You know what I think? I think you should send the dress you wore to all the parties last year to the goddamn dry cleaners and just wear it again this year. Okay? No-one will notice or know. I have worn the same dress to all my Christmas and New Year parties for the last four years.
If it’s good enough for me it’s good enough for you!
Right. Done. Bye.
Or, if your old dresses are really just sad, mad and bad and you need to change up, just out of respect for the people who have to look at you, pull up a chair, my friend. Let’s talk.
First of all, your Christmas party outfit doesn’t need to be a dress. It only really needs to be black trousers or jeans and a spangly shirt like this one. Or The Outnet is always good for something mad.
Don’t, if you can help it, wear court shoes. Unless they are incredibly splendid vertiginous Louboutin things. I mean, don’t chuck them out but just for the moment they are not okay. Consider some ruched black pointy ankle boots – Mint Velvet make the best ones. Or frankly trainers would be better than court shoes. I love these glittery ones from John Lewis. I can’t explain why court shoes are having a bad PR moment right now, they just are. Maybe it’s Meghan in her weird cloppity too-big granny shoes that’s done it.
Or how about some velvet jeans? I tried on a whole load the other day out of curiosity and Paige have a very gorgeous pair. I am a large size 10 and the 28 waist ones fit me. But I’m afraid they are £240. John Lewis do a very good dupe for only £59 but they do not have the stretch and swagger of the Paige ones. Size down (on the JLP ones).
(By the way I saw a woman the other day wearing black velvet jeans and smart climbing boots, a white t-shirt and a khaki shacket and she looked AMAZING – so they’re not just for parties.)
If you absolutely have to do a dress, I thought this one from Finery was rather beautiful, but if a dress doesn’t have a pattern it can sometimes be a bit unforgiving around the middle.
If you want something LOUD, this by Mint Velvet is good. It has the advantage that they have thoughtfully backed the usually hellishly itchy sequin with a very soft jersey fabric so you will be comfortable, which you almost never are in anything with even a single sequin on it.
A lot of people will be doing long skirts with tall boots this year – the Seventies are still very much with us – [Corbyn joke here? Or is that too shrill…] – and there are a lot of good knife-pleats around. I really fancy this dress from All Saints, which you can put a fine knit or a chunky cropped sweater over the top OR a clingy black polo underneath. Kettlewell colours do a good silky jersey polo – size up (I am size L in this).
As for tall boots, they are flipping everywhere at the moment – but if you want a specific recommendation I tried this pair on from M&S at a shoot recently and was impressed. They are available in half sizes and I would say if in doubt go half a size up (eg my feet are precisely 37.5 and I take a 38 in these.)
I have just, (because my old Christmas party dress is actually falling to bits and pretty disgusting), bought myself this from Me + Em. Like everything from Me + Em it is incredibly flattering and well-made. It very cleverly has pockets more towards the front of the dress so they don’t add unnecessary bulk to the hip area. I will be wearing this non-stop from the 4th December to New Year’s Eve. I don’t even know why I am slightly excited?! I hate parties! (But I do love alcohol.)
A word about tights and pants. Last year during a conversation about something else a friend revealed that she sometimes wears tights without pants. Now, I am a massive, massive prude (as you may have long suspected). I’d rather die than talk about sex or bodily… anything… and I would never, ever wear tights without pants and I was horrified that she would go COMMANDO and I put it down to her being a crazy posh girl with loose morals.
And then I bought myself the most monstrously sexy long clinging skirt, (when drunk probably,) and couldn’t find a pant that didn’t ruin the entire ensemble. I remembered the words of my friend and wore it with tights with no pants. And it was fine! A little… weird, but fine! My lingerie of preference would always include some sort of knicker, but if you have accidentally bought a dress or skirt that you love that you can’t wear with pants, wear tights without pants. There is a cotton gusset. It’s fine.