Fashion: Shine time

V-neck burgundy velvet tunic dress, �29, at
V-neck burgundy velvet tunic dress, �29, at
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Bring on the New Year with a high-glam look that will help you face a fresh start with confidence. Stephanie Smith has advice.

There’s just one more major special event for most of us to look forward to before the close of 2015, signalling the end of the party season before the January glums begin in earnest – and so we want to see it out in style.

Hopefully, you will have amassed gift vouchers for all your favourite stores, which you now intend to splurge in reckless manner up and down the High Street, scooping up bargains as you go and cleverly creating a new pre-spring capsule wardrobe of key pieces and accessories that are going to work beautifully with your existing winter wardrobe, while allowing you to look towards the spring with a fresh outlook and sleek new style.

Buying for a New Year party or event is the ideal time to have a complete wardrobe rethink and update, because of the way we dress these days. Contemporary fashion works day to night, with pieces that you can dress and down, depending on where you are going and what you intend getting up to.

Daytime shine is a perfect example. Sequins, glisten and embellishment are not just for evening wear, certainly not on a wool or cashmere sweater, for example, or even on a tunic dress. For New Year, you could team a beautiful fitted sweater with a chiffon full prom skirt or try dressing up your tunic dress with killer heels and faux fur, either a jacket or a stole.

For a laid-back, relaxed but luxurious vibe, take a look at Mint Velvet, which is stocked at House of Fraser and John Lewis, but also has standalone boutiques, including ones in York and Harrogate. It uses an exquisitely pared-back palette of greys, blacks and creams with some elegant, monochromatic prints, in chiffons, silks, fine woollens and other luxe fabrics, many sprinkled with embellishment. It’s all so wearable and easy to dress up or down – each piece works hard, doubling up, and mixing and matching effortlessly.

There’s a strong Eighties’ trend for this festive season, which is perfect for New Year, so think Kim Wilde and tiny sequin tops to team with shiny leggings and ankle boots. Throw on a lavish shaggy faux fur jacket, dangling earrings ... and that’s quite a look you’ve got going on there. It’s probably better if you didn’t actually wear that same look in the Eighties.

Jumpsuits and all-in-ones are perfect for New Year, especially for house parties where you want something easy to move and sit down in without worrying which bits of you are on show as you try to lever yourself out of an unfamiliar sofa (never easy after a few sherries). Plus you can shrug your cardi or coat on over it if part of the evening’s activity is going on outside, perhaps to look at fireworks or stand around a fire pit, and an all-in-one always manages to look pulled-together and chic.

If you definitely want a proper dress, there are plenty about on the High Street with capes, and these too are a great option for New Year, keeping your shoulders warm with an extra layer and also giving a statement look that’s ultra-flattering for all body shapes, but especially pears, balancing out the hips.

Velvet is an excellent choice for New Year and you can find it particularly in green and berry shades for this winter, often quilted and in tunic shapes with a Sixties’ feel, which gives the fabric an updated appeal. Look out also for orange and burnt umber shades – worth a try, especially if you want a change from black.