Your essentials for the party season

Eveline wears the Ava dress in Peacock Blue

I read the other day that most women have their festive season party outfits planned by early November. And wouldn’t you know it, we’re in early November right now. So to help you on your way I’ve put together the party outfits you need to add to your arsenal this December, whether it’s for the work Christmas lunch or the glamorous cocktail party of the year.

This is The Dress. If you only buy one party season essential, this is it. Wear with ballet pumps and an alpaca wrap for everyday luxury, but go with heels and as much sparkle as you can cram into the accessories for a full on party look.

Ava Dress in peacock blue, Metallic Leather Clutch in mars, Stud Wrap Bracelet in light grey – all from Kettlewell.

Rose gold glitter court shoes from Office

The gorgeous velvet faux wrap adds a touch of luxury and glamour to your favourite jeans for an evening out outfit to wow. The skinny velvet scarf adds a modern-retro touch.

Velvet Faux Wrap in cosmopolitan, Velvet Scarf in cosmopolitan, Stud Wrap Bracelet in chestnut gold, Loafers in red sparkle – all from Kettlewell



Love separates? Elevate them with flounce and print. The alpaca shawl keeps you cosy for the late night journey home (and in case of hosts with a different idea about central heating requirements!) without sacrificing elegance while the silky roll neck lends an air of sophistication to the ensemble.

Flounce Skirt in teal/french navy, Silky Roll Neck in soft white, Alpaca Shawl in french navy, Suede Tassel Clutch in everglade – all from Kettlewell.

Teal court shoes from New Look

Work Christmas lunch beckoning? The super-useful ponte dress will up the ante during party season then behave beautifully as your go to work dress in January. Add a splash of bright with your scarf and a hint of luxury with the new improved merino wrap.

Classic Ponte Dress in purple, Cosy Merino Wrap in marine blue, Cashmere Gauze Stole in red coral, Velvet Ballerinas in petrol, Suede Star Shoulder Bag in mango & teal – all from Kettlewell

This week’s post uses colours from the Autumn palette. Each week we will be choosing a different seasonal palette to illustrate our blog posts – watch out for yours!

We can’t avoid it any longer. Let’s talk about velvet.


You know sometimes all the fashion magazines declare something to be the latest must have, and then five minutes later it’s disappeared without trace? That’s kind of what I expected to happen with velvet. A couple of mentions in the more adventurous fashion pages, then a rapid sinking.

But apparently velvet is here to stay, for a season or two at least. And why not? It’s luxurious, perfect for party dressing and comes in a wealth of rich colours. Of course, it’s not exactly the most wildly practical fabric anyone ever invented, but you can’t have everything.

It is also not the easiest thing to style. Assuming you don’t live in a world where a co-ordinated burgundy velvet suit is de rigeur, the chances are that you’ll need to go for a more subtle touch in your outfits this winter, but believe me, it’s worth it. A nod to trends like this (without necessarily going burgundy velvet top to toe) will help your wardrobe feel fresh and current rather than fashion victim-esque.

The best ways to introduce velvet:

  1. Keep it to one item – a camisole or tshirt, or even just a choker or skinny scarf if you’re feeling nervous. Favourite among the fashion types is velvet footwear, but if you have to walk anywhere in the great British weather this may not be the ideal option.
  2. Layer up – a velvet camisole is a great way to access this trend, and can be made stylishly wearable by actual humans (as opposed to slim and long limbed 23 year old models) by layering a dark colour over a slim fitting roll neck in one of your best light neutrals.
  3. Try pairing a long tunic/short dress with simple leggings and ballet flats, for an absolutely effortless way to get some velvet into your life.
  4. Keep the rest of your outfit casual, unless you’re at a party! Velvet works incredibly well with a certain laid back insouciant sort of look, but can easily look over-done for daytime wear. Of course if it’s a party, then please ignore me entirely.
  5. If you’re not a Winter, keep an eye out for velvet in soft greys, camel and other neutrals – there is a bit of a dearth of velvets in accent colours for any season apart from Winter, so keep an eye out for some more unexpected colours or neutrals from your palette.


Details of all items shown can be found on the Kettlewell Polyvore page here

Three autumn trends you’ll actually want to wear

peta_and_roll_neckFinding wearable looks in among new season trends can be a total nightmare – runway pictures seem to feature such extreme looks that finding something that you might actually be able to put on in the morning and not be laughed at can seem an impossible task.

However, there are a few themes in those extraordinary runway shows which translate into clothes in shops that you might be able to contemplate buying, and I’ve rounded up my favourite four from the coming season.



Velvet is EVERYWHERE this autumn/winter. The trick to making it work is keeping the whole look luxurious but laid back. Rich tones, subtle jewellery and gorgeous textures contribute to an outfit that is elegant and up to the minute.


Polo necks under dresses


This is such an easy trend to access – simply layer up your favourite shift/pinafore/tea dress with a bold coloured polo neck underneath for a retro chic look that will keep you right up to date. Plus – added bonus – it keeps you warm in winter!


Trouser suits


Allegedly inspired by the queen of the trouser suit, Hilary Clinton, the runways were full of statement trouser suits in velvet, satin and bold colours, but the high street is making this trend available to those of us who don’t live in fashion land with relaxed trouser suits in neutral colours, perhaps with a hint of print or piping to add interest. Pair yours with a minimalist top in an accent colour to flatter your features and keep the look casual. Swap the top for a silky camisole and the androgynous loafers for fabulous heels to make a modern evening outfit.

hilary_trouser_suitstrouser_suitFor info on all products featured, visit our Polyvore page.

Shoes in header image: