The winter period is well underway, and soon enough you'll be able to start your advent calendar countdown. The streets are lined with twinkling lights, and there's a buzz in the air that only comes around this time of year. If you're anything like me, you might be finding that your to-do list isn't shifting much. Once one thing gets ticked off (I can smugly confirm all my presents are sorted), something else pops up (now to wrap them). In the chaos that comes from organising Christmas dinners, putting up trees, digging out the box of decorations and then consulting Youtube on how to fix a broken bulb, there's more than enough to be getting on with. With all this and more to do, I'm happy to take something off your plate: party dressing ideas.
Whether you celebrate over December or not, there's still plenty of reason to get dressed up. Office parties, birthday celebrations and, of course, ringing in the New Year mean there are a lot of excuses to get dressed up this season, or perhaps you just like to snap up a special piece when you see it. In my research, I found so many great high-street options that I'm dedicating the whole edit to it. Your purse, and wardrobe, will thank me.
As much as I love the high street, I'll admit that sometimes the party-dressing sections can be a little hit-and-miss. With "Deck the Halls" ringing in their ears, brands often over-embellish or complicate partywear, making it feel less than timeless. Trust me, I'm in no way averse to a bit of shimmer, but it's useful to consider the longevity of your pieces to ensure you will wear them over and over again. After a few hours of searching, it became clear that there are five main categories of dress that have enough glitz to celebrate the occasion and still feel timeless enough to rewear every year.
To ensure that you make the most of your purchase, money and time, I've sifted through hundreds of high-street party dresses to find the five best styles to buy now and wear forever.
1. SOFT VELVET
If you're hunting for an expensive-looking party dress from the high street, velvet is a great place to start. The fabric adds a luxe feeling to the look, and I've found a great selection for you to choose from.
2. THE ELEVATED LBD
We all know the versatility of the little black dress, but why not step it up a gear for the festive season? Think sparkle embellishment, satin trims, or even fringe to add an extra detail to your LBD.
This will look great with party heels or ballet flats for a fancy dinner.
3. LUXE SATIN
The sleek finish of satin is another fabric that always looks elevated. This season, the high street has offered up plenty of luxe-looking styles to celebrate the season in.
4. A SHIMMER MOMENT
Let's be honest. This wouldn't be a complete party-dress edit without a sequin section. Emulate the twinkling lights all around with your own sparkling ensemble. There's plenty of colour choices around, and you can rely on your sequin dress for more than just festive celebrations.
From the metallic fabric to the pleating, this is a real statement dress.
The silhouette is so classic that you'll wear this forever.
5. SIMPLY STRIKING
I'll let you in on a secret. Simple can be incredibly effective. Perhaps you're not a sequin person, or maybe you've got attention-grabbing accessories that will fight for centre stage, calling for pared-back styles that are still incredibly elegant yet simpler than the previous four.
Tick off trending scarf details and the colour of the season with this red dress.
The perfect backdrop for statement accessories.
The balloon sleeves and beautiful back details make this dress party ready.
This story was published at an earlier time and has since been updated.
Florrie embarked on her fashion journey while studying French and History at university. Her career began with an initial role at Harper's Bazaar, followed by a stint with the fashion team at Conde Nast Traveller.
There, she contributed to international photoshoots, styled pages and covers, and produced engaging digital content. During a freelance period, Florrie honed her skills in editorial work in various digital and print publications like Vogue Italy, Stylist, and Departures magazine, as well as styling e-commerce photoshoots and personal shopping.
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