I Tried on So Many Party Dresses to Bring You the Very Best 10

Party season is here – hurrah – which means the shops are rammed with party dresses and all things sparkle. It feels like there’s a lot going on in the world right now (let’s not even go into that) however whilst somethings are out of our control, what we can do is put on an epic party dress and enjoy the countdown to the festive season in style. 

There’s nothing I enjoy more than shopping for party dresses and whilst I’m partial to dressing up like a Christmas bow or bauble, which normally involves some sort of pink or red organza, there are also some incredibly understated yet equally standout dresses out there to suit every style and occasion. As usual expect everything from sequins to velvet and a feather trim (the must-have detail of the season), as well as extreme hemlines and uber mini dresses. But with this much amazingness on site and in stores right now, how can we possibly choose which one deserves a place in our wardrobe?

To help you in your search for the one, I headed out to see what what I could find and tried on 10 of my favourite party dresses that are now at the top of my wish list. Take a look below…

Style Notes: This dress is part of the Camille Charriere collection for Mango and I just love the leopard print. A slinky slip dress is a fail-safe way to look chic and channel that effortless Parisian style with minimal effort. This one has a very low back so bra tape is a must if you need some support.

Style Notes: & Other Stories always do a great party dress but I was particularly taken aback by the weight of the beading on this dress, which is rare to find on the high street. I would style this with a pair of strappy silver heels and slicked back hair.  

Style Notes: This is the kind of dress that is useful to have in your wardrobe year-round. The bias cut is super flattering on my body shape and it’s a great option if you need to go from your desk to the dance-floor. I added these gold rhinestone boots from Zara to give it maximum party impact but you could also wear it with simple heels or knee-high boots.

Style Notes: If you’ve never been to one of the Annie’s Ibiza shops, they are a must-visit treasure trove for all things party! This dress is an exclusive design by Silvia Astore named after Annie herself and I’ve wanted to try it for a while. The corset top fits like a glove and the mini skirt hits at exactly the right point to define my waist. I tried it on with silver cowboy boots which is quite a good way to dress it down (! but it is also available in green velvet for Christmas too. I have to admit, this dress feels like it gives me super powers…

Style Notes: Designer Kate Halfpenny is known for her modern wedding dresses but she has recently launched her sister collection with 5 dresses in 2 colours. They’re designed to be worn by bridesmaids, but Kate wanted to make sure they were also dresses you could wear after the wedding too. This wrap dress is so flattering, giving shape to more petite figures and creating a killer silhouette on curvier bodies, too. I’d wear this to a family gathering with a lurex chunky knit cardigan and boots but it could easily be dressed up with strappy sandals for formal events. 

Style Notes: If there’s one party dress you are guaranteed to see on the dance floor this season it’s one with a feather trim. Much to my joy, each season party dresses are getting more and more OTT. Italian designer Valentina Nervi is the latest to design a collection of joyful feather trimmed dresses and I am here for it. Ignore my black opaques and boots, I’d style this dress with bare legs and my most statement heels to maximum impact!

Style Notes: Nobody’s Child has a lovely collection of party dresses starting at around £55, which is great if you’re looking to dress up on a budget. This jacquard mini has a fun nineties feel and is cut generously too which is a nice change. I love it with tights and boots for a dinner or theatre trip, but you could swap in platform heels for the dance floor. 

Style Notes: Is it even party season without a Rixo dress? They have so many different options that have just landed in store, but I love this black velvet and gold lamé combo. This dress was so comfortable despite looking wow.I would add polka dot tights and black platform heels to finish the look.

Style Notes: Self Portrait continues to be a winner when it comes to occasion dressing, with endless options for any upcoming event. If you dress up like I do for the festive period, then this red off-the-shoulder dress has Christmas day written all over it.

Style Notes: It was tricky to photograph the beautiful fabric on this dress but it had a thick almost bandage-like weight to it and was super sculpting. I loved the hidden wire in the bra too, which makes it incredibly supportive. I would wear this dress all-year-round so for me it the cost-per-wear makes it totally worth investing in.

Aussie label Aje knows how to design a good party dress. This one is pink and has a big bow at back so gets an instant yes from me. 

Filiarmi is one of my favourite new labels. The label’s modern take on occasion wear is exactly what I want to wear right now. 

Warehouse have so many great party dresses on their website right now. This sequin embellished wrap dress has all the Xmas bauble vibes and is such a steal for under £100.

So yes I’m a bit of magpie when it comes to pink and all things sparkly, however I love how effortless this ribbed midi dress is. Sometimes less really is more.

Swimwear label Oserée has nailed it with their feather trimmed mini dress so much so they have become a firm fixture in very collection. I love how chic this chocolate brown shade is and the perspex heel styling has me inspired.

Karen Millen has had quite the revival this year and is fast becoming the go-to on the High Street for event dressing once again. This season tweed blazer-style dresses have been pimped up to be worn after dark too and I’m here for this purple number.

Quite possibly my favourite High Street shop right now, this Massimo Dutti pink slip dress with feather trim looks way beyond its High St price tag – much like their entire collection.

Magda Butrym has coined the eighties party look with her thigh-skimming mini dresses and jumbo corsages. Her dresses are an investment but this retro-inspired look with sheer tights and pointy courts could easily be recreated.

Albanian designer Nensi Dojaka is one of the must-have labels to be seen in this festive season. Her barely-there designs aren’t for the faint hearted yet guarantee instant cool.

Dressing up as a Christmas present is basically a requirement on Christmas day right? This lamé mini from British label Yolke is just the ticket.

Next Up: 7 Flawless Outfits Ideas to Consider for Your Office Christmas Party