Every year my work holds a Christmas party.  It normally involves lukewarm turkey, watery gravy, and abundance of cheap wine, a vaguely fancy party dress, and a whole lot of boogie!

Last year I wore an old favourite dress for such occasions - steel grey with heavily embellished shoulders and a sweeping neckline.  I thought I looked great until the pictures came out to reveal lank hair (it was terribly hot), dimply arms, and flushed skin - steely grey evidently isn't my colour!

The dress has since been sold on eBay and I'm sure has gone to a home that will love it far more than I do!

This year will be different - my new short hair doesn't allow for lank, I'll be tanned after a fortnight in the Indian Ocean, and my dress will be stellar (naturally)!

It helps that this year the theme will be MASQUERADE! Excuse the capitals but I'm terrible excited.

I set the style stakes high at work with my power dressing, body hugging dresses, sharp blazers and sky-high heels so upping the stakes for a work party is always hard work.  But this year I'll be able to go all out - a Masquerade screams out for lace, sequins, leather, red lipstick and unapologetic extravagance!

The moment I got the email I set about compiling my pinterest board of amazing looks - don't forget to check it out as its lustworthy (not to blow my own trumpet or anything).   And it wasn't long till I headed to Reading with a trusty pal and began trying on a plethora of full length gowns!

Clockwise from left:  Biba Embellished waist deep v maxis dress from House of Fraser; Myleen Klass Origami Maxi Dress from VeryNigella Lawson; ASOS Peplum Plunge Maxi dress.

Black is an obvious choice for a Masquerade - it's chic, elegant, regal, and bewitching!  In the picture above I'm wearing a wonderful dress from Biba at House of Fraser.   The material is silky feeling and falls in soft folds around you.  It feels elegant and sophisticated - its easy to wear and hides a multitude of sins.  In this photo I'm wearing the size 16 and it fits like a glove!   If you have the budget to blow then astoundingly beautiful Forever Unique Lorna Maxi Dress from Simply Be is perfect for any girl with ample curves ...

Forever Unique Lorna Maxi Dress from Simply Be

I've always been just  little bit infatuated with emerald ... maybe it's something to with my love of The Wizard of Oz?

Left to Right: Cath Maxi Dress from Monsoon;  Biba Wrap over maxi dress in Bottle Green from House of Fraser; Christina Hendricks.

The Cath Maxi dress from Monsoon is to die for ... the ruching at the waist would make my waist oh-so-small and the deep v-neck will elongate the figure!  Unfortunately, I couldn't find it to try on in my latest shopping excursion but another Biba dress, the wrap over maxi dress is a close second.  It requires some shaping wear (which I am definitely not wearing this picture) or perhaps I need to raise it to a size 18 to avoid the unsightly bulging at the hips but the waist and neckline are fantastic on this.  You can't see it in the picture but there are tiny little buttons sitting just left of my hand that are simply adorable!

Easily my favourite dress of the day (and I tried on every full length gown I could find) was the Twilight Sequin Full Length dress by Collection 8 by Phase Eight.   It didn't immediately grab my eye, was drawn instead a the Gatsby-esque dress in deep green with subtle sequin detailing.  

My friend tried the Twilight on first but quickly ruled it out for herself.  I made a comment that it was more me than her and seconds later I found myself zipping myself up and strutting out on the red carpet (the changing room red carpet that is).

Twilight Full Length Dress from Collection 8 by Phase Eight

I was in love - I am in love!  The lace, the subtle sheen of the overlay, the nude slip, the plunging neck and cap sleeves.  It was even long enough for me to wear with killer heels (a rarity in a maxi dress).  Do I need to sell this dress more?

Unfortunately, I can't afford this dress.  As much as I would love to blow my money on this dress, I simply don't have that much so instead I shall dream and lust over the photos.

In the meantime, which mask shall I wear?  

And yes, I have dress but you'll just have to wait until after the night to see it!

C x x


  1. Wow, that lace dress is stunning - they all are, and you totally rock them all! I must say though that the first photo is great too - you look happy and that's what matters! Your hair doesn't look greasy to me - stop being hard on yourself ;-)

    Simone | Thirty Something OAP

    1. Thank you Simone - its amazing how happy several large glasses of wine can make you!