I’m not sure about you, but I can’t wait for party season. It’s the most wonderful time of year after all, and I love nothing more than getting into the festive spirit and celebrating with friends, colleagues and family. The only thing that’s tricky about this period though, is the expense. From gifting to a packed-out calendar of events, how do we spread the cheer and generosity as well as feel like our best selves without spending a fortune?
So it might be no surprise that as a fashion editor, I’m asked time and again for recommendations for affordable partywear—pieces that you’ll wear beyond Christmas and New Year, and that appear far more expensive than they are. For its reliability and timeless approach to design, George at Asda is a solid go-to. This season seems stronger than ever, with the autumn collection offering cosy knitwear, classic coats and an array of denim in contemporary cuts.
But let’s focus on their standout party drop: from statement sequins in easy-to-wear silhouettes to versatile but vibrant tailoring and expensive-looking satin pieces, there’s a lot to enjoy. What I’m perhaps most into though, is how these after-dark items can be reworn. Many of these hero items don’t belong solely on the dance floor—the suiting, for example, can be easily styled down with chunky sneakers and a T-shirt (as demonstrated below), whereas heels and a black lace camisole tell a different story.
To celebrate the new collection and showcase how to style it, we asked influencer and stylist Karen Williams to select five hero partywear pieces and showcase how to style them in full George looks. And if you don’t already follow Karen, consider this your cue. With her infectious energy and glamorous style, we’re huge fans of hers at Who What Wear UK. But don’t just take my word for it; scroll for her five fab outfits and get ready to be inspired this party season.
Style Notes: Starting with a bang, what is party season without a sequin dress? Karen dials up the sparkle factor by pairing this one with glittery-toe ankle boots, but you could elevate it further with heeled pumps instead. Granted, unlike some of these outfits, I’d be hard pushed to tell you how to make this more appropriate for daytime wear, but a statement minidress gets its timeless seal of approval for being so transcendent of trends. You need never worry what you’re going to wear on New Year’s Eve again; this little black dress with extra ‘oomph’ can be considered a go-to for years to come.
Style Notes: Just like sequins, when you think of partywear, you think of metallics. Whilst gold was traditionally the more popular metallic shade, 2023 has been the year of silver. After all, what could possibly say “party” more than something that looks like it was inspired by a disco ball? This miniskirt is silver and glittery, and Karen’s styling of it is cool-girl perfection. Going for more of a pared-back approach, she wears it with a T-shirt and black coat but adds some additional sparkle with these matching glitter ankle boots. As much as we love a heel, George’s strong boot options for the season make for comfortable, multifaceted footwear that we can wear again and again. Just imagine these boots with flared jeans—gorgeous!
Style Notes: If you’re unafraid of bringing some drama to your tailoring collection, this satin suit should be top of your list. In statement-making shocking pink, this one is definitely for the maximalists. Pointed-toe, kitten-heel boots are everywhere at the moment, and I couldn’t be happier—comfortable and sleek, there’s little they don’t go with, and you can walk (or dance) in them for hours. This may be a partywear edit, but that doesn’t mean you couldn’t style this for more relaxed occasions. Swap heels or boots for loafers or chunky trainers, and you have yourself a great lunch-date look. As with any suit, I encourage wearing these two pieces separately as much as you wear them together.
Style Notes: This is a really great example of how to take pieces you’d usually wear for daytime and elevate them into an evening-appropriate ensemble. Take a black, satin slip skirt—it’s such a capsule wardrobe staple. In summer you can wear it with sandals and your favourite tee, and in winter I’d either pair it with a cosy knit and knee-high boots for the office, or take it up a notch (just like Karen has here) with platform heels and slinky satin top. I love how the lace detail on this cami adds a little femininity to the neckline. To break up the black-on-black, Karen has accessorised her look with silver shoes and a bag, along with these fabulous earrings. Perfection!
Style Notes: Power suits equal power outfits. The great thing about a two piece is the ease of styling—if you’re a person with little time (who isn’t?) or someone who struggles to put a look together, here’s your answer. A tailored, double-breasted suit is the way to go for a sophisticated, sleek and sexy outfit that doesn’t require any thought. Here, Karen proves that a party outfit doesn’t mean you have to show a lot of skin. It goes without saying that you can wear this outside of evening events, and if you’re bored of skirts and dresses, a two-piece is always a cooler, more androgynous option.
Want to see more of what George has to offer? Head to the site here.