Lipsy Exaggerated Ruffle Bardot Black Maxi Dress
You could mistake these photos for having been taken in the height of summer, because hello bare shoulders.  But that's the thing about the festive season and all of the celebrations that come with it; for some reason they make us (feel) invincible.  No need for coats, goodbye comfortable footwear and hello goosebumps.  Because if you can't dress OTT at this time of year, when can you?  And besides, there's a reason we cherrypicked that drop dead gorgeous floor-sweeping gown, or embellished mini... to show it off!  I've brainstormed a few ways in which we can add a little flamboyance to our festive party looks this season and so if you're looking to steal the show and do so wearing six inch stilettos and glitter on your eyelids, read on...
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Dress - Lipsy

Bracelet - Clemara Faux Pearl Bangle c/o Ted Baker

Necklace - Elvina Enamel Mini Button Pendant c/o Ted Baker

Faux Fur Stole - Jaeger   |   Clutch - Biba

Psst!  There are tons of gorgeous new season Ted Baker jewellery pieces available via John Lewis - enjoy browsing!
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D R E S S   M E   U P 

It doesn't need to cost the world, but if you (comfortably) can this season, budget for a new season dress that gives you that 'heart-eye emoji' feeling at first sight.  For this look I've opted for a bardot Lipsy dress via ASOS.  I'm a sucker for floor-sweeping gowns, and the ruffles across the chest are just enough to take the design from plain to special.   

Things to look for: embellishments; glitter, sequins, pearls, feathers and ruffles

Things to avoid: designs that highlight your least favourite areas


T H E   H I G H ER  ,  T H E   B E T T E R

Stilettos.  That is all.

Things to look for: pointed toes and metallic heels

Things to avoid: wearing new shoes for the first time to a special event (break them in first!)


J E W E L L E R Y   A L W A Y S   F I T S

... and so it's something you can purchase in advance, despite the mass of mini quiches and fondant puddings coming your way next month!  Rather than reaching for whichever necklace is least tangled in your jewellery box before heading out the door, start looking now for a couple of classic pieces that you can wear throughout, and long after, the festive season!  

Things to look for: dainty designs for flamboyant dresses and statement pieces for block colours

Things to avoid: anything likely to catch and tear your dress


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O N E   F O O T   I N   T H E   D O O R

Okay, okay.  I know I mentioned 'tis the season to feel invincible and bare some skin, but I'm also keen on everyone staying healthy this Christmas and so... you'll need a coat to get to the venue.  But not just any coat, because have you noticed most photos at a festive party tend to happen just as people are arriving and/or leaving?  Opt for something unusual to ensure it's in keeping with your outfit.  My advice?  Reach for the faux fur, or throw a tuxedo jacket over your shoulders 

Things to look for: faux fur, or a tuxedo jacket, and in a complementary colour for your dress

Things to avoid: that coat you throw on to pick up milk from the corner shop


T A K E   A   W H I  F F 

You're at the party, you're mingling.  What's the first thing you notice about someone when kissing their cheeks?  Their fragrance.  It's hard not to notice what someone smells like when your face is pressed up against theirs, right?  Don't forget a couple of sprays before heading out the door, and perhaps even slide an atomiser of the same fragrance into your purse for the occasion!

Things to look for:  warm, inviting scents 

Things to avoid: anything overpowering


I T ' S   A L L   I N   T H E   D E T A I L 

As with any styling tips, I'm always sure to mention your beauty routine; because the devil truly is in the detail!  The manicure wrapped around your champagne glass, the skin revealed when you step forwards in your thigh-split gown and the rose gold shimmer that becomes all the more visible every time you blink...  

Things to look for: the perfect lip shade and a blow dry

Things to avoid: clumpy eyelashes and mani-free nails


Whimsical and romantic dress photography
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I'm totally standing by the idea of this season paving the way for the best styling opportunities; it's a chance to go OTT and know that everyone else will be doing the same.  Though, the most important thing?  Enjoy yourself!  What would you love to wear to a special festive occasion this year?  Let me know in the comments below!

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy >> Five 'Power Dressing' Tips | The Feminine Way

With love,

Gabrielle x

Thanks to Ted Baker for working with me on this post!