Woman choosing what to wear

We all love a dress right?

It’s the time of year to go out and buy a sparkly number to wow our loved ones on the big day or at the Christmas party.

Actually no. The truth is that some women who feel they “should” own a dress for this time of year, never feel quite right in one.

I’ve had many clients who tell me they would love a dress, but  they can never find one that makes them feel great. The truth is, not everyone will look their best in a dress. We are all different (as I keep on saying) and if you look super glam in a trouser suit, then I urge you to stop trying to wear what you think you should be wearing.


3 Fabulous alternatives to a dress (if a dress is just not your thing).


I have just returned from a fabulous weekend away in Birmingham. The IGNITE conference is an annual event organised by the Damsels in Success group.  (A transformational network for the female entrepreneur).

It was a two-day event and we were treated to lots of incredibly inspiring stories and talks by lots of amazing women.

Clothes being my thing, I took great delight in noticing all the effort that all these women had put into their outfits for their time in the spotlight.

It really cemented my understanding that we are all so beautifully different, and the colours and styles we saw up on the stage were plentiful.

Out of the 20 or so women that got up onto the stage, just about every woman wore a dress.

We saw maxi dresses, flimsy silky numbers, cute prom style ones and simple shifts.

It got me to thinking.

Would any other attire have been appropriate? Do we expect to see ladies up there on the stage in a dress or could something else have been just as dazzling?

Since we are in the run up to Christmas and it’s the time of year for digging out a party dress, I wanted to give you some alternatives.

If you don’t feel very much like a “dress person” or if you just fancy a change, check out these ideas and the next time you are out and about choosing clothes why not give one or two a try.

The Reality of Dresses

  • The wrong cut will add pounds – and most women don’t want that
  • You are very likely to need to wear tights or hold –ups to cover up your winter legs. This just adds another element of discomfort and potential for last minute stress (ladders anyone?)
  • Choosing the right footwear to wear with a dress can be extremely tricky. Get it wrong and your legs can look like tree trunks.

The Alternatives

1. My first alternative to a dress is a jumpsuit.

The very word “jumpsuit” takes me right back to my childhood when they were all the rage but this time around they are pretty sophisticated. (I promise).


Black lace panel jumpsuit £125 Jewel waist belt £60 Both Biba

Believe it or not, a jumpsuit can be incredibly flattering. Wearing one colour from head to toe makes you look taller and slimmer. I love the cap sleeves that give a little coverage and the crease down the front of the trousers which give the outfit a really classy feel.

You would need to have a waist for this particular style.

It’s basically a blank canvas for accessories. I would add a sparkly costume necklace or some over-sized glitzy earrings, a cuff and either metallic shoes or black/navy. Oh and a glitzy clutch bag.


2. The next look is a skirt. (Worn in an up-to-date way)

A skirt is a wonderful alternative to a party dress and the way to wear one this season is with a light knit. You will stay cosy and warm and the mix of textures make this an eclectic look.

House of Fraser skirt and sweater

Ivory jumper £59 Pied a Terre
Black satin asymmetric skirt £59 Label Lab
Pearl clutch bag £80 Untold
Cluster necklace £1,670 CARAT* at House of Fraser

The asymmetry in the cut of the hemline adds an edginess and makes the (very-tricky-to-wear) midi-length skirts a lot easier to pull off.

Beware of ankle straps if your legs are anything but gazelle like. An alternative would be a heel with a low front. This elongates your leg rather than cutting it off and drawing attention to your ankles.

3. A last but not least – Trousers

If you aren’t a big fan of wearing colour, try adding print to your outfit. This is a subtle way of bringing interest to an outfit.

Black tuxedo jacket £89 Pied a Terre Black lace detail top £49 Linea Blue metallic printed trousers £175 Marella at House of Fraser  Black pearl box clutch £60 Untold Oval crystal earrings £18 Mikey at House of Fraser

Black tuxedo jacket £89 Pied a Terre
Black lace detail top £49 Linea
Blue metallic printed trousers £175 Marella at House of Fraser
Black pearl box clutch £60 Untold
Oval crystal earrings £18 Mikey at House of Fraser

The size of print you wear needs to work with your scale so try a few before you decide on the right sized print for you.

The metallic shoes are lengthening her leg which is important when you wear this length of trouser.

The majority of ladies wouldn’t be able to tuck a top into the waist band but this would still work as long as the top wasn’t too long.

And of course you could team the silky trousers with a colour on top for extra stand out.

Looking back over my choices I notice there is a definite lack of colour today. Maybe I am feeling over whelmed by all the wonderful colour in the room last weekend but whatever the reason, I love colour and if you do too then throw some into the mix!

So if you are just not a dress person, I hope this has inspired you to try something different. Let me know if you do by clicking on the button next to the title and leaving me a comment.


PS. If you are on my mailing list,  watch out for a special festive offer coming your way in the next few days. It is a chance to have your Christmas outfits done and dusted in a very easy way.



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