, art deco feel, and at £22 I definitely feel it is a relatively cheep yet stylish accessory, which would add a touch of class to any outfit.

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This grey, batwing dress with the beautiful detailing around the neck is (in my opinion) also reminiscent of the 1920s or 30s, as such silhouettes were popular at the time. At £52 from French Connection, I feel that a pair of chunky black heels would counterbalance the soft, shapeless lines of this dress, and ground it firmly in contemporary chic.

 

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Last but not least, I couldn’t end without mentioning my favourite wardrobe staple; the lace dress. Lace is timeless, in my opinion; it can be delicate or edgy, innocently girly or seductively grown-up, and its always, always stylish. This year, I am in love with this white lace dress from Ted Baker; the sleeves and the collar are just perfect, and the shade of white and delicate detailing would just transform the wearer into the Snow Queen herself. If I had £200 lying around, this would definitely be in my wardrobe by now.

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Christmas is a time to be daring; don’t be afraid to step away from the basic LBD and play with hemlines, materials, patterns and colours. After all, why dress like everybody else when you can dress even better?

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Happy December 8th!

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