The party dress is dead. This season it's all about the two-piece

Suit the occasion in a Party Tux: Whisper it, but the party dress is dead. This season it’s all about the two-piece

  • Dinah Van Tulleken says chic Party Suits dominated the catwalks for A/W 2021
  • Recommends teaming with a lace-trim camisole, statement shoes and earrings
  • UK-based style expert reveals a selection of suits from High Street stores  

Though I hate to be the bearer of bad news, the Party Dress is dead. But dry your eyes (and get out your credit card) because, like a phoenix from the ashes, the Party Suit has risen — and it’s considerably more chic.

Now that we are all going ‘Out-Out’ again, the pressure is on. Whether it’s the family party, New Year plans or get-togethers with neighbours and friends, we will be craving something exciting this festive period, and your old party dress just won’t cut it.

Strong, sophisticated but with a fun twist (think velvet and a range of colours), suiting is set to dominate gatherings — just as it dominated the catwalks for Autumn/Winter 2021.

Jacket, £80, and trousers, £60, monsoon.co.uk; top, £89, thewhitecompany.co.uk; shoes, £120, dunelondon.com

Jacket, £65, and trousers, £40, riverisland.com; top, £89, thewhitecompany.co.uk; shoes, £315, terrydehavilland.com

Jacket, £379, and trousers, £229, lkbennett.com; top, £89, thewhitecompany.co.uk; shoes, £120, dunelondon.com; bag, £29.99, tkmaxx.com

Shake off fears of association with the corporate world: designers have banished all signs of boring stuffiness. Fendi’s white double-breasted design screams Saturday Night Fever, while Gucci’s relaxed black velvet tuxedo with satin trim wouldn’t look out of place on the Oscars red carpet.

The High Street has quickly followed suit (if you will) with rich fabrics and bold colours. Whatever party dress is skulking at the back of your wardrobe, you’ll find a suit that does the same thing, only bigger and better. Loved your sequin dress? Then it’s time to upgrade it to L.K. Bennett’s louche black sequin Shimmer jacket (above, third from left) with satin lapel collar and matching straight-leg trousers.

If bold prints covered your favourite party frock, then London-based designer Lisou’s double-breasted jacquard fuchsia leaf-print suit (second from right) is what you’ll be after. If you’re looking for a block colour, then Jigsaw’s fabulous fuchsia-pink tuxedo blazer with sash belt and satin trim (centre) is the one for you. Monsoon’s paisley print stretch velvet trousers and matching jacket (far left) ooze sultry style, while River Island’s gold, pleated, high-waist trousers and oversized jacket (second from left) could be straight off the Yves Saint Laurent catwalk.

Team yours with a lace-trim camisole, statement shoes and oversized earrings.

Don’t be afraid to blow the budget; this is an investment piece. Trust me, you will be wearing it for many more Christmases to come.

Jacket, £80, and trousers, £55, monsoon.co.uk; shoes, £285, terry dehavilland.com; bag, £42, accessorize.com

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