The festive season is upon us, and regardless of what Christmas carols might tell us, we all know that this part of Christmas is really about eating as many fruit mince pies as possible and seeing how many free drinks you can blag from various events.
While I love a good fancy lady cocktail dress, they aren’t great if you’ve been involved in a competition level eating situation for several weeks (you have to warm up before putting your body through an intense physical test you guys, I learnt that in PE). Plus, if your event involves a sit down dinner (and you have to hope it’s a well-catered buffet), you want maximum roominess. What I’m saying is – is there an alternative to a bodycon dress for someone who occasionally might have to surreptitiously undo the top button of her jeans after eating?
Yes, dear blog reader, and the answer is sequins. Put sequins on anything, and it’s automatically 97% fancier. This, frankly, ginormously baggy dress from Moochi is a sweatshirt dress with a high opinion of itself, but wear it with these very very high heels and a bit of sparkle (to top you up the remaining 3%) and it’s completely party-ready. No waistband, no horrible zip, and no encasing fabric to remind you that 12 canapes is rather a lot before dinner, even if you are just being responsible because of the champagne.
It also gives you the edge over every man in the room who is stuffed into a cummerbund and bow tie (but WHY do these items exist) or edging to the men’s room so they can loosen off the belt a bit. Rise up, ladies of the world, and revel in the fact that women have so many different style options than men that they can be relatively comfortable at all events. I went to a drinks event a few weeks ago where the men sweltered away in suit jackets and ties, while we swanned about in our sleeveless shift dresses feeling extremely smug. Doesn’t exactly make up for the wage gap but I did make a point of commenting on how hot it was to every sweaty, red-faced man I encountered, with the follow up “THANK GOD I DON’T HAVE TO WEAR A SUIT HAHAHAHAHA” because I am a delight, and definitely understand networking.
I would not recommend these shoes for any kind of standing up gig – they will ruin you in an hour or less – but the great news is that low heeled sling backs are a dime a dozen now and look very modern. I’d pair a bright jewel tone with this dress, or I’d find a pair of shiny shiny patent brogues or loafers and go for the full comfort approach (although I’d also be in stealth mode as I’m slightly below eye height in flats, when everyone else is in heels/a man of average or greater height).
I’ve gone for sparkle on top of sparkle, in part to introduce some colour and to fill in the wide open neckline of this dress, but a huge pair of statement earrings would be a super alternative. Girls with long hair, you want to keep that away from those sequins so you don’t get snarled – a simple bun or ponytail keeps the casually cool balance of this dress going.
When you’re considering buying something sequinned, please be aware that sequins can be extremely itchy. I liked this dress because it has these long chiffon sleeves, which protect your arms. I’ve worn sequin dresses before and held my arms out from my sides all night, and yet still ended up with a rash that looked positively evil. Similarly, I own a pair of gold sequinned pants that are practically unwearable due to their scratchy seams – that’s the risk of TradeMe purchases, team. Also, people love to fiddle with sequins, so while you’d hope no strangers would accost you to try and get all the sequins to lie in the same direction, I can just imagine sitting next to a friend and having them constantly touching the edge of this dress to try and move the sequins about. Sequins are like the bubble wrap of decoration – people just can’t resist them.
Sequins are also, clearly, extremely gaudy. I love a bit of Full Gaudiness, but if you’re keen for the glam without the gaudy, going for one colour and a slightly matte finish will take your sequins down a notch – neutral colours like black, navy, a beigy-gold or grey are also going to be less LOOK AT ME than red, yellow-gold, or electric blue (for example). If you want to roll out to your Christmas party in a sequinned Union Jack dress please don’t let me stop you – whatever you feel ace in, I support it, and I want to see the photos so tag me in the comments on Instagram.
Dress: Moochi, I bought it at SaveMart but there are always options around like this one; Shoes: Forever New, now stocking these; Necklace: Wilson Trollope, she has many fabulous options in her Wellington store and in her Ponsonby pop up now!