Though our December social calendars are filling up with what feels like nonstop parties and dinners, let’s face it: party season isn’t just limited to the holidays. While we’re definitely busier around Christmas time, parties do happen all year round! While that’s always a great excuse to go out and get yourself a new dress every now and then, it can also be hard to decipher what to wear to every party. From invitations that state a smart casual attire to the more specific themed parties, sometimes picking out what to wear just becomes so time consuming that you start to dread upcoming events.
Now, we don’t want that to happen because at the end of the day parties are all about having fun and letting off some steam! So for all the birthday parties that you’ll be attending and to those impromptu nights out with the girls, we’ve come up with this handy guide to help you decide what to wear to every party and occasion, so you’ll always look your best no matter what!
For festive holiday parties and birthdays, anything metallic should be your go-to party dress! There’s plenty of options to choose from, whether you want all eyes on you in a navy sequin bodycon midi for New Year’s Eve or you’d like to look perfectly festive in a gold polka dot mini for Christmas cocktails with the family. If you’re not keen on anything too flashy, why not opt for a rose gold ruffled midi that will show off your femininity while staying on the festive side? It’s the time of the year to really shine and stand out, so make sure to get your hands on a metallic dress or two!
Animal prints are one of those things that fall into two categories: either you shy away from it, or you love it. While an animal print seems intimidating at first, it instantly adds a cool edginess to your outfit, making it an obvious choice to wear for parties! For a rooftop cocktail party, look effortlessly chic in a leopard print wrap dress. If you have parties going from day to night with no time to change, try a zebra print jumpsuit that can easily be dressed up with the right accessories like a metallic box pod. Want to make a bold statement at a work event? Be equally fierce and feminine in a high-neck leopard dress that will look great with your favourite black blazer for cooler months.
In Full Bloom
For parties and outdoor events during spring and summer, there’s no better party dress than a floral printed one! There’s just something so appealing and fitting about sporting a floral frock during the sun-soaked months after cold winter days. If you’re celebrating the beginning of spring at a fun daytime event, a chic ruffled playsuit is perfect as you can also wear it ‘til night if the party continues elsewhere. If you have an engagement party to attend, an elegant off-the-shoulder dress with cape-like sleeves is a perfect choice. For a dinner party at one of the city’s hottest new restaurants, a one-shoulder mini dress in a vivid floral print is equal parts stylish and flirty. Bonus: the vibrant shade will make your tan pop!
Perfect for the cooler months, velvet is practically synonymous with holiday parties and winter events. Its plush texture just feels so festive and luxurious, especially when most velvet pieces come in rich colours and jewel-tone hues. Have a winter wedding to attend? Channel ladylike sophistication in a striking velvet midi dress in a universally flattering fit and flare silhouette. If you’re feeling anxious about meeting your partner’s extended family for the first time for Christmas dinner, look confident and stunning in a one-shoulder wrap mini with floral velvet motifs. For a girls’ night out, there’s nothing more perfect than an off-shoulder mini dress in a red-hot hue! Always remember that one of the best things about wearing velvet is that it already looks regal and elegant on its own, but you can easily add a faux fur stole or a leather jacket for an effortlessly glamorous touch.
Little Black Dress
Of course, we couldn’t discuss party dresses and exclude our favourite and trusted go-to: the little black dress. Infinitely wearable and forever in style, the little black dress is always a safe option for every party no matter the season. From a form-fitting black midi dress that will enhance your curves to a flirty off-the-shoulder bodycon mini, there’s an endless range of little black dresses for everyone’s styles and personalities. Not in the mood to wear a dress? A classic black jumpsuit is a great alternative that you can easily dress up for formal events, such as an ultra-chic blazer-style wrap jumpsuit. So the next time you’re stressing out about what to wear to a party, don’t panic as the little black dress will always be there to save the day! As Karl Lagerfeld said: “One is never overdressed or underdressed with a little black dress.”
The Modern & Edgy Party Dress
Add a modern twist to the simple party dress by opting for a one shoulder dress. Dresses like these are extremely flattering especially if you have an hourglass figure, as they beautifully hug and streamline every curve and outline of the body as well as elongating the torso by drawing your eyes from the shoulder down. When choosing accessories for these styles of dresses, avoid wearing anything around your neck as you want the focus on that seek line going up and across your shoulder. A pair of statement earrings and heels are all you need to help make your dress pop. Consider adding a bit more intrigue to your outfit by straying away from solid block colours and instead opting for a fun print. Asymmetric dresses such as these are perfect for the cool months and can look classy and feminine with a longer hemline or a midi-style length.
The Fun & Flirty Party Dress
When I think of party dresses, I instantly think floaty, fun & flirty! Add a touch of class with an accented layered skater dress or a gorgeous tiered dress like this one from Self Portrait. Dresses with a sweetheart neckline, cinched waist and accented bodice is always a classic and fashion-forward look. A good way to gauge what style of dress you should go for is to determine what the specific occasion calls for. If it's a birthday party, you have some free reign to go as fun as you like. Mini dresses are always a winner, especially if you are confident with showing off your pins - make sure to add some strappy heels to further accentuate and elongate the legs.
All That Glitters
Sequins and sparkles can seem daunting to wear at first, but fear not! Nothing screams 'party' better than a sequin-embellished party dress! The trick to wearing these bold dresses is to make sure to keep everything else simple. Loose waves and soft, glamorous makeup is the perfect side to a glittering gown. Gold and silver hues are your best bet, but oftentimes these colours can look a little harsh or on the 'cheaper' side, so look for shades that favour a more softer palette such as a nice champagne or a deep bronze. If you aren't too sure about wearing a statement dress like this, look at incorporating glitter or sequins in smaller doses. For example, add a glittery metallic jacket to your 'little black dress' or a pair of sequin pumps. This is a great option for those looking to add a little sparkle to their outfit without potentially looking like a disco ornament! For more tips on how to rock sequins, check out Cosmopolitan's 9 New Rules for Wearing Really Really Sparkly Things.
Forget the fact that it's approaching winter, according to all of us at GlamCorner party dress season is all year-round! We have tracked down the best party dresses to suit any occasion; whether you're planning on a girls night out, tearing up the dance floor at your local nightspot, or attending a milestone birthday or event, we'll make sure you are dressed to impress with our party dress ideas!
Now that we’ve discussed what to wear to different types of parties, check out our blog post for what to wear to a birthday party!