I Just Assembled 6 Showstopping Evening Outfits for Every Budget

Hello, party season! We’ve missed you. After a solitary winter and a scorching hot summer, we’re finally to back to socialising just like before—birthdays, dinners, and the impending Christmas parties—and with the way our social calendars filled up almost overnight, our first thought is what to wear. Dressing for a night out in winter is a tricky thing to master. We have to consider fashion and functionality in a way we didn’t during the warmer months, plus navigating unspoken dress codes. Is the event dressy enough to warrant high heels, or will I be more comfortable in flats? It might be freezing, but if I’ve spent enough on a special dress, will wearing my winter coat spoil the effect? (And please, do not even get me started on having to carry umbrellas.) But one thing that I have given just as much thought is how much to spend on an evening outfit. 

At Who What Wear, we’re staunch advocates of shopping smart and looking for the kind of investment pieces (that can be done well at any budget) you’ll wear time and again over the quick purchases that you’ll likely wear once. In a bid to find you some seriously good eveningwear, I’ve looked through the stores to find you the most exciting party and formalwear that I know you’ll love forever and at every price point so you can find the piece or the outfit that really speaks to you. 

Party season is one of the best times to play with your wardrobe and celebrate the joy of dressing up (and those statement shoes at the back of your wardrobe deserve their debut). So keep scrolling to see six easy evening outfits that are guaranteed to cause a stir. 

Whether little or long, the black dress is a wardrobe staple for its sheer versatility, and I can’t quite believe the price of this perfect strapless number. 

Thanks to Miuccia Prada the slingback is, well, back, and I’m happy to support any trend with a wearable heel. 

The ’90s baguette is a cooler alternative to the formal clutch but still equally chic. 

If there is an outfit that can’t be significantly improved by a simple gold chain, I’m yet to see it. 

Yes, you can wear knits for evening, and a simple turtleneck is the perfect base for some seriously statement accessories. 

What did we wear before satin midi skirts? Day or night, the easy-to-wear, instantly chic skirt adds polish to any look. 

Given that they are the boots of the season, we’d be remiss not to include some particularly good knee-high boots with an evening-ready stiletto heel. 

These earrings are the cue that the party has officially started. 

Switch it up from the classic black blazer with seasonal brown. (It’s the colour du jour if you hadn’t heard.)

I’m going to say it: A polka-dot blouse is just as versatile as an Oxford shirt. From the easy way to keep it casual with denim and dress it up with wide-leg trousers and heels, I hope you’ll agree. 

You had me at “formal” and “loose-fitting.” Luxe comfort dressing at its finest. 

Looking for statement but affordable heels? River Island is top of the list. 

Small but perfectly formed, a gold hoop is the delicate finishing touch an evening look needs.

According to the runways, bold red is the colour of A/W 22, and this attention-grabbing dress is a case in point. 

These strappy sandals easily look at least three times their actual price tag. 

Fans of Zara and Mango will love Portuguese alternative Parfois, a vibrant, trend-led brand with high-street prices. 

A halter-neck dress doesn’t need a necklace, so dress your wrists instead with chunky, bold bracelets. 

Reiss is currently selling some seriously impressive suiting in just about every colour of the rainbow, so if you need good tailoring, it’s always my first port of call. 

I would wear these as part of the full suit or casually with a mohair knit and trainers. 

These sold out almost immediately but are currently back in stock in most sizes, so act fast to get your hands on these Who What Wear favourites. 

The silk scarf we wore all summer can now be repurposed as a neckerchief to add a playful twist to sharp suiting. 

Make the most of a V-neck with a long drop pendant.

We’ve always loved the Diana dress, but after Carrie Bradshaw wore the blue colourway in And Just Like That…, it’s become a cult icon. 

A simple, elevated take on the casual trench that you won’t mind wearing over your party dress. 

Psst, some of Kurt Geiger’s best party shoes are currently discounted, making them an even better purchase.

An impossibly cute micro version of Jimmy Choo’s sweet evening bag, the Bon Bon. 

Up Next, What to Wear to a Party: 5 Easy Looks Guaranteed to Get Compliments