‘I’m dread­ing his of­fice Christ­mas party’

My hus­band has been pro­moted so I need to im­press his bosses at their Christ­mas work do. I’ve been at home look­ing af­ter our chil­dren for the past five years and rarely go to par­ties any more, so I feel out of the loop about fash­ion. How do I over­come my

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FASHION -

First, you need the per­fect out­fit that’s chic, not too sexy and won’t leave you feel­ing over- or un­der­dressed. Then you’ll have the con­fi­dence of know­ing you look the part. I love this black vel­vet dress – it’s el­e­gant and so­phis­ti­cated. Wear it with a great pair of state­ment ear­rings and 70s-style plat­form san­dals. Fin­ish off with this in­cred­i­ble hand­bag, which will be a talk­ing point in it­self – it will draw peo­ple to you.

Drink­ing is a very per­sonal thing, but you might want to have a for­ti­fy­ing cock­tail be­fore you go, so you’re not in a rush to get a drink at the party. Once you’re there, it will be up to you to make sure you have a good time, as your partner may be busy work­ing the room. Smile, in­tro­duce your­self to peo­ple and don’t worry that you don’t know what to say; you’ll soon find that there’s plenty to talk about. Ask other guests whether they work with your hus­band and how they fill their days (rather than what they do for a liv­ing, in case they’re self-con­scious about their job or they don’t work). And of­fer other women com­pli­ments about their out­fits, which re­ally breaks the ice.

Some­times if I don’t know any­one at an event, I’ll chal­lenge my­self to get to know three peo­ple; or, as I sit down to din­ner, I try to guess about the peo­ple at my ta­ble (are they mar­ried, di­vorced, what do they do for a liv­ing?), and then see if I was right. Re­mem­ber, all the other plus-ones at the party are in the same sit­u­a­tion and will be as keen as you to chat and meet new peo­ple. So go forth and have a great time!

DRESS, €199, uterque.com EAR­RINGS, €59, uterque.com BAG, €115, kurt­geiger.com

SAN­DALS, €220, rus­sel­land­brom­ley.co.uk

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