Strides ahead: Say pants to party dresses

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Whether patterned or plain, it's time to say pants to party dresses, says Rebecca Gonsalves

For a long time the immediate response to a party invite has been to plump for a frock, but since Yves Saint Laurent did skirt-averse women everywhere a kindness by creating Le Smoking in the Sixties, it would be wrong to think there aren't options.

This season was hailed as the return of the trouser suit, due in no small part to fashion favourite Miuccia Prada, who sent violently patterned and coloured Seventies inspired tailoring down the runway at Prada and Miu Miu. Marc Jacobs at Louis Vuitton also dressed his ladies in strides of opulent fabrics and with plenty of embellishment for maximum impact. Done right, wearing a top-to-toe pattern can translate into perfect party dressing, but it risks falling into the fashion dress-up category, especially when getting ready for a night out. Instead, wearing a pair of printed trousers with a classic (read plain, and possibly already in your wardrobe) jacket can make for less awkward results. And, with all the best intentions, you don't want to forego your best dance moves for fear of splitting up your total look when things get a little hot under the collar.

If the classic black of a tuxedo more befits your evening plans, a bright or printed shirt will ensure that you aren't mistaken for catering staff – an embarrassing occurrence but one that may result in unfettered access to the canapés. Swings and roundabouts. Wearing a mannish shirt in a silky fabric buttoned to the top is still a suitably sharp look – especially one that has a metallic collar tipping, studded shoulders or crystal embellishment – when teamed with slim trousers.

Although the majority of high street trousers are cut on the skinny side, cigarette pant side, there are still options wide of leg and high of waist for those who want to channel a more louche look as seen at Haider Ackermann and Balenciaga.

Slippers may be inappropriate for wet winter weather but a party shoe needn't withstand lashings of rain. Without a heel to impede dancing all night, this is where dress slippers come into their own, whether bejewelled, velvet, studded, embroidered or embossed.

Jewel-wise, anything too delicate can get lost in the crowd at this time of year – statement doesn't have to mean expensive though. Art deco is still in style so look for sharp facets and over-sized stones.

Last, but not least, a dinky box clutch is a good idea if you have someone who won't mind minding it, but otherwise a chain strap bag can be slung over your body as you make your way to the dance floor.

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Travel Customer Service and Experience Manager

    £14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing travel comp...

    Recruitment Genius: Cleaner / Caretaker / Storeman

    £15500 - £17680 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A position has become available...

    Recruitment Genius: Head of Sales - SaaS B2B

    £60000 - £120000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This conference call startup i...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital and print design a...

    Day In a Page

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

    Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

    Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
    HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

    Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
    Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

    'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

    Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
    Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

    The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

    Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen
    Secrets of comedy couples: What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?

    Secrets of comedy couples

    What's it like when both you and your partner are stand-ups?
    Satya Nadella: As Windows 10 is launched can he return Microsoft to its former glory?

    Satya Nadella: The man to clean up for Windows?

    While Microsoft's founders spend their billions, the once-invincible tech company's new boss is trying to save it
    The best swimwear for men: From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer

    The best swimwear for men

    From trunks to shorts, make a splash this summer
    Mark Hix recipes: Our chef tries his hand at a spot of summer foraging

    Mark Hix goes summer foraging

     A dinner party doesn't have to mean a trip to the supermarket
    Ashes 2015: With an audacious flourish, home hero Ian Bell ends all debate

    With an audacious flourish, the home hero ends all debate

    Ian Bell advances to Trent Bridge next week almost as undroppable as Alastair Cook and Joe Root, a cornerstone of England's new thinking, says Kevin Garside
    Aaron Ramsey interview: Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season

    Aaron Ramsey interview

    Wales midfielder determined to be centre of attention for Arsenal this season
    Community Shield: Arsene Wenger needs to strike first blow in rivalry with Jose Mourinho

    Community Shield gives Wenger chance to strike first blow in rivalry with Mourinho

    As long as the Arsenal manager's run of games without a win over his Chelsea counterpart continues it will continue to dominate the narrative around the two men
    The unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth - and what it says about English life

    Unlikely rise of AFC Bournemouth

    Bournemouth’s elevation to football’s top tier is one of the most improbable of recent times. But it’s illustrative of deeper and wider changes in English life
    A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

    A Very British Coup, part two

    New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

    Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms