Has anyone else not got a free evening until 2024? With work events, pre-Christmas plans with friends and my birthday to fit in, December is always a manic one. And as someone who is pretty unorganised (hey, at least I can admit it), I often find myself scrambling to put an outfit together an hour before I have to run out of the house. This year, though, I’m set on my changing my ways, and have instead hit the shops early to see the most expensive party pieces IRL. With Westfield within walking distance of my house, this was of course the destination I headed to to check out some of my favourite high-street brands.
And what did I find? Sparkly jeans from Zara, an even sparklier bandeau dress from Mango and the perfect LRD (that’s little red dress) from H&M. So whether you like to go all out for party season or keep it lowkey with jeans and a nice top, I’ve put together so easy outfit formulas you can copy, no matter the festive plan.
Style Notes: I’ve been looking for the perfect pair of sparkly jeans, and I think I’ve finally found them. While they’re selling out super fast online, I’ve seen them in multiple stores around London. We all know Zara can be a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to sizing, but my tip for these jeans is to size up. I first tried them on in my usual size, and although they fit, they were snug around the waist. I added matching sparkly shoes (I love the look of a pointed-toe popping out at the bottom of baggy jeans), and a tailored waistcoat to create the outfit I would wear to festive drinks.
Style Notes I’m a sucker for a matchy-matchy outfit, so of course I was instantly taken by this sweater and mini skirt duo (plus the matching bag). As an unexpected party look, this is the one you can dress up for a night out but easily add tights, chunky flat boots and a maxi coat for day. I would also split up the set and wear the mini for a night out with a sheer top.
Style Notes: Like most people, I’m completely taken by all things silver this season. So much so, I was drawn to this silver sequin dress like a magpie as soon as I walked into the Mango store. It was pretty stretchy, so I took my usual size (I’m a 10), and I would wear it to an event with a black oversized maxi coat. I love this one, but I would like it even closer to touching the floor.
Style Notes: If you’re looking to buy into one of the biggest trends for 2023, then this red mini dress is the one for you. There’s no escaping red this season, and why would you want to when it looks so luxe? I can’t believe this satin, draped-detail dress is under-£30! I love how loose-fit it is so I can dance around without being conscious that it’s too clingy.
Style Notes: First things first, you’ll have to imagine this satin set steamed to perfection. But I’m all for a silky suit for party season to make you feel like you’re out and about in your PJs. I would always advise on adding heels, to stop it from actually looking like you’re wearing your bed clothes. Both of these pieces also come in four other colours, and I can guarantee they look so much more expensive than they actually are.
Style Notes: While a ’60s style shift wouldn’t usually be my vibe, this Cos spotted style (they’re big, but subtle) is just too good. I’ve popped it over a polka dot long-sleeved top and ankle boots. While I’m a big fan of these boots, they were the only shoes in-store so I would actually team this look with knee-highs or a mule so they don’t make my legs look even shorter—I’m 5’4″. I would definitely wear this outfit for a dinner, there’s a lot of room in this dress to eat all the festive treats!