Party Wear from a Minimalist Wardrobe

Choosing my Christmas party outfit was easier than ever this year. Last year's sequin top (Limited, M&S) was brought out again but this year I wore it with my black jeans (Boden, bought in January with a Christmas present voucher). I substituted last year's suede boots with my patent courts (Lotus, in a sale several years ago) and borrowed my Mum's necklace (also M&S) to ring the changes. And my trusty silver clutch (New Look, £1 sale bargain from several years ago) was a no brainer accessory.

I can't lie that I wasn't tempted by the latest party wear in the shops - I had my moments coveting pretty lace dresses, strappy tops, charity shop dresses and even a fab Bowie t-shirt - but I stuck to my minimalist ideals in the end.

What made getting dressed for my party night so easy this year was that there was no panic buying and doubts about whether the outfit would work. I'm a skinny jean Queen and replacing my usual flats with a modest heel is enough to make me feel glammed up. These new black jeans were one of the few new clothes purchases that I made this year after I identified them as a wardrobe gap last year. I wear them a lot less than my skinny blue jeans but they are perfect for smartening up an outfit. Both my sequin top and jeans cost more per item than many cheap dresses I've bought in the past but I know they are better value as they will work hard in my wardrobe for quite a few years to come.

So, what are this year's Christmas party wardrobe lessons?

  • Plan your outfit as much in advance as you can.
  • Don't worry about wearing a garment that you wore a year ago.
  • Last year's outfit can be refreshed with different accessories (which can be borrowed).
  • If wearing a trusted outfit makes you feel good don't hesitate to wear it again.
  • Wear what suits you and what makes you feel 'you'.
  • A new mascara, lip gloss and haircut can help update your look.
  • By all means look at new party wear in the shops - it's good to keep up to date with fashion - but always question how many wears you'll get from a new purchase and if you really want to look the same as other party goers.
  • Buying a new outfit earlier in the year will ease the stress of deciding what to wear. Christmas is stressful enough as it is.

I'm happy with this year's party outfit and the fact that it came from my existing wardrobe. My wardrobe discipline is beginning to pay off and I think I enjoy my clothes more now I that I have a smaller collection. Anyway, who wants a wardrobe full of party dresses which may never be worn again?

I may never wear a party dress again, especially if I have to get down on the dance floor for Oops Upside Your Head as I did this year.



  1. You look wonderful .
    That last line had me smiling !

  2. Lovely, you look fab - and I would have been down on the floor with you, too :)

  3. You look wonderful. I find I have so much more fun if I'm not stood there feeling slightly uncomfortable in my new clothes as I used to, you can really get into the party spirit, yes even sitting on the floor and doing Oops Upside Your Head :-)

  4. You look lovely - hope you enjoy the evening! A top is definitely a more useful item than a dress. I've resisted party wear too this year and used my M&S 20% voucher to purchase a sparkly jumper.

  5. You look fantastic. A great post on how to look and feel wonderful without buying more stuff. Glad you're enjoying the party season!

  6. You look great! Even if I am still buying clothes on a regular basis (much less than I used too), it has been some time since I have bought party clothes... I agree with you accessories can complement perfectly an outfit to make it look more festive. Enjoy!

  7. There are so many times I read your blog when we are doing the same thing. Yesterday I got my hair cut - just 2 inches, but it makes an enormous difference. I just got a new lipgloss as well. It's a such a coincidence that these are some of the suggestions you made. I love it! You look fantastic, the color of your blouse is gorgeous on you. And no more party dress dancing mishaps ;) Hilarious!

  8. Great advice Claire - and you look fabulous!

  9. Claire, you look fabulous! I bought two Boden dresses this year, both the same style but different colours, plain and in the sales. I wear them often, casually with my Doc Martens or boots, smart with my heels. Different tights for different occasions, too. I accessorise with necklaces that I have received over the years from hubby and scarves. A different look every time and I just know I am going to wear those dresses for a long time. Haircut tomorrow! I wish I could wear skinny jeans... they don't come in size tent unfortunately.,, :)

  10. You look wonderful and I love reading your advice you have changed the way I look at my wardrobe and it is much emptier than it was this time last year.
    Sarah x

  11. Love the outfit and your hair looks great. Happy Christmas


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