Party Dressing: Back to Black

dsc02870 Party dressing. Words to strike joy –  or perhaps fear – into your heart? Here’s how to do it like a grown-up. (Clue: default to black.)

Simple enough when the invitation says ‘black tie’ or ‘cocktail’ or ‘sparkle’. But if its a fairly nebulous ‘drinks’ or ‘NYE party’, you can be thrown into a tailspin. How much is too much? (Also see: how much isn’t enough and will make your host think you haven’t made an effort, ergo you do not care about her party? Yes, we all know people like this…) What looks good, but will also allow you to stand for the evening/eat a three course meal without surreptitious undoing several buttons.

Now, we both l-o-v-e sparkle, but I get it – it’s not for everyone. Fear not, dear reader: when in doubt, do as the fashion editors do and think black. Add some leopard print and sparkle. Maybe tough it up (and dress it down) with leather. And go. Just like that.

dsc02991_2Flora embroidered top, £149, Hush; Lucas Boyfriend jeans, £42, Topshop; Clutch, Accessorize, sold out, but buy similar here

This top is beautiful and highly unusual (having once worn the same dress to a party as three other girls (one of whom looked like a model), I am a fan of opting out of the obvious. Pair it with jeans (skinny or boyfriend depending upon how dressed up you want to look) or go a step further into dressy territory with black trousers. It also works for day (just pop a camisole underneath, roll up your jeans and add trainers). P.S. Yes, Mum, I know I’m not wearing a vest and I could have caught my death of cold.

Let us also, whilst we’re here, celebrate the fabulousness of these shoes, which have heels but are completely walkable.

dsc02845Wave mid court in Pony, £100, Boden (currently on offer for £76.30)

dsc03077For a slightly – but not scarily – more dressy (dare I say, sexy?) look, then follow Alex and go head to toe black. With the jacket, this takes to to school drinks/date night/a casual festive supper. Remove the jacket and you notch the party factor up a gear – especially if you factor in over-sized glitzy earrings.

dsc02945_2Leather jacket, £280; Anastasia top, £49; Silk trousers, £120, all Hush. Heels, M&S (old) but by similar here)

The reason this works – and Alex looks more French Vogue than The Worst Witch – is because she’s played with texture. Silk trousers are super chic (note: they’d also look great with an over-sized knit) but they’re toughened up with this leather jacket (with which we were both a little obsessed, so Santa if you are, you know, feeling generous…) and a silky vest. You could go all-out and add some sequins instead, but the detail on this top does the party work for you, see?

dsc02893Two other Hush pieces I’ve tried and can vouch for as suitable party (and day) wear: this jumpsuit (or try this version) and this star print shirt (which I wore with skinny black jeans for a supper party here).

This post was in collaboration with Hush, a brand we both love.





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