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Alternative Party Dressing (aka Anything but the Dress)

As Whigfield once *almost* sang, ‘It’s party time and not one minute we can lose…deciding what to wear’. But dressing up doesn’t have to mean reach for the dress, alternative party dressing can be (whisper it) even more fabulous.

We’ve given the matter some serious attention (as you do in our line of work), and we’ve  reached a couple of conclusions. One, ‘party’ does not have to mean ‘party dress’ and two, if you choose the right accessories, they do all the work for you (so if your sartorial comfort zone is all black and the very thought of deviation makes you break out in a cold sweat, just grab a fabulous pair of shoes instead).


You’ll note that neither of us are wearing anything like a traditional party dress – and yet we couldn’t have felt more ready to kick up our heels and sup a cocktail or two. (At 11.30am… We didn’t, just in case you’re wondering.) This skirt (which, vexingly, is sold out online but I picked it up in store) is one of the most fabulous items I’ve worn all year. They have all the more impact teamed with simple black sweaters (my favourite is a cashmere crew neck) – although Alex is demonstrating the genius of the pattern clash: it shouldn’t work, but it so does. Feel free to adapt this to suit you: statement trousers with a black polo neck, anyone? That same jumper under a jumpsuit with some stand-out earrings? Failing this, throw a leopard print coat over your ensemble and keep it on all night. Just cross your fingers that, unlike Whigfield’s party scenario, the air doesn’t get too hot…

1.Lace sleeve jumpsuit, £55; 2. Sequin sleeve jumper, £35; 3. Leopard print coat, £89; 4.Pinafore crepe jumpsuit, £49.50; 5. Floral midi skirt, £55; 6. Jacquard trousers, £39.50; 7. Sequin skirt, £45

The main thing about party dressing is to feel as comfortable in your own skin as possible. So, if jeans or a Little Black Dress make you feel fabulous, then throw them on with a killer accessory and you’re good to go. These perspex clutch bags have a very cool London designer feel about them, whilst these Carrie Bradshaw-esq shoes are so gorgeous, you could be dressed in your pyjamas and still feel fabulous. Finally, what’s Christmas without a star or two? I have loved this necklace for a long time and think that it adds a great rock’n’roll edge to an outfit. And, aren’t these earrings divine? Sparkly and celestial, they are the very definition of Fabulous Festive Fashion.

1. Perspex star clutch, £45; 2. Star and moon earrings, £7.50 3. Sparkly sling backs, £29.50; 4. Star necklace, £17.50;  5. Kitten heel mules, £29.50; 6. LOVE clutch, £45; 7. Sparkly clutch, £25; 8. Bow Boots, £49.50; 9. Blue stiletto heel courts, £35

This post was in collaboration with Marks & Spencer although all words and choices are are own.

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