With a works Christmas do to attend, I have begun to panic about what to wear. Early this week I found myself in my favourite charity shop pondering the great Christmas party outfit dilemma. There were a surprising number of tempting party dresses: in my size, in good condition (they may have only been worn once), from good labels and reasonably priced. Factor in the ethics of supporting charities and recycling and I was almost kitted out. And yet, as I lingered over the clothes rail I started to question whether I wanted to wear a dress at all. Are they too girly for me? Am I likely to be wear a party dress more than once? Could I be bothered to try them on? Do I feel awkward in a frock?
I headed home proud of my new found self-control and figured I needed to give this some serious thought (I do have more pressing things to do, but this is a nice distraction). In the last two years I have edited out several party dresses from my wardrobe for similar reasons as mentioned above. Whilst a new staple day dress would serve me well, a new party dress would not give me the mileage that I now demand from my smaller wardrobe.
If I think back to favourite festive evenings gone by I recall enjoying wearing trousers, tops and a fun accessory (sparkly sequined skinny scarf, glitzy earrings). I have at least three tops in my wardrobe that could work this look if worn with skinny black/blue jeans, heels and accessorised with subtle shimmer:
1. A black three-quarter length top with jewelled neckline (about four years old bought in a sale in a local boutique).
2. A silver lurex vest top worn many times both in summer and winter.
3. A teal cap sleeved top – long and fitted with elasticated bottom, perfect over skinny trews.
So... no to a new dress and regarding any other purchases I have decided to practise the waiting trick. I will wait a couple of weeks and then make a decision. If I do buy anything new it will either be a new accessory (scarf or earrings) or a pair of skinny black jeans. Alternatively, I will wear my one existing dress (silk, floral, sleeveless) or one of the three tops listed earlier with my existing skinny blue jeans; I really don't feel that comfortable with spending too much money on myself at this time of year.
If you are considering buying new evening wear, here are some questions to ask yourself:
Versatility - Can this item be worn more than once in different combinations? Can it be worn in summer and winter?
Quality – Is it well made and likely to last a few years? Don't buy something too on trend. A more expensive item could be good value if worn many times (price per wear). Equally a cheaper or second hand garment can also have good mileage.
Love it – Does it make me feel great? Does it reflect my personality and not a false persona?
Glamour – Has it got sparkle/luxurious fabric/fine detail?
Comfort – Can I relax in this outfit? Will I feel comfortable after eating? Is it a good fit? Could I dance the night away in it?
Styling - Can I dress this down? A dress can be dressed down if you prefer a more edgy look. Consider wearing thicker tights, chunkier footwear or wearing a dress over leggings or skinny trousers. Likewise a day dress can be glammed up. Simply transform a day dress into into evening wear with a few gold or silver accessories.
Short Cuts - Can I afford a haircut? I often book my hair appointments on the same day as a night out. A professional blow dry can work wonders for your confidence and helps you relax as it's one less thing to worry about.
Positive Attitude - Does it matter what people think? People really don't take that much notice of what others are wearing. A smile and a friendly, happy attitude can make you glow regardless of what you are wearing.
If you are going to any parties have fun. Oh and happy weekend!