Looking for the perfect dress for the festive season? From the classic LBD to the sequinned show-stopper, our favourite designer boutiques are filled with some of the most sophisticated garments of the year in the lead-up to Christmas, and the good news is, there’s something to suit all tastes and body-shapes.
Whatever the occasion, an incredible dress is guaranteed to win you compliments and will have you feeling like a million dollars all night long. These stunning dresses will never fail to impress, so if you’re unsure where to start, then look no further.
1. The open back dress
The open back dress is a daring style that exudes sexiness and sass, and from the mini to the maxi, there are plenty of options to choose from this season that incorporate the style. For a modern twist, opt for a mid-length dress in silk or velvet and team with towering heels and your favourite designer clutch for an outfit that’s guaranteed to have you feeling like a million dollars.
2. The sheath dress
The elegant sheath dress is a classic and timeless style that will always have a place in the sartorial female’s wardrobe, and this season’s show-stopping sequins and metallics have given it a modern upgrade for the festive season. However, if you prefer to keep it simple, then you can’t go wrong with a simple black sheath dress, which will allow your accessories to do the talking. Team with a statement pair of shoes or a sequin clutch bag for sophisticated Christmas style.
3. The bandage dress
The bandage dress has long been a Hollywood icon with celebrities like Victoria Beckham initiating the trend over a decade ago after showcasing the must-have Herve Leger style that became hugely popular at that time. In 2021, they have been given a modern update, with the likes of Olivia Palermo seen wearing a figure-hugging style more recently. Sexy, flattering, and the ultimate expression of body confidence, these sophisticated dresses are the ultimate choice for the party season – visit Bella Barnett to shop for exclusive bandage dresses for this new year.
4. The slimming dress
Body-con dresses can be unforgiving when it comes to lumps and bumps, particularly if you’re not feeling 100 per cent happy with your figure. Enter, the slimming dress, which is guaranteed to flatter and will streamline your figure, giving you a much-needed confidence boost. So-called ‘skinny’ dresses aren’t just designed for the athletic figure, and many styles are designed especially for the curvier body, highlighting an hour-glass shape and providing a little extra lift in all the right places.
5. The formal gown
When you need to be red carpet-ready, only a formal gown will do – and what better excuse to get dressed up to the nines than a sophisticated event? Classic, full-length styles are guaranteed show-stoppers, and by choosing a bold, seasonal colour like deep red or emerald green, you can add a subtle festive twist. For New Year’s Eve, opt for black and team with a sparkling diamond necklace and matching earrings.
6. The smock dress
For a more casual look, opt for a looser smock style – the perfect choice for sitting down to Christmas dinner. With a high but forgiving waistline and a voluminous skirt, the smock will effortlessly skim any lumps and bumps, opt for classic black, and dress up with glitzy accessories for laid-back glamour.
7. The cocktail dress
Chic, sexy and all-round sophisticated, the cocktail dress is a feminine style that is guaranteed to win you attention for all the right reasons. Best suited to semi-formal occasions such as cocktail parties or champagne receptions, it’s a transitory choice between day and evening-wear and was classically worn to late afternoon soirees, although these days, the time of day isn’t important.
8. The maxi dress
The maxi dress is a versatile style that suits almost every body shape and size, and is a staple inclusion in many women’s summer wardrobes. But they work just as well in winter, and seasonal offerings in jewel tones or monochrome and tactile fabrics make for a glamorous choice for the festive season. Dress up with some simple yet chic jewellery, or down with a scarf, boots and a chunky jumper for an easy day-to-night look.
9. The red lace dress
For an outwardly sexy style, be bold and opt for a red lace dress – but choose a midi or maxi length to keep things classy, and keep accessories muted and minimal to avoid overkill. Red lace is a beautiful fabric that has made regular appearances throughout fashion history and makes for an elegant addition to any woman’s wardrobe.
10. Slip dress
Slip dresses are perfect for any holiday party, and are another choice that looks just as good dressed down with boots and a faux-fur jacket as they do dressed up for a glamorous evening out at a festive party. Generally made from thin or silk material, they require invisible underwear to avoid any unsightly lines, lumps and bumps – but are a timeless style that will never go out of fashion and look best when worn with confidence.