For me, half of the fun of party season is in the getting ready, so when Bastyan offered me the chance to style up one of their party dresses, I couldn’t resist. Their dresses put modern spins on classic formal shapes, from cutouts at the waist to sheer panels and embroidered details. I wasn’t so sure on the styles that flashed the flesh and I knew I wouldn’t get much wear out of one of the more formal maxi dresses, so the dress I chose was the Sophia, a fitted black pencil dress with a gathered section, sheer 3/4 length sleeves and a curved plunge neckline. It’s one of those dresses that looks quite innocuous until you put it on. Then you realise what a difference a clever cut can make!
Coming in at £195 (though it’s reduced to £125 in the sale) this is one of the most expensive dresses I own, but you can tell the difference between this and a cheaper style. It’s fully lined, and the fabrics are heavy and luxurious, meaning it skims comfortably, rather than clinging too tightly like a cheaper unlined version. I often find that tight fitting dresses like this can end up clinging in unfortunate places – and I don’t always want to wear shapewear, especially around Christmas. With this, I can wear tights without worrying about digging in, which is definitely an added bonus.
In terms of styling, I don’t really think this dress requires much so I kept it simple, with sparkly studded tights and a black and white clutch bag, plus my go-to festive hairdo, the beehive (with a jewelled headband). The dress would look great with a bright coloured pair of shoes or belt, but I wanted to show that it doesn’t need any extra cinching to work with a curvy figure. The lower neckline is perfect for a big necklace if you prefer, but I actually think it looks just as striking without, as that curved shape is quite a strong design detail. Despite the fact it’s plain black, I think the little touches (the sheer sleeves, the little front split and the neckline) give this dress that extra something, so accessories should be kept to a minimum. Too much drama with a dress that’s already an attention grabber can be a bit much!
Disclosure: The dress was a gift, however I wasn’t paid to write this post and all thoughts are my own