Fashion: You Shall Go to the Office Do;
Brown, Zoe, The Independent (London, England)
The Christmas party season is almost upon us, which traditionally means panic stations in the frock department, but this year I've done the work for you. Pictured here are the 10 best- value-for- money dresses from the high street, so whether its an office do or a major party you're planning for, you need look no further.
The look is slinky and sexy this season, but it's also flexible and there are no hard and fast rules. If you want something on a grander scale just make sure the silhouette is simple - frills are banned. Strapless is big news in all styles and essential if you favour the ball-gown look.
If you want to go the whole hog try H&M - it has the best range of big dresses. The frock featured is a real princess number - it has a boned bodice (with detachable straps, in case you're worried the boning won't support you) plus a tulle-layered underskirt, and at pounds 49.99 it's the bargain of the season. At the other extreme, for minimal chic try Warehouse - the grey satin strapless dress shown here would be smart enough for Posh Spice, although you'll need to be as confident to carry it off. If you're more retiring, think about the Giant dress. Its double layers - lace overslip on slinky underslip - hide a multitude of sins and make a sexy alternative to the little black dress.
Finally, underwear: if you go for a strapless figure-hugging number, treat yourself to a strapless bra and g-string. Don't ruin that fantastic frock moment with a stray strap or VPL.
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Raspberry sequin dress (sizes 8-18), pounds 50, Dorothy Perkins, Brent Cross Shopping Centre, London NW4 (tel: 0800 731 8285)
White beaded feather dress (sizes 8-14), pounds 150, Karen Millen, 22-23 James St, London WC2 (tel: 01622 664 032)
Red duchess satin dress (sizes 8-18), pounds 120, Laura Ashley, 256-258 Regent St, London W1 (tel: 0870 5622116). …