You really can’t go wrong with a little black dress can you? I mean sure, I love colour. I love pink dresses and red dresses and sometimes even yellow dresses, but every so often the classic LBD wins out. And classics are classics for a reason – they’re reliable, dependable and never fail to WOW. There’s something about an LBD that just makes us feel good, right? Something that makes us stand tall, walk confidently and not give a damn. And when it comes to party season, it’s certainly the sophisticated choice.
What I love about party season LBDs though, is that they take on a new glamourous look. They get re-invented with luxe fabrics, added sparkle, statement embellishment and decadent adornment. Think feather trims, velvet linings, embellished collars, sequin skirts – suddenly the LBD is even more daring than that – stop traffic – red number.
Dress – Jigsaw (c/o) | Jacket – Iro via Vestiaire Collective | Shoes – Rupert Sanderson via Vestiaire Collective | Bag – New Look (old)
For the second post in my festive takeover, I wanted to talk party dressing and where better to start than with a classic LBD. I don’t know about you, but for me party season rarely involves a carefully planned out outfit, or a whole day to glam up and get into said outfit. Instead it equals last minute arrangements, quick drinks after work that turn into late nights, three course meals at every opportunity and cramming catch ups with friends in as the countdown to the holidays begin. I’m a sucker for a pretty dress on Christmas Eve but other than that most of my holiday season is spent in my new PJ’s, a festive jumper and a Santa hat so it’s the weeks leading up to Christmas that hold most of my party frock wearing occasions. And for the most part, those occasions come straight after a day in the office, right after a meeting and with limited time to get ready.
People often think that because I work freelance, I have hours of time at home before any social occasion in order to ponder my outfits and curl my hair, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. I spend my days either working from clients offices, running from meetings to errands to coffee shops to home for an hour to blog, or wondering how I’m ever going to get everything done in time to be able to make that 7pm meet up. So dresses that can easily double up as work and party wear, are most definitely my friends.
That’s why when I found this Jigsaw velvet shift dress I knew I was onto a winner. It’s party dressing in the most subtle form – remember those luxe fabrics I mentioned which can up the ante on your LBD? Yup, this dress has them in plenty. A two tone effect of gorgeous velvet on top and pretty satin crepe on bottom, not to mention pretty details such as a velvet trim down the sides of the skirt and a cute keyhole fastening at the nape of the neck (Which my #instagramhusband neglected to tell me was undone in some of the pics – doh!).
But the best part about this dress? It’s super dooper versatile. It can be worn loose like a T-shirt dress, which makes it perfect for day (and multiple Christmas lunch dates – no uncomfortable seams digging in here!), or belted at the waist for a completely different look. I opted for belted because my figure can’t handle shapes which don’t show off my waist, but two looks in one already had me hooked. Plus – a few key accessory changes and no-one will even notice that you haven’t bothered to change for the Christmas party! And even if they do – you’ll look so fabulous it won’t matter.
This, my friends is the perfect desk to dinner dress, and here’s why…
Ok I realise Cafe Rouge isn’t your average ‘desk’ but I’m freelance so desks come in many shapes and forms for me. The point is, right now the dress doesn’t look all that ‘dressy’ does it? The cut of this dress – knee length, straight fit, round neck, elbow length sleeves – means it’s totally day (and work meeting) appropriate. You’re not showing off any flesh (apart from a bit of leg but a pair of opaques would soon sort that out), it’s not too fitted, and the velvet screams luxury which automatically makes you appear more professional. I added an oversized coat (in a bright shade to make things less party), a pair of ankle boots and a satchel bag (which always says business right?) and as such didn’t receive any strange looks for being overdressed in a cafe with my afternoon coffee – result.
A quick change of shoes, re-application of lippy and addition of extra bling later and I’m a whole new woman… ok not quite but I’m easily ready for whatever festive party awaits me that evening. I’m currently reviewing this nippy little Peugeot 108 which means I have a handy changing area post work meeting and pre fun outing, but not having to actually change my outfit means no awkward ducking down in the back while I hope no-one can see me in my bra. The key details of this dress which made it perfectly day appropriate, suddenly take on new meaning when you’ve added a silver biker jacket, overly sparkly stiletto heels, lots of jewellery and a cute clutch. That knee length can easily be hitched up a little with the help of a belt, the velvet fabric still screams luxury but now also says ‘winter glam’ and the straight cut and elbow length sleeves now exude party sophistication.
The versatility just keeps coming too. I’m already imagining the ideal Christmas day outfit, by losing the belt and teaming with embellished flats and a statement necklace. Brownie points all round little dress, welcome to the collection.
What’s your party season style?