The Party Dress Test: 1 Dress - 3 Outfits

Morning everyone! I was recently contacted by Most Wanted, the #1 lifestyle magazine for the UK's number one voucher site; to come up with three different looks for one special dress. Party season is fast approaching, queue in the mad dashes to the shops for that ideal gĂșna you'll wear and wow your friends in. There's always one issue when it comes to party dress for me (and most women) - I tend to only wear the dress once! I have a heaaap of dresses hanging up, lonely, in my wardrobe after only one wear. I usually feel I can't wear a party dress, as it's already "been seen" at such and such occasion. However, Most Wanted challenged me to purchase a snazzy frock from the high street and style it up three completely different ways; formal, semi-formal and casual. I picked this gorgeous sequined dress from Asos, which cost €76.40 (in and around the average someone pays for a party dress these days). It's unique, it's chic and it's a statement piece - I was excited for the challenge, to say the least!
For my formal look, I went for a modern take on Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's; a 60s-style hairdo with an OTT hair bow, the dress, a cute horse necklace from Topshop and my beloved mint T-bar heels from New Look. The back of the dress is a statement in itself, along with the sequins so I kept things as simple as I could. This dress is no doubt a show-stopper, and the flattering length would suit most heights (I'm 5"2). It's ladylike, but also edgy. If you plan on wearing this to a party, definitely keep things simple accessories-wise or else you'll end up looking like a giant disco ball (never a good look)!
My semi-formal look was my "Elle magazine writer outfit". I'd imagine a member of a glossy mag wearing this look, with the oh-so glam dress and casual jacket thrown over it running to Starbucks for a Latte. My gorgeous camel coat is from H&M, and the length of it balances out the calf-length hem of the dress quite nicely. I wore black (fake) Litas from ebay to keep things slightly on the formal edge, along with a faux fur stole from Miss Selfridge. I'm a huge lover of mixing casual and formal pieces together, so the oversized grey H&M jumper and Claire's Accessories hoop earrings added an urban, sporty edge to the mix toning the outfit down and keeping it young and fresh.
My casual outfit was my favourite out of the bunch, and was inspired by this photo on Lockerz. I'm obsessed with mixing sequins and casual t-shirts together at the mo and thought this was the perfect opportunity to try it out for the first time. This gorgeous sheer mint t-shirt was on sale on Asos, and was ideal to team with the dress; it's sheer, so you still see the dress underneath keeping things glam yet really casual. Tying the t-shirt at the waist added the sport-luxe edge to the look, as did my beloved white Converse. Converse are the key element to casualising any piece - especially dresses. I snapped up the faux fur Pieces Cossack hat, River Island rings and the Pieces necklace on sale on Asos, and thought they'd be perfect for completing the finale look.
Overall I'm delighted with the outcome of the three outfits! They definitely challenged me, and had me reconsider wearing some past party dresses in new and different ways. Think outside of the box when buying dresses; think of layering them, DIY'ing them etc. You can transform any piece with a little imagination and inspiration, and it's a savvy shopper's way to get the most out of party dresses!