Parties, for me, used to mean planning for weeks. Outfit choices, ridiculously high heels that I couldn’t walk in, nail appointments, taking ages getting ready on the night and dealing with a hangover at work the next day.
Now? PAH. I am still a big fan of a party, but prefer smaller groups, booking a sitter, knowing how I’m getting home – and being comfortable.
Being comfortable conjures up images of slippers and loungewear – and that’s obviously not where we are going with this. But there ARE myriad ways of dressing up for parties that DOESN’T involve dresses you can’t eat in, or shoes that are only suitable for the taxi.
Every month I partner up with Marks & Spencer to show off my edit of their collection – and this is my take on party wear – how I want to wear this season.
This velvet pleated skirt is a winner – even if, like me, you’re always worried about pleats making your hips look wider. Take your usual size, it’s flattering and very comfortable (it has an elasticated waist). I’ve worn this one and the gold coloured version of the same skirt now (it also comes in black and red) – and it’s a seriously useful party piece.
But – and here’s the thing – I’m saying bring the knits OUT of the everyday and dress them for a cool, comfortable party look.
Wearing a jumper is obviously not going to work if you’re going to be sweating in a heaving pub or if you fancy making a bee-line for the dancefloor. But for me, if the party is happening in someone’s living room or a restaurant, a statement knit will dress up your other pieces.
I’ve stuck to a navy and black palette with this outfit. The jumper is a turtle neck, with black lace detail across the front and I love the fact it’s casual enough to team with jeans or cropped black trousers, or like this, with something a bit more luxe. Buy a size down as it’s slightly slouchy and this kind of knit works best when it’s a bit more fitted.
A men’s cashmere crew neck has been a bit of a fashion editor secret for years. Borrow your partner’s (or, buy your own!) and wear to dress down your more fashion-y party pieces. Floor length maxi skirt? Wear it with a black crew neck. Want to tone down a going-out dress? Throw a knit over it. It’s kind of the cool way to look less ‘done.’ Therefore, more relaxed – which brings me back to my original comfort point.
When you start considering knitwear pieces as serious contenders in the party wear arena, your wardrobe is suddenly opened up.
Now you just need to book that nail appointment!
This is a paid partnership with Marks & Spencer, but all words, styling, photography and outfit picks are my own.