more winging it in biker boots and a black cardi (as I did recently in the Royal Box at London's Royal Opera House). Dressing up is easy if you have the right pieces to hand, so here are my six essentials that will take some of the pressure off this party season.
First on the list: a fancy shift. Look at the gold-beaded beauty from Lanvin, or the scalloped bronze one from DKNY. Festive but not vulgaire and a forgiving-enough silhouette to accommodate multiple mince pies, this is an absolute must.
Second: a body-con dress. Look
at the winter-white one by Antonio Berardi, or the strapless
antique-rose style from Burberry Prorsum for inspiration – especially if you have yoga arms or "give good clavicle" (which I like to think I do, when everything else is going to pot). However, if your best point is your waist, then go for a prom
dress from the likes of Marchesa, Oscar de la Renta or Giambattista Valli. Sigh. Sometimes, I do so wish I had a waist.