We all long to sparkle at our many festive soirees and shindigs, but if you really want to stand out amid the sea of sequins, it’s time to think texture, not tinsel.
This season, let the fabric do the talking, as decadent velvet, opulent jacquard and flirty feathers come to the fore - and a cocktail dress isn’t your only option.
Take the softly-softly approach to party season style with these winning pieces...
Velvet has made a major comeback in recent years, spurred on by the nostalgia for all things Nineties and Seventies.
Go the former route with a halter-ne ck or strappy dress paired with ankle strap heels, or nod to the disco era with chunky platforms.
Long-sleeved, skin-tight velvet - be it a dress or jumpsuit - strikes a good balance between sexiness and practicality, because it’ll keep you warm and well-covered.
Onjenu Megan Velvet Bordeaux Jumpsuit, £115 (www.onjenu.com)
Boohoo Gracie Velvet Halterneck Midi Bodycon Dress, £20 (www.boohoo.com)
Paisie Midnight Blue Long-Sleeve Velvet Dress With Back Slits, currently reduced to £40 from £60 (www.paisie.com)
Zara Velvet Platform Sandal, £49.99 (www.zara.com)
GO FOR BAROQUE
Jacquard co-ords or a trouser suit are the coolest way to bring a subtle sheen from head to toe. Wear together at your most upmarket do, then restyle the separates throughout party season.
A jewel-toned, slightly cropped brocade top looks great with a swishy pleated midi skirt or rouched pencil skirt, while a pair of metallic trousers works well with a Bardot top or sheer blouse.
Match the richness of the structured fabric with a pair of bejewelled earrings or an ornate bib necklace.
W Bronze Tux Jacket, £75; Jacquard Trousers, £45; Suede Boots, £99 (www.wallis.co.uk)
Yumi Metallic Jacquard Top, reduced to £35 from £50, and Tulip Skirt, reduced to £35 from £50 (www.yumi.co.uk)
Butler & Wilson Crystal Square Drop Earrings, £49.50 (www.qvcuk.com)
IN FINE FEATHER
Now we’re not suggesting all-over plumes (that would be a bit too Swan Lake, even for Christmas), but a touch of fluttery detailing on a neck or hemline makes a beautiful addition to an LBD.
Mohair or feathery knits look fab with leather or other shiny textures, and as long as the fit is snug enough, they’re party-worthy too.
Give an old festive frock a new spin with fluffy accessories - you won’t be able to keep your hands off a supremely soft marabou clutch bag.
Fluffy Leopard Jumper, £39; Joanna Hope Foil Pleated Maxi Skirt, £65; Joanna Hope Slingback Shoes Extra Wide Fit, reduced to £12 from £30 (www.jdwilliams.co.uk)
Elvi Prima Black Feather Dress, sizes 14-26, £149 (www.elvi.co.uk)
SimplyBe Marabou Feather Across Body Bag, £28 (www.simplybe.co.uk)
Public Desire Cadence Platform Heels in Black Faux Suede, £29.99 (www.publicdesire.co.uk)