Dressing to Impress

This week’s guest blogger is the author of A Well-Dressed Lady’s Pocket Guide, Karen Homer. So, whether you’re a lover of an LBD, or more of a fan of this winter’s embellished trend, she’s here to offer her advice for looking like the belle of the (Christmas) ball…

As the Christmas party season approaches, invitations (hopefully) start pinging into your inbox and the office Christmas extravaganza is finally agreed upon, there is only one thing left to decide: what to wear? Whether you like to make a bold fashion statement with your party wear or prefer to slip quietly and elegantly through a champagne-fuelled throng of guests, there is plenty on offer this winter and if you choose carefully, there’s no reason not to be impeccably well-dressed whatever the occasion.

May your days be berry and bright…

Old-school Hollywood glamour and ladylike finesse were popular on the catwalks, with plenty of designers opting for elegant dresses in autumnal mulberry hues ranging from deep wine-red to stately purple. If you’re looking for a new colour to add to your wardrobe this is a sophisticated palette from which to choose, rich with shades that suit all complexions. Shape-wise, curves are popular this year so if you are genetically blessed with an hourglass figure, this is the season to show it off – high street stores like Zara are a good bet for a shapely party dress for a reasonable price. Always remember that the best-looking dresses, whilst flattering the figure, skim rather than cling.

Classic Chic

Traditionalists will be pleased that the Little Black Dress is firmly back on the map – choose a classic Audrey Hepburn style cocktail frock and it will last you for many a party season to come. And with an accent on accessories, with trends including eye-catching feather trims and bold costume jewellery, it is a viable option – and suitably in keeping with the budget-conscious times – to reinvent last year’s dress into something fashion forward. Lastly the Yves St Laurent-style glamour of the women’s tuxedo is also seeing a revival, so lovers of the trouser suit can bypass wearing a dress altogether.

Office to party transformations…

For many women, parties happen after work and changing for them is a hurried, office-bathroom affair. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it’s amazing what a pair of killer heels and a piece of bold jewellery will do for a simple shift dress. Or, with a nod to the trend for colourful prints, changing your work-day top for a Prada-style psychedelic blouse is enough to make an impression, even if teamed with a simple pencil skirt. A slick of lipstick (and the belief that you look wonderful) and you’re good to go! It’s always better to focus on one simple change than to try and force yourself into an over-the-top party dress that you feel self-conscious in. Never forget, the truly well-dressed woman is the one who feels comfortable in what she is wearing and, of course, in her own skin.


By Karen Homer, author of A Well-Dressed Lady’s Pocket Guide.


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