Thursday, 20 November 2014

Party frock angst

One possibility - my 1960s Evans 'Tweensize set

For the past few Christmasses work have given us all a bit of money towards team Christmas meals, so I haven't whinged on the blog about partywear since 2010. Now, however, we've got a party looming, and in the very swanky Pump Room at that.



I'm actually less angsty about partywear than I was four years ago, possibly because my measurements are pretty much the same, so I've had plenty of time to get used to my weight, and I'm over 40 now and the pressure to BE HOT OR BE NOTHING has kind of dropped off because it's assumed no-one over 40 can be hot anyway. (NB unless you were super-hot to begin with, in which case HOW DARE YOU AGE?) So I'm more at peace with my shape and society's expectations are lower.

Even so, I'm honestly not sure what I'll wear. I didn't go to the last work party, if I remember, probably due to the aforementioned partywear angst - the last one I can remember going to, I wore a corseted pinstripe dress with PVC detailing. That went to Age UK earlier this year; not only could I no longer get into it, even if I could it would've looked ridiculous on me as I don't have the right personality for it nowadays. I do still own the very first outfit I wore to a work party: a long black satin bias-cut skirt and matching sleeveless tunic. M&S, 1997. I loved that set. I also used to wear it goth clubbing in the late 90s, channelling Louise Brooks with a jet-back bob and long string of fake pearls. That's a size 8, and I'll never wear it again!

Boden pencil dress...
Still, the partywear issue is bothering me. I've always been of the 'Go big or go home' mentality, but that's not really going to work nowadays, unless they suddenly announce a steampunk theme and I can drag out the gold Victorian number again. I'm tempted to go the complete opposite way and just wear one of my smart work outfits, a fitted, brightly-coloured dress with some diamante. I have a few vintage party dresses, and have been mulling over wearing my brown lace 1960s dress and jacket, but not knowing what the party will involve, I'm reluctant to risk it. It'd be a shame to rip out the armpits playing party games! Also, while 'brown' says 'cocktails' to me, I'm not sure it says 'party'. Hmm. I've got a midcentury-looking Boden, navy cutwork with coral lining, that might do, if I do something with my hair...

What sort of outfit do you favour for work parties? Sleek and smart, or big and glam?

18 comments :

  1. I avoid work parties like the plague, especially when the organisers decided not to do fancy dress anymore (I love fancy dress!). But I think I wore a black jumper dress and tartan Miss L Fire wedges to the last one.

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    1. We used to have fancy dress years ago - it was optional. I could go in one of my steampunk outfits in that case...

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  2. Hmmmm, I've never been much of a party animal, although I did like dances, proper dances. Haven't been to anything like that for a such a long time.
    Be happy in it and then be comfortable is the main thing for choosing what to go in, but why not pick someone/era that you fancy being for the night and go with something like that. That's my usual modus operandi, but perhaps not everyone's cup of tea!

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    1. Yeah, that could work well.

      I think I'll be Father Jack ;-)

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  3. Ooh, the Pump Room, how swish! I reckon that Boden dress blinged up with some rhinestones could work a treat?

    This year we're going out for a meal, so I need a dress with room for food! I have no shortage of partywear, which I often buy, and neglect the practical things like workwear. It's just more fun that way.

    Last year I wore a black dress with white lace collar, and the year before I wore a red skater dress and elf hat.

    Good luck! x

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    1. I'm kind of surprised they've booked that venue. It's gorgeous, but I'll be amazed if they can fit us all in. I've had champagne by the Roman Baths at evening events before, and I really hope they're doing that.

      Oooh, elf hat! That would be fun, and mean no-one looked at the rest of the outfit. GOOD IDEA.

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  4. I normally dig out something black and knee length and shove on a sparkly necklace and crochet cardigan over the top. It's warm and stops my boobs looking indecent.

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    1. My inner Mae West demands to sparkle at parties. I don't think she has a very realistic notion of how she actually looks. She's going to have to wrestle it out with Inner Margaret Rutherford.

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  5. I beg to differ about your assessment of, "hottness."

    I'm not afraid of being overdressed, so my advice is to grab hold of something velvet and start layering on the rhinestone baubles. Just keep adding until you lose partial range of motion, and that'll be about right.

    That said, I recently acquired a floor-length 60's paisley caftan that I plan to use as party wear this year-with a gold turban. I'm having a Liz Taylor moment,

    I do really like your brown vintage Evans set-I'd wear it.

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    1. I love your style. I'd never be brave enough to wear a gold turban, but I bet it looks fantastic.

      The main thing putting me off the Evans set is a fear of damaging it - the Boden is newer and so less treasured. Plus it's more likely to survive a conga or bouncy castle, not that we'll be getting a bouncy castle in the Pump Rooms.

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  6. Your office parties sound like much more fun than ours (mostly miserable people taking advantage of the open bar).

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    1. I work for a media company, dunno if that makes a difference. But we're getting drinks tokens this year, not a free bar. Possibly for the best in such a fancy venue!

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  7. Thankfully my workplace does a lunch so I don't have to worry about posh frocks. I have to admit in your shoes it would be my perfect excuse to HIT THE SHOPS!!
    (no help at all sorry)

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    1. I've got too many friends and rellies to buy for to get a new frock. The navy Boden will do fine; it's fancy, but not so fancy that I'll cry if I rip it/drop beer on it.

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  8. Love that outfit, it's gorgeous! I've never been to a work party before, it's all alien to me! x

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    1. Work parties can be fun as long as you meet up with the right people. I shall be mostly hanging out with my team, and my mate Matt (he edits the Official Playstation Magazine).

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  9. I love the brown outfit but can see that you won't have so much fun if you have to worry about it getting damaged. I would just wear a dress you feel really comfy in, partywear or not and then get out all the jewels and dress it up. Add some sparkly hair thing, great bag and shoes and you would be good to go!

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    1. Yeah, I'm going for the navy, just to be on the safe side. I'm pretty sure there won't be anything like fairground rides this year - they'd never fit them in the venue - but I think it's important to be prepared for these things.

      I have been on a bouncy castle in a ballgown :-)

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