FASH­ION IN­SIDER

Crack­ing the NYE party dress code

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - Contents -

It’s al­most time to shake off the se­ri­ous and pre­pare for the silly sea­son. This year has been crazy (if you ask me): dead­lines, bot­tom­less­mi­mosa brunches at the week­ends, fol­lowed by more dead­lines. The truth is, I’d be happy just to go right to bed and sleep through the fes­tive sea­son, but I know I’d re­gret not cel­e­brat­ing the mem­o­ries and achieve­ments of 2018 by dress­ing up and get­ting down.

Plus, a New Year’s Eve party is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to em­brace the ’80s trend that’s been fill­ing this sea­son with colour, be­daz­zle­ment and print. I love the idea of tak­ing trend­ing an­i­mal print and up­ping the ante by pair­ing it with high­lighter green, or find­ing a state­ment ruf­fle on a dress and own­ing it like it’s some­thing new.

Keep an eye out for an out­fit even when you don’t have a party lined up, then get it and store it for the in­evitable. Al­ter­na­tively, you can get cre­ative with what you al­ready own. Hav­ing said that, let’s put to bed every­thing we think we know about party dress­ing. I’m a huge fan of break­ing the ‘rules’: em­bel­lished boots with a flo­ral dress to lunch? Yes, please! A candy-pink suit with a pair of metal­lic heels and a slo­gan tee, just be­cause? Why not? I mean, who wrote the rule book in the first place, any­way?

You see, most peo­ple as­so­ciate se­quins, sparkle or sheen with a night out, but truth be told, we have been so ac­cus­tomed to dress codes that we have for­got­ten our true selves. Don’t get me wrong; a tiny bit of sparkle can take your look that much fur­ther and shouldn’t be dis­missed, but it doesn’t take a whole lot to crack the code. All you need is the con­fi­dence to rock pretty much any­thing in the way it de­serves to be seen out and about.

Heels are, in my opin­ion, a gamechanger, but what if you’re ter­ri­ble at walk­ing in them or you can’t find the height that will be your sav­ing grace when stand­ing or danc­ing for hours? I love wear­ing heels, but I also love clos­ing the dance floor, and I sim­ply can­not do that if my feet are in agony just past my bed­time. Luck­ily for us, the kit­ten heel is ea­ger and will­ing to save the night, and with so many vari­a­tions out there right now, you’re bound to get your hands (or feet) on a win­ning pair.

The real se­cret to nail­ing it in heels, is sup­port. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of an an­kle strap. Re­mem­ber that stilet­tos are evil. Keep in mind that chunky block heels or plat­forms

per­fectly bal­ance com­fort and height (they’re just not that good for cob­bled streets). And, if you’re not a pro­fes­sional when it comes to a sin­gle, thin strap, opt for a broader one, multi straps or closed shoes to avoid grip fail­ure.

Now, let’s talk about how to nail the smart-ca­sual dress code with what you may al­ready have in your wardrobe. The most ob­vi­ous place to start is with denim. It is a clas­sic, a sta­ple and cer­tainly not too ca­sual if you do it right. To avoid be­ing un­der or over-dressed, marry two pos­si­bil­i­ties by wear­ing a party dress over your jeans. The trick is to bal­ance pro­por­tions – there should be an equal amount of dress and denim on show. You could also throw on a denim jacket over your slinky slip dress, or trade in smart tapered trousers for straight-cut jeans paired with a longer­length blazer and a camisole. Et voilà – smart ca­sual.

Just re­mem­ber: once you elim­i­nate the dread of dress­ing to im­press, you can get cre­ative, break the rules, own what you de­fine as party dress­ing, and choose com­fort (you don’t want to spend the night tug­ging at your Spanx or keep­ing your breasts in check). Af­ter that, con­fi­dence comes nat­u­rally and own­ing the night is a guar­an­tee. mc

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