Colder days and darker nights typically call for slippers rather than stilettos, but, thanks to the pandemic, many of us are facing a backlog of invites, some originally dated 2020.
Belated weddings, milestone birthdays… you name it: it’s all back, and so are our wardrobes.
David Jones’ general manager for womenswear, Bridget Veals confirms that demand for partywear is at unprecedented levels given the chilly temperatures. “Dresses are phenomenally up this year…While the weather has cooled down this has not dampened the desire to dress up for special occasions like weddings that usually occur across the summer months.”
Since event dressing and wedding bells more commonly chime alongside the swish of summer frocks, knowing what to wear “out out” in winter can be tricky.
First things first, it pays to be practical. There’s nothing less stylish than shivering in silk when your fellow party goers are strategically layered in Uniqlo HeatTech. Veals observes that the puffed sleeve trend is still going strong, and that AJE and Alemais offer plenty of options. “Pink has definitely become an all-year-round fashion colour,” she adds.
Stylist Lucy Woods points out that winter favourites, like a black turtleneck or timeless cashmere sweater, can always be paired with a slinky skirt or dress.
Soft tailoring is another option (and Camilla & Marc and Viktoria & Woods do it well).
For added va-va-voom, look for silhouettes equipped with festive accoutrements (nothing says “make space on the dance floor” like feather-trimmed sleeves) or up the ante on your accessories. Chunky gold chains, attention-grabbing earrings and embellished slingbacks speak the language of after-dark elegance. And, for those of us retraining our small-talk muscles, these statement pieces come with added conversation-starting benefits.
When it comes to footwear, forget open toes (unless styled with statement socks or sheer tights). Instead, try sleek pumps or kitten heel boots. Layering a pair of thick wool socks under boots won’t just keep your feet warm, they’ll cushion the blow of any dance floor antics, until you can return home to the comfort of your shearling-lined house shoes and await the next mid-year engagement in all its cold-weather glory.
Stylist Lucy Wood has selected 16 festive pieces to see you through the winter party season.