Choosing what to wear to as a party outfit can almost overshadow the event itself, but it doesn't have to be this way. Settling on the ideal outfit requires just one key ingredient: a sense of individuality.
Unfollow the crowd at your next occasion by using this guide to pick out what to wear to a party for every date in your diary.
A bohemian aesthetic is an obvious choice for beach party clothes, so opt for an athletic take on the trend.
Several designers championed a colourful sports-luxe aesthetic for Spring and Autumn 2016. Try British swimwear label Prism for minimalist shapes in metallic hues, or look to New York-based Onia for contemporary geometric patterns on a plain base. Alternatively, the SS16 collection from Lisa Marie Fernandez cleverly combines ethereal, draped items with stylish two-pieces featuring a utilitarian edge.
Both Fendi and Givenchy embraced athletic wear for the same season. Silky track pants with colourful panelling from either label’s range will make an innovative cover-up.
A pair of pool sliders epitomise the sports-luxe look. Nº21’s embellished designs are so covetable, they're sure to get you rethinking flip-flops as a fashion-forward staple.
Garden Party Botanicals
The obvious choice for a garden setting, florals can feel predictable. Yet structural silhouettes and offbeat detailing elevate botanicals. Consider contrasting your prints for the most directional effect: an oversized all-over graphic in moody tones will complement an intricate pattern in pastel shades.
The Dolce & Gabbana Summer 2016 catwalk was awash with outsize, textured daisies on demure dresses in primary hues. And while Andrea Marques toned down petals in the same season with abstract watercolour prints in muted shades, Adam Lippes covered the catwalk in photo-print florals for Pre-Fall '16.
A ‘90s Throwback
Several designers have opted for a powerful ‘90s redux lately. A mixture of Seattle grunge and Britpop, the trend lends itself to late-night basement raves and house parties.
Stella McCartney’s SS16 collection unearthed inspiration in London, with chequered polo shirts and primary hues dominating her catwalk show. Off-White took an athletic approach to the decade for its AW16 collection, offering high-shine finishes and voluminous shapes. For the label's Pre-Fall debut in the same year, a combination of distressed denim and directional forms forged a 21st-century take on ‘90s thrift-shop couture.
Mugler’s stark monochromes and strikingly futuristic cuts generate a unique brand of experimental femininity. The label’s love of daring cutouts and sheer fabric is reminiscent of ‘90s grunge, yet the architectural silhouettes are thoroughly modern.
Irreverence in Ibiza
Use flat sandals as a base for building your Ibiza party outfits. A pair with burnished embellishments and cut-out detailing adds a hard-luxe edge to a feminine ensemble for day or night.
The SS16 catwalks had a strong ‘70s aesthetic well suited to the White Island’s hedonistic atmosphere. The decade was given a current update at Balmain in a collection encompassing ruffled bodies with lacing, off-the-shoulder crop tops and rich, earthy tones.
Temperley London took a fresh approach to the era: longline kaftan-style dresses with all-over floral prints in summery blues, whites, yellows and greens dominated its clothing for SS16.
Haute Couture Birthday Drama
A birthday event calls for an elegant ensemble. With its sleek and feminine tailoring, Victoria Beckham’s ultra-polished aesthetic offers a host of party outfit ideas. The designer's longline shapes with figure-conscious panelling come in a range of striking colour-block shades.
From ornately patterned minis to maxis in dark tones, the AW16 catwalk had a gothic edge. Alexander McQueen rarely strays from a brooding aesthetic, and this season saw semi-sheer winter florals dominate the runway. A favourite of model Hailey Baldwin, Philipp Plein combines opulent fabrics with a sense of toughness for an alternative take on femininity.
Uncompromising drama epitomises Valentino dresses, with intricate beading and outsized baroque prints evoking the label’s Italian allure. Rich, sumptuous fabrics ran through the AW16 show, which was heavily influenced by the Russian ballet.
Fashion Show After Party
Certain afterparties have become more notorious than the events they follow, like Alexander Wang’s warehouse-style raves.
Wang is renowned for his love affair with New York’s underground scene. His AW16 collection features form-fitting monochrome mini dresses that epitomise the gritty aesthetic of his afterparties. Saint Laurent, on the other hand, gives a disco spin to this directional look, with oversized shoulders and sequins in jewel tones.
Look to Maison Margiela for unconventional inspiration for a party outfit. The label’s asymmetric lines and raw edges evoke an offbeat elegance, while opulent fabrics lend its pieces effortless polish. Its metallic ankle boots and shoes with laser-cut detailing feature solid stack heels for dancing from dusk till dawn.