“Why we shouldn’t save our partywear for best”

Posted by
Olivia Lidbury

Partywear shouldn’t be just for Christmas. Here are our tips for extending the life of the wardrobe pieces that always guarantee a good time.

Christmas, AKA party season, is upon us. The shops are dripping in sequin-encrusted trophy jackets, crushed velvet dresses and silky separates. Doubtless the office party will have you furiously clicking and collecting something that screams ‘new’ - but take a moment to think about what you wore last year… Has it seen the light of day since? Could you wear it again in a completely different context, without a special occasion being called for?

As I type this, a Stylist staffer is sitting behind me rocking a sequin pencil skirt with a deliciously sloppy and cosy roll neck jumper. It’s an outfit that masters a high/low mix brilliantly; it’s unexpected, eye-catching (literally) yet still office-appropriate. And it’s also a great example of clothes transcending dress codes in order to be worn at any time of the week.

When e-tailer Boden polled its customers a couple of months ago, a third admitted that a chunk of their wardrobes hadn’t been worn because they were saving them for best. How’s that for waste? So here’s to not saving anything for best. Here’s to wearing ‘party-worthy’ pieces on a Wednesday afternoon. How? With a little guidance from these stylish dressers below…

Add in some shirting

There’s nothing a white shirt and lace-up sneakers can’t temper. Sure, a sequin skirt is pure partywear, but it’s also dazzling on sunny days, grey days and everything in-between when worn with something crisp and serious. 

Contrast cotton and silk

That tip about shirting? It applies to slip dresses, too. The greater the contrast the better – think a khaki safari shirt under a dusky pink slip. It’s also a great hack to bear in mind if your nightie is just too good to be worn indoors only.

Temper everything with denim

Stonewash denim takes everything down a notch, meaning that yes, you can repurpose your NYE sequin top for a pub lunch in January. You could also try it with some baggy utility pants. Just keep your shoes flat or athleisure-inspired.

Mix functional with fun

Yes, Eva Chen’s Anouki trench is lined with enourmous silver discs (and wait for it – it’s reversible!). So while it sits at the top of our wish list, it’s a great lesson in how to layer something practical (and resolutely British) over something more altogether more fun and frivolous, like the aforementioned trophy jacket. 

If in doubt, add a jumper

A formula that will never let you down is a chunky knit with something more streamlined, like London blogger Lucy Williams’ slinky skirt. Adding suede boots also adds a great dose of texture. 

5 party pieces that you’ll want to wear all the time

Carmina Sequin Wrap Top, Kitri, £85

Upton chelsea boots, Hush, £185

Foil spot tie neck blouse, Warehouse, £39

Washed satin slip dress, Arket, £89

Sequinned tulle maxi skirt, McQ Alexander McQueen, £375

Photos courtesy of Getty Images