How to find your perfect party dress
Make sure you sparkle on the dance floor this Christmas with this easy-to-follow advice
You want: A CINCHED WAIST
The waist made a triumphant return to the autumn/ winter catwalks, so now is definitely the time to show yours off.
Choose a style that nips you in at the waist or add a wide belt to emphasise your shape.
Look for a full-skirted dress or A-line skirt, worn with a fitted, tucked-in top to create a shapely silhouette.
Dress, £179, Coast (coast-stores.com)
Dress, £130, Phase Eight
You want: MIDRIFF SKIMMING
Searching for styles that skim and slim? Then look for ruche side detailing and choose a dress in a gathered fabric that glides across your midriff.
This style is not only elegant but is also incredibly flattering.
Look for soft jersey fabrics in one of this season’s hottest jewel tones to really bring that Christmas spirit.
Dress, £130, Phase Eight (phase-eight.com)
Dress, £140, Part Two at House of Fraser
You want: TO LENGTHEN YOUR TORSO
If you divide up your silhouette by wearing a top and bottom in different colours, it will make you look shorter.
To add inches, avoid drawing attention to your midline and look for a 1920s-style dropped waist or shift dress that skims the torso and draws attention to your hips, naturally elongating the upper body.
Dress, £140, Part Two at House of Fraser (houseoffraser.com)
Dress, £36.99, Quiz
You want: TO FLATTER A FULL BUST
Finding a dress that works for a fuller bust can be tricky.
First of all, make sure you choose the right lingerie underneath your party look to ensure a good fit and proper support.
When it comes to styles, try a sweetheart neckline as it will frame the bust line to create a fantastic cleavage and gorgeous shape.
Dress, £36.99, Quiz (quizclothing.co.uk)
Dress, £235, Karen Millen
You want: AN HOURGLASS SHAPE
Looking for an excuse to embrace your inner Jessica Rabbit? Then let a stylish illusion dress work some magic.
These clever designs use a combination of colour, pattern placement or contrast stitch detailing to draw the eye down along the torso and in at the waist, creating the illusion of an hourglass shape.
Dress, £235, Karen Millen (karenmillen.com)
Under top, £50, Gina Bacconi; cape, £25, Girls On Film at Littlewoods
You want: TO COVER YOUR ARMS
Temperatures might be plummeting but cocktail dresses are often sleeveless.
If you’re looking for extra arm coverage, try a nifty mesh-sleeve top that is designed to be worn under sleeveless looks.
You could also take inspiration from the Dior catwalks and treat yourself to an embellished cape.
Dress, £55, V by Very
You want: TO BALANCE A PEAR SHAPE
Try a dress with shoulder detail such as ruffl es to help create volume at the top of your outfit.
This draws attention to the upper body, widening your shoulders to balance your hips.
If you don’t fancy ruffles, try subtle shoulder pads to help square off the shoulders, balancing your silhouette.
Dress, £55, V by Very (very.co.uk)
Dress, £425, Anna Scholz
You want: PLUS SIZE
Finding perfect plus-size partywear is no longer a challenge as the availability of stylish cocktail dresses above a size 18 has grown hugely in the past five years.
Check out brands that specialise in fi tting a fuller fi gure such as Anna Scholz, Elvi and Asos Curve and look for thicker and more expensive fabrics as they will hold your shape better.
Dress, £425, Anna Scholz (annascholz.com)
Body, £141.95, Primadonna at Rigby & Peller
You want: A SMOOTH SILHOUETTE
Occasionwear is often clingy so look for underwear that will streamline your fi gure and help the garment to fall correctly.
What you need depends on the style of dress, so think about the fabric and fit before choosing your shapewear.
Make sure that whatever you choose provides good bust support too.
Body, £141.95, Primadonna at Rigby & Peller (rigbyandpeller.co.uk)
Dress, £42, Dorothy Perkins
You want: TO ENHANCE YOUR BUST
It’s easy to create curves by choosing the right style of dress.
Look for tops and dresses that feature decorative detailing across the bust line, such as oversized bows, 3D embellishments and ruffles, which are all on-trend this winter.
Dress, £42, Dorothy Perkins (dorothyperkins.com)