If you love to get your glad rags on and can think of nothing better than getting dressed up to the nines, this isn't the blog post for you. However, if you are anything like me and cringe at the thought of all out bling, here are my style rules that get me through the party season whilst still feeling like me.......
1. Mix your textures.
I love wearing sparkle, velvet and silk, but altogether and I suddenly feel I look like one of The Real Housewives! I have a black sequinned maxi skirt that I absolutely adore, but I have always worn it with a plain black cashmere sweater or a white vest and an ancient denim jacket. Even when the dress code is black tie, I'd only wear it with a crisp white tuxedo shirt. The same works the other way round - sparkly top = cashmere joggers, jeans, khaki ankle skimmers - you catch my drift...
2. Dead plain, but add jewellery.
When I was in my teens and all my friends had pictures of Duran Duran and A-ha all over their bedroom walls, I had pictures meticulously cut from the pages of my Mothers Vogue of Ines De La Fressange in all her Chanel glory - I thought (and still do) that she was just the most chic creature I had ever seen. For me, it's a style that has never aged and is so simple. Take one simple black outfit, whether it be skinny jeans and roll neck, a dress, an A-line midi skirt and silk shirt - the combos are endless and add jewellery accordingly. I'm a sucker for a jumble of bracelets and statement earrings. Or a mix of delicate chains around my neck and a jaw breaker cocktail ring on my index finger. I never break this equation and wear all of the above at once, as I feel you can go from Parisienne chic to Las Vegas strip very quickly.
3. Smokey eyes and undone hair.
Two things that are guaranteed to make me feel like a complete wally......really styled hair and a red lip. If you have a face that rocks a red lip I am soooo envious, as I have never been able to find one that doesn't make me feel as conspicuous as turning up dressed as Ronald McDonald. Plus if you wear a bold lip, it is the law to play down your eyes and I just can't get my head around that. Our eyes are what show our true selves. When you genuinely smile from your heart it shows in your eyes not your lips, so why would anyone want to play them down? I'm all about the smokey eye and neutral lip. It's soft, warm and glamorous all at once and will not slowly leach from the edges of your mouth like Robert Smith from The Cure. If this does not happen to you good on you.
As mentioned earlier I'm a teen of the 80's so consider myself an expert on perm's, scrunch drying and Sun In disasters - do you remember those?! However, as I've matured I feel the less styled my hair is when I leave the house, the more likely I am to look the same (ditto red lips) when I head to the ladies after three glasses of fizz and a middle aged boogie on the dance floor.
4. Being comfortable is chic.
This is probably my ultimate style lesson when going out and one that I, as I am sure many of you have learned the hard way. Whatever your style, you will not have a great time if you are holding your stomach in for the entire evening, or have shoes on that are pretty, but fill you with dread just looking at them before you even leave the house, or your big toe is slowly dying due to lack of oxygen because it has escaped your fishnets! So finally -
Don't wear anything that doesn't feel 'you' just because you are going out.
Don't wear shoes that are going to make you walk like you need your nappy changing - sorry but it's true. Invest in some glorious sparkly flats - go on - I dare you - it's a game changer.
Don't try and style your hair in a completely different way that requires copious amounts of pins and product.
Always wear fine natural toned tights (I know they're hideous, but bear with me) under your fishnets to stop your toes escaping and making the soles of your feet feel like you have cheese graters in your shoes.
Always smile from your heart, be comfortable in your own skin and enjoy.