13 hours ago
Fashion High Five: How to find a party dress for any occasion
November 7th 2014
Our resident fashion expert Laura Fantacci gives us the lowdown on dressing for any kind of party
Need some ideas on what to wear to a winter wedding, or even a black tie do this Christmas? Fear not, for stylist and fashion blogger Laura Fantacci has her pick of the five outfits she'd be going for this party season...
When it comes to cocktail parties, I don’t like to be innovative and simply love a little black frock. I’ve bought a few in the years that I never tire of and wear on a rotation; don’t worry if you don’t get to use them every year, as it’s still lovely to take them out every so often and wear them again - it often feels like having something new! My advice would be to stick to black and a little bit girly; think Breakfast at Tiffany’s for inspiration. That sort of timeless LBD, like this Tibi number, £405, will never go out of style.
For an informal house party I would often opt for a statement top rather than a full-blown dress; you can then pair it with your jeans (if the party is really casual) or with a smarter pair of black trousers and a chic black court. It still looks like you’ve made an effort but you don’t run the risk of being overdressed, and it’s also a great piece to have in your wardrobe that you can wear with lots of different bottoms. I love this Boden bejewelled top, £99, as it feels really festive and looks really expensive.
I wore this Whistles dress, £650, at London Fashion Week in September and then at a black tie dinner shortly after, and I must say it made me feel like a movie star. What I love about it is that it’s a black tie gown but with a super modern approach to it; there is nothing pretty and delicate about it. It’s a structured cut, short at the front and with an extra long trail at the back. I know it’s a steep price for the high street, but when designer gowns are in the region of thousands… this one seems like a bargain!
Once again for work dos and office parties I like to think of separates rather than a dress, and something like sequin or brocade trousers with a silk or cashmere top is usually my go-to outfit of choice. I simply adore these French Connection sequin trousers, £140 – I would wear them with a pointy black court shoe and a fine knit grey jumper. I might even add a pair of statement earrings to make the look extra special, and finish it off with a sleek leather black clutch. Chic, modern and a bit different.
This fall I’ve received many emails from Wearing It Today readers about what to wear at a winter wedding/party and I can see where the difficulty comes from. Most dresses have short sleeves or are a bit lightweight, and when you have to go from a church (possibly in the day) to then dinner/reception/dancing, finding an outfit that suits all can be tricky. I’ve been advising on a maxi skirt such as this one from Coast, £160; something that you can then pair with a sheer cashmere tee in the day and change to a strapless top in the evening. It will also look great with a coat slung over your shoulders, so you needn't be shivering in all those everlasting photos.