Party fever

Merille dress by

Merille dress by - Credit: Archant

Editor’s Pick [DANIELLE]

Now I love a heel as much as the next woman but, as regular readers will know, I’m not great at walking in them. These super-soft boots by Hotter in burgundy suede and leather are a delight to wear, boasting a deep elasticated throat, pillowed insole with pyramid technology cushioning and a lightweight flexi-grooved sole. They are currently saving the day (and night) as they work just as well with dresses as my skinny black evening trousers, style is Danielle, £89,

[Kerry – the [NAME OF PIC] bit is just that – a reference for you to know which pic is which and not to be included in the caption!]


Phase Eight invariably comes to my rescue on glamorous occasions and this Merilee dress in midnight blue, £140, is definitely on my wishlist for Christmas parties, stockists 0207 471 4422 or visit


Destined to be your most versatile dress this December, this Twiggy bronze sequin shift, £59, would work just as well at the office party as opening presents with the family on Christmas Day, just vary your footwear,

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It’s a daring girl that would pair a lacy, below-the-knee little number with a pair of flats, but here it works: Hobbs London, Angelique dress £399 and Agatha brogue £179,


Jumpsuits have been big news this season and this silk black and white jumpsuit version by Armani Collezioni at House of Fraser is an investment at £670 but so versatile you’ll wear it again and again, team it with crystal drop earrings, £27 by Mikey also at House of Fraser, 02070034000,


If there’s one thing better than a Bella Jane bracelet by Tunbridge Wells designer Annabel Davies, then it’s a stack of them: buy as a treat for yourself or a Christmas gift that will always be appreciated. This trio of sterling silver beaded bracelets with sterling silver heart charms is £95 and designed to be worn together as a stack, but each will also look gorgeous worn alone. All Bella Jane jewellery comes beautifully boxed, perfect for gifts, available at:


Who doesn’t love a dangly earring at this time of year? This embellished and tassel pair by River Island won’t break the bank either at £10 and add a bit of fun and frivolity to a plain black dress,


This Gray & Osbourn beaded dress, £169, ticks all the added sparkle boxes this Christmas, - it would look great teamed with [KAROL SILVER SHOE PIC] this pretty silver shoe featuring a fresh, modern take on the LK Bennett signature bow, style Karol, available at Fenwick Canterbury,


This black embellished Ted Baker dress is £199 at McArthurGlen Ashford Designer Outlet (rrp £299) – definitely worth the trip, wherever you live in Kent for the great savings to be made,

Paula says …

Regular readers of my column will be rolling their eyes at the cliché of talking about fashion party wear in our Christmas issue. Everyone already knows the drill: Christmas screams colour, sparkle, glitter and glitz like no other time of the year.

However, if you like your dress to be a little more understated, how do you achieve the party look without all the frills?

• If you don’t like glitter or sequins, why not try a luxe fabric instead? Choose lace, leather, satin, silk and crêpe de chine in dresses or tops, jackets or trousers – just mix ‘em up. The current trend for lace tops with lace bottoms also looks cool if you feel inclined. Steer clear of velvet tops and bottoms, however, which can make you look bulky. Ditto for leather.

• If you are not going to be adding sparkle, try not to wear too much black. Opt for jewel tones instead. Plums, emeralds, deep amethysts, ruby reds, golds and silvers are perfect and if you must wear black, keep it to your bottom half.

• Never underestimate the power of the tailored look – for parties I love a masculine tux on women with a pair of bright red heels and a red lip. You don’t have to wear them with a white shirt, however, a silk vest will look just as good. C’est très chic, non?

• If you don’t want to wear anything above the knee but are not a huge fan of trousers, a pencil skirt with a peplum on the waistline gives a fabulous silhouette. Just make sure you are wearing at least a small heel. Pencil skirts need some height and poise to look good but the peplum helps if you are worried about tight fitting around your tummy area.

I wish you all a very happy, peaceful, healthy and fashionable Christmas

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