How to dress for a night out
Even the most fashion savvy among us can get hot under the collar when it comes to choosing an evening outfit. Whether it’s date night at a posh restaurant, a dinner party with friends or a special occasion like a cocktail party or wedding, every evening event has its own set of rules and requirements. Here’s how to make sure you always dress to match the occasion – and look great at the same time.
1. Shop in advance: The cardinal rule of dressing for an evening event is never to leave it until the last minute. Not only can you save money by keeping your eye out for a bargain, you’ll also avoid the inevitable wardrobe panic. Begin thinking about your outfit as soon as you get the invitation – that way, you’ll never be caught out.
2. Use the internet: Another bonus of leaving plenty of preparation time is that it means you can shop online and still have the opportunity to send back your purchase if it doesn’t work out. Most high street stores now have online shops, and you can pick up some fantastic party dresses or, if you’re in need of something more formal, evening dresses at sites like Next. There are also bargains galore to be had at online factory stores – and of course you can often pick up a second-hand steal on eBay. Check out returns policies before you buy online.
Lipsy embellished V neck dress, a steal at £65 from Next (above)
3. Stick to the rules: Even casual evening occasions generally have an underlying code of conduct, but when it comes to weddings and black tie dos it’s particularly important that you follow the rules. If you’re uncertain what dress code your event demands then you’ll find a comprehensive guide to etiquette online at the Black Tie Guide website.
4. Be there, but don’t be square: It’s tempting to take the safe option when dressing for the evening, but following the rules doesn’t mean being boring. Avoid the prom-style meringues and middle-aged midi dresses that are the curse of black tie events everywhere and take inspiration from the catwalk. This season you’ll find some fabulously sexy evening styles, from lace appliqué to sizzling Argentine-inspired dresses. Just add a dash of crimson lipstick and a slick of eyeliner, and you’re ready to go.