How to make an old wardrobe favourite sparkle

How to make an old wardrobe favourite sparkle

Love that party dress but everyone’s seen it too many times before?

Tamsin Blanchard has tips for evergreen party chic with added shimmer.

Party season. The one time of year when it seems perfectly natural to buy clothes that should never be seen in the cold light of day. (And like Cinderella, we turn into pumpkins at the break of dawn).

From early November to New Year’s Eve, it’s the time when fashion pages – and shops – are filled with ridiculous flounces of shiny fabric, perfectly good dresses are drowned in sequins, and most sane fashion advice goes out the window.

To buy or not to buy

Judging by all the dazzling in-store displays and glitzy advertisements at this time of year, it's easy to feel like we absolutely need something new, sparkly, strapless and with frothy bits attached. With a pair of uncomfortable shoes (don’t forget those Party Feet) and a clutch bag to match.

Well, let me give you a piece of pre-party madness advice:

You don’t need to buy something new that you will wear once and then discover it’s dry-clean only and never actually wear again.

And you don’t need to buy something that makes you feel trussed up and fussy, or that you can’t really afford for a single night out.

Reigniting an old fashion-flame

First of all, take a look in the depths of your wardrobe. Go on, delve right into the back.

I know if I look in my own wardrobe, there’s a great pair of black tuxedo trousers with a satin stripe down the sides (provided the moths haven’t got there before me). And I’ve got a jacket to match. I wouldn't wear it for a normal night out but for a dressy affair, it would make a bit of a statement.

I might just need to invest in a silk jersey T-shirt to go with it, but I know I would wear that again.

I also have at least two or three dresses that are too fancy for daytime but never really get an airing. And a floor-length satin skirt. I even have a pair of sequinned shoes that might do the job.

Glad rags SOS

Once rediscovered, some items of clothing need just a little more care and attention before you can walk out the house in them…

  • If you have clothes that don’t fit properly any more – either too big or too small (forgive yourself, it does happen) never underestimate the power of a tailor or your own home dressmaking skills. You may well find that you just need a little time to plan ahead and allow for a nip, a tuck or a bit of TLC to make a favourite dress a hit again.
  • If you’ve been a bit too keen with the Marie Kondo clear out – the January sales start well before New Year’s Eve and no retailer wants to have sequins left on the rails after the festive season.
  • If you crave something spectacular – consider renting a dress for the evening. It’s what celebrities do all the time (except they don't have to pay the rental fee). Rentez-vous loans out designer clothes for a fraction of what it would cost to buy. And Depop is worth a look. You will become addicted to this app – a cross between Instagram and eBay offering all sorts of ‘pre-loved’ clothes to buy or sometimes rent.

Finishing touches

Even if you wear the same dress (and especially if it’s a sleek, simple number in one colour) just adding a statement necklace and different colour lipstick and nail polish can give you a fresh look.

  • Add some jewellery – a modern gold twist of an earring, something long and architectural perhaps.
  • Get a blow dry – no need to spend time or money on a new haircut, but a salon quick-fix should hopefully look and make you feel that little more special.

And if you are a serial party goer…

Being creative and planning ahead means you can wear something different every time.

And if you are lucky enough to have collected some smart evening frocks over the years that are still in good condition, you might also want to become a lender and send them out to make some money.

That way you won’t feel so bad about buying those shoes you’ve been lusting after.

Happy partying!


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Jazzing it up

Roguexx 28/12/2016

I have a simple purple dipped hem dress i purchased years ago, it has belt loops so whenever i go out (which isnt often anymore) especially over the new year, i add a glitzy belt and some sparkly drop earrings and im ready do to. For something abit less 'New Years' a plain gold chain belt and a statement necklace, it really is a dress for all occasions.

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