As the distant ring of Christmas bells gets steadily louder, it’s time to turn up the volume on your festive wardrobe and make sure you score a fashion hit.

If you’re lucky, you’ll already have a flurry of holiday invitations to look forward to and planning what you’re going to wear to each event is all part of the fun.

When you’re considering party dresses, anything goes. And at Christmas, you can afford to vamp things up to the max. Whether you’re having drinks in a swanky bar with the boss, dancing the night away at a winter ball, or toasting the season with family and friends at home, your Christmas look should be knock out.

Dragging out your well worn party frock from last Christmas simply will not do. Of course, make the most of things you already have but make sure you add shot of 2012 to make your outfit shine.

Classic styles like a thigh-skimming cocktail dress will never look out of place. But this season, keep it current by picking a metallic style that brings out your inner glow. Cover your arms with a fitted long sleeve to keep the look dignified and team your dress with killer heels.

Last season it was all about the colour block. This year, think embellishment. Feathers, sequins, embroidery and beading will set you apart from the party crowd. If you don’t want to go all out on your clothes, inject the trend into your accessories – a feather necklace or glittered shoes.

Colour is still massive this year but 2012 shades include rich gemstone tones like blood red garnet, deep emerald and brilliant sapphire. Scarlet has held its place in the 2012 colour palette and is the perfect festive choice if you want to make an impact.

We can all wear true red but honey blondes and dark brunettes will really steal the limelight. Accessorise with metallics but avoid the harsh effect of black – you’ll look more Dennis the Menace than Hollywood icon.

Last season’s rippling pleats, sheer fabrics and delicate lace make another appearance this year. But Peter Pan collars make way for contrast collars instead.

Get yourself a front man jacket, the trendy way to describe a sparkly jacket with attitude and a Christmas style secret that’s tipped to top the fashion charts this season. Team it with skin tight evening trousers and statement shoes.

And, just for the record, no-one carries a clutch anymore . . .it’s a “grab”. Keep up with the lingo!