Halloween is over, which means it’s time to get your festive season outfits sorted. Every year, office parties, family gatherings, formal dinners and New Year shenanigans mean we burn through our wardrobes at an alarming rate. If you’re worried about looking good while keeping a tight rein on your budget, we’ve got a few ideas to help solve your party wear dilemmas.
Turning up wearing the same outfit
Turning up in the same outfit as your host is more than a little bit awkward, especially at a high-society function. Dodge the problem by giving your host a call beforehand and being upfront and honest with them – tell them that you don’t want to cause any embarrassment and simply ask what the dress code is for the evening. The alternative is to stick to a classic little black dress (more on that in a minute).
Not sure if it’s formal or casual?
Being overdressed isn’t a social faux pas, but it may make you feel uncomfortable if everyone else is dressing down and you’re in your best frock or dress suit. Charity events and evening balls are often black or white tie (unless otherwise stated), while an office party after work could simply be a matter of throwing on a sparkly top or taking off your tie and enjoying yourself on the dance floor.
Practicality vs fashion
There are two practicality issues to think about: how many events have you got lined up, and how much do you want to spend? If you’re on a limited budget but you want that wow factor at every function, then the trick is to get something simple and stylish that can be dressed up in a multitude of different ways.
You’ll also need to think about how comfortable your outfit is if you have to travel to an event or are out until the sun comes up. If you’re going to be on your feet all night long and then using public transport to get home, are six-inch heels really the best thing to wear? And just how practical is a jumpsuit when you need to go to the loo in a very small cubicle?
The classic LBD
A good way to see the party season all the way through in real style is to go for the classic LBD or ‘Little Black Dress’. It dodges a couple of party wear dilemmas in one go – nobody’s going to worry if other party goers are in LBDs too, as they’re bound to be slightly different to yours. It can also be dressed up or down, depending on the type of event. They’re not too over-the-top for informal parties either.
Jumpsuits – a great look or just glorified Onesies?
Jumpsuits are a big fashion trend this season, and they do have their benefits. They can be incredibly flattering and are ideal if you’re out and about on a chilly winter’s evening. They’re fun, they’re funky, and they can also be dressed up or down, so they’re great for both formal and informal dos. However, using the loo while wearing a jumpsuit can be a bit of a performance, so make sure you’re wearing something simple like a camisole underneath to avoid freezing every time you pop to the ladies’ room!
Co-ordinating a look
Mixing and matching is an excellent way to create a new look for every event, with just a capsule wardrobe of a few essentials. The trick is to add cheap and cheerful accessories like belts, costume jewellery, bags, scarves and shoes that will give each outfit a unique look, but on a budget.
Sizing emergencies – how to get that dress to fit
We’d all be much happier if clothing lines could agree on what measurements constitute a size 12! If you haven’t had a chance to try on your new outfit before you bought it, don’t worry. There are ways to tweak it if it turns out to be too small or too big.
If a LBD is a little shorter than you thought it would be (or feel comfortable in) then why not go retro-punk and team it up with some leggings for an edgy look? If it’s a size too big and baggy, grab a belt and pinch in the waist to disguise the excess cloth. If it’s too small then it’s time to hunt down your local seamstress or break out the sewing machine yourself and do some quick alterations.