The mere thought of Christmas may cause you to break into a cold sweat, but before you start fretting about buying presents and sending cards to distant relatives, take a deep breath and remember: Christmas time is party time! So bring on the cracking tunes, office parties and last (but certainly not least) the party dresses.

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So is your party dress wardrobe in need of an upgrade? Then why not check out our guide to picking out the right one for you.

What’s the dress code?

You may think Christmas parties are all the same, but the location and theme should play a key part when it comes to identifying the perfect dress.

If the invite alludes to a black tie style, then why not dazzle with a head to toe sequin dress? Simple, yet elegant, this glamorous dress requires no accessories: slip it on, put your hair up and start sipping those cocktails.

Sequin Sweetheart Black Junior Party Dress

For a more casual, let-your-hair-down type theme, take a leap into a fabulous jumpsuit. Cheryl Cole may favour the leopard print style, but why not embrace the season and opt for a sparkly number or any number of brightly coloured pieces?

Remember to find the right balance between style and comfort. Once you’re at the venue, you want to be focussing on talking to people and enjoying yourself instead of worrying about what you’re wearing.

Picking a colour

Finding the right colour for you is crucial to achieving your desired look. But don’t overcomplicate things. By sticking to a few key guidelines, you’ll have your perfect colour picked out in no time.

Focus on a colour that will perfectly match your skin, hair and eye colour to give the desired look.

Those with a lighter complexion may want to opt for colours like white, cream, blue or pink. Be wary of anything too bright, as it may overshadow your own features.

Those of you with darker eyes and hair should embrace the seasonal colours and dazzle in dark red or black, being careful to avoid overly bright outfits. Top tip: Dorothy Perkins offers a wide selection of party dresses to suit every shape and personality this season.

Body shape

An ill-fitting outfit is a sure fire way to kill off your party buzz, so follow these simple rules to find a dress that works for your body shape. Even if you don’t quite manage to stick to the diet, the right outfit could help you to at least look like you’ve dropped a dress size.

If you’ve got fuller hips and thighs, then avoid a skirt that sits too high above the knee. Instead, focus on selecting a fabric that doesn’t cling to your body. And don’t be shy when it comes to adding colour or print.

Those with a bigger bust can go all out in a deep V-neck. Or rock a dress that will draw attention towards your legs by sitting an inch or two above the knee. Remember: the best way to cover up is often to simply draw attention to another feature.

When it comes to slimmer figures, consider a dress that’s nice and fitted at the waist and generally quite form-fitting to show off your shape and waist.

Accessorize

When it comes to adding that extra touch of glamour, bling or quirkiness, accessories are the answer.

If you’re going for the more casual look, why not add some chunky bracelets for extra effect? A more elegant look, meanwhile, can be boosted by some sparkly or colourful jewellery.

No matter what the occasion, a snazzy handbag adds that extra bit of detail and does wonders for your overall look. Don’t be afraid to experiment. Pick what you like and let your personality shine through.

Harriet Andrews is a fashion blogger from the UK who enjoys writing about seasonal warobes.