Bore Off LBDs: The ALT Girls' Guide To Party Dressing

Bore Off LBDs: The ALT Girls' Guide To Party Dressing

How to be the soiree slag without the tag via some simple styling tricks...

Christmas is truly only about one thing… getting dressed to the nines, getting rather tipsy on mulled wine and subsequently doing something that will haunt you well into the New Year. That’s the true meaning of Christmas, so one should prepare themselves accordingly.

How To Be A Slag Without The Tag

The slag is back, but being sartorially suggestive is a mistletoe minefield. With questionable styling you can easily catapult your look into ‘an extra from a dodgy ITV Be reality show’ territory. Be more ITV1 darling by making sure your cut-outs are classy for starters.

The body forming dress with cut out panels has had a long and troubled history. Liz Hurley had to resort to safety pins to keep hers together and Kim Kardashians trades on them as if they were a currency. However Proenza Schouler showed us how sophisticated a fine knit dress with selective cut out panels can be, especially when placed over trousers.

When approaching this item as a humble human being look at your body objectively and ask yourself, ‘what it is your best asset?’ One single panel missing around the cleavage, the hip or the waist is enough exposure for one night and a floral version which isn’t fully form fitting can be infinitely classier. Topshop’s take is basically the sartorial alternative to carrying around mistletoe with one lonely suggestive key hole cut out.

Reveal And Conceal (from left): Erdem, Proenza Schouler and Fendi

If one is keen to play down one’s slaggy side one can take a pressed flower out of Erdem’s book by being as shy with sheer as you like. Subtle sheer panels here and there are the elegant way to flirt but if you want everyone to know what you are after go full length with some big Bridget Jones knickers for modesty’s sake.

Also, in a dressing development which will be welcomed by many a Coronation Street barmaid the mini is having maximum inpact right now. Filles A Papa’s zebra mini WITH zippable split will certainly get tongues wagging on the cobbled streets.

Footwear says a lot about a person too, take Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, for instance. Those over the knee boots gave her iconic status and they have the power to do so for you this party season too. Step forward the ‘Bum Grazer Boot.’ Said boot, from the likes of Kurt Geiger, travels higher north than previous incarnations but can cause chaffing around certain regions. Fendi’s take is a full on peel on, peel off affair, thus arguably better for contraception than actual birth control.

Such a boot can be problematic, too, if you find yourself doing the stride of pride. The walk of shame is a highly unfeminist tag, if you got lucky OWN IT. So say goodbye to dodgy fold up shoes that fit in your handbag in the process and even if walking in said boots is causing a level of pain akin to childbirth power through like the independent woman you are.

With a few tweaks here and there you can play the slag without getting the tag. Boys will fall at your feet and girls will not judge from the corner, meet the new subtle slag who everyone wants to be.

The Christmas Party Essentials: Dress, £49.99, H&M; Mini Skirt, £465, Filles A Papa at; Boots, £79.20, Miss KG, Jumpsuit, Topshop

How To Look Classy, Not Jazzy

In my (not so) humble opinion there is nothing wrong with looking like a walking talking bauble. But if being sassy in sequins isn’t your thing (shame on you!) there are other options (I am eye rolling you right now.)

The first fabric to call upon is OTM velvet. Loved by Wednesday Adams and her family alike, a midnight blue velvet slip dress is a nice update on the LBD- which I am renaming the lacklustre boring dress. It’s just so DONE. Do you want to be compared to boring Francis from Finance who has dragged out another LBD because Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast At Tiffany’s is her ‘everything inspiration’? NO! Then skip down to New Look who have the perfect high street hunny for you.

Another way to bypass Francis’s basicness is to spin vinyl into the mix. Break up run of the mill textures with a Matrix worthy box jacket. Its wipe clean too- practical, much! Add a red vinyl trouser a-la Isabel Marant for a Mrs Claus meets Dominatrix dress code. That’s what I call whipping the basics into shape.

However, if you wish to sing from the basic hymn sheet then take full advantage of the one time of year where it’s ok to wear more sequins than a late 1980s Cher, by fashioning yourself into a head to toe glitter ball. The humble high street has more sequins on the shop floor right now than are in Shirley Bassey’s closet with the likes of Very serving up the snazziest of glittery dresses and ASOS are even flogging sequin knee high boots. Just throw a shearling coat over them for the ultimate fabric clash, a-la Preen.

Alternatively you could even shake your tail feather in Christopher Kane’s feather trimmed black dresses. Just go forth and in the immortal words of Tess and Claudia, ‘keep dancing!’

Wear More Sequins Than 1980s Cher (from left): Christopher Kane; Dress, £30, V by Very; Jacket, Mango; Ankle boots, £140, Kurt Geiger

Work On Your Lines

Yes, working on your chat up lines can affect how ‘successful’ your Christmas party season is but monitoring the lines of your body will be equally helpful.

Any ensemble requires smooth lines and even a size 10 lady can require support underwear to make sure a garments shape isn’t ruined by one’s body. Let’s be honest here, as we are in a safe place, we will all be eating too many mince pies so why wouldn’t you invest in the best underwear? Its cheaper than joining the gym anyway and may involve less sweat too.

Reveal and conceal can go a long way, put the tit into titillation by braving a bra under a tuxedo suit, it’s very Saint Laurent.

Alternatively, at the risk of sounding like Gok Wan circa 2006 cinching in your waist with a belt is great for giving you shape and it’s very now. After all, if styling everything from coats to skirts with thick corset inspired waist belts is good enough for Mrs Prada it’s certainly good enough for your office soiree. So go on, get waisted!  DISCLAIMER: we do not condone excessive consumption of waist belts, use responsibly.

Styling Hacks: The neo corset, &Other Stories; Vinyl mini, Mango; Hoodie and dress, Urban Outfitters; Jacket, Saint Laurent

Style with Stamina

The soiree season is a marathon not a sprint and your diary is probably spilling over with commitments already. Everyone will be saying to you, ‘I must see you before the break, babes!’ as if the planet is going to suddenly end as 2017 strikes. In such testing times your OOTDs will inevitably end up becoming ROOTDS, that’s recycled outfit of the day- how Kate Middleton of you.

A girl has to be resourceful in this situation. The nice nineties trick of teaming a tee with literally everything can breathe new life into a dress and also give the whole, ‘this old thing’ impression. AKA the tried and tested trick used by the ‘norm core party gal’ who will also be negating the over used biker jacket in favour of a haute hoodie this Christmas. Such a thing is available in a fetching tone of mustard, in velvet at ASOS.

Alternatively, just like Christina Milian you can take your dress from AM TO PM by simply slashing a skirt or dress to a different hem length as you move from one night’s commitment to the next. It’s two dresses for the price of one, you can’t compete with maths like that. If make do and mend is your thing fraying the leg lengths of a trusty old pair of jeans can have a similar effect.

A Girl Has Got To Be Resourceful (from left): Net some fish like AF Vandevorst, get waisted like Prada or update your hoisery a-la NO.21.

Not ready to get Blue Peter on your wardrobe? Then luckily for you hosiery is staging a come back after NO.21’s embellished versions added some polish to their grunge party girl. If you are indeed K-Mid you may think, ‘have tights (mostly of the nude variety) ever disappeared?’ Well they should have but at least you can pretend you knew now.

At the hands of AF Vandervorst fish nets are also experiencing a reformation in fashion ATM and are also loved by lusty boys eternally- so you have double the reason to justify using them to sexify even the most conservative of dresses (in case you are listening your Royal Highness).

The humble sock can also distract from outfits even making their hundredth Instagram appearance after taking a star turn at Vetements. Kick the sock into shape with the hiking boot, as showcased by Louis Vuitton, they are perfect for trekking long distances and diversifying dresses.

Live by the likes, die by the likes people!


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