The Chic List: How to focus on your finer points

It doesn’t matter what age you are – when getting ready to go out, the thrill of the transformation from Day You to Evening You never wears off.

I’m more a ‘flatter a shoulder and hide my legs’ person. Dress, Mare Di Latee. Bag, The Row.

I always think a huge part of the fun of socialising is the at-home ritual of dressing up, doing our hair and make-up. Giving ourselves a brand-new costume to face the world.

Women are lucky that we get to play with clothes, with the constant ability to reinvent ourselves, in a way men never do. But even the heartiest among us were up against it during the chilly first weeks of alfresco May, with layers of knits and coats and restaurants distributing blankets – one lovely waiter even handed me a hot-water bottle.

Now – and let this never be snatched away again – it’s such a joy to be able to get properly dressed up, eat inside and put the world to rights at a friend’s dinner table.

One of the things that I’m most often asked for is advice about eveningwear. My response is always the same: flatter the hell out of your best feature. Given enough limelight and attention, that is all that people will remember. It might sound simplistic but I promise you it works, and it’s a great way of boosting your confidence.

So every time you are dressing up to go out, ask yourself which bit of your body you like the most. And don’t dare tell me you don’t have one–we all do.

Too many of us, myself included, struggle to see anything but our faults. This will help you overcome that.

For example, if you have nice eyes, make them pop with make-up and wear earrings to draw people’s gaze to them more. Enough eye contact with those gorgeous blinkers and people won’t pay much attention to anything else.

If you like your arms, but are not madly keen on your legs, apply some fake tan to those babies, wear a round-neck sleeveless top, jumpsuit or a midi dress and let them swing free in all their glory. There’s always something alluring about a bare shoulder.

If you have insecurities about your waist, but like your legs, wear a long-sleeved ruched or loose-fitting dress with Spanx to give you more confidence in that area. Then make sure you pick a dress length and heels that show off those pins.

The other thing I would say is less is definitely more when it comes to alluring evening dressing. A peep here and there from a couple of undone buttons or a cleverly placed slit is more attractive than a whopping great eyeful of cleavage and leg.

Wrap, £285,

This light cashmere cover-up is perfect for garden party chills.

Necklace, £210,

A gold pendant will polish your look perfectly.

Dress, £365, La Ligne, 

Nothing says wow more than an ocean blue.

Dress, £360, Self Portrait

Dance the night away in these sublime party sleeves.

Top, £29.99, ZARA

Show some shoulder.

Bag, £19.99, Mango

Add interest to an evening outfit with an unexpected accessory.

Trousers, £27.99, ZARA

High-waisted trousers and a statement top never fails.

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