The party season hits us right at the onset of Diwali and goes on till the clock strikes 12 on December 31. There’s a slight nip in the air (‘cold’, as per Mumbai standards) and festive cheer all around. Add to it the sheer joy of not having to feel guilty about indulging in some food and drink.
Since this isn’t your average Saturday night out, it calls for you to look your absolute best. But where there’s chocolate, cake and wine, there are calories. And where there are calories, there is that much more time spent on deciding what you don’t-look-too-bloated/big/beer-bellied in. Adding to it is the pressure of turning up in a hip, new number every night.
My theory on holiday weight is simple: if you found a way to put it on, you’ll find a way to lose it (you’ll just need to try a little harder). Similarly, my theory on party dressing is simple. All it requires is planning, and tricks to put an end to panic attacks all of us women have when we look into a cupboard full of clothes and think we have nothing to wear.” So, read on...
Set-up. Suit up
Now, this may take up a little bit of your time, but I guarantee it will save you a lot of frustration when the clock is ticking and you’re stuck at work. On a Sunday, pick out all your favourite looks. Make sets of these looks and stack them in your wardrobe. Once you’ve done this, scan through your accessories and shoes, and pair them with the looks. This is also a great way of knowing what’s missing in your closet — be it shoes, clutches or make-up.
* Nothing lifts an outfit more than a great piece of jewellery. Pick a pair of chunky gold or silver earrings or neckpiece for a muted dress with a bare neckline.
* Dangling earrings that just about graze the shoulder are big this season. Multiple strings of pearls, single statement gold or silver neckpieces are best for turning a day look into a night one.
* Hair and body accessories are in vogue this year. Pick an unconventional maang tikka or double up your favorite choker as a headpiece to pair with a simple dress. If going bohemian, stack up multiple rings or even hand harnesses.
* Invest in a quality evening bag. It should be big enough to fit your whole world in, but small enough to not be a nuisance at a party.
Tip: A patent leather black or plain gold clutch with a sling will go with most outfits.
Every woman has that one outfit in her wardrobe that is foolproof and is a safe option. It could be a little black dress for glamourous night outs or a maxi for those brunches. In emergencies, that’s your go-to outfit. For me, it is an all-black or all-white pant suit. To find your perfect outfit, make sure to understand your body well – the strengths, the flaws, what to accentuate, and what to hide.
The final touch
* If you’re having a bad hair day, use a dry shampoo and pull your hair up in a top knot.
* If you’re going light on your lips, pick a smoky-eye or a winged liner.
* Bright lips are best balanced by a clean face with lots of mascara and highlighter.
* Clean braids with softly curled, centre-parted hair is great to complete your look.
* Don’t overdo the perfume. Opt for a fragrance that is statement but not too overpowering.
Tip: Orange lips go well with a nude or tan outfit. Deep wine-hued lip colour is your best bet to lift a white ensemble, especially if you’re going easy on accessories. Keep the shoe game strong
* There are three kinds of shoes that’ll see you through the party season: the stiletto, the good ol’ wedge heel, and the kitten heel. Keep all three styles (in nude, black and burgundy) handy.
* Burgundy goes with a lot of things (Marsala is the hottest colour of 2015). For comfort, make sure your heels have a slight platform below the toe area.
* Stilettoes go with everything, from a basic sari to an A-line dress. Remember: A shoe is to an outfit what a cherry is to the cake.
* Opt for peep-toes if you’re wearing an outfit that is full-sleeved with a floor-length hemline. Pick strappy heels if your outfit is short and shows your feet.
* Throw away the clunky platform heels; they ruin your posture in an amazing dress.
Gupta is a leading fashion designer. She tweets as @MasabaG