At last – a useful trend in party frocks

A statement dress with a really busy print is a godsend for women over 40 in the cocktail season.

Asos dress £28People Tree dress £55Debenhams dress £60It’s not often that the party season in the run-up to Christmas co-incides with a useful trend for those of us in mid-life, but this year there is one – the ‘statement’ dress. 

What it really means is a dress with a busy print – think 1950s headscarf, preferably with some black in the pattern. 

Oasis dress £70Monsoon dress £60Cocktail hour can become a lot easier in a print like this, disguising lumps and bumps and the roll of fat where your shapewear runs out. And with every high street store stocking dresses like the above (which range between £28 and £70), in every style and shape, it won’t break the bank either.

The styles may be reminiscent of the 50s but there is also a distinct 80s look to a lot of the prints – I remember (very fondly) wearing such a dress, in purple viscose satin, to a disco back in 1981, so if any of you have something lurking at the back of the wardrobe, now might be the time to get it out. Even if you can no longer get into it, you can at least shock your offspring. 

For those not bold enough to go the whole hog and wear such a busy print in a dress, it also works well in a blouse with a black velvet skirt or pants, or failing all else, get down to a charity or vintage dress shop and pick up a busy, busy scarf to tie around a bag handle, or buy a length of fabric to use as a stole.  

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