With the holidays just around the corner and your social calendar filling up faster than you can say "Secret Santa", the big question on every woman’s mind is how to get from day to evening without an epic wardrobe change along the way. "The key is to keep it easy and efficient," says Christina McDowell, Image Consultant and National Spokesperson for Holt Renfrew. "You want to take as little to the office as you can but still be able to transform your look and feel a little more glamorous." To help get you ready for your holiday fête, Christina shares her insider tips on how to go from office to cocktails with just a few simple steps.

Holiday party outfit tip #1: Set the stage
Choose either a dress, which you can add a jacket or cardigan to, or a pretty evening top that can be worn under a suit or cardigan, suggests Christina. "Go with either a simple sheath dress or this season’s silk bow blouses paired with a pencil skirt," she says. "That way you’re perfectly dressed for the office and all you have to do is take off the jacket or cardigan and you’re ready for cocktails."

Holiday party outfit tip #2: Add sparkle with statement jewellery
For a little sparkle, add a bold piece of jewellery like a chunky statement necklace or go for the layered look with multiple chains. "You need confidence to pull of a piece of statement jewellery but it has great impact and will definitely translate into something a bit more fun for evening," says Christina.

Holiday party outfit tip #3: Put on a sexy shoe
Switch your simple office pump for a higher, strappy shoe for cocktails. "Christian Louboutin continue to be the go-to shoe for glamour," says Christina. "A great shoe can change the way you walk and gives you a bit of extra confidence for your night out."

More on the perfect party outfit necessities, on the next page…


Holiday party outfit tip #4: Bold lipstick colour
Forget about wasting precious time trying to get the perfect smoky eye>. The easiest way to take your makeup from office to cocktails is to wear a bold lipstick colour. "This season is all about the ruby red lip," says Christina. "It’s an easy way to transform your look for the holidays and more people can wear it than you’d think!"

Holiday party outfit tip #5: Envelope Clutch
"Slip a little envelope clutch into your handbag in the morning and then off you go with your chic clutch instead of lugging around your larger day bag," says Christina. "It just polishes off the whole look and pulls everything together."

Holiday party outfit tip #6: Perfume
Last but not least, finish with a splash of your favourite perfume. "People always forget about fragrance but it really does give you that refreshed glamorous feel," says Christina. "It also changes your attitude because at the end of a long work day, it can be a struggle to go out again so it’s just a little extra something to take you into that element."

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