The Party Dress: How To Make Sure It Is Not A One Hit Wonder

How to style a Party Dress

This is one of my favourite times of year, it’s the pre-christmas party season! After all, shorter days mean longer nights right girls? <3 Being a stylist I have a fair few rules when it comes to shopping and I am a firm believer in purchasing style’s that have a long wardrobe life. Read on to get my top six tips on shopping your party dresses this season .


Firstly, I would shop online when it comes to Party season purchases. Trying on in the comfort of your own home (with a glass/bottle of vino) is much better than braving the stressful, manic and often scary christmas shoppers! Secondly, don’t stress to much about the specific event you’re going to, cast your mind at the wider stage, it will save your pennies in the long run.


The key, and often the most challenging part of dress shopping, is determining what cut will be most flattering. All online stores have a ‘dress guide’ to tempt you into buying various styles, be it the midi, skater, swing, maxi (and the latest marketing addition), party dresses. You know what suits you so trust your style and your gut on this one. (If you’re not sure, take a look at my style guide.)

The Party Dress: How To Make Sure It Is Not A One Hit Wonder


It’s Christmas season so there are sparkly lights, glittery ball balls and shiny things hanging around every corner. Do NOT be fooled into it ladies! It is the time of year for sparkles but that does not mean that you have to dress head-to-toe in them. This is THE key to not buying a one hit wonder. My advice would be to opt for a winter white, black lace or a classic red.


Some simple styling switch ups can completely change the look and feel of a dress. Ask yourselves before buying, Can you wear this new party dress with flats and heels? Will it go with a leather biker, or an oversized coat resting on the shoulders? Could you overload necklaces in summer months? Can you wear your hair both up and down? Asking yourself these questions will ensure you opt for a dress that is versatile and easy to style in an entirely different way next time around.

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If like me jewellery rules a big part of your wardrobe then make sure you choose a dress that will flatter your jewellery collection. As an general rule, cooler toned styles suit silver and warmer toned styles suit gold. However, black and white suit everything (I am a monochrome monster!)


When deciding on an outfit for an specific event it is of course important to know what the event is and dress appropriately. This is the first thing I look at when dressing clients. For example ask yourself, is it a work doo the boss is attending? Is it a housewarming or a dinner party with friends? Is it a date? (<3) Suss it out and ask co-workers what styles, colours and (most importantly) lengths they will be wearing. If in doubt always opt for a cocktail style, these are the most versatile and always the safest option.

Let’s start a style hub over on Instagram 🙂 Use #HTWPartyDress & @HollyOunstead to show me your favourite party dresses this season<3 I can’t wait to see them all!