How to dress for party season, with tips from a stylist

Festive fashion: Styling tips on how to dress for party season

‘Tis the season when the parties are aplenty, so you may be looking for inspiration on what to wear to upcoming festive celebrations.

Thankfully, there are some simple tricks you can employ to put together a stylish outfit that not only feels comfortable but also looks seasonally appropriate.

Whether you’re heading to your office Christmas party, cocktails with friends, or a family gathering, here are some tips for dressing your best.

Respect the dress code

Before you start planning your party outfit, it’s important to first check if there is a dress code, advised personal stylist Jude Stevens of Styling by Lumiere.

If the invitation states ‘no denim’ then make sure you don’t turn up in denim, for instance. If there is no guidance on the dress code for the event, Ms Stevens recommends researching the event’s venue to give you an indication of what would be appropriate to wear.

For work functions, Ms Stevens said you should be mindful that you are still presenting yourself in a professional context and your clothing choice should reflect that.

“You’re still with your co-workers, so pay attention to your hemline and neckline. Make sure it’s not too short or that you’re not revealing too much,” she said.

“And wear something comfortable; something you feel great in. Everyone’s got that top or a dress or a necklace that makes them feel confident.”

Personal stylist Jude Stevens of Styling by Lumiere

Personal stylist Jude Stevens of Styling by Lumiere.

Embrace colour

There’s no better time of year to step out in something colourful than during party season.

Orange, red and emerald green are fashionable colours this season, advised Ms Stevens, while white is always a winning choice for festive celebrations.

Alternatively, you can choose colours that suit your complexion – these are the colours that make your features appear brighter and naturally compliment your skin tone.

Gold and silver are also traditionally great colours for the festive season because they bring instant sparkle to an outfit, Ms Stevens said.

“Silver with white looks really good, and black with gold is always a winning combination. But keep it muted by pairing the gold or silver with more neutral colours. Let the gold and silver be the hero of the outfit,” she said.

Personal stylist Jude Stevens of Styling by Lumiere
Personal stylist Jude Stevens of Styling by Lumiere

Make a statement with accessories

Wearing a pair of statement earrings or a striking necklace is an easy way to elevate an outfit, as they can add a point of focus or splash of colour.

“Earrings are my favourite thing to change a whole look of an outfit – something colourful, dangly or with a bit of sparkle,” Ms Stevens said.

Statement accessories also allow you to introduce colour to a neutral outfit without feeling too loud.

“You can brighten up a black outfit with a pair of red shoes or a pair of red statement earrings,” Ms Stevens said.

Add some sparkle

The party season is a great time to bring out a bit of sparkle, whether it be through a sequined garment or a shimmery fabric.

But there is a fashion rule to follow to ensure you don’t end up looking like a walking disco ball.

“When it comes to shimmer or sequins, you don’t want everything in your outfit to sparkle. Make one statement piece – whether that be a dress, a sequin top, or a shimmery skirt – the focal point of your outfit and keep the rest minimal,” Ms Stevens said.

This will allow the sparkly garment or accessory to truly shine, while other pared-down items will work to support your outfit.

Sharon Green, editor

Sharon Green

Sharon Green is the founding editor of SHE DEFINED.

An experienced journalist and editor, Sharon has worked in mainstream media in Australia and the United Kingdom.

Forever in search of a publication that confronted the real issues faced by modern women, Sharon decided to create her own.