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STYLE OPINION

Ten rules for party season

1 November 2018


Fashion journalist, consultant, founder of digital platform Work Work Work and now author of her debut book, Why Social Media is Ruining Your Life – Katherine Ormerod has spent the majority of her career advising women how to get dressed for an array of occasions. With party season on the horizon, we asked her to share her wealth of knowledge for getting it spot on in 2018.


When it comes to party dressing, everyone feels the pressure. Whether you’re a fashion amateur or expert, the ‘special occasion’ stress can get to the best of us, so it’s worth having a few tried-and-tested formulas to lean on when the holiday party calendar starts to feel overwhelming. Here are my top tips for navigating the Yuletide period with polish and panache.

1. Never underestimate the power of a great velvet jacket. No matter what else you’re wearing—even a top and jeans combo, or a work dress which has seen better days—if you throw on a beautifully cut velvet blazer, your look will immediately say festive. Wear with a silky blouse or camisole, or if you’re feeling daring, all alone.


2. Polka dots are my favourite print and even though the look might seem more wedding season than Christmas party, the best party style is always about feeling confident and happy – so forget about the newest trend and go in what makes you feel great.


3. While there’s always a place for classics during party season, don’t be afraid to take a few considered risks. Clashing colours like burgundy and fuchsia or navy and kingfisher blue always looks striking and is guaranteed to turn heads.


4. During the years I worked as a journalist on a busy magazine, I became a pro at turning an outfit from zero to hero in a flash. One minute you’re in the office slaving at your screen, the next you’re toasting a glass of champagne at a celebrity party. The training has made me very quick to get ready for a night out, and I’ve learnt the key is in the accessories. Great earrings, a proper evening bag (nothing kills an after-dark look quicker than your work bag dragging you down) and a flick of black eyeliner always do the trick.

5. Whether you go for sequins or scarlet red, the party season is no time for lukewarm style. While you don’t have to look like the Christmas tree, go big or go home.


6. Wrap dresses are one of the party season’s most versatile options. Layer over a fine turtleneck, over straight-leg jeans, or wear with a chunky knit over the dress and ankle boots for a great office-to-party pairing.


7. When it comes to the perfect LBD, fit is everything. Go for a simple cut with an eye-catching design detail – think off-the-shoulder, backless or a turtleneck style to mix things up.

8. The best party beauty is an XXL version of your everyday look. Rather than completely changing the stakes, it’s about adding drama to what you already know suits you. I love black liner and smoky eye shadows, but for a party I’ll add false lashes. A glowy complexion is all about preparation – a mask the night before, then exfoliation and moisturising before applying your make-up. And to add a final touch of party flavour, finish with a highlighter swept up the cheekbones.


9. Party flats are indeed a great option for dancing ‘til dawn, but if you need a little lift to elongate your legs or like me, are petite, a mid-heel is your best holiday season friend.


10. Pack your party bag carefully. Obviously there’s the essentials, but also bring blister plasters (new shoes), a hair bobble, a mini perfume and powder – when applied all at once this kit can give you a whole new lease of life on the dancefloor.

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