Who says it’s not cool to admit to liking Christmas parties – I love them. Apart from all the friends and family time and free flowing prosecco I love the dressing up! It’s the only time of year when you get the chance to wear sparkly sequin things without looking out of place.

I love a Christmas party. Because, first of all, no not mince pies – sorry but I can’t stand them. Also, panettone. Christmas is the only time of year when, as a grownup, you go to a party and you can put your best dress on and wear all the stuff that the rest of the year is frowned upon. Result. Also christmas parties are about having fun, not just in what you wear but dancing & singing and doing all those old fashioned family traditions.

A festive dress-up is the nicest kind: indulgent and cosy, rather than exposed or difficult or provocative. Anything that requires shapewear or a faffy strapless bra situation can wait till New Year’s Eve, thank you very much – who wants to be strapped in to something you will struggle to get out of later that evening – I’m thinking Bridget Jones and Hugh Grant!. The best Christmas party clothes don’t try and transform you into anyone you are not, but instead elevate tired, five o’clock you into a sparklier, twinklier eight o’clock version of you.

The best-dressed person at a party is rarely the most dressed-up person. I am a believer in making an effort, but this doesn’t mean dolling yourself up like the Blackpool illuminations. Me, I never met a sequin I didn’t like, and this Christmas I intend to wear feathers, possibly at lunchtime. But if high-octane isn’t your thing, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a party look.

Your look can be a gorgeous black trouser suit with flat shoes. Just add a printed blouse, and perhaps a red lip for a flash of colour. Forget scratchy lace: creamy chubby cord is very chic, amped up for evening with an excellent earring and a pop of blusher. You can bypass the hold-your-tummy-in school of dressing and opt for an emerald-green satin, long-sleeve blouse and sequin jeans in a toning colour – the options are endless.

If you are going to invest in one party piece in 2018, make it a high shine blouse. It will take you from the office to dinner, and will take you to the party. A slinky shiny blouse works with everything – jeans, velvet miniskirt, leather trousers – and catches the light without adding too much disco-ball sparkle. If you want to transform your day outfit to night with a little more effort add some big statement earrings or a fur stole for immediate impact.

Accessories? This is the season to bring out your most impractical bag, or show-stopping heels. (Wear them with a long, loose, floaty dress for an easy evening update on the midi-skirt-and-knit you’ve been wearing all autumn.) Leave to-do lists, wetwipes and the hand-sanitiser at home, and swing your smallest, silliest bag. Heck, wear a pair of cat ears, if the mood takes you. You know that rule about looking in the mirror then taking one thing off? It doesn’t apply during this advent. If anything, you need to add one crucial extra finishing touch to complete your party look. Glass of Fizz, anyone?