I’ve had quite a few requests to do a ‘going out out’ post, so this week I give you six party outfit ideas to have a think about next time you’re invited to some kind of shindig. I’d like to caveat this with an admission that I don’t really like dressing up. I’m not a huge fan of sequins and I like comfortable shoes so I’m perhaps not qualified to talk about this subject at all. But since when did that stop me? I’m not really qualified at anything. I’ve always been more of a ‘let’s just wing it and see what happens’ kind of a person. This is not good when trying to encourage teenagers to revise for their exams. ‘You told me you finished reading your A level English literature book on the train on the way to the exam.’ Well, yes that’s true, but do as I say, not as I did. I got a B in that exam actually, but I will never read DH Lawrence’s ‘The Rainbow’ again.
For this post I’ve put aside some of my party-dressing hesitations and have done a deep dive into all things festive and sparkly. You may say: ‘It’s too early for a festive party post, the pumpkins are still in the garden slowly going mouldy because they don’t fit in the food recycling bin and I haven’t got round to taking them into the woods for the squirrels yet.’ (Just me?) BUT those dress-up ‘dos’ will be upon us before you know it, so I thought I’d get this one in on time.
Let’s have a look at some party outfit ideas for the coming months…
CLASSIC DISCO SPARKLES
I’ll start off with a bang for those who do love sequins. There is a LOT out there to choose from this year, so you’re in luck if disco-ball dressing is your bag. My only sequin advice would be to invest in a good slip to wear underneath as they can be a bit scratchy on the skin and snag your 10 deniers. I get my slips from M&S – they do a good 2‑pack that comes in three different lengths, very useful. Also, at this point I’d like to say that, in my opinion, it’s OK to wear socks or tights with open-toe sandals, because there is no way I’m getting my toes out in this weather.
SHORTER PARTY DRESSES
Because if you can’t get your pins out at a party, when can you? Well, in the summer in your shorts, obviously, and any other time you feel like it, of course – but let’s just run with this. Another quick shout-out for tights, and that’s for the H&M shaping range. These are my go-to for a finer denier pair of tights with added support. They really do smooth out the stomach and they are pretty ladder-resistant too. Personally, if I wear a short dress I like to wear a flat shoe, but for those who want a few added inches, look for a platform block heel shoe. So much easier on the feet than a stiletto heel.
JUST JEANS AND A NICE TOP
Ok, so this one really is a bit of me. It was ever thus and ever will be the easiest go-to outfit idea for a night out. I know it might not work for the more dressy of occasions (not one for a winter wedding, granted) but for an office event, a neighbourhood drinks party or a pub disco then this will do you just fine. Add heels if that’s your thing, but I’ll go with another pair of fancy flats and a smart but comfortable blazer. I love this one from NRBY. Remember, velvet is for life, not just for Christmas.
We will stick with the velvet theme because it’s the perfect time of year for it. I like to think of velvet as the evening version of corduroy, and we all know how much I love corduroy. Now, you may be thinking: ‘Velvet? Are you mad? With my hot flushes, I will be like one of those rotisserie chickens sweating in a plastic bag that you get from the big Tesco by the end of the night.’ Cast those fears aside as not all velvet is made the same. Some is actually quite lightweight these days, it’s not like the time of Scarlett O’Hara and her curtains. This dress from Jigsaw, this one from M&S and this one from the AND/OR La Galeria Elefante collection at John Lewis are definitely easier to wear. For more velvet dresses see this post.
SKIRTING THE ISSUE
This is another one that’s an easy option if you don’t fancy a full sparkle dress. Go for a satin or sequin skirt instead and team it with a chunky knit. Advisable to wear a vest top underneath though for those hot flush reasons that we mentioned earlier. I’d wear this look with a classic pair of Chelsea boots and an oversized blazer.
SORT OF SUIT
Finally, an option for you if you are out all day, or in the office but have a party to go to later. The sort-of-suit is just a pair of black trousers and a blazer (don’t have to match). Wear with a regular jumper or blouse during the day, and just add a more festive top and some sparkly earrings for the evening. You could always add fancy heels too, but I just really like the look of a simple round-toe, mid-heel boot right now, harking back to last week’s French girl post. Something that looks smart but is also easy to walk in.
I hope this gives you some party outfit ideas. I think next week we will do something a bit more cosy and I will start working on those Christmas gift guides soon, I promise.