It's time to stretch your smile muscles, practice your best "oh my god that was so funny" laugh, and break your new heels in because your social endurance is about to be put to the test. Yes, party season is upon us! And like the Fairy God Mother of Christmas, I'm eradicating the old what to wear to the office Christmas party woes to make your transition from working gal Cinderella into Belle of the Ball as smooth and seamless as eggnog (with Baileys.) And for the festive period this time round, I've teamed up with New Look to provide my tips for party season dressing - check out their advent calendar for exclusive posts and discounts!
Let's face it, for many of us the thought of drinking, dancing, and conversing with coworkers outside of office hours is enough to worry about without having to worry about what to wear. So when it comes to working through our wardrobes and picking an Instagram-worthy outfit, you can almost forgive us for buckling under the pressure and autopiloting to that old LBD you probably wore last year. But does it really have to be that difficult? Well, no, actually. Here's the key - if you have a show-stopping dress, it's a guaranteed conversation starter that'll avoid any awks small talk on the weather or how long you've been at the company for.
And if you do mess up and kiss a colleague (or worse), throw up on the canapés, or tell your boss you want to quit your job to become a dolphin trainer, chances are they'll be too dazzled by your spell-binding style to even notice. Winner!
a red dress ticks the festive cliché box, but who really cares when you're setting yourself apart from a sea of sequins? Besides, Kings of Colour, Pantone, said Aurora Red was one of the major hues to know for AW16, and its standout shading feels far less Santa Clause and far more sultry. All-over pleats - cinched at the waist - splay out into a swishy midi skirt (a piece that we all know the street style world has been obsessing over). Pump up the volume of your going out clothes in a pair of Studio 54-style platforms, because if you can't do that at Christmas, then when can you? (Yes, New Year's counts too!)
A touch more accessorising lies with the bag. Do you go clutch, shoulder, or cross-body? Whilst clutches reign supreme in the party dressing preferences, I'll always opt for a shoulder or cross-body (even better - one that can be both) for this one reason: going handsfree means you can grab a glass of Champagne from the free bar with one hand whilst using the other to scoop up canapés with as much joie de vivre as a reindeer that just ate Santa's mince pie. Plus, this New Look one nails two major trends in one: embroidery and velvet.
So you don't need to worry about your team mate getting drunk and telling the guy on 2nd floor that you fancy them - just wear something so dazzling it'll be impossible to notice anything else.
It's cool, you can thank me later.