It’s official, these are the best party dresses of the season

Photos: Michael Mills Photography

Party dresses will forever be a worthy wardrobe investment. You might think you’ll only ever need it for party season, but buy right and you’ll have a dress to see you through every event in the calendar, from summer weddings to christenings and office parties.

The new season trends have dictated the style of party dresses for AW19, with velvet, silk and sequins all coming together to create what is arguably the best party dress offering yet.

As always, they have been dictated by our favourite designers during the shows at fashion month, and I’ve included some in my edit below. Expect the oversized sleeves seen at Simone Rocha, Shrimps and Rejina Pyo, as well as the sequins seen at 16ARLINGTON, Armani and Marc Jacobs.

Don’t be afraid to show off your legs this season, as hemlines have gotten shorter for the holidays, especially paired with the humble black tight – keep it sheer mind you.

I’ve also included some black dresses, but with a seasonal twist (see Saint Laurent and Celine for inspiration), as well as some alternative party looks, because contrary to popular belief, you can look just as dressed up and chic in trousers.

Scroll down to see how I styled this season’s best party looks (well, someone had to do it) and to shop my edit.

Sequin party dresses

I understand sequins aren’t for everyone, but there really is an option to suit all personalities out there. If you’re feeling OTT, go for a strong metallic vibe, with this season’s 80s power shoulders. But for something more muted, choose a matte sequin, preferably on a paired-back cut such as this 90s slip dress.

party dresses

Dress: STAUD, £190 at Net-A-Porter | Bag: By Far, £355 at Browns | Shoes: £49.99 at Zara

White party dresses

It might seem counterproductive to wear white in winter, but let me tell you, it’s a thing. Whether you’re after a long-sleeved satin dress or all-over sequin slip, there are plenty of options around. Don’t be afraid to keep things tonal with cream or white accessories, though silver accents work beautifully too.

party dresses

Dress: Retrofête, £931 at FARFETCH | Bag: £95 at Isabelle Fox

Black party dresses

When in doubt, a little black dress will see you through any occasion. This season, opt for a full skirt with oversized sleeves – surprisingly flattering.

party dresses

Dress: Rejina Pyo, £695 at Harvey Nichols | Shoes: By Far, £305 at Net-A-Porter | Bag: By Far, £315 at Selfridges

Party dresses with sleeves

The emphasis on statement sleeves this season means there are plenty of stylish options about if you’re not keen on showing your arms. Whilst not technically a dress, this top is a maximalist’s dream for the festivities, and can be paired with either wide leg trousers or silk midi skirt.

party dresses

Top: £59.99 at Zara | Trousers: old but similar £29.99 at Zara | Shoes as before

Alternative party outfit

Like I said, not everyone is into dresses, and that’s absolutely fine, especially when the high street and designers offer up some stylish jumpsuits, suits and separates. Pyjama dressing is still bit news for AW19, and I’m loving the addition of feathers too.

party dresses

Top: £89.99 at Zara | Trousers: £79.99 at Zara | Shoes and bag as before

Designer party dresses

16ARLINGTON, Les Reveries, Simone Rocha, Ashish, Rotate… the designer partywear offering is strong this season, so take your pick.

Shop these and more such as the Hobbs dresses, Ted Baker midi dresses and Reiss dresses, on the Marie Claire Edit now.

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