Party season is almost upon us which means Christmas parties, catch-ups with friends and lots of festive gatherings. If you have plenty of parties up ahead, it can become difficult trying to figure out what to wear to each occasion, not to mention the fact it can get expensive trying to have a new outfit for every event. This is why it’s important to make your wardrobe work harder and smarter to ensure that not only do you look amazing, but that you can keep using pieces over and over again. Here are some of my key tips for successful party dressing.
Follow the dress code
It’s only appropriate and respectful to follow a party’s dress code so ensure that whatever you decide to wear is in keeping with what the host has requested. Plus this gives you the ideal starting point for your outfit – there’s no point shopping for a slinky gown if you’re off to a cocktail party.
Think beyond the dress
A great cocktail dress is always perfect for party season, however think outside the box. A jumpsuit teamed with heels and some statement accessories can look equally as glamorous as a dress. A skirt teamed with a silk cami can also be a great option.
An LBD is your fail-safe option
I’ve never ever gone wrong with a black dress for an event. It just works. If you want to avoid spending a fortune, find one really simple black dress, in a great quality fabric such as silk and use it as the foundation for a party outfit. If you want to wear the same dress to multiple occasions, keep it as simple and plain as possible to get the most mileage out of it; an embellished dress with a really unique neckline for example won’t be as versatile as a something that has cleaner lines because it’s so identifiable. Once you have the perfect LBD, mix up your accessories, add a statement heel or pop on a jacket over the top to change up the look. Buy once, wear multiple times!
Accessories are key
Every girl should have a few key accessories she can call on for slightly dressier occasions. A great statement necklace or earrings and a beautiful cocktail ring can really elevate an outfit to something more glamorous.
Have a go-to clutch
A clutch is a must for party season. I have a Proenza Schouler black clutch (pictured above) that I’ve had for years that has served me well for several events namely due to the a) colour and b) simplicity. Black is a colour that works with virtually any outfit and for any occasion and the fact that it’s a streamlined design without too much embellishment means it’s a wardrobe chameleon that can be used multiple times.
Shoes! Shoes! Shoes!
The right pair of shoes can really make or break an outfit. I always buy a statement shoe per season that I can wear with multiple outfits, usually in a black or nude colour to really get the most wear out of it. Also be sure to break them in beforehand. There’s nothing worse than heading out for an evening and discovering that your shoes are the most painful things you’ve ever had the displeasure of walking in.
Experiment with your hair and makeup
Sometimes an outfit can be steered into party territory simply with the right hair and makeup. For something slightly more glam, amp up the intensity of your eye makeup and opt for a smoky eye or wear a bright, bold lipstick. When it comes to hair, master the art of a great at-home blow dry as this is a great fail-safe option for most events. If you’re feeling adventurous there are myriad hair tutorials out there for up-dos such as a polished ponytail or a sleek bun. Natural beachy waves are also big this season, just be sure to add a bit of sea salt spray for grip and texture and always brush out any curls to avoid them looking too ‘done’.