Burgundy maxi dress with gold detail from the Bastyan collection at Jarrold.

Top 10s for Christmas - Dresses to help you feel the belle of the ball

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
7.38 AM

Get into the festive spirit with a new outfit that will make you look and feel like the belle of the ball. In day five of our guide to the Top 10s this Christmas Fashion Editor EMMA HARROWING picks her top ten pieces from this season’s party looks.

Festive frocks are littering the shops and yet you may still not know what to wear for the Christmas party season.

Fear not, as this top ten guide will lead you through the metallics and maxis so that you can find your perfect party outfit.

For those traditionalists out there the Little Black Dress (LBD) is still a party style staple. As with previous years the LBD has been given an update for the new season and for Christmas 2012 this means sparkle. Sequins, glitter and metallic sheen gives a new take on a classic number, a look that can easily be achieved by accessorising the LBD currently in your wardrobe with diamante jewellery, shoes and/or a clutch bag.

Black is also a popular colour for lace dresses which should be worn with a plain black slip underneath to create a more demure look.

Other colours that are popular this Christmas are Burgundy and green, although these should not be worn together unless you want to look like part of the decorations.

Style wise anything goes, meaning that there is a party style that will flatter your figure.

The 1950s inspired prom dress that flatters those who are bigger on the bottom half than the top is still on the scene, but the style is taking a back seat to another vintage revival that is taking party wear by storm - the 1920s.

Flapper style fringed dresses that fall to the knee, floor length gowns and even satin edged tuxedo jackets worn with ankle grazing trousers and a luxury t-shirt makes 1920s glamour, that is usually flattering to those who have a straight body shape, wearable for all. Accessorise with a jewelled head dress and a pair of this winter’s must-have mid block heels and you will have the look down to a tee.

The new look tuxedo for women provides an alternative party outfit to the dress and separates are a new evening wear trend this year. Perfect for those who have disproportionate top and bottom halves, metallic, jewel and sequin encrusted skirts and tops provide the ideal solution. As well as glitz, look for skirts that have a baroque print and wear with a leather or silk plain top and a statement collar necklace.

The important rule to remember when choosing your party outfit is to have fun trying on different styles to see what works for you. Experiment with different accessories and shopping for that ultimate look will then become as enjoyable as the Christmas party you want to dress up for.

Emma Harrowing’s top ten party outfits ...

1, Burgundy maxi dress with gold detail from the Bastyan collection at Jarrold.

2. By Malene Birger dress ‘Olisio’ £209, Collen & Clare in Southwold.

3. Damask print dress with peplum, £39.50, Dorothy Perkins.

4. Project D Rosita taupe silk chiffon dress, £580, Ginger on Timberhill, Norwich.

5. Gold jacquard dress £119 Mint Velvet. Mint Velvet is available from John Lewis and House of Fraser.

6. Biba 1920s inspired flapper beaded dress from a selection in House of Fraser in Chapelfield.

7. Black sequin ‘Lotus’ dress £65 Monsoon.

8. Angel sleeve long dress in green (other colours available), Somerset by Alice Temperley at John Lewis.

9. Tessa flower sequin vest £69 and crochet sequin panel skirt £69, both Phase Eight. Phase Eight is available from Jarrold, John Lewis and House of Fraser.

10. Velvet jacket £65 and leather trousers £110, both from Next. Baroque metallic gold top £10 George at Asda.

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