It’s the highlight of the working year – the office Christmas party, a time to cast off your desk-bound grumps and woes, even if just for a few hours, so you can kick back your heels, let down your hair, and show off your party side.
Of course, you want to look stunning and fabulous and, well, different. You want to look glamorous, far more so than usual, and you want to show your colleagues that there is more to you than meets the eye – although it’s best not to use this as an excuse to wear an overly revealing outfit. You do have to go back in to the office at some point, usually the very next day, and no-one enjoys being greeted with the words: “I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on”, accompanied by a knowing leer that will probably continue well into the New Year, if not for many months and years to come.
Choose wisely. Think bling rather than slashed thighs and plunging necklines.
Sparkle is widely available this coming party season and much of it is exceedingly classy indeed, in rich, glinting tones of copper, old gold and pewter, and also in deep, glowing shades of burgundy, midnight blue and fabulous emerald green.
An above-the-knee sequin or beaded tunic dress, especially one with three-quarter sleeves and high slash neckline, will looking party-stunning with platform heels, or you could go for a sequin pencil skirt to team with demure silk T-shirt style top, for a glamorous look that speaks sophistication, rather than screaming garishly for attention.
You can’t go wrong with a little black dress, and November is probably the best time of year to invest in a new one as the shops and online stores have so many to choose from and compare.
It’s tempting to opt for a style similar to those you already have, but far better to experiment with new shapes and cuts that you might not have thought to try before.
This is the season to invest in an all-over sequin LBD, if you haven’t already got one, and there are also lots of rather lovely lace and vintage style black dresses around, although don’t go for anything too ornate if you like to hold on to your party outfits for several years to come.
There are lots of pattern silk dresses too and these are wonderfully flattering, especially in a draped or wrap style, so worth considering if your pre-Christmas diet hasn’t quite reached target yet. Wear a glitzy cardi or jacket over to increase the flatter factor.
When in doubt, accessorise, especially if you are digging out last year’s (or last decade’s) LBD. A gorgeous feather clutch bag, some serious colour-bold bangles, a statement necklace or earrings (although not all at the same time) can take an outfit to a different glamour level altogether. As for your shoes, the higher the better, and pack some plasters.