5 party outfits: Clothes every woman should have in their wardrobe

5 party outfits every woman should have blog header

5 Party outfits: Clothes every woman should have

It is only when party season is upon us that we go to our wardrobes and wail that we have nothing to wear.   We then spend many hours anxiously working out what we could wear what would “do” and planning a smash and grab raid on the local high street, or buying 8 dresses online and returning every single one.

Well, it doesn’t have to be like that.  With a little bit of forward planning you can always have a party outfit, to suit any occasion, in your wardrobe.  There are some clothes every woman should have.  Working Frocks has put together lists of party outfit ideas which you can use as a basis to create your own Christmas party outfits.

Woman in black lace dress. Dress has fitted bodice and flared skirt. Perfect party dress. Wardrobe advice by Working Frocks

Here’s how:

2 Lists of party clothes every woman should have

Firstly you identify which 5 party outfits you are going to create.  Here are two suggestions

List 1 – party outfits ideas

  1. Party outfits – Classic

    1. Long black dress
    2. short black dress
    3. Black satin trousers/top to go with
    4. Fun short dress semi-formal in a colour with a sleeve
    5. Fun short dress, informal to be dressed up or dressed down
  2. Party outfits – Modern

    1. black tuxedo trouser suit
    2. short black dress
    3. Zany dress (I have written a zany dress post and why you need one)
    4. evening shorts
    5. Long, full evening skirt or dress to be worn with cardigan and biker boots/flip flops

You can write your own list.  Or you could start with one of mine and then develop it as you go.  Don’t put pressure on yourself.  This is a selection of clothes every woman should have.  But you mights start with 3 of these outfits rather than 5.  That’s fine, you can add to them over time.


WF sign up to list form

Secondly you need to make a short list of smart events that you are likely to be invited to.  For example:

List 2 Christmas party outfit events

  1. Friend’s 40th/50th birthday bash
  2. Marriage anniversary parties – informal (10 year anniversary) or formal (25 year anniversary)
  3. Relatives birthdays
  4. Friend’s birthdays in pub/wine bar
  5. Business events – Company Christmas party / company sponsored event / company summer party
  6. Ballet / opera / theatre
  7. A dinner dance at children’s school / any sort of school fundraiser
  8. A special evening out with your boyfriend/husband
  9. Family Christmas / Family Easter / Family Thanksgiving / Family summer party
  10. Picnics at open air events eg racing/rowing/cricket/opera

Use this list as a starting point, then add your own events.


Woman in long red satin dress and red shoes. Classic red carpet look, perfect formal party dress. Wardrobe advice by Working Frocks

Put the 2 lists together – Christmas party outfits and Party outfits ideas

Alongside the first list you can add items from your second list, so it will look like this:

  1. Party outfits – Classic
    2. short black dress – THEATRE/OPERA. COMPANY PARTY
    3. Black satin trousers/top to go with – FAMILY PARTY, RELATIVE’S BIRTHDAY
    4. Fun short dress semi-formal in a colour with a sleeve – EVENING OUT WITH HUSBAND.FRIEND’S BIRTHDAY IN RESTAURANT
    5. Fun short dress, informal to  be dressed up or dressed down – OPEN AIR PICNIC. COMPANY SUMMER PARTY
  2. Party outfits – Modern
    1. black tuxedo trouser suit  BALLET/OPERA/THEATRE
    3. Zany dress (I have written a zany dress post and why you need one) – FAMILY PARTY, 25 WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
    5. Long, full evening skirt or dress to be worn with cardigan and biker boots/flip flops – OPEN AIR PICNIC, BALLET, FRIEND’S 40TH BIRTHDAY


WF sign up to list form

Clothes every woman should have – what’s in your wardrobe?

Next you look in your wardrobe and see what items you already have that you are searching for on the list.  So you may already have a short black dress, so you can tick that off your list.  You may not have evening shorts, but long for a pair, so you can put those on your shopping list.  You may already have a long black dress, but not have a fun short dress, semi-formal in a colour.  So you can tick the first off your list and then make a note that you are looking for the second.  The wardrobe must haves for every woman will probably be the classic party dresses: the long black dress, the showstopper red satin gown for example.  However, don’t underestimate the more funky items, such as a fun, short dress, or shorts.


WF sign up to list form


The practicalities of pulling your Christmas party outfits together

It is important that you assign events to your outfits.  This is how you are going to make your clothes work harder for you.  It is also how you are going to avoid stress each time you get invited to something.  You will never think, “I don’t have anything to wear” ever again, because you do have something to wear.

So now you have two lists: clothes you do already have and clothes you don’t have.

Let’s take the first list, clothes you do already have.  From these clothes you need to create your party outfits ideas.  So to put these outfits together, for each item of clothing you need:

  1. shoes/tights
  2. jewellery
  3. a cover up.  What coat/jacket/shawl/wrap would you wear with this?
  4. a bag

It doesn’t matter if you have the same pair of shoes for all items on your list, although you may like to buy another pair to spread the burden of wearing them then the first pair won’t fall to pieces so quickly.  Evening/event shoes are great items to buy in the sale.  I once bought a beautiful pair of Kurt Geiger nude suede strappy high heels reduced from £239 to £39.  Such excitement…  I watched each week as different red stickers were applied: £139, £99, £69, then £39!

woman in gold, sequinned halterneck dress ready for the party season. Wardrobe advice by Working Frocks
Classic standby dress – gold, sequined halterneck

Party outfits ideas – Creating a structure

Ok, do you see what we are doing here?  We’re creating a structure for you so that you have go-to outfits whenever you are invited out.  It means that throughout the year you always have something great to wear and the opportunity to feel amazing.  It’s so easy to fall into that spiral of, “I don’t have anything to wear/everyone else has something to wear / everyone else looks better than me / why do I bother? / I don’t want to go out at all”.  But why should you feel like that?  You are perfectly entitled to go out, look great and feel fantastic.

The second list, the list of clothes you don’t yet have.  This is the list that you take with you when you go shopping, part of your “Clothes every woman should have” project.  What you do is stick to what you need from the list.  You stick to what you have already got planned.  This will make shopping so much easier.  If it’s on your list and it looks beautiful when you try it on, then you buy it.  If it doesn’t, you don’t.  It’s as simple as that.

The discipline of having a “clothes every woman should have” list

This is how you exert control over your wardrobe and over your life.  You police what goes in and out of your wardrobe, so that when you need something particular to wear, such as a party outfit, it will be something you love and something you can still fit into.  The idea of clothes every woman should have is not to have so many clothes that somewhere within the forest of items there is just the right thing to wear.  The idea is that you are only choosing to have in your wardrobe clothes which you will wear.  When it comes to Christmas party outfits you need to choose what you will wear, not what everyone else is wearing.

What makes the global list so good is that you can ring the changes when you feel that an outfit needs retiring.  Of course we all have our faithful standby outfits, our fat day outfit and our favourite outfit.  But having that team of outfits reduces your reliance on them.

5 party outfits: clothes every woman should have in her wardrobe

This exercise can be done in one shot, or you can gradually develop it over time.  It depends on how many parties you are going to and what you already have in your wardrobe.  I really recommend using the new year and summer sales periods to pick up great items for your wardrobe.  Party shoes and other accessories are also greatly reduced at sales times so look out for shoes, bags, tights, jewellery to add to your wardrobe list.

Did you enjoy this post?  What steps are you going to take to build your closet with clothes every women should have?  Start with my tips above and then develop your wardrobe from there.  Please leave your comments below as to what you find useful and what you have discovered for yourself.  We love feedback and to know that we are making a difference.

Would you like to learn more?  We have other great content added to the website regularly.  Learn how dressing affects your attitude and confidence.  or how to organise your wardrobe and get your life back.

Finally if you would like to know more about how to improve your self esteem and change your attitude to life then take a peek at reDRESS.  reDRESS is our women-only membership site. It’s the place to come to transform your personal style and organise your style life.  It’s the perfect place if you are facing a change in life challenge. We can help you to navigate change in your life looking and feeling amazing.

You can start by detoxing your wardrobe, building a collection of clothes that suit you, finding your signature style and engaging with life from a place of your true identity.  You can join the wait list now, doors soon.  You can find out more about reDRESS here.

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Have a great day.



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