I’m a Fashion Expert—These 5 Party Looks Never, Ever Fail Me

Sponsor Content Created With Aligne


As an editor who attends more than your average share of drinks, dinners, galas, parties and all other manner of evening events, you'd think I would've run out of steam when it comes to getting dressed for a soirée, but not so. I simply love the process of selecting a special outfit. Party season has once again come around all too quickly, and although I enjoy the creativity of pulling together a fancy ensemble, sometimes I just don't have the hours to put as much effort in as I'd like to.

That's why I've worked on honing a list of reliable looks over the years that I can call upon in my moments of fashion need. These are simple yet effective combinations that have stood the test of time and provide something chic, elegant and appropriate whenever my Google calendar starts to stack up. Not only does this make the standard pre-party "I've got nothing to wear" panic fade away, but it also means I can be more mindful with my festive-season wardrobe, choosing pieces that work harmoniously together, don't date and avoid becoming one-wear wonders. 


I'd describe my fashion personality as both practical and joyful, and one brand that always exemplifies these traits is ALIGNE. The female-led, East London–based label is one that is beloved by editors and influencers alike for its unique, high-quality take on core wardrobe essentials. Mindful and transparent in its production, ALIGNE also manages to provide accessible price points and fantastic design credibility. Until now, the brand has been more focused on daywear, but for this recent Party Edit drop, there's an injection of sparkle and glamour that sits beautifully alongside its excellent tailoring, leather separates and denim. 

If you want all-out fabulous, then the gold lamé gown is going to tick every possible box. But if you'd like to opt for something pared-back, there's a mix-and-match array of highly sophisticated black pieces that flatter and fit like a dream. The Party Edit collection spans the gamut of evening looks I've been curating over the years, so I could easily apply my methods to the new-in section. Below, you can find the trusted formulas I always return to, re-created with the pieces I adore from ALIGNE's latest collection. 


Style Notes: When in doubt, wear black. I'm certain that no one ever regrets wearing a chic black look. Refined and understated, you can still bring a little drama to the concept by playing around with silhouettes. Here, for example, a black bandeau top (structured beautifully, even for boobs!) and a demure maxi skirt provide a '90s spin on a classic combination. 

Shop the Look:


Style Notes: When you commit to wearing a really knockout dress, you have to go the whole nine yards and decide to up the volume, say yes to loud fabrics, throw in equally strong accessories and bring the required attitude for making an entrance. This gold lamé dress has a '70s disco feel to it and features an incredibly generous amount of fabric in the cut (something that's hard to find for this price tag elsewhere), which makes it instantly appealing to swish around in. 

This tiered midaxi comes with its own matching skinny ribbon belt, but I decided to cinch the shape in with a bigger belt for a more retro look. So, if you prefer a more ethereal, billowing silhouette, know that this dress is designed to be worn looser than I've styled it.

Shop the Look:


Style Notes: Show me a person who has the time after work to go home, get dressed and head back out again. See? Not realistic! That's why, on weekdays, I'd recommend trying out a sassy little skirt suit that you can transform into evening attire just by changing your jewellery, adding heels and maybe even switching to a lower-denier pair of tights (or losing them entirely, if you're not prone to feeling the cold like I am). The cropped proportions of this tuxedo blazer make it the perfect partner to many other pieces, such as high-waisted tailored trousers, jeans and every kind of party dress. 

Shop the Look:


Style Notes: I actually prefer wearing denim in the evening than I do in the daytime. In my mind, it's quite alluring to look party-ready in something that actually appears a bit casual and nonchalant, which is why these baggy, crystal-dotted jeans really appeal. They do a lot of the hard work for you, so all that's needed is a simple white tee or button-down shirt and a pair of heels to balance out the long hemline for my petite frame.

Shop the Look:


Style Notes: I think we've already established that investing in timeless black party pieces will never, ever be a bad move. ALIGNE is well-known for its top-notch leather pieces, and this beautiful double-breasted, halterneck dress is nothing short of spectacular. I love the idea of bare skin against a relatively covered-up leather dress, but I also think this style would work incredibly well for daytime wear with a roll neck or shirt layered underneath. It's a double (or even triple)-duty dress that will look good for years to come.

Shop the Look:

Shop More ALIGNE Party Pieces:

Discover more of ALIGNE's Party Edit.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and MatchesFashion.com, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits. Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.