What To Wear For Christmas Party Season

…and how to make a solid and practical fancy schmansy style investment

If there’s a clothing category that’s completely outside of my comfort-zone, it’s occasionwear. I feel that that’s probably the case for most of us because let’s face, it’s not like we’re hitting the event circuit on a nightly basis (especially now I’ve started season two of The Sinner and now I don’t want to do anything with my life except watch that). Our schedules are sprinkled with the odd wedding there and work night-out there and whenever these events roll around I’m sure I’m not the only one who thinks ‘What the hell am I going to wear for that?‘, whilst cancelling everything for the morning after out my diary to make way for the enviable hangover from three glasses of wine because I’m old and now feel grim from even just a smell of red wine.

As with all things capsule wardrobe I like the practice the ‘quality over quantity‘ mantra and opt to own just a handful of pieces that can be worn to a variety of events; a floaty silk summer dress that’s good for warmer weddings and parties outside, a stripe jumpsuit for parties that involve a lot of dancing because I can easily put my hands in the air like I just don’t care (the one I’m wearing here which is unfortunately unavailable, but is pretty similar to this and this), and a long-sleeve jumpsuit for when it’s freezing, but I still need to look fancy. There are a few other options sprinkled in but I feel like I’ve found my happy place for ocassionwear dressing and it’s unsurprisingly neutral and in fabrics and fits that I feel most comfortable in – wrap dresses, midi dresses, mini dresses with long sleeves, any kind of jumpsuit and co-ords. Incase you had any of these pieces on your list for your winter capsule wardrobe, I thought I’d share what I’d be buying this year for party season if my wardrobe needed a top-up too. Just reflect on these points before you dive in…

Have a think about previous fancy schmansy purchases. What are you still wearing and what did you fall out of love with after first wear? Learn from your mistakes.

Put together a budget and stick to it. Occasionwear can get pricey, so stick to your guns and stay within your price range.

Don’t make a rushed, impulse purchase. Give yourself plenty of time to shop around and make sure you give it a proper wear-test before you commit. Comfiness is a non-negotiable.


Oh look! An array of black jumpsuits – what a surprise! They are my favourite pick for a reason; timelessly chic and a great base that’s easy to change up the look with accessories. I’d say that this & Other Stories Striped Satin Jumpsuit is a solid choice and could look completely different depending on your hair, makeup, bag, jewellery and shoe choices (FYI I love the By Far Carrie Slingbacks and own them in both black and nude and I can report that they are about as comfortable as heels come). For something a little more festive give this Mango Velvet Long Jumpsuit a try – a modern shape in a snazzy fabric that gives it that ‘classic with a twist’ factor. Now the & Other Stories Floral Jacquard Romper isn’t my usual kind of pick, but I love the pattern on the fabric and there’s something about the cut and fit that just looks very expensive to me – much more than the price tag suggests. One to grab if you enjoy getting your legs out. Someone pass me the Rimmel Sunshimmer



Being a jeans and t-shirt kinda gal (LOL I SAY THIS IN EVERY STYLE POST), a co-ord is feels like home for me in the realm of occassionwear. No shaving your legs and slapping on fake tan, or worrying about sweat patches – your all enclosed! Sweaty pits and all. It’s a category that I haven’t explored much, but each year more and more options become available and this season’s edit might just contain some of my favourites that I’ve seen so far. Being the klutz that I am, I’m not sure that this & Other Stories White Blazer and co-ordinating trouser is the best option for me (thankfully they do it in black!), however if you’re less partial to your food missing your mouth then it might be worth a try. I have to say that this Sequin Lounge Shirt is screaming to me – be brave and wear it with the coordinating trousers, or wear with jeans and heels for a relaxed, but still festive look. I’m tempted to pick it up and wear it for our NYE celebrations.



Dresses aren’t my usual bag, but I’m loving the nineties style silky slip-dresses that are everywhere right now. Not only are they so comfortable to wear, but they are the easiest occasionwear piece to incorporate into your everyday wardrobe by wearing them with a baggy chunky knit over the top, or putting a turtleneck underneath them to give them thermal qualities. This & Other Stories Midi Slip Dress is in the classic shape (although size up as I found my usual size in this a little tight under the armpits, although the straps are adjustable), and this Mango Satin Dress is stunning too – I love the slightly wider straps. If I’m going to go for a longer length, then I’m going animal print. Ones that have caught my eye? This Mango Leopard Print Gown and this & Other Stories Oversized Belted Zebra Mini Dress. The moral of the story? If in doubt opt for black or animal print – you can’t go wrong.


Photos by Emma Croman

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