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Party outfit ideas for women and men

Planning your Christmas party outfits? Whether you’ve got a New Year’s Eve gig or a mulled wine pub session planned, this year we’re on a mission to help you shop smarter with Christmas outfit ideas that’ll last beyond the New Year countdown and way into 2020. We’ve picked out key items for both women and men that’ll work now for celebrating and then later for dinner dates, your working week and catch-ups with friends.

Red wide-leg trousers

If you can’t go OTT and wear red at Christmas, then when can you? We are in love with these wide-leg red trousers from John Lewis & Partners – they give such a flattering silhouette. For an elegant look, pair with a pussy-bow blouse in an equally vivid shade. For a night out with the girls, swap in a grey knit jumper and pointed court heels, then top with a leather jacket.

Men’s red polo shirt

The long-sleeved polo shirt is a must in every man’s wardrobe. Update it for the party season in bright red – we spied this quality one in Tommy Hilfiger at Victoria Leeds. Use it to dress down tailored navy trousers for a relaxed Christmas work do. You can use it in all your weekend outfits, too. Pair with denim, chinos and throw on your hi-tops. Top with a casual lumberjack overshirt and you’re done.

Women’s picks: double pleat wide leg trousers, £89, and gather yoke blouse, £59, John Lewis & Partners Men’s pick: long sleeve regular fit polo in Haute Red, £75, Tommy Hilfiger

Black velvet jumpsuit

Velvet is such a great material to wear for Christmas – and what better way to wear it for your parties than this cool Alice + Olivia black velvet jumpsuit from Harvey Nichols. It’s such an easy outfit: jumpsuit, statement jewellery, heels. Done. Don’t just save this for parties, though. It’ll work just as well for daywear too. Throw on a slimline polo neck, swap in a leather belt, pop on your trainers and you’re ready for that Sunday roast in your local.

Men’s velvet trousers

Velvet isn’t just for the women. And you’ll be surprised how versatile a pair of dark velvet trousers are. To these Paul Smith pair, add a cream polo neck, black Monk shoes and you’re all set to see in the New Year. Again, it’s easy to tone down velvet trousers for the everyday. Wear them with a denim shirt and suede brown Chelsea boots.

Women’s pick: Alice + Olivia Breanna wide-leg velvet jumpsuit, £198, Harvey Nichols Men’s pick: slim-fit velvet trousers in Dark Blue, £310, Paul Smith

Animal print dress

This year, if you REALLY feel like treating yourself, ensure your party dress has got legs into 2020 by choosing this amazing silk animal print dress from pop-up store Temperley. All you need to make it party-appropriate is some high heeled courts and an elegant clutch bag. The feminine max length and long sleeves also make this dress perfect for your working wardrobe. Swap in some opaque tights and ankle, or knee-high, boots.

Men’s polka dot shirt

A classic print that never goes out of style, a black polka dot shirt will never sit languishing at the back of your wardrobe. For after-dark parties, why not wear it under a fitted black suit? Don’t forget the matching polka dot pocket square… After something more casual? Simply swap the black suit for slim fitting black jeans and chunky black boots.

Women’s pick: Piera gown, £1,495, Temperley – shop at our Christmas pop-up! Men’s pick: Bethel shirt, £85, All Saints

Sparkly jumper

Who can resist a Christmas jumper? Go for chic, rather than cheese, with this diamanté fringe number from & Other Stories. We’d pair it with a leather pencil skirt and some sky-high heels. Dancing is overrated, anyway. To nail your weekend style, stick to the leather (or faux leather) theme and swap your pencil skirt for some leather trousers then add clompy hiking boots.

Men’s cream jumper

Ditch the Santa jumper and choose this wear-forever classic cream knit from Acne at Harvey Nichols instead. That way, it can stay in your wardrobe all winter and last longer than the Christmas leftovers. Teamed with dark indigo jeans, it’s a great smart-casual look that’s great for Boxing Day and beyond.

Women’s pick: diamanté fringe sweater, £95, & Other Stories Men’s pick: Acne Studios off-white waffle-knit wool jumper, £280, Harvey Nichols

Women’s green blazer

We’re sure you’ve got more than one party in the diary this Christmas, so we’ve picked out this versatile tailored Reiss blazer to give you plenty of outfit options. Shrug it on over your little black cocktail dress, or even swap your usual black tuxedo jacket for this one. Tip: for a cooler silhouette, go one size bigger. Bottle-jade green looks great with light denim, too, so wear this blazer in 2020 with your straight-cut jeans, T-shirt and cowboy ankle boots.

Men’s green overcoat

If you’re looking for an investment piece for winter, make it the overcoat. It’s a versatile outerwear item that you’ll certainly get your money’s worth from. Wear it over your formalwear – tux, three-piece suit – to keep you looking stylish to and from the party. We spotted a great overcoat in Hawes & Curtis, or head to Reiss for their alternative. It works just as well worn over dressed-down outfits, too, from your classic chinos-and-shirt combo to your jeans-and-knitwear look.

Women’s pick: Ginnie wool blend tailored blazer, £235, Reiss Men’s pick: Gable wool epsom overcoat in racing green, £295, Reiss – order online and try in store.

Checked mini dress

We couldn’t do a party outfit without including an amazing midi dress, and our eye was caught by this want-it-now plaid version from our pop-up Temperley store. We love its bold colour and frill collar. Plaid, gingham and multicoloured checks will definitely be around for SS20, so invest in this now and you’ll certainly still be wearing it come next spring.

Blue checked suit

The navy check suit: it’s a sartorial classic. And it can easily be given a cool party makeover for your social calendar. Take this small check, navy-and-burgundy investment suit from Paul Smith. Leave the white shirt at home and instead add a white polo neck with retro or minimal white trainers. Big meeting at work? You’ve guessed it: swap in your white shirt and tan brogues and you’re good to go.

Women’s pick: Isobel check dress, £995, Temperley – shop at our Christmas pop-up! Men’s picks: small check wool suit jacket, £445, and trousers, £205, Paul Smith

Personal shopping at Victoria Leeds

Need some help planning your party wardrobe? Book yourself a personal shopping experience! Not only do you get some great fashion advice from the experts, you get to feel like a VIP for a few hours too! John Lewis & Partners offers personal styling services for both men and women – book your appointment online here. Alternatively, head to Harvey Nichols who also offer a personal shopping service. Call 0113 204 8803, email or book online here We caught up with John Lewis & Partners stylist Victoria Thewlis: ‘A great go-to Christmas outfit for any woman would be a chunky knit with leather trousers or a leather skirt. We also have lots of glittery pleated skirts, which look great with a fine knit and ankle boots. For full-on party, opt for a sparkly dress; glitter and sequins are huge this season so make the most of it!’ And for the guys, Victoria said: ‘If you want to make a statement, we have gorgeous velvet dinner jackets that can be dressed down with black jeans. This time of year, men can look really smart wearing a neutral coloured turtleneck and jeans, which is a comfortable alternative to a shirt.’

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