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Perfect Party Dress

Published on December 5th 2005.

Ladies, dust off that sparkly handbag and squeeze on those dancing shoes, the festive season is upon us and it’s Christmas party time again! From office parties to family gatherings, it’s your turn to sparkle and Body Confidential is here to help with our top picks from this season’s dazzling selection of party dresses.

No matter your shape, size, age or style we’ve hunted down the most flattering looks for everyone this season, so sit back, relax and prepare to dazzle!

Watch the cash and invest in understated glamour:

With glitz and sparkles a plenty it’s all about glamour this Christmas, but don’t feel you have to rush out and buy the loudest (or brightest) item on the rail – gold lamé from head to toe was never a good look no matter what people say!

Instead, invest in a well fitting, plain dress and jazz it up with some sparkly accessories, creating a versatile look which will last you much longer than just the party season! This purple number from Betty Jackson Black – (where does the word black come in I thought it was purple?) (£60 at Debenhams) is the perfect option - tone it down with boots and woolly tights for daytime chic, or glam it up with sparkly heels and oversized accessories for a glitzy evening look.

The Little Black Dress – staying super sexy and slim.

The little black dress is still a wardrobe staple and this example from Gharni Strok (£55 at Debenhams) is a great investment. Its deep plunging v-neck is sure to draw attention and the clever twist detail at the front will hide even the largest post Christmas dinner tummy! Try adding interest to a little black number by accessorising with bright colours. There are loads of hot pinks and turquoises in the shops right now so go wild and inject your personality into your outfit.

Shapely Strapless

There’s plenty of sexy strapless party dresses on the high street at the moment, just make sure they have enough support up top ladies. Our favourite is this floaty example from Monsoon (£160). The deep red provides an alternative to black and the lightweight fabric gives that soft feminine look. Top this off with shimmer powder lightly dusted over the collarbone and shoulders and voila! A sexy soft look that’s guaranteed to turn heads.

Vibrant colour to get you noticed

Bright colours are a sure fire way to get you noticed and the high street has some fantastic shades right now. From rich berries to vibrant limes there’s an alternative to black for everyone - so no excuses!

This super glam number from Next (£49.99) has everything - the rich purple colour means you’ll stand out from the crowd and the plunging neckline with cute bow detail add the finishing touches. Add some killer heels and matching eye shadow and you too will go to the ball.

Details to take over the room

This season attention to detail and unusual patterns have made a massive comeback, with the emphasis on the garment rather than the accessories. With detailed pieces it’s best to let the dress do the talking and pare down the shoes and accessories to avoid a ‘busy‘ and cluttered look. We love this halter neck gown from www.asos.com (£35). The neckline is great for those with broad shoulders and the light layered fabric provides instant glamour. Patterns are also a good way of hiding any lumps and bumps - but be careful they are not too tight as distorted flowers and spirals are a no no!

If you’ve got it, flaunt it!

If you really want to treat yourself this festive season why not go the whole hog and opt for pure unadulterated luxury. This gown from Matthew Williamson has been seen in all the hottest places this season and it’s probably quicker to name the A-listers that don’t own one than those who do. The attention to detail is second to none with beading all over the body and the heavy silk says it all. Not the most forgiving of styles though - you have been warned!

Remember what lies beneath!

The correct underwear is essential to the way any dress looks so make sure you get it right! Bridget Jones style knickers are not the most flattering of garments but the results can be amazing! Wave goodbye to those lumps and bumps and hello to sleek lines and tucked away tummies.

There’s a whole host of different contraptions to keep your ‘puppies’ in place these days so experiment to find the best fit for you. Multi-way bras are a great investment and can be worn with any neckline or, if your charms allow, stick-on bras give total flexibility without unsightly straps. Check out the collections at M&S and John Lewis for some of the best solutions.

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