Five Christmas party outfit ideas for every scenario this festive season

We’ve got your look sorted, whatever the dress code

Sarah Young@sarah_j_young
Thursday 12 December 2019 10:30
comments

It’s party season and that means it’s time to dress up and celebrate.

From festive pub lunches with friends to pre-Christmas cocktails and office shindigs, it’s likely that the next few weeks will involve an unusually high number of social events, all of which call for varying doses of razzle dazzle.

As we attempt to lift ourselves out of our colds and battle against end-of-year exhaustion, it’s hardly surprising that we can be left struggling for partywear ideas.

But, while the Christmas period does indeed pose a myriad of sartorial dilemmas, it’s also a great opportunity to flex your flamboyant muscles.

Sparkly frocks, statement earrings and disco-ready platform heels are all on the agenda this season, but getting the dress code right for each event on your calendar can be tricky to master. Yes, unfortunately that Elton John-inspired feathered mini dress you whip out every year for the annual family party is unlikely to be quite as well received at your festive work function.

To ensure you select the right get-up for each event, read through our round-up of outfit ideas that promise to solve all your festive wardrobe woes.

After-work drinks

Cotton Rich Fitted Top, £8.50, Marks & Spencer; Saloni Camille Pleated Metallic Jersey Skirt, £250, Net-a-Porter; Harbour Black Chelsea Boots, £65, Topshop; Beaded Velvet Crossbody Bag, £35, & Other Stories; Padded Sparkly Alice Band, £9.99, H&M, Gold Mini Tidal Hoops, £75, Missoma

Heading to the pub for a post-work knees-up is one of the most convenient ways to celebrate the festive season with your colleagues but mastering the perfect “desk-to-drinks” outfit is no mean feat.

To save you the horror of having to get changed in the office toilets, we suggest opting for an ensemble that, while work appropriate, can be easily elevated with the addition of a few flashy accessories.

A metallic pleated skirt is perfect for when work days turn into evenings out and looks suitably chic when paired with a lightweight roll neck top and black-heeled ankle boots.

One of this year’s most popular trends, hair accessories are a fast-track route to amping up your look in a flash, so let your tresses down and pop on an adornment.

Finally, steal the scene by trading in your oversized tote for a small velvet bag and pop on a swipe of red lipstick.

Office Christmas party

Satin Single Breasted Blazer, £159 & Satin Cropped Trouser, £129, Whistles; Glitter Spaghetti Strap Tank Top, £29, & Other Stories; Sandals with Rhinestone Strap, £39.99, Zara; Paco Rabanne, 1969 Chainmail Shoulder Bag, £675, Net-a-Porter; Uneven Earrings, £19, Cos Stores

While the office Christmas party is an opportunity to really let your hair down with your co-workers, it’s also important to remember that you will be surrounded by some important people, including your boss.

As such, you will do well to eschew anything that might be considered too racy, like plunging necklines and super-short skirts. However these unspoken rules needn’t put a dampener on your sartorial prowess.

Instead, stand out from a sea of LBDs (little black dresses) by styling up a suit this party season. Whether you opt for rich colours, sumptuous textures or patterned designs, layer an oversized blazer with matching trousers for an androgynous look to envy.

The best part? Not only is tailoring perennially sophisticated but it is also something you can repurpose for many years to come.

While your festive look should be finished with a sparkly camisole top, strappy heels and elegant earrings, the two-piece can be dressed down with a shirt for your 9 to 5 or mixed with denim for a high-low approach.

House party

Rixo Samantha Sequined Crepe Mini Dress, £295, Net-a-Porter; Saturn Black High Platform Shoes, £25.60, Topshop; Ostrich Feather Bag, £140, Jaeger; Shooting Star Gold Hair Clips, £9.50, Oliver Bonas; Textured Earrings, £12.99, Zara

The beauty of going to a house party over the festive period is that you don’t really need to factor in the plummeting temperatures when it comes to prepping your outfit.

With the heating hiked up you can be safe in the knowledge that choosing to wear a mini dress and skyscraper heels won’t result in catching a cold.

While an LBD is a classic choice, nothing quite captures the festive spirit like a flashy party dress with a 1980s influence and lashings of sparkle to catch the disco lights.

For this reason, we suggest investing in a sequinned dress like those found at Rixo and adding a pair of show-stopping platform heels and a feather clutch because, if you can’t indulge your inner diva at Christmas, when can you?

If you want to stay warm en route, make an entrance in a statement coat that you can wear long after midnight.

Black tie event

The Peacock Dress, £1,195, The Vampires Wife; The Row’s Bare Mid-Heel Leather Sandals, £650, Matches Fashion; Oversized Shaggy Faux Fur Coat, £165, & Other Stories; Baguette Crystal Hair Slides, £8, Accessorize; Beaded Jellyfish Bag, £79, Jigsaw

Getting dressed up for a black tie event can make you feel like a Hollywood star, but it also has the potential to be a wardrobe minefield.

First of all, it’s important to ascertain what the dress code really means and just how stringent your host is going to be, so don’t be afraid to send them a text or email to clarify the level or formality.

For women, the term typically translates to wearing a long dress in an evening-appropriate fabric, such as velvet, silk or lace.

The Vampire’s Wife is the go-to brand every fashion editor is obsessed with this year, and for good reason. The label offers a host of gowns that would be appropriate for a black tie event, from metallic styles to dusty pink florals and luxurious velvet iterations.

When it comes to footwear, a simple pair of strappy or mule kitten heels will prepare you for any eventuality, while a statement coat will be worth its weight in gold when the temperature drops.

If your dress is relatively simple, opt for an overcoat adorned with floral brocade, or pair a more dramatic gown with a longline faux-fur version that can be nonchalantly thrown over your shoulders.

Festive lunch

Ganni Intarsia Wool and Alpaca-Blend Sweater, £370, Net-a-Porter; Rich Blue Mom Jeans, £40, Topshop; Check Coat, £99.99, Zara; Dr Martens Quad Chelsea Boots, £169, Office; Lola Hats Frenchy Felt Beret, £325, Matches Fashion

If your annual Christmas gathering with friends is a typically casual affair, you’re going to need to strike a balance between looking suitably festive and like you haven’t tried too hard.

In this instance, we suggest delving into your colourful knitwear arsenal and picking out a knit that’s both fashion-forward and Christmas-ready. Rich berry tones and Fair Isle jumpers will help to jazz up your favourite pair of jeans. Simply add a statement coat and boots, and you’re ready for a day drinking prosecco by the fire at your local the pub.

Alternatively, opt for tops with unique details like metallic embroidery or a sequin embellishment that can be paired with a midi-skirt and simple sneakers for a fresh combination that is perfect for a festive lunch date.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments