Sunday, 8 November 2009

Party dress week begins: with a word of warning

There is just a month to go until my office Christmas party, and with this in mind it seemed like the perfect time to start my annual party dress hunt: I will be going into a different high street store every day over the next week and trying on and reviewing the best dresses on offer. Usually I do this on a £30 budget, but as the cost of clothes on the high street has crept up dramatically I will be working to a £50 budget this year.
But before they week of lovely dresses begins, i'd like to think about why we feel the need to go out and buy a new dress, just because it's Christmas. If you have the money then great, but if not then why the stress and worry? Why not save yourself the heartache of looking at dresses you cant (or would rather not) afford and shop your own wardrobe? I know that's what i'll be doing!
I got this dress in April to wear for my birthday party in May, and then decided to wear something else instead: it still has the tags on! I've teamed it with the Kurt Gieger shoes I wore for my graduation and a gorgeous French Connection angora shrug; all I need is big hair and lots of jewellery and i'm ready to hit the town!
Christmas dresses are generally black, sparkly, and this year the trend is for sequins. If we're honest, party dress trends don't vary so often that your dress from last year (or the year before, or the year before that!) will look out of date. And a new bag, make up or jewellery can make the difference between an outfit that looks years old or bang up to date.
This week's Topshop newsletter said that cameo prints and jewellery will be big this Christmas, so I have thrown on an oversized cameo necklace with the black dress I wore for New Year's eve two years ago. Despite the dress not being new, I think the outfit looks modern and sexy (if you ignore the Sunday night hair and no make up!) and could take you to the party for the cost of a new necklace!
Here I have taken a normal black dress I wear for work at least once a month (i've had it for about 18 months)and thrown on a sparkly necklace I got in the topshop sale for £1 and a t shirt from primark for a fiver; the sparkle makes it perfect for post-work drinks (or a more casual party) and the shoulder detail is "this season's key trend". Everyone has a plain black dress in their wardrobe, and instead of shopping for its expensive replacement this season why not look for a sparkly clutch, chandelier earrings or gorgeous nail varnish? That way you have that special "this is new" feeling without the expense of buying a whole new outfit.
I'm not saying that you shouldn't go out and buy a new dress if its something you always do and enjoy, and can afford, of course. I'm one of the biggest consumers I know - it would be silly for me to tell people not to go shopping! I'm just saying that maybe we should question why it is such an integral part of our December ritual, particularly this year when money is tight for so many people. I'm pretty sure noone is going to judge (or even notice) if your dress doesn't have a brand new topshop label hanging off the back! I have a wardrobe full to the brim with party dresses, and I definitely won't be buying a new one for this Christmas - leaving me much more money to spend in the sales in January!
Having said that, party dress week starts tommorrow - all the best party dresses on the highstreet right now. I can't wait!
Love, Tor x


everybodysaysdont said...

I love that 1st blue dress on you, it looks great (so do the others but I especially like that one on you) x

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