Fashion Fashion Editor Muse

DRESS TO IMPRESS: THE RETURN OF WINTER BALLS

Zara Osako talks us through her favourite styles for dressing for formals this year to celebrate the party season comeback

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Image Credit: Nathan Barker Photography

Now that Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, big gatherings are back, and among them is the highly anticipated season of winter formals. Whether it be for your college or society, chances are you'll be faced with the opportunity to dress up in some pretty fancy stuff over the next couple of months. Regardless of if you’re a first time fresher or a final-year hoping to leave your mark, the fashion team have composed a fool proof guide for dressing to impress at winter formals this season. Now, you wouldn’t be blamed for wanting to make a statement this year, so why not go for a bright and bold look? After last year’s disappointing festive season which left only our dog to truly appreciate our festive fits, many of us are very literally going big or going home this year. The 2021 Versace Autumn/Winter show saw models clad in monochromatic neon outfits, sporting bright pinks, yellows and reds. Bringing a pop of colour into your formal outfits is sure to make you stand out and will definitely look great on the gram. Understandably, some of us have taken more hesitantly to the easing of restrictions, and in turn the return to ‘real clothes’. If you’re not yet ready to leave behind the comforting reassurance of your joggers, opt for a matching suitor co-ord rather
than a dress this party season. Whether you choose a statement block colour or keep it subtle in neutrals, both halves can be reworn in numerous ways, to fit any occasion. Try mixing up the shirt to match your style, oversizing the
blazer or even switching out tailored trousers for a matching mini skirt. Alternatively, you could opt for a simple satin dress. Whether it’s maxi or mini, a satin slip can take you from day tonight in the blink of an eye. Layered over a basic
t-shirt and paired with your ever-trusty chunky black boots would make for the perfect outfit for your sports team’s Christmas meal, or go elegant and classy with heels and a clutch for your college winter formal In terms of footwear,
after a year of interchanging between slippers and trainers, it's no wonder that our feet have become unaccustomed to the unnatural contours of high heels. If you plan to go out after the formal or your feet aren't quite ready to
squeeze into stilettos, consider swapping out your heels for chunky boots or loafers to create a comfortable, but still fashionable, look. However, if you do want to keep the elevated high-heel look, con-sider platforms or a sling
back kitten heel to get an elegant look without that searing stiletto pain. This year we have seen the rejuvenation of a lot of older trends, the noughties and seventies in particular. Between the nostalgic 90s makeup seen on the runway
this year, and the overwhelming search for Y2K fashion trends, 2021 has recaptured many of our favourite past trends. Why not pick one of your favourite decades and incorporate some styles into your festive formal looks? Whether it be a 90s style slip dress, a cute 60s mod, or bold 70s florals, mixing in your own favourite decades is a sure way to create a unique personal style this holiday season. While looking good is obviously top priority, it’s also important to
stay warm. York nights are infamously known for their cold chills, but be assured that style does not have to be compromised by comfort. Consider layering a trench coat over your slip dress, or incorporate an over-sized
blazer into your look. If you’re still looking to add more layers, patterned tights can elevate a basic outfit in an instance. Between the likes of Gucci’s lace monogram tights and Marine Serre’s moon motif tights, patterned hosiery
has been the go-to accessory of the season! Another thing to consider once you’ve picked the perfect formal outfit, is accessories. You’ll probably find yourself with quite a lot of stuff in hand, and not a lot of pockets. So what should
you do with your ID, purse, lip gloss and other essentials? Put them in a cute bag. There are so many bag options that can fit with all different types of outfits, consider an over the shoulder bag for a glamorous and low maintenance
option. If your outfit is in a darker, neutral colour consider bringing a pop of colour to your look with a bright coloured bag. With these tips in mind, hopefully Muse has eased some of your winter formal worries this year so you can focus on looking fabulous and having fun!

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