Party frocks

Merille dress by

Merille dress by - Credit: Archant

It’s the season to sparkle so follow our fashion guru Paula Fry’s advice and you won’t put a foot wrong in the style stakes this Christmas

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?

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• 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