High-low dressing is the styling tip fashion editors love for party season

With party season upon us, it’s time to don some sparkles and hit the dance floor. However, after nearly two years (oh how time flies) of generally taking a more comfortable approach to fashion (due to working from home and a lack of social events for many months) many of us are reluctant to go back to the full-on dress up style of yore, complete with sky-high heels and uncomfortably tight waistlines (that party season collides with Quality Street season is a travesty).

If that’s you, then you’ll want to know about the ‘high-low’ dressing technique that stylists and fashion editors love to fall back on for a bit of comfort during party season. Essentially, it’s the art of looking dressy but while staying mega comfy, and it’s a trend that lots of high street brands have utilised this autumn/winter season.

High-low dressing uses relaxed silhouettes, stretchy fabrics and elasticated waistbands for total comfort but then jazzes it up with embellishments like beads or sequins, or by using a sumptuous texture like velvet or satin. It can also mean taking a plain outfit and adding some pizzazz by way of statement accessories or jewellery.

It means that, should the worst happen and Christmas Day/New Years Eve is spent on the sofa, your planned party outfit will still be just as comfortable to wear around the house and won’t go to waste.

We’ve found 13 pieces on the high street that will help you nail high-low dressing this party season…

sequin cardigan

Jigsaw Velvet Sequin V-Neck Relaxed Cardigan, £135, M&S

All over sequins but in a comfortable slouchy cardigan? Perfect. We’d pair this with a simple silver necklace and faux leather trousers or black skinny jeans.

diamante puff sleeve top
& Other Stories

Diamanté Mock Neck Top, £55, & Other Stories

The long puff sleeves bring the drama while the diamanté detailing on the shoulder brings the glamour.

metallic plisse trousers

00’s plisse suit wide leg trouser co-ord in metallic, £25, ASOS

The elasticated waist on these silver plisse trousers allow for room to breathe, eat and dance. Team with a cropped jumper for a casual look, or a simple black halter neck for a perfect NYE outfit.

plisse metallic jumpsuit
Phase Eight

Gloria Plisse Wide Leg Metallic Jumpsuit, £125, Phase Eight

Not only is plisse fabric flattering and forgiving, it’s stretchy, which makes it the best fabric for jumpsuits. The metallic thread keeps things festive.

glitter trainers

Judd Rose Gold Embellished Low Top Trainers, £49 (was £99), Carvela

Tired of heels? Lived in trainers for the past 18 months? Then don’t trade in your new habit now, simply invest in a show-stopping pair that will elevate any outfit.

glitter navy midi dress

Dania Glitter Midi Dress, £89, hush

The subtle shimmer in the navy fabric keeps things elevated, while the elasticated cuffs and waistband keep things comfortable and completely unrestricted. To dress this up more, we’d suggest going big on your accessories and jewellery.

star headband

star embroidered headband, £11.20 (was £16), Accessorize

Unlike jewellery, a velvet and/or sparkly headband is an accessory that truly can be added to any outfit to dress it up – this would go just as well with jeans and a T-shirt as it would a party dress. Even your sloppy Sunday sweats would appreciate the upgrade!

velvet kimono

Cleo velvet embroidered kimono brown, £120, Monsoon

Another piece that instantly adds glamour to an otherwise causal outfit is the kimono. Velvet or silk and embellished is a must.

burgundy velvet top

Velvet Extreme Shoulder Sweatshirt, £21 (was £35), Oasis

A perfect example of high-low dressing in one piece of clothing, this sweatshirt has been enhanced with shoulder pads and luxe velvet for a casual yet dressy vibe.

Free People

Carraway Dangle Earrings, £32, Free People

Blingy statement earrings are a surefire way to inject party vibes to any outfit. Let your ears do the talking so the rest of your outfit can stay simple and relaxed – a black jersey wide-leg jumpsuit would be just right.

mint velvet sequin top
John Lewis

Mint Velvet Sequin Polo Neck Top, £99, John Lewis

Sequins are the essence of party season, but long sleeves and a polo neck make for a cosy feel with this top.

embellished kimono

Black Embellished Long Sleeve Kimono, £30, Next

Kimono styles add instant glamour and this short embellished style will do just that to any outfit.

sequin duster jacket

Sequinned Duster Jacket, £130, Anthropologie

Throw this on and you’ll immediately be at one with the disco ball.

READ MORE: The best Christmas party dresses for 2021