When the first doors of the advent calendars open, the fashion focus shifts onto Christmas party outfits. Whether it’s for after work drinks or a black tie event, hunting down the perfect party outfit is no mean feat. Stores and designers currently have a myriad of fabulous sparkly dresses, skirts, tops, trousers, shoes and accessories to choose from. So where to start?
When personal styling clients for parties and events I start with analyzing their body shape first and then move onto the key trends for that season. How to highlight their body’s best features and blend in those they are less keen on. Prints, beading, embellishment and textures are all great tools that can be used to redefine and balance out proportions.
Sparkly and metallic fabrics increase body areas in size – great for balancing out a smaller top half – and dark matt fabrics create a slimming effect. Busy details such as lace, beading, pleats and frills need thoughtful placement so they can enhance rather than add bulk. Vertically placed embellishments, panels, seams and prints give the illusion of lengthening and slimming the silhouette and horizontal placements do the opposite.
Having mentally conducted a quick body shape analysis it’s onto deciding which of the festive trends to buys into:
By far the most popular trend for both stores and designers this Christmas. Shimmer your way through the festive season with all over sequins, metallic fabrics and beading. Ideal for effortless one-piece statement dressing or add a sequined top/skirt/trouser to create a desk to party outfit. Keep accessories to a minimum, as your clothes will deliver the festive glitz.
A great look for petite silhouettes as shift and mini dresses compliment rather than overpower and block heels add height and subtle drama. Sixties inspired looks can either be worn in a demure elegant way with jewel colour shift dress in laces and satins, refined accessories and court shoes. Or you can opt for a more fun look with patterned jacquard mini dresses or shorts, teamed with pastel coloured fake fur coats and dramatic eyelashes.
One Of The Boys
A sparkly dress is not the only final choice when it comes to party dressing. A beautiful precision cut tailored trouser suit worn with a sheer blouse or sparkly top, killer heels and statement accessories can create just as much impact. Alternatively wear a strapless jumpsuit underneath a tuxedo jacket for an edgier look. Team with smokey eyes and a pre party blow-dry. An ideal antidote for those of you less keen on party dresses.
Old School Glamour
For black tie events you can’t beat the glamour of a golden age Hollywood goddess inspired floor sweeping gowns. Go for reds or dark jewel colours and high contrast colour combinations such as red and black for darker or red hair tones. Choose from a wide range of muted metallic tones from champagne to pearlised pastels and silvers for lighter complexions. Accessorise with a fake fur stole, cropped tuxedo style jacket and beaded clutch.
Lisa O’Shaughnessy is the founder of Always Stylish, a Personal Styling, Shopping and Image consultancy. Lisa has worked in the fashion industry as a stylist and fashion designer for 15 years. Using her wealth of experience she coach’s and styles a wide range of professional client. For Christmas party styling, styling gift vouchers, or to book for a New Year style makeover go to www.alwaysstylish.co.uk or email [email protected]