Why does party dressing always seem so difficult to nail? All you need to do is throw on a showstopping jumpsuit, sculptural earring and your new strappy sandals, right? If you want to spend your entire evening in utter discomfort and misery, then yes. You see, normal clothes take on entirely new meanings when the weather’s cold and the booze is flowing. That jumpsuit will be your worst nightmare when you have to spend 10 minutes in a tiny pub cubicle twisting out and then back into it. Oh, and those precious new sandals? One outing to a cocktail bar where the floor is sticky with spilt drinks and they’ll be ruined for good.
If you're sick of being too cold or uncomfortable at your Christmas parties, keep scrolling for our 8 key styling tips that will have you acing the party dressing stakes.
1. Don't wear giant dangly earrings because your ears will ache.
Oversized earrings sure do make a statement but after hours of catch-ups and showing off on the dance floor, if you haven't lost one or both by then, your ears are certain to feel the burn. Instead, go for classic gold hoops. Not only do they go with literally everything, but they also hardwearing so you can put them in your handbag and pop them on for after-work drinks without fear of breakage.
2. Do wear eye-boggling prints to a raucous event— spilt drinks won't show up.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that every friendship group has a member who’s a complete liability when they have a drink in their hand. Perhaps it’s you, which means there’s never been a better time to invest in party dresses that are covered in wallpaper florals, zany spots, zigzagging stripes or all the above.
3. Do dress like a human disco ball because sequins are always in at Christmas.
Sequins are always the way forward when it comes to party season. Fledgling designer Michael Halpern has single-handedly made them cool again with his kick-flare trousers and flared-sleeve blouses that are covered in rainbows of paillettes, but the high street has plenty of spangled options for all glitterbugs on a smaller budget.
4. Do wear a bralette under a tuxedo jacket—but only for certain occasions.
This is a winning modern partywear look— if you're with the right crowd. A house party? Great. A family night in the local pub? Not so much. A double-breasted style will allow for more coverage if you decide you need to button up.
5. Do accessorise your barnet with something Mrs. Claus–friendly; it is Christmas, after all.
What other time of year is it acceptable to slap giant baubles on your ballerina bun? Do go for glitzy hair slides or a headband, don’t go for a Santa hat or reindeer antlers. A few tasteful pearls will do nicely.
6. Don't freeze your toes off in strappy sandals, Do cover up your pins with knee-high boots—calves covered in goose pimples ain't pretty.
The trend for boots that keep your calves cosy is one for this time of year. You might think you can brave bare legs all through Christmas party season, but hypothermia begs to differ. All you need to keep warm in your minidress is a pair of thigh-highs that only flash a little bare skin.
7. Don't carry a giant tote because everyone you're with will say, "Oooh, can I just slip my purse into your bag?"
Honestly, it's not worth it. Do you really need your whole make-up bag? No. Pop your lipstick and credit card in one of these adorable mini-bags and you won't have to deal with returning everyone's stuff they've left in your bag the morning after.
8. Do be extra careful if you're rocking a leg slit (like professional Tamu McPherson) because you will flash your pants after too many proseccos.
Seriously a thigh-high split is fine and dandy when you’re practising your leg pop from the safety of your bedroom. It’s an entirely different story when you’re several cocktails down and trying to put one foot in front of the other. Try a wrap dress so you can customise how tight it's tied (double knots people) or forgo the split all together in this green Kitri number below if you don't trust yourself.