The Christmas tree is out, the smell of mulled wine is wafting through the house and you’ve already binged on one too many mini mince pies (they’re mini so it doesn’t count, right?). All of these festive activities can only mean one thing: party season has well and truly arrived and it’s time to get your wardrobe in check!

Stylish soireés aplenty, you’re probably fighting your way through a scrum of eager Christmas shoppers in weird winter gear to get to that perfect party dress or bag, but party season can also give rise to a whole load of sartorial situations that require a speedy and stylish solution.

So, as an early Christmas present to you, we’ve answered your top party season dilemmas to ensure your social calendar works out swimmingly, without the added worry of suffering a last minute sartorial glitch! (Sorry, but we can’t do anything about the painfully unfunny cracker jokes.)

Problem: “I have a few parties to attend, but I don’t want to wear high heels. What other party-appropriate options are available?”

Solution: It’s good news for heel-dodgers all round because entry to the latest hip party no longer depends on how many inches you can teeter in! Take your shoe inspiration from British Style Award winner, Alexa Chung, who’s rarely spotted in anything other than stylish flats and low heels. Give sky high heels a miss and pair your party dress with uber-stylish, ladylike kitten heels. But if you want to go completely heel-less, opt for a pair of for glitter-splashed, girly flats for added wow factor (minus the ‘oww!’ factor)!

Problem: “I want to stylishly block out the winter chill!”

Solution: Covering up when stepping out in your party gear doesn’t have to equal frumpy. There are several stylish throw-overs available to keep you snug and stylish all at once! Capes were huge for a/w 2012, and we love a cropped leather version for an easy evening cover up. Or if you want to dress up a simple LBD whilst keeping on the toasty side, slip a tailored embellished jacket over your dress for a statement evening look.

Problem: “I want a suitable party wear alternative to the traditional LBD.”

Solution: You’re in luck, given the current season’s affinity for all things luxe and tailored! Trouser suits underwent a major revival for a/w 2012, and although they’ve been hanging around under the ‘androgynous’ category for a while, they’ve really come into their own as party wear pieces this season. Channel a/w’s love of opulence by investing in a metallic or velvet trouser suit for elegant evening appeal with a twist; wear with heels and statement jewellery for a feminine take on a masculine silhouette.

Problem: “I want to accessorise without looking like a Christmas tree!”

Solution: Getting statement jewellery right is the key to party season glamour, and you can perfect it without having to channel Anna Dello Russo! Jewellery rules dictate that one item should be a statement piece and the rest of your look should quietly complement it. So, opt for a stand out necklace, but give earrings and rings a miss. If you’re going with a bold clutch then keep to minimal earrings, or a single cocktail ring, so to place extra emphasis on your hand carrying the clutch. Accessory overkill is never a good look, but balancing the right items will help you to achieve the perfect party look.

Problem: “I’m looking for a go-with-everything party clutch bag that won’t break the bank.”

Solution: Embellished clutches are your go-to when it comes to party season, because, sometimes, all an outfit really needs is an injection of glamour with a look-at-me accessory. And with a few parties to attend, buying new bag for each look can get a little painful for the bank balance, so a clutch in universally-friendly black can do no wrong! A knuckle clutch cuts out the need for rings, and black on black detailing will work brilliantly with several outfits.

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