This winter I challenge you to step away from head to toe black!
While black feels like such a safe place to be when it comes to dressing for winter occasions and the Christmas party season there are so many beautiful alternatives which embrace colour and give you the opportunity to feel super glam while challenging your style comfort zones.
This autumn winter it’s all about texture. Trend wise velvet, lace, ruffles, embroidery, sequins, tinsel, sheer fabrics with metallic threads, full on metallic are ALL ways that you can step out of the black and into equally stunning glamourous pieces.
And why not embrace the indulgent, it is Christmas after all!
The Alexander McQueen Autumn Winter 2016 collection featured beautiful embroidered sheer dresses with the most ornate embroidery of suns, moons and stars in metallic threads or birds and flowers in vibrant autumnal colours.
The high street was quick to emulate this in their own ready to wear collections. Much less sheer you’ll be glad to know, making these beautiful dresses something that you and I could wear to our own special occasions and not just wow factor red carpet attire.
If stepping away from black in stills fear why not use it as your base and add colour through embroidery like this stunning Butterfly by Julian Macdonald dress £250 from Debenhams, the short version is available at £175 here
This is as close to the Alexander McQueen version as you’ll get for this price point. The sheer collar and sleeves give coverage for those looking to keep upper arms covered, with stunning embroidery this is a real show stopper.
If you prefer something more sheer, preferring your fabrics to be floaty and feminine, then this knee length dress from Monsoon reduced from £169 to £139 will suit those ladies with curves and a narrow waist as it will complement and enhance your curves beautifully.
The metallic trend is an alternative to the more feminine feel of embroidery, toughen it up with a biker jacket or leather waterfall jacket and this will ensure you shine at the Christmas or New Year parties.
This New Look dress is £44.99, I love the mirrored detailing on the fabric and the high collar gives this dress a 1960’s vibe. I’d style this with opaque tights, killer heeled ankle boots and a sleek bob.
Marks & Spencer are not the normal go to place for party wear but I can assure you this season they are on top form and worth a look. With some gorgeous velvet smoking jackets and top quality leather dresses it was hard to narrow down a choice but this Per Una outfit is my Stylist Top Pick from their collection.
I love that this could be styled in a number of different ways. Style the embellished sweater (£35) with the sequinned skirt (£49.50) for a twist on a glamourous party look, or with jeans for cocktails with the girls. The sequinned skirt could be worn during the day with a slouchy cable knit jumper or for full high octane glamour style with a black silk cami and heels.
If texture and feel ability is what you look for in your fabrics, then the velvet trend will be your occasion wear choice for the party season. There are so many good pieces on the high street, in great quality velvets featuring sumptuous deep autumnal colour palettes from the rich burgundies in Hobbs to the spicy mustards in Marks & Spencer’s.
I loved this burgandy velvet smoking jacket from Marks & Spencer at £85. If you feel the need to stay with your black staple dress this is one way to lift the colour palette and embrace the velvet trend with a classic piece which will stand the test of time.
This velvet floral dress from Topshop is £55, the style will suit those girls with curves accentuating their narrow waist and skimming over their hips. I love the dresses playful nature and again see this giving you both the option as a party dress or even a Christmas dinner outfit.
If stepping out of the black comfort zone is just too much, why not bring in texture to your look with the inclusion of lace or embellishment? My favourite jumpsuit of the season must be this River Island velvet and lace jumpsuit a snip at £55, it will look fabulous styled with a metallic sequined clutch bag £35 from Accessorize to increase the sparkle factor.