harvey nichols party dressing

The Harvey Nichols guide to Christmas party dressing

02 Nov 2022 | By Zoe Gunn

Nail the dress code every time with Harvey Nichols’ edit of the finest festive partywear

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Harvey Nichols

November is here, which, as you’ll know if you’ve tried to organise a pre-Christmas gathering with any of your friends recently, means the festive party invites are already dropping through letterboxes and into inboxes. And, with the first proper post-pandemic party season set to be a bumper one, you’re going to need a wardrobe to match.

The one rule for party dressing this season? It is truly time to go big or go home. Leave your demure LBDs and modest midi dresses at home. Going out-out this Christmas requires nothing short of sparkle, feathers, embellishment and enough sequins to outfit the entire cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

With this in mind, allow us to point you in the direction of Harvey Nichols. Its team of expert buyers has done the hard work for you and put together an edit of this season’s finest partywear for all occasions – plus a few accessory suggestions to boot. You’re welcome.

The Christmas party gowns and jumpsuits

Black tie invite sent you into a sartorial spiral? Take a breath – we promise it’s not that difficult. Choose something slinky and shimmering and allow it to do the heavy lifting for you: every single one of these gorgeous options will work with a simple pair of black heels and some killer earrings.

Galvan Beating Heart sequin-embellished gown

Sleek, sequinned and utterly dazzling on the dance floor, Galvan’s Beating Heart gown deploys a subtle wrap cut for a seriously flattering silhouette.

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In The Mood For Love Marissa halterneck dress

Proving that black tie doesn’t have to be staid, the halterneck detail and thigh-high split on this dress tap straight into the trend for Noughties sex appeal.

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16 Arlington Taree feather-trimmed jumpsuit

Floor-length gowns not really your thing? Go bold in this feather-trimmed jumpsuit that exudes pure Marilyn Monroe style. Pair with elbow-length gloves for true Old Hollywood glamour.

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Missoni sequin-embellished jumpsuit

Missoni’s Seventies-inspired jumpsuit has all the formality of a dress but is so much more fun. It’s vibrant colour palette will look great at spring weddings, too.

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The Christmas party mini dresses

It’s cold outside so turn up the heat in a fresh crop of seductively sparkly mini dresses that simply beg to be taken for a spin on the dance floor. Choose from festive hues of red, green and gold – and don’t be shy about pairing them with sky-high heels and your most dramatic jewellery. After all, as Christmas party favourite Wham! once said, if you’re going to do, do it right.

Alexandre Vauthier ruched mini dress

Alexandre Vauthier can always be relied upon for show-stopping partywear. Ruched for a flattering (and supremely comfortable) fit, this gold number is made for partying all night long.

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Poster Girl Clypso chainmail dress

Tap into your inner warrior princess in this rippling crystal-embellished chainmail gown by London-based brand Poster Girl.

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In The Mood For Love Yuna mini dress

Nothing says Christmas quite like deep red sequins. In The Mood For Love has given its a 21st Century update with a minimal slip silhouette.

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Saint Laurent metallic jersey dress

Haven’t got the stomach for sequins? Metallics are the next best thing – especially when given a chic Saint Laurent spin by creative director Anthony Vaccarello.

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Party separates and cover-ups

Gowns are great but for supreme versatility separates will always win out. From transformable body suits to embellished tops perfect for pairing with midis, minis or even jeans, Harvey Nichols has a sartorial solution for every invite. Oh, and don’t forget a cosy cover-up for the cab ride home.

Magda Butrym stretch-jersey top

Oversized 3D florals! Cut outs! Off-the-shoulder necklines! Magda Butrym’s alluring ruched top has it all and then some.

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Alice + Olivia Beline satin top

Don’t be alarmed by the outré lines of this number by Alice + Olivia. Once on, its oversized bow design becomes apparent – making it a Christmas party no-brainer.

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Magda Butrym off-the-shoulder ruched top

This ruched off-the-shoulder top from Magda Butrym may look more demure than its scarlet sibling above but don’t be fooled: it features an attention-grabbing cut-out sure to get hearts racing.

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16 Arlington Mizar feather jacket

Overcoats are great for work and winter walks but they simply won’t do for big nights out on the town. 16 Arlington’s fuzzy feather number is much more the thing.

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Shoes and accessories

The dress may be the main event but no outfit is complete without some great accessories. If there was ever a time to be a little frivolous with your finishing touches, it’s Christmas. Channel your inner child with uber-feminine bows, saccharine shades and all manner of quirky design elements.

Mach & Mach feather-trimmed sandals

Valentino has decreed pink the colour of the season and there’s a Barbie film on the horizon: Mach & Mach sandals couldn’t be more on point.

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Saint Laurent leather sandals

At the other end of the scale, Saint Laurent’s barely-there chain-embellished heels are the epitome of Parisian chic.

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Alessandra Rich cherry choker

There’s a time and a place for diamonds but an until-dawn after-party is not it. Alessandra Rich’s ice-breaking cherry choker promises carefree sparkle.

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Mach & Mach Triple Bow bag

Glittery? Check. On trend? Check? Big enough to fit your iPhone? Check. Mach & Mach may just have created the best party bag going.

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Shop the full partywear edit at harveynichols.com