‘Tis the season of sequins and sparkles. Ish. It will be very soon, anyway, and all our favourite stores are bringing out their especially bedazzled outfits. Plunging necklines, stunning open backs, glitter and iridescence everywhere.
This season can also be especially fraught and a bit of a hellride to find that perfect party dress. So many shops to trawl, so many designs to toss onto that ‘nope’ pile. So many times that you find one that could be a contender, and it’s horrifically out of budget…
But there are those that offer regular discounts, or dresses at amazing affordable prices, so I thought I’d share some of those with you today.
Now, onto the dresses!
Kima black lace insert maxi dress – £20
I’m not a massive maxi dress wearer, but I think this dress is really cute. It isn’t particularly ‘formal’ per se, so wouldn’t be one of those dresses you wear once and then wish for another fancy occasion to wear it. The lace inserts give it a little more of a ‘night time’ vibe, sexy, while still being really subtly placed. It isn’t a massive show stopper of a dress, but understated elegance is always in style.
Aubree wine velvet mesh skater dress – £22
Velvet has a seriously holiday/winter/Christmas vibe to it, which makes it an obvious choice wen it comes to part dresses. The mesh panels here add a flirtatious edge, although the second chest panel does look a little like it could be dangerous… I think it’s an adorable dress though, perfect if you feel comfortable in, or feel you’re more suited to skater style dresses.
Glamorous overlayer textured grid dress – £30
I’m glad this cut of dress is getting a lot more attention over in the west, I saw it on rails all the time in Korea, and was wondering when it would start to make more of an appearance on the high street. They look equally good in a single colour, or contrasting/block colour, it’s that understated glamour again. White is such an easy colour to accessorise, so this dress is a great choice, as long as you aren’t prone to spilling food or drink on your person, or have friends that will…
Lace hem slip dress – £38 ||| feather hem slip dress – £55
The models off duty have been making the slip dress very much a thing this year. As in, a thing that is a-ok to be worn by itself… not under something else, as is the standard slip. So if you’re feeling a little bit fashionista this party season, Topshop have a number of beautiful slip dresses. They’re beautifully simple, so can be worn with something equally simple for that effortlessly stylish look, or something statement.
Brands @ Topshop
Sequin and feather trim shift dress by opulence – £225
It wouldn’t be a dress post without something from the topshop brand section. Also sequins. So if you’ve stopped wincing at the price of this party piece, you can join me in wondering when the Strictly seamstresses started making dresses for the everyday human. Well, the almost everyday human. £225 is a lot to throw at an LBD, even a sequined LBD when you’re a student, so maybe it was a little bit harsh of me to stick it on this list. It doesn’t stop me wanting a less expensive knockoff stat though. Just imagine walking into a room wearing this, with some simple strap heels in black or sliver. It’s a stunning dress.
Little Mistress cream embellished fit and flare dress – £45
Lowering the hemline just a little with this sweet Little Mistress dress. The high waist is great for elongating the body, if, like me, you’re not the tallest. The embellishment on the bust adds interest, sparkle and contrast, for the triple whammy, yet it’s not too busy that it becomes hard to wear. The neutral colours make this dress really easy to accessories, pretty much everything goes with cream and grey, although anything really bright may be a bit overpowering.
Little Mistress is consistently good at evening numbers, I desperately want one of their dresses to float around parties in.
Jacquard metallic kick out skater dress – £40 | Metallic cut in neck kick out skater dress – £40 | Red rose kick out skater dress – £40
AX Paris has so many brilliantly gorgeous dresses. So, so many. I want at least half of them in a special sparkly wardrobe that I can dive into every day I want to feel like a princess. When it comes to party dresses though, I am such a sucker for poof. Not poof to the levels of american prom-dress/Glinda in the Wizard of Oz, but adequate poof to satisfy my princessy needs. These three dresses are perfect examples of that. They have quite a structured bodice with a kick out skirt that’s perfect for twirling in, and the fabric isn’t too bedazzled but metallic for added shine.
Rylin sequin mini party dress – £32
The full body sequin dress is such a staple of the Christmas season. It’s also such a statement to wear, so accessories for this type of dress in any of these colours would need to be incredibly simple. Possibly thin, dainty bangles and rings, I’d also be inclined to stay away from necklaces and chandelier earrings.
Zoee floral skirt dress – £20
I love dresses like this, as it does almost all of the detail work for you. The skirt is clearly the focus, in a pattern that isn’t wholly overpowering if patterns aren’t exactly your thing, but the bust is simple enough to balance the dress completely. It makes bold pattern wearing an absolute breeze, just stick on some silver or metallic accessories, a black pair of shoes, and you’ll be good to go.
I can’t leave out the student & blogger classic favourite that is missguided. Doing wonders for the population with pages of party dresses, that, like AX Paris, makes it incredibly hard to choose favourites. Also they’ve finally brought out a plus sized range, missguided+.
Anthea cut out split maxi dress – £39.99
I love love love love love this dress. I think you can tell by now that I find the simplest of silhouettes absolutely gorgeous, and no one can ever have too much black in their wardrobe. It goes with everything. Especially more black. So add all that up and you get my dream dress of maxi length. Well, one of my dream dresses. I love the subtle cut-out detail on the sides here, and the thigh split adds a dash of sexy. This dress has honestly been on my wishlist since it appeared on the website, and it comes in an array of pretty colours if you don’t want it in black.
Cia chiffon keyhole puffball skater dress – £34.99 | Faith lace backless skater dress – £34.99
Two absolutely stunning backless dresses with waistband detailing and floaty chiffon skirts. When it comes down to it, I prefer the neckline on the Cia dress, since I prefer wearing a halterneck to a plunge, but prefer the back on the Faith dress – it’s so delicate and pretty. Both these dresses would be lovely ‘look-at-me’ dresses, the backless nature instantly draws the eye, so if you want to get noticed, I suggest picking up one of these.
Crushed velvet skater dress – £24.99 | Lace print peplum dress – £34.99
These two dresses are my favourites from missguided+. The crush velvet dress doesn’t actually come with the belt, but I think it looks lovely accessorised that way. The scoop neck really accentuates a larger bust, and a loose skater skirt falls on the hips really nicely.
Peplums are great at illusions. If you want a cinched in waist, whack a peplum on. Much less painful and far less time consuming than lacing up a corset, plus, over the simple lines of a pencil skirt it looks effortlessly classy.
And that’s all, for now. If I included dresses from the shops I loved this post would be miles longer than it already is. Which I sort of apologise for, this post is kind of a monster. But only sort of, because so many pretty dresses!
On that note, which of these do you like most? Do you have any secret shops you use that you swear no one has heard of before? If you do please share! I love finding new places to shop from.