Gear up for the party season in simple, fun and festive looks on a high street budget. Francesca does the shopping for you.

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With Christmas and New Year celebrations in the pipeline, and the fact that it is now the holidays (finally!), your return home to the family and catching up with old friends will mean an endless stream of parties and get-togethers that could prove to be a sartorial challenge and may lead to many bouts of indecision. It is always tempting to throw on your simple and safe black bodycon dress for dinner and house parties alike, however, that is not the only option! You sure won’t be getting lost in the crowd with this selection of outfit ideas and suggestions!


Rare, Topshop, £45

What could be a more Christmassy theme than the red and gold colour combination of this dress? Even better, the little number has cut-out sides to reveal slices of flesh that balance out the high neckline. 








By Love, Topshop, £48

Get your fellow party-goers oggling at you in this gorgeous dress. The deep oxblood print is an appropriate winter shade and the transparency of the floor-length skirt is subtly sexy. 









If you aren’t one for clingy dresses, the skater silhouette may be an option; it is not revealing but incredibly flattering for all who opt for it. These two have a chic twist to the simple shape, whether it is the leather material or the stud and gem embellishments.

Left: Motel, £58
Right: Rare, Topshop, £49











Urban Outfitters, £95









Sequins and sparkles are undeniably representative of the Christmas festive spirit.  You’ll be sure to turn heads and receive a multitude of compliments whilst sporting either of these two styles.

Left: Warehouse, £67.50
Right: Rare, Topshop, £55










New Look, £12.50








Don’t want to wear a dress at all? Fear not, the ‘disco pant’ and skinny leather trousers are equally party-worthy alternatives! Teamed with a beaded bling top, you’ll be set to attend any Christmas do (aside from black tie of course!) with an air of confidence.

Left: American Apparel, £74 (similar styles found on
Centre: New Look, £16
Right: faux leather trousers, H&M, £24.99


New Look, £11.50






Accessories have just as much significance as your dress and shoes! They can make or break your outfit so make sure that you match accordingly to create a cohesive look. We particularly love these show-stopping pieces; the sophisticated sequin clutch with the edgy leather look, the glamourous and avant-garde gold ‘ice cube’ effect clutch, and the elegantly unique appeal of the bejewelled velvet turban-style headband.

Top Left: All Saints, £95
Bottom Left: Zara, £39.99
Right: Topshop, £10



This versatile jumper can be dressed up or down and would be perfect for both a family meal and a friend’s New Year smart-casual bash. More mature than a childish knitted penguin sweater, and not the sort to the attract eye rolling usually directed at the commonplace Christmas snowflake jumper, this crimson-burgandy cable knit is both cosy and sophisticated.

Asos, £28










These navy trousers are a great alternative to jeans if searching for a smart yet casually comfortable look.

Asos, £22










Pair a plain white tee with a patterned blazer, jeans and Chelsea boots for a simple, effortless yet well put together outfit.

Left: River Island, £52
Right: Topman, £40

Pair coloured chinos, like the plum ones below, with a plain button-up shirt and Oxfords to achieve a smart but not overly formal appearance. Add a patterned or bright bow tie for a contrasting pop of colour if you’re quirky enough!

Left: oxfords, Zara Man, £79.99
Right: H&M, £14.99

Left: Asos, £13.50
Right: Asos, £12


















And finally, if you’re lucky enough to be on the slopes this Winter holiday (like those on the UCLU Snowsports Val D’Isere trip), don’t forget to après-ski it in style!

Uniqlo has an extensive selection of incredibly light-weight yet warm down coats that are reminiscent of the luxury ski down coats of Moncler.

Men’s down coats, around £59.90
Women’s down coats, around £79.90

Uniqlo’s collaboration with the diffusion-level label ‘Theory’ has seen some even more stylish alternatives.

From left: Men’s (blue) – £99.90, £79.90, Women’s (white) – £89.90, £79.90

The Japanese brand is also the pioneer of their special technologically-advanced Heattech thermal clothing. Here they have collaborated with the textile designer Orla Kiely for a fun take on their usually simple and plain garments.

Orla Kiely for Uniqlo Heattech, £9.90 each









Roxy offers festive, patterned ski jackets for women, printed with the illusion of a being a knitted jumper.

Left: £145
Right: £160



Accessories from left: Uniqlo Heattech hat (men), £9.90; Quicksilver patterned ski gloves (men), £60; Topshop Sno head warmer (women), £16