Party Season – preparing for Christmas parties

Get your Christmas party preparation all wrapped up with our guide to this year’s hot trends, along with some top banana tips on how to look your best on the night.

This year’s party trends

Christmas party dresses are always glitzy, but this year’s trends really let you shine in sequins, silk, flirty lace, soft velvet and bold statement jewellery that make for a super-glamorous look. Sequins have found their way onto dresses, clutch bags, belts and even shoes, and on the catwalk over-the-top statement necklaces have been teamed with many winter outfits.

Choose your party dress first, and then you can get on with finding the right shoes, accessories and make up to go with your look.

Choosing party dresses

If you’re brave enough, and want a really on-trend look, look for a scarlet dress: it’s sexy, sassy and guaranteed to turn heads. You could even look out for one with shoulder pads if you can carry off that current 80s trend.

As is always the case with winter fashion collections, black is the dominant colour, but this year it’s being worn with contrasting bright reds or pinks. Another key look is ‘Mad Monochrome’: a stark combination of black and white, whether it’s stripes, animal prints or other bold patterns. Don’t be afraid to try out high street dresses – remember Samantha Cameron wore a polka dot dress to the conservative party conference this year that cost £65.

party dresses

If you can’t resist a little black dress for your Christmas do, make sure it’s current by choosing one that’s made of satin, silk or luxurious velvet, or is embellished with sequins, lace or gems. If you have dark circles under your eyes, however, stylists tend to advise against black dresses which can accentuate the problem, and if you’re pale and prone to redness stylists often suggest wearing more neutral colours. There are plenty of grey dresses around this year if that’s the case, and glammed up with a bit of sparkle and some statement jewellery, they’re far from dull.

Find party accessories

Once you have the dress, you can choose shoes, a bag, jewellery, the right lingerie and make-up to match your look. And if you aren’t fortunate enough to have a personal shopper to help you find the right accessories, some price comparison sites along with high street brands  now offer suggestions online for bags, jewellery and shoes to go with their dresses, which can offer some inspiration.

Get a hair cut

Your hair is your crowning glory, and always looks and feels healthier after a cut. Rather than risking an adventurous change of style you might regret, you could play it safe with a simple trim and let your party dress make the statement.

Exfoliate your skin

By the time your Christmas party takes places, it’s the middle of winter and potentially months since your shoulders last saw the light of day. Buff up with a decent exfoliator to smooth your skin, and moisturise well to get rid of any dryness.

Epilate your legs

If you’re a bit neglectful on the hair removal front during the winter, don’t leave it until the last minute before the party, particularly if you’re not planning to wear stockings,  tights or other sexy lingerie – or wax at least a couple of days before so that any irritation has chance to calm down before you bare your flesh.

Look after your feet

If your party shoes are new, wear them around the house a bit the week before your party to break them in a bit, and consider buying some hidden gel insoles such as those made by  Dr. Scholl to make your night more comfortable.

And finally, on the night…

You’ll have probably spent quite a bit on your Christmas party dress and various accessories, so  make sure you get the most out of them by leaving yourself plenty of time to do your hair and make-up on the night.

Wear some of your favourite perfume, but don’t use too much. One trick is to spray the perfume into a space and then walk into the light cloud, giving yourself a gentle fragrance without overdoing it.

To finish off your look, there are also lots of lovely products out there to give your body a welcome sheen or sparkle. Try checking for BeneFit’s ‘Kitten Classic’ powder puff or ‘Body So Fine’ shimmering pink body balm, and you’ll be ready to rock!

Have a great party, and a very merry Christmas.