Whilst some people shudder at the mere mention of ‘Christmas’, the Christmas season for me is by far one of my favourite times of the year for so many reasons – the cosy darkness, the smell of spicy mulled wine in the air, the fairy lights and of course, the Christmas parties! For me, the winter season is the most glamorous time of the year, the sparkles on dresses are emphasised by the twinkling Christmas lights, I can glam up red carpet style with a faux fur wrap and pretend I’m a 1950’s Hollywood starlet and I don’t have to worry about my make-up getting messy under the hot rays of the sun.
We like to be prepared at the boutique and so have been busily collecting together Christmas party dresses and accessories for our customers. In this post I would like to share a few tips and tricks on how to get yourself noticed under the mistletoe this year!
What dress shall I wear to a Christmas party?
This depends on so many factors. Although black tie events are becoming more relaxed in their dress code, it’s not everyday you get to wear a long dress, so at Christmas time, when the opportunity arises, I like to take full advantage of the situation! This stunning long gown with long sleeves (pictured right) is perfect for a black or white tie Christmas event and perfect if you are a lady who hates her arms. This dress has been worn by stunning celebrities, so it just goes to show you that arm coverage does not automatically mean ‘dowdy’. The full sequins give a perfect Christmassy effect, offering a subtle, elegant shimmer when you move, and it has the added bonus of that bit of extra coverage to ensure that you can keep the chill at bay.
If you are going to a more relaxed Christmas party e.g. a Christmas meal out with your work colleagues, a short dress is most likely going to be a better option. This Vivian Westwood inspired, off the shoulder pencil dress (pictured left) is simple yet absolutely gorgeous. As this dress bears little by way of embellishment, you can really go to town with the accessories and team it up with sparkly bracelets and a bag, and the low neckline means that you are able to wear a big, statement necklace. As always, with a shorter dress, you have to make sure that your feet look just as good as the rest of you, so make sure that you have some twinkly shoes to complete your look (see below).
Are there any alternative outfit options to dresses?
Of course there are! If you don’t feel happy wearing a dress, don’t wear one. If you are wearing something that is ultimately not ‘you’, you wont feel confident and you’ll only remember the Christmas party for feeling uncomfortable. There are simply hundreds of sparkly Christmas outfits out there, it would be quite an achievement if you were unable to find one to suit you! One of my favourites at the boutique at the moment is the hot pant suit (see below, right). This unique and sparkly Cheryl Cole style suit is perfect for Christmas parties and that special Christmas night club event, ensuring that you look sassy yet classy whilst tearing up the dance floor!
If you still feel uncomfortable by the thought of a hot pant suit, one of our glamorous tops with a pair of skinny jeans or a pair of black pvc skinny trousers teamed with a pair of killer heels would be just the ticket for you. Even if you are not wearing a dress, just remember that you can still be just as glam, just don’t forget to accessorise appropriately to ensure that you still look twinkly and Christmassy!
What are the best colours to wear for winter parties?
Christmas party outfits are usually bold in colour as opposed to pastel colours. The usual staple colours being red, black, navy, gold and silver. However, don’t feel restricted to these colours, I find that royal blue and purple serve equally well, just keep in mind that the watchword for winter parties this year is ‘opulence’. Providing your dress or outfit is rich in colour, you will look stylish and fashionable and bang on seasonal trend. Regardless of what colour you choose, just make sure that you feel fabulous in it!
What accessories should I wear with my party dress?
Statement jewellery has never been more in than during this season. Look out for dramatic chokers, dramatic earrings and bangles (a particular favourite of mine is currently the Indian inspired bracelet and ring sets). A sparkly bag will finish off your ensemble nicely and will ensure that your emergency provisions such as your lipstick and chewing gum (for mistletoe purposes!) are kept safely in style.
Don’t underestimate just how cold the midst of December can be, and make sure that you are not caught out at the end of the evening shivering whilst waiting for your taxi to take you home. Instead, opt for one of our faux fur wraps to keep you feeling super warm and yet uber-glam!
What shoes should I wear to a Christmas party?
As I err on the slightly small side, I am partial to a pair of sparkly high heels for Christmas parties. However, if you feel nervous about wearing skyscraper heels, stick to smaller heels which are equally as glamorous and you wont worry about wobbling around on heels at the party. Don’t think for a minute that party shoes are solely heels, celebrities such as Alexa Chung have really made flat shoes not only acceptable at parties, but also desirable. Once again, the watchword is still ‘opulence’, and this opulence MUST spread right the way from the top of your head right down to your feet! Bearing this in mind, I would just like to say that you should wear a style that you feel comfortable in, and think you can last the whole night in (without forgetting that dancing may be a part of the evening!), just make sure that there is plenty of bling!
Great, the outfit is sorted, but what about everything else?
Preparing the body before you get dressed up for your Christmas party is very important. You can spend a few hours doing it yourself at home, but I have found that whilst I begin the process with much gusto, after a while I do find that the process can become quite tedious and I begin to cut corners. Instead, I would opt to go to one of my favourite salons in Brighton and Hove, Tranquility in the City, based at Station Road. At the salon I always feel like I’m in the hands of the professionals, and always come out glowing from top to toe, it really is the perfect place to get pampered before a big night out! I personally recommend their manicures, my own favourite being gel nails with a leopard print minx wrap on the ring finger, the perfect finishing touch! Beauty expert extraordinare and owner of the salon, Louise is always on hand to give you a professional makeover for your big night, her advice for the perfect Christmas make-up this season is: ‘Two big trends for this xmas are glitter and using skin perfectors and primers to achieve a flawless look. The first step to professional looking make-up is to prepare well. Start with a really great skin perfecting primer and the rest of your make-up will glide on with ease and last all night! We stock the award winning Vitage skin perfector at Tranquility, which is a primer and skin perfector in one and at just £25 will save you money on buying two products. Once you have created your look, add glitter in a more grown up style by using a liquid glitter liner. This can be used on the upper eyelid to add sparkle to your usual liner or underneath in the corner of the eye to create a flash of colour.’
Once the rest of you is sorted, don’t forget that you will need to make sure that your hair looks perfect. After seeing their work at our recent fashion show, we highly recommend the very swanky My Salon Looks based at Western Road, Hove for a great Christmas party hair do. Their team of creative and artistic professionals really take the time to listen to you to make sure that your crowning glory goes perfectly with your outfit and suits your own individual look.
If budget is a factor for your Christmas outfit, don’t forget that you can always hire your Christmas party dress instead of purchasing it, so you can look a million dollars for a fraction of the cost, meaning that you will have a bit more money for a few extra cocktails!
Whatever you decide on for your Christmas party, remember that Christmas isn’t Christmas without twinkles and sparkles, so make sure that you dress to impress so you can shimmer the night away and be merry (it is Christmas after all!).
If you have a question for me that I haven’t answered, why not tweet to us @walkinwardrobe with your question with the hashtag #askwalkinwardrobe