Fashion: New Year’s Eve means easy glamour

Pia evening clutch, �18, at Oasis.
Pia evening clutch, �18, at Oasis.
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Don’t let party fatigue stop you finding your perfect New Year’s Eve look. Stephanie Smith picks out statement looks.

It’s the biggest party night of the year, yet it can come as an afterthought for many of us, style-wise.

Embroidered cape, �58; embroidered mesh midi dress, �180. At Oasis.

Embroidered cape, �58; embroidered mesh midi dress, �180. At Oasis.

There has already been so much dressing up going on throughout the festivities, with all our stalwart party pieces used up, and our wardrobes may well be starting to look ransacked and lacking.

On the plus side, the period in-between Christmas and New Year is the best time to seek out a party look. Pretty much all of the glitz and sparkles are now in sale, as the stores begin their final big clearance push, making space for the transitional and early spring collections soon to arrive.

This means we can afford to make a party statement fit for the occasion. We can afford to take a risk and experiment, too. This is an opportunity to step out of our comfort zone and try out styles and colours that we might not have considered.

New Year’s Eve is all about looking ahead, challenging and improving ourselves. Most of all, it’s about celebrating ourselves, as well as our family and friends and the wider world. You deserve to discover a new look, or treat yourself to something expensive that you have had your eye on all season. If you can’t indulge yourself now, when can you?

Red frill maxi dress, was �70, now �30, at River Island.

Red frill maxi dress, was �70, now �30, at River Island.

So, what to look out for? If you have always had a hankering for a jumpsuit but been too daunted to try, this is your opportunity to go for it. Jumpsuits and all-in-ones have, in the past, had a reputation for being off-putting – the term “man-repeller” has been mentioned, although the days of women dressing to please men have long gone, if indeed they ever existed. Women have always dressed up to please themselves first and then to honour and delight (and, yes, sometimes impress) other women. If men approve, too, that’s nice, but should never be a consideration when selecting a party outfit.

A strappy top, wide-leg jumpsuit, cut to look like a maxi dress, is an easy style to try first. Don’t be put off by exposed arms. This style works well with shrugs and any kind of jacket from biker to tuxedo. You can also wear a long-sleeve top under, or a T-shirt, which is a great way to style a jumpsuit into spring. But experiment with all styles of jumpsuit because there are so many to choose from, and they are here to stay, so a good investment.

Red has been the must-have colour of this winter, which means there are plenty of pieces in red to choose from and, as red is a festive classic, you will be able to keep and wear again for Christmas and New Year future.

Stick to a classic style if you have half an eye on years to come, or live for the moment and splash out on something in a on-trend statement design, with ruffles and asymmetric shapes.

Red dress, �59, at M&Co.

Red dress, �59, at M&Co.

There’s a lot of velvet about too, across the style board in all pieces and a variety of colours. Choose black, navy and purple for now-and-forever wear, although you can’t really ever go wrong with anything in velvet, so if you like something, get it. If you spot a velvet tuxedo jacket, snap it up, because it’s the sort of piece that will help you out of those special occasion what-to-wear crises for ever and ever. Just throw it on and there you have it, an instantly glamorous, party-perfect look.

Capes and cape dresses are definitely worth looking out for and considering. They look chic and impressive, while being flattering and easy to wear. Simply adding an embellished cape is an effortlessly impressive way to makeover a favourite little black dress, or skinny jeans and sparkle top look.

Finally, accessories. If nothing else, you can always smarten up and add sparkle with bags, shoes, belts and scarves. Plus, they tend to be the easiest and most fun pieces to shop for, so hit the High Street and enjoy.

Halter collar tunic top, �29; leggings, �24; heels, �32. All at M&Co.

Halter collar tunic top, �29; leggings, �24; heels, �32. All at M&Co.

Glitter jumpsuit, �75, at Hush-uk.com.

Glitter jumpsuit, �75, at Hush-uk.com.

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