It’s that time of the year again! Client parties, dinner parties, Christmas parties, work parties, New Year’s parties, fun parties, formal parties, family parities, here’s a party, there’s a party, have a party more!
Yes we’ll admit it…it can get exhausting. With all these parties flying around you’d think you might as well stay in the same outfit from November – December and change just after the New Year. Unfortunately you can’t, not with our summer at least, and especially not when there are dress codes to follow! Thankfully we’re here to help. We asked three of our top designers to give us their tips for getting ready this party season. From formal events, to cocktail parties and that sometimes ambiguous lounge party, there’s no need to worry because we have what you need.
Black Tie Dressing with Rachel Gilbert, founder of Rachel Gilbert
“Black tie traditionally means tuxedos for men and full-length gowns for women. In Australia, however, there are many interpretations of black tie, so you need to have an understanding of the event you are attending in order to determine whether a cocktail or full-length dress is appropriate.
Choose a dress that suits your shape and consider your look as a whole – include accessories like statement shoes, a handbag or jewellery. Men should opt for a well-fitted tuxedo, a bowtie and clean shoes. Add an original twist by wearing a cream jacket, a printed pocket square, or no socks. Ensure you and your partner coordinate by selecting a shared colour, or simply stick to black and white – unless of course the event is a wedding in which case no female guest should wear the same colour as the bride!”
Lounge Dressing with Camilla Franks, founder of Camilla
“Have fun with it and be fearless! If you are a Camilla woman, you’ll love a bit of embellishment and a lot of colour to stand out from the crowd. I love to rock a short skirt with a full overlay, or a fitted corset paired with harem pants. Throw on a daring heel, layer yourself with statement jewellery and grab yourself a martini!
I always have a beautiful cape or a luxe throw on-hand to wrap myself in if there is a chill in the air. Also, consider what surface you’ll be standing on (or lounging on!) and match footwear accordingly. To ensure you and your partner coordinate rather than clash, remember to plan, plan, plan. A beautifully crafted navy lounge jacket with a pair of boardies, boat shoes or a fab pair of slides is a perfect look for your guy, while a bold tie or pocket square can liven up any suit and give you a bit of an edge.”
Cocktail Dressing with Bec Cooper and Bridget Yorston, cofounders of Bec & Bridge
“Right now we’re loving longer-line dresses for cocktail occasions, preferably bias cut in satins. Earthy tones like rust and dusty rose keep the look from being too overwhelming. Keep accessories to a minimum and focus on a great shoe. Take careful note of the venue as it can often help to establish the vibe for the event.
Cocktail essentials for a dapper date include a fresh white shirt, well-groomed hair, a spritz of cologne and a great belt. A good pair of shades can complete his look. For women, a great handbag will always elevate your look. We both have YSL clutches that are a perfect finishing touch that can also keep our essentials safe. Never leave the house without lipstick, concealer, perfume, a couple of band-aids and a fully charged phone! Always remember that no matter what you put on, you always look better when you’re comfortable in your own skin.”
To get the party started click here to shop
And remember, whether you need advice on a special outfit, what to wear to the office, or simply whether a trend will suit you, David Jones offers free personal styling and shopping services. For more on all David Jones store services click here.
Words by Georgina Safe
Photography by David Cohen de Lara
Styling by Thelma McQuillan | JONES Fashion Director