Don’t know what to wear this festive party season? Take note from the Stylist fashion team.
As the party invites start to pile up (seriously, is there time to sleep in December?) we prepare to hunker down for four weeks of festive food, copious amount of mulled wine and the sweet caress of Christmas crooners. With awkward office parties, debauched evenings with friends and family occasions to get through, the festive season really is the most wonderful time of the year for you social life and your wardrobe.
Lamé, sequins, crystal and gold brings a wave of decadence to our dressing at party season, and it’s no different for the Stylist fashion team. Whether you want confident tailoring, winter brights or a cool-girl take on the classic black dress, we have got you covered.
So sit back, get your hair in rollers and choose your sartorial style.
Polly Knight, fashion editor
“My party style is much like my every day style: low-key and often monochrome. Rather than print and pattern I’d consider cool textures such as leather and cashmere, and layer up with lots of gold jewellery to add a detailed element. The only colour I really take on during Christmas comes in the form of a festive red nail varnish. Wild, I know.”
Arket leather trousers
It all starts with a great pair of leather trousers, these are my festive go-to. In fact they are my winter go-to. Timeless but with an edge they bring an element of glamour to my festive wardrobe.
Flared leather trousers, £250, Arket
& Other Stories cream blouse
Another wardrobe staple, but a cream blouse never goes out of fashion - especially not one with these brilliant buttons. A word to the wise in this shirt: avoid mulled wine.
Button-down shirt, £55, & Other Stories
BY FAR black sandals
A barely there sandal makes for a perfect party shoe and bonus: you’ve probably already got one from the summer.
Leather mules, £325, BY FAR at brownsfashion.com
Missoma chain necklace
The entire fashion team is covered in gold jewellery, we can’t get enough - especially the latest Missoma x Lucy Williams collection. The chunkier the better when it comes to accessorising this particular look.
& Other Stories black pleated bag
A black bag never goes out of fashion and this one is big enough for all the essentials.
Satin knot handle bag, £85, & Other Stories
Gemma Crisp, deputy editor
“I’m famous in the Stylist office for two things - my love of sequins and my collection of statement heels (Sophia Webster and Kat Maconie are particular favourites). So when party season kicks in, both are key when compiling an outfit. I also love pops of colour - especially when it comes to shoes - but the key is to balance it out with neutrals like silver, black or white.”
H&M sequin mini dress
The party season calls for a statement piece and H&M are ticking all my boxes with this sequin mini dress.
Mini dress, £34.99, H&M
Shrimps multi-coloured coat
Shrimps have taken a classic evening coat silhouette and given it modern appeal with a tonne of colour (did I mention I like colour?) The perfect piece to add to any party look.
Multi-coloured coat, £520, Shrimps
Zara yellow shoes
All things bright and beautiful, right?
Heeled sandals, £55.99, Zara
Swing into the 60s with Paco Rabanne’s iconic 1969 disco bag. What can I say? I like matching accessories.
Metallic bag, £675, Paco Rabanne
Megan Murray, digital writer
“I am the kind of person who will use any excuse to pile on the glitter, whatever time of the year is, so come party season and I am all in for dressing like a princess. I love using colour clashes and mixes of fabrics, like velvet against sequins. Sometimes I feel like I border on ‘children’s tv presenter’ but I’m quite happy with that.”
Kitri velvet dress
Nothing feels more festive than a celestial print, cult clothing brand Kitri have ticked all the boxes with a 90s-inspired velvet party number.
Velvet dress, £195, Kitri
Shrimps 'Antonia' bag
I love Shrimps’ playful take on accessories and although the beaded ‘Antonia’ bag was a summer smash-hit, I’ll be wearing this version well after Christmas.
Beaded bag, £475, Shrimps at Liberty London
What can I say, I like matching accessories.
Beaded hair clip, £10, Topshop
Give your shoes a metallic twist to really get into the festive spirit. These Carel silver ‘Alice’ shoes will have you dancing all night long.
Silver shoes, £270, Carel
Fashion news editor, Billie Bhatia
“I am forever on the hunt for the perfect black dress and this year it has to be a Cecilie Bahnsen one. The romantic but easy shape means that even though you can just chuck this on, it looks very put together. I can’t manage more than 10 minutes in heels so I always opt for a chunky ankle boot when it comes to party season. In keeping with my everyday style no outfit is complete without a headband.”
Cecilie Bahnsen black dress
As someone who regularly over-heats at parties the fabric of this Cecilie Bahnsen dress was just as appealing as the shape of it.
Sateen shirt dress, £740, Cecilie Bahnsen
Office black boots
This is about all the heel height I can manage for the party season, but it means I will always be last person standing on the dance floor.
Chunky chelsea boots, £69, Office
Zara beaded bag
Coming in slightly more informal that a traditional clutch, the pouch bag has been a popular accessory of choice this season. Go big on embellishment to balance the rest of a pared-back look.
Rhinestone bag, £49.99, Zara
Jennifer Behr headband
You’ve got a black velvet headband, but a brown velvet headband is the real game-changer. Looks just as good with jeans and tee as it does dressed up for party season.
Velvet headband, £204, Jennifer Behr
Fashion Assistant, Helen Atkin
“I usually stick to a fairly neutral and relaxed wardrobe of t-shirts, jeans and roll necks for everyday wear. So, when I get the chance to dress up though, I love to go all out! Black tie Christmas parties are the time to wear full length dresses, statement earrings and a really high pair of heels.”
Raey black dress
Simple and elegant is what defines Matchesfashion’s own brand, Raey. Easy pieces that instantly pack a punch is exactly what you need this Christmas.
Twist-strap dress, £595, Raey
House of Fluff coat
Fashion drama coming through.
Monochrome coat, £460, House of Fluff
These might be best for the kind of parties, you sit down for long periods of time. But when you eventually do stand up, you will be a sight to behold.
Heeled sandals, £109, Carvela
Ganni beaded bag
Make like the Danish girls and snap up one of Ganni’s beaded bags to see the season out in style.
Beaded bag, £240, Ganni
Topshop crystal earrings
In case you missed it, crystal chandelier earrings are big business in the party dressing season. There is no room for subtlety here.
Crystal earrings, £16.50, Topshop
Digital Editor, Kayleigh Dray
“It’s not easy tracking down the dream jumpsuit when you’re on the bustier side of the spectrum, but, thankfully, Bravissimo have always got my back. The site lets you choose your size and ‘curvy’ rating to ensure a perfect fit, and they have genuinely never failed me once! When it comes to accessories, I prefer to keep things classic: in this case, a simple string of golden stars to wrap around my neck, and a celestial headband to lift it up (I have a pixie haircut, and it has resulted in a headband addiction - sue me!). Finally, heels are the devil on the dance floor, and that is where I tend to spend most of my time at parties (unless there’s a karaoke room), so these shimmering boots are genuinely made for me.”
Bravissimo velvet jumpsuit
This Bravissimo velvet number ticks every single box for me: flared trousers, sleeves, v-neck, deep rich blue colour… I’m obsessed, and I’ve no doubt I’ll wear it long after Christmas is over.
Velvet jumpsuit, £90, Bravissimo
Anthropologie gold boots
Just call me ‘twinkle toes’.
Gold boots, £150, Anthropologie
Boden star necklace
This Boden necklace does all the layering for you, win.
Star necklace, £45, Boden
Did someone say celestial was big for party dressing? Dress up even the simplest of outfits with this sparkly piece.
Celestial embroidered headband, £35, Anthropologie
Images: Courtesy of brands