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Let's face it, if there's one thing we girls do well it's dressing up - but that's not to say we always know what to wear. Now I don't need to tell you how much choice there is in Dundrum Town Centre when it comes to glamming up for a night out, but all that choice can seem daunting so let me break it down for you. When it comes to fun, flirty outfits for nights out with the girls or date-night dancing with himself - let's look at 5 Categories of Key Pieces and I'm sure everyone will find something to suit their own personal taste.
Karen O'Sullivan from Marks and Spencers advises: "Planning an outfit can be very stressful if it’s for an occasion, work around a key piece whether it is a show stopping dress or a banging top makes sure it is something you like and you’re not just buying or wearing it for the sake for it."
I roped in my friend Avril to come along to try on clothes with me - any excuse right? She's always a good one to go to for fashion advice so I thought I'd bring her along for her pearls of wisdom.
Not only are skater skirts super cute, but they're also really flattering. Nipped in at the waist and skirting over the hips, they consistently give a great silhouette - and they're loads of fun to twirl around in!
I loved this textured skater skirt from Urban Outfitters the thicker fabric hangs in lovely gentle folds, and the thick waistband is really comfortable. It's also machine washable - extra bonus! The shirt is from Urban Outfitters too - you could really pair this skirt with anything from a blouse to a band tee. It's also available in a rich moss green or a lovely berry red, very on trend this season.
Avril: Well I saw this skirt in House of Fraser and I fell in love with it. Who could walk away from a metallic gold skater skirt. I paired it with a sheer front leotard from Miss Selfridge but as the skirt is the statement of this look it can be paired with anything. Great for those nights were you wanna look great but haven't really planned an outfit. It will sparkle your whole look up.
Let's face it, it's far from warm out there - but never fear, enter the statement trousers! They're pretty much lifesavers; no worrying about ladders in tights, tanning your legs and you have pockets!
I fell in love with these trousers the second I saw them, they're incredibly soft and really comfortable. They're a cigarette cut, which isn't something I usually go for but it's a good length to wear with heels, and they're really well tailored too which makes them look smart and fit really well. The pattern is also stunning, I paired it with a beaded top from Topshop for a really dressy look, but you could also wear a plain top and let the trousers do all work.
Avril: I really seemed to like gold when picking out outfits for this but its everywhere at the moment and with so many different versions of available there is something for every style and body type. The minute we walked into River Island I was drawn to these sparkley gold trousers. Being a shorty I wasn't sure if they would work on me but I had to give it a go. What is fashion if not to take some risks and low and behold they work. As I wanted to let the trousers do all the talking I paired them with a peplum that had a lace panel in the front and back. The outfit is a great Christmas night out and its fun without being OTT.
Halfway between skirts and trousers with the perks of both. Shorts are everywhere from hotpants to highwaisted - and they're great on a night out, easy to dress up but so easy to wear.
Avril: Wow I really was sticking to a theme of black and gold. It is my comfort zone. Here I'm wearing some sequin rose gold short and a silk top with a lace detail. The shorts were from Gorgeous and the top was from Oasis both in House of Fraser. Being a shorty I tend to wear more shorts on nights out and I'll say it again the sequins are great for upcoming Christmas parties. A real show stopper!
More shorts, this time from Miss Selfridge. These black shorts were great and so comfy. They also had a high waist which I love in winter months as I tend to comfort eat. I paired the shorts with a silk shirt from Lashes. Both found in House of Fraser. This is a really fun outfit to go out dancing with the girls as its comfy but also cool and lose fitting so you don't get over heated busting a move on the dance floor.
Highwaisted and leather, these shorts from Urban Outfitters have all the bases covered, don't be scared they're actually very forgiving - holding you in and flattening everything out. I teamed them with a simple tanktop for a casual but edgy look. I like to wear sheer tights on a night out, but you can throw on a pair of black tights, fishnets or even coloured tights - or no tights at all. They're so versatile - also great because they're that little bit warmer skirts! I'm all about weather-appropriate clothing if you haven't already guessed.
Peplum isn't going anywhere fast - personally I'm a little slow to hop on this bandwagon, but if there's one person I know who can pull off a peplum it's my girl Avril.
Another rose gold. This time is a peplum shirt from Lipsy. I love peplums, great for most body shapes and they hide a multitude. I would wear this look out for dinner or cocktails as it is a bit more elegant. I would put a classy blazer with the skirt to give the look a more polished finish.
When it comes to planning what to wear on a night out, the devil is in the details. This can be anything from embellishments, extra sparkles or an extra pattern thrown in for good measure - they all give your outfit that extra something special.
For a little bit of vintage glamour, I picked up this black and silver Lipsy top. It's sheer and has a great pattern set in spangles, effortlessly fabulous and so unlike anything I've seen lately. Even with just a simple pair of black skinny jeans it could be good to go out in a second - great for last minute plans.
This rose gold sparkly tank top from Marks and Spencer is an other effortless glamorous piece - it contrasts great with these leather-look leggings, which are super comfortable. Clashing textures is a great way to give an outfit more depth, and with such a sparkly top there isn't much need for accessories at all. The same goes for these leather and houndstooth shorts from Lipsy which I teamed with a leopard print dipped-hem shirt - plenty of different textures and patterns, bring that wow factor to any outfit.
Both Lisa and myself are big fans of studded collars. To be honest I think we are big fans of studs and they seem to be everywhere. Studs can really elevate a look and give it a bit more of an edging look. You can pair studded shirt with everything from body con skirts to leather trousers to sequin shorts. There are one of my go-to pieces on nights out and they do dress up a look. The shirt pictured here is from Urban Outfitters but we spotted many different styles in a wide range of stores such as Penny's, River Island & Zara. Something to suit everyone.
I've always been a big fan of Penneys for my stable pieces but recently I have been swooning for their limited collection. As you already know I'm a big fan of statement collars, pair that with a peekaboo backless shirt in blush pink (on of this season's most promising colours) and how can you can no. This shirt is a great example of a transition piece; one you can wear to work and not look over dressed but pair it with some skinny black (leather) trousers and heels and you're all dressed up and ready for a night on the town. It's a bargain and will really brighten up all that black that seemed to work its way into my going out wardrobe.
If 5 Categories of Key Pieces aren't enough, here are 5 Quick-fire Tips for planning an outfit courtesy of Karen from Marks and Spencers
- Don’t be too matchy-matchy avoid matching the colour for your dress with shoes and a bag be more bold add a different colour bag and shoes it will give an outfit a lift and give the outfit a more wow factor.
- If like me you're not 5ft 10 nude shoes should be a must have in your wardrobe they will elongate your legs giving the illusion of a longer length.
- If you are more on the daring side try loud and proud patterns with geometric looks that would inspire 60’s wallpaper, want to keep it simpler try monochrome and houndstooth which are easier to wear for the everyday women.
- The warm weather is gone with the sun kissed skin and freshly shaving legs and coming in and are favourite winter accessory TIGHTS!!! Yes this means we can still wear little dresses and skirts but now we don’t have the effort of shaving and the dreaded fake tanning.
- If all else fails you can’t go wrong with a LBD it is a wardrobe staple and is simply elegant every women should have this reliable piece that they can whip out of there wardrobe every time there having a fashion crisis.
There you have it - now we have no excuse not to get to Dundrum, get glam and head out for a night on the town! For more of looks from our marathon changing room session check out my Pinterest which include more from the Penneys Limited collection and House of Fraser. For a list of all the Ladies Fashion to be had in Dundrum give this a click.