Stylish outfits to let you sparkle and shine this Christmas

This season, fashion is about texture: mixing feathers, suede, leather, and the ubiquitous sequins. Paula Burns shows you how to master what can be a tricky look

Stylish outfits to let you sparkle and shine this Christmas

Tis this season to get dressed up in fab party glam wear. With a calendar filled to the brim of festive nights out, reaching in the wardrobe for the trusty LBD can be tempting.

Yes the little black dress is that best friend who fixes all matters of wardrobe malfunctions. And so we place all our fashion trust in it . But dressing it up for more than a couple of outings can feel more Groundhog Day than The Devil Wears Prada.

The party season is the perfect opportunity to ditch the creature comforts of party wear and let the alternatives shine in the seasonal spotlight.

This season designers have taken the touchy feely mantra of the office party to all things fashion related. They have fallen head over heels for everything tactile.

Sumptuous velvets, luxurious leathers, fluffy feathers, and faux fur all make up for a delicious party wear ensemble. This party season is all about a mix match of textures with dazzling separates made to make a statement.

Tantalizing Trousers

Jacquard trousers €53 at Oasis; Next trousers €43
Jacquard trousers €53 at Oasis; Next trousers €43

Don’t fret, we promise you will not look like your mother donning her fav trouser suit for the Christmas party.

The somewhat androgynous office wardrobe staple has been glammed up Bowie style this season.

Texture is key from sparkles of sequins to the 90s beloved lurex to bold patterns, the trouser can easily steal the crown of the party dress. But remember less is more. Let the trousers to all the talking.

Match with a simple top or blazer but most importantly always show a flash of ankle with a killer heel.

Shimmering Skirts

Feather skirt, €100, Oasis; Metallic leather pelmet skirt, €84, Warehouse; Coast tulle skirt, €175; River Island skirt, €40
Feather skirt, €100, Oasis; Metallic leather pelmet skirt, €84, Warehouse; Coast tulle skirt, €175; River Island skirt, €40

The skirt is having its moment this season. Again texture is the key to creating the desirable look.

The short leather mini is the easy alternative to the LBD. Match with a glitzy top and bare legs to complete the look.

Ticking all the texture boxes think glittering gold and starry silvers in beautiful brocades to create a standout piece.

For the ultimate decadence in Gatsby style, try the feathered skirt. Choose a black feathered mini skirt to bring this fun look alive.

The tulle skirt is this seasons supporting piece to your office party Cinderella moment.

Fancy Tops

Karen Millen strappy top, €215; River Island crop top, €40
Karen Millen strappy top, €215; River Island crop top, €40

With the skirt being a key player of the fashion season the top has been given a slight chance to shine, though only in a supporting role.

The job of the top this season is to allow the skirt bask in all its shining glory.

Yet don’t mistake the power of the top. If the top fails then so does the skirt creating a mix-match catastrophe.

Just when we thought the crop top belonged to seasons forgotten, it is having a brief fashion hour.

The sequined short-sleeved crop is the angelic partner to the tulle skirt. This is its one and only role.

Its 90s colleague, the strappy, is back in full force. A touch of delicate embroidery brings texture to life.

For the plain, short skirt, opt for sequins and sparkles on top to add a shimmering party look.

Timeless Jumpsuits

Karen Millen jumpsuit €325; River Island jumpsuit €75
Karen Millen jumpsuit €325; River Island jumpsuit €75

The jumpsuit has been the star of the party dress alternative for the past few seasons. This 80s classic has been brought forward to the modern day to create a slick timeless look.

Just like its party dress counterpart the jumpsuit is the one stop piece equivalent. As its fashion role has continued through the seasons its style has blossomed.

There are so many variants to suit everyone from the plunging neckline to the strappy to the suit collar.

As playful as the jumpsuit is, it too has embraced the textures of the season. The glimmer of 70s lurex pays homage to its ancestors of the Studio 54 era.

The jumpsuit needs little accessorising. As with trousers the jumpsuit only works with a killer heel, so be warned.

Everything but the LBD

Julien MacDonald dress, Debenhams, €90; Gold party dress, €90, Warehouse; Karen Millen red dress, €275
Julien MacDonald dress, Debenhams, €90; Gold party dress, €90, Warehouse; Karen Millen red dress, €275

If the idea of separates is creating style palpitations fear not. Losing the LBD doesn’t have to mean forgetting the party dress altogether. It is the reigning supreme piece of the festive season after all.

What could be easier then stepping into a dress for a complete look?

One rule to follow this season is to step away from black. Instead embrace the festive colours and lavish textures. Texture and shine are there to lift the party wear season’s muted palette.

Choose something shiny for maximum impact with metallics being your shades of choice. Try sequins to create a more boho look. The high street has taken on the winter floral look so now it’s your turn.

Keep it short though to avoid the granny come festival vibe. For a more demure style, a lace dress is the ‘oh so quiet’ way of introducing texture.

More in this section

Puzzles logo
IE-logo

Puzzles hub

Visit our brain gym where you will find simple and cryptic crosswords, sudoku puzzles and much more. Updated at midnight every day.

great irish summer

From walking and hiking, to day trips and camping, your guide to holidays at home in 2021

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up