I’m ashamed to say that I’ve often had a rotten night out on account of the fact that I hated my outfit. Whether it was something I’d already worn numerous times or something uncomfortable or something that just didn’t…sing, it had the ability to make the whole night flat. But, on the contrary, there have been times when the Champagne tasted sweeter purely because I loved my look. A great blazer, a new shirt, a dress that was both cute and cool, that certain feeling of personal style elevation.

While it’s difficult to devise the perfect fashion-ensemble equation, one thing I’ve come to realise is there are two ways to hedge your bets on a winning outcome. Two options to ensuring sartorial success. The first: go classic. Simple, easy, bankable. Nothing new here, nothing particularly memorable, but you’ll always look chic. The second (and one that pays bigger dividends if you win): the unexpected.

The unexpected needs a little more planning and a touch more confidence, but, done well you’ll be the party-goer everyone is talking about…for the right reasons. A timely starting point for this celebratory time of year is The British Fashion Awards that happened in London on Monday night. This uber-chic event brought the most famous faces out for a night of total non-boring fashionation. This was not a red carpet for safe LBD’s, this was a chance to be totally creative. A micro, more-wearable version of The Met Gala, if you will.

So, for that chic Christmas party you have this weekend, be brave to go bold. Why not? Life’s too short to always wear the same thing. You might just have more fun than you ever thought…

 

Alexa Chung in marigold velvet

Wearing a dress from her eponymous label, Chung is known for feminine style that always has a dash of hard-edging. Her marigold, velvet, halter-neck is a hat trick of some of the season’s key trends. This works as well for a fashionable evening as it would for a work Christmas lunch. Decadent velvet in that colour we all still dream about thanks to Michelle Williams. Success odds: 9/10

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Alexa Chung arrives at The Fashion Awards 2018 In Partnership With Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Karwai Tang/WireImage)

 

Georgia May Jagger in hot pink suiting

If there was an Oscar for breakthrough trend of 2019 it would go to the monochrome pant suit. We got the taste for them early in the year, but like that open tin of Christmas cookies next to the office printer, we can’t stop going back for more. Here, we’re loving that Jagger fully committed to her hue of choice. This is unexpected dressing gold (well, pink). The suit, the bag, even the hair. Extra points for the cropped trouser to show of the bejewelled heels. One to try, if you haven’t already. Success odds: 8/10

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Georgia May Jagger arrives at The Fashion Awards 2018 In Partnership With Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

 

Hana Cross (aka Brooklyn Beckham’s new girlfriend) in super-chic casuals

The up-and-coming model who was sighted hand-in-hand with Victoria and David’s eldest son at the BFA’s after-party looked outrageously downtown cool in a cropped tee, printed trouser and oversized tuxedo jacket (actually Beckham’s). This look is one for a casual night, yes, but ohhh the cool-factor makes up for any under-dressing. The best parts? The high-waisted pants cinched with a hardwearing belt, the oversized proportions of the jacket and the hint of midriff to balance it all out. Success odds: 8/10

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Brooklyn Beckham sighting on December 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mark R. Milan/GC Images)

 

Kate Moss in green emerald satin

Okay, we know this look has some definite no-I’m-serious-it’s-not-an-eighties-theme potential, but this assymetrical dress in emerald green is just so extra it works. This is eighties glam with enough irony to make it also super wearable. Imagine frocking up in this style of gown for that OTT new year’s eve party? Glistening in cinched satin, sparkling accessories and a glass of bubbles. No one’s having a boring night in a look like this. Success odds: 9.5/10

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Kate Moss arrives at The Fashion Awards 2018 In Partnership With Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Marsland/BFC/Mike Marsland/Getty Images)

 

Suki Waterhouse in sixties mini frockage

The Brit model and actress (who was earlier this year reported to be dating Robert Pattinson) lives and breathes and keeps-alive London mod-style. She is rarely without a back-combed hairdo or a sky-high hemline. There are two likely reasons for this: it totally suits her, and in the sixties every single party was epically fun. Try the vibe and maybe your next December soiree will take a turn for the fabulous. Success odds: 8/10

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 10: Suki Waterhouse arrives at The Fashion Awards 2018 In Partnership With Swarovski at Royal Albert Hall on December 10, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)

get the looks NOW

Zara frock coat, $139, SHOP NOW
Alice McCall ‘Zen’ dress, $450, SHOP NOW
Attico gathered velvet midi dress, $1270, from net-a-porter, SHOP NOW
Bec & Bridge ‘martini’ dress, $250, shop now
Macgraw ‘observation’ dress, $795, SHOP NOW
Zara basic blazer, $69.95 and skinny trousers, $45.95, SHOP NOW
Saloni ‘michelle’ dress, $1243, from Shopbop, SHOP NOW
Perfect Moment ‘Aurora’ flare pants, $554, from shopbop, Shop now

thoughts?