Even if there are no party’s on your festive schedule, Christmas Day is always a nice excuse to get glammed up. Surely the hiatus from work is excuse enough for a celebration…and a new frock too!? I have a wedding to attend in December, so I have even more reason to hunt out the best dresses Brent Cross has to offer. Work is always full on as the year winds down, so time for shopping is tight. I only had a few hours to browse during this visit, so I had to be efficient. I used the Brent Cross PLUS App ( available on Itunes or Google Play to make sure I knew exactly where I needed to hit, and used to maps feature to formulate the most time effective route. If you intend on doing the same, check the Offers tab to see if you can grab a treat or helpful discount while you’re there!
LEFT TO RIGHT – WHISTLES, TOPSHOP, JAEGER, TOPSHOP
You could take inspiration from traditional male smart dressing and go for some tailoring, but the fit is key here. Reiss have a stunning wine coloured suit (as seen on blogger HannahLouiseF), while Zara had a bright quirky suit covered in nature inspired imagery. You could buy separates with most shops selling black slacks and white blouses, (many with black ribbon detailing). Try Topshop, Gap, Marks and Spencer and Banana Republic for these.
We all love the safety of a little black dress. It’s a wardrobe staple for a reason – it’s quite hard to go wrong with a trusty LBD, and we all know the body masking benefits of wearing the darkest shade.
Topshop has straightforward LBD’s as well as ones with added interest – lace inserts and metal rimmed punch holes. Jaeger added sparkling beads, flower embellishment and sheer arms, at Hobbs there were sequinned peter pan collars and polka dot arms. However Whistles stole the show with their black shift accessorised by asymmetric flapper tassels.
It was clear from mooching round the centre that lace is one catwalk trend that has been wholeheartedly embraced by the high street design teams this season. It could be found in most colours, although plum, orange and black were the most common. Most were fitted to the body, but Hobbs had a stunning navy fifties style dress with a full skirt for all the retro lovers.
Make sure you give yourself time to peruse the reduced items in Fenwick as many tick this trend box. Brands like AX Paris, Glamorous, Little Mistress, Oasis, Ted Baker and Mint Velvet are particularly useful for this style persuasion. My find of the day was a midnight blue, long sleeve/high neck velvet dress in Reiss – I’m still regretting not bringing it home. There was also a beautiful blush velvet midi with stunning back detail and a floor length showstopper with sheer elements.
LEFT TO RIGHT – REISS, REISS, HOBBS, HOBBS
ROCK N ROLL
Sexy leather dresses are chilling nonchalantly on many a rail at Brent Cross this season. Larger budgets must go to Reiss, where they have leathers in classic black and raunchy red. With or without an impressive budget, their embellished black leather midi dress is one to be admired. The attentive staff will also make you feel as special as any visiting rock star. Warehouse (within Fenwick) had a leather dress worthy of it’s own groupie – with a zip on the front and a collar, this has to be the edgiest of the bunch. With the addition of studs, leather and spikes, via accessories or outerwear, classic can be transformed into ‘Rock n Roll’. You could easily add some toughness to sequin dresses from the likes of Hobbs, Jaeger, Warehouse (Fenwick) and Adrianna Papell (John Lewis). I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that All Saints is a must too.
LEFT TO RIGHT : REISS, REISS, REISS, WAREHOUSE (FENWICK), TOPSHOP
Sometimes less is most certainly more. Simple but well fitting dresses, teamed with striking and architectural accessories can be a fast track to high impact party dressing.
Whistles had unfussy and elegant designs aplenty, including a one shoulder mini and a stunning emerald green shift with a drape of fabric over the top. Hobbs was the best port of call for sophisticated dressers looking for shift dress – with tweeds, colour blocking and autumnal hues prevalent. I fell for a Roland Mouret – style dress in burgundy. For slightly younger shoppers Topshop had figure hugging midi dresses in eye catching green and orange, long sleeve metallic mini’s and christmassy red satin babydolls. The likes of Phase 8, Ted Baker and Coast are abundant in uncomplicated glamour. For the extras that will give these looks the wow factor, head to Fenwick’s newly refurbished accessories area.
LEFT TO RIGHT: JOHN LEWIS, HOBBS, WHISTLES, HOBBS, TOPHSOP, LAVISH ALICE(FENWICK)
Brent Cross Shopping centre certainly had club fever, with sparkly or metallic dresses and jumpsuits catching your eye at every turn. French Connection (within John Lewis) went animalistic with their sequin mini (I loved the back zip detail). Fenwick more than catered for the daring divas with 80’s/90’s inspired body con minis and maxi by Jaded London. This is clearly one of Topshop’s biggest trends, with playsuits, culottes style jumpsuits, minis, and midi’s all coming in shiny or glistening materials. Head to Office, Shuh, New Look, Kurt Geiger or Topshop for those apt platforms, or Hobbs for the most stunning multi coloured glitter shoes.
LEFT TO RIGHT: JADED LONDON (FENWICK), TOPSHOP, PULSE(FENWICK), FRENCH COLLECTION (FENWICK)
SO WHAT DID I BUY?
As a tomboy I’ve always felt comfortable in slightly androgynous ensembles. I already own a woman’s tux jacket and matching cigarette pants, so I was looking to twist the look in a different way. I found these high waisted, wide leg trousers in Topshop, which were not just super flattering, but had that cool effortless feel to them. They were hung right near this structured crop as a not so subtle hint that they would be a dream-team together. I often feel a bit out of sorts in a fancy frock but this ensemble instantly felt like me. To stop it from falling into workwear territory though, I found some fun and frivolous accessories in New Look – some pom pom flats, a faux fur and chain bag and a sparkling ear cuff.
This post was sponsored – all opinions my own.