Style by Claire Lopez

If bling ain’t your thing…

Okay so maybe all the bling from last week wasn’t for you, but you might still want to up your party game slightly and look a bit more ‘done’ without being overdone. In which case here are some different options to try and although all are very different, the common starting point is one of texture: lace, velvet and leather – not all at once – but these are the perfect alternatives to a sparkly Christmas.


Zara’s Contrasting Pleated Dress £39.99 is an absolute steal at that price and looks way more expensive than it’s price tag. I can also vouch that this is gorgeous in the flesh. This is a great LBD to have up your sleeve.

As is this Black Lace Fit & Flare Dress £79 from Sosandar. This also comes in burgundy which is already sold out in several sizes.

If it’s just a top that you are after, then try Zara’s Lace Top £19.99 which comes in cream, black, mustard and a dark green. You can either wear with just your underwear or a cami.

The French brands Maje and Sezane are top notch for this type of product and this Losa Top £209 from Maje is gorgeous – perfect to take you from desk to dinner – not with a matching skirt though as this is far too summery. It also comes in dark green.

Sezane’s Madeleine Blouse £90 is one of their options. And having re-looked at their website I have once again fallen in love.

Or the Claudia £85 with the lace on the sleeves, is perfect because there is no underwear issue to overcome.

And for a dress version, there is the very unromantically named Alan dress £125


No longer is the stuff of 80s nightmares as velvet has had a serious make-over. For a skirt, try Hush’s Esme Velour Skirt £65 which comes in bottle green and a wine colour. You can very easily dress this down, as here, or pair with heeled sandals and a top.

A less full on way is to go for a burnout like this Star Devore Dress £120.

Or even more subtle still is the Natalya Devore Jumpsuit £145.

Another jumpsuit option is this Square Neck Velvet Jumpsuit £79 from &Other Stories.

A cool look for the party season is to pair a velvet blazer with a simple top and trousers. Try Sosandar’s Relaxed Fit Blazer £89 which is selling out fast in several sizes.

Boden is a good bet for velvet and has these Lyndhurst Culottes £120 in black and gold.

For a full-length trouser go for the Selwood £130 which comes in dark red, dark green and black.

On the skirt front, this Lorna Pencil Skirt £110 comes in this gorgeous teal and in Petite as well as Regular. Plus a bit of stretch in the silk velvet helps the comfort factor.

For a show stopping dress you can’t go wrong with the Rebecca £220 which is in Petite and Regular lengths, is pretty glam.


The beauty about leather is that it works equally well dressed up as it does down-played with knitwear so is actually a much more sensible investment for the party season than it might first appear.

You can do a leather legging like these from Hush £345. Not only are they great for the evening but they also look fab paired with a chunky knit. They come in black and grey and dark green and burgundy. As with a lot of Hush styles, you will need to size down with these.

If, however, you don’t want to splurge that amount of money then you can go down the coated/waxed jean route instead as these will look more going out-y than a regular jean. Oasis Lily Jean £48 comes in short, regular and long.

I have had both the Waxed Belle Jeans £29.99 and the Coated Kim Jeans £29.99 from Mango which are a good bet.

Next’s Pull On Coated Legging £26 is also a good one for long legs as it comes in regular, long and XL.

You can wear all these with a whole array of tops, from sequinned numbers to simple tees/camisoles and with longer lined blazers. Or with the lace tops above.

Or try a leather skirt like this one from Warehouse £36 which comes in black or berry.

For the real deal they have this Leather Button Midi Skirt £149 which is already sold out in several sizes and low in stock in others.

Or try Oasis Real Leather Pencil Skirt which at £85 is great value.

Oasis has a shorter style £32 which comes in several colours including black, wine and dark green. And these will all work nicely for day with sweaters and blouses but can easily be transformed by the power of shoes, accessories into options for after dark.


And there you have it – a bling naysayers guide to Christmas dressing.




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  • Jane Reynolds

    Love this post Claire – I’ve ordered the Zara top to go with some long black trousers for a Christmas outfit.

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