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IT'S that time of the year again and many companies around the country are busy handing out invitations to annual jamborees and red-carpet events.
It is possible that the function may be a formal, almost red-carpet affair. It may be happening at a plush hotel or some other special venue. It is important to look good and make a good impression so give some thought to dressing for success.
Hangwani Nengovhela of Rubicon Clothing says, the number one rule is: keep clothing appropriate and take the opportunity to review your style in keeping with current fashion trends.
Nengovhela says the number two rule is to decide how prominent a role you will be playing at the function.
"In other words, will you be a spotlight star accepting an award prize? Will you be making a speech? If so, you may need extra confidence when all eyes are on you. For that, you will need the perfect dress or other ensemble," she says.
Nengovhela says you should also consider the time of the event weather conditions, level of formality and, of course, what others wear. To make a sensible choice, study dress code on the invite or memo. With so little time and heavy schedules that include wrapping things up for the year, shopping for party clothes might be the least of priorities in your to-do list. Don't fret. Sowetan has done the legwork for you.
What's in? Nengovela says party season is the time for letting your imagination run wild, especially with the shoes and accessories that are making all the noise this season.
High platform heels come in vivid colour blocks or shimmering brocade, while metallic pumps have added drama with their jewelled cone heel.
There's even a gold trimmed version of this year's must-have gladiator heel. As far as bags go, clutches really come into their own for parties, along with small-framed bags and small bags with a chain strap.
Big necklaces are the secret fashion weapon this summer with chic knots of gold or decadent silver tassels contrasted with gem stones, while bangles confirm the point that more really is more.
Taryn Whiting of Sarita Apple Ale has the following tips that will help you transform your work-wear into glamorous evening look:
l Plan ahead when deciding what to wear. Choose transition pieces such as a simple A-line solid-colour dress that can be topped with a jacket for day and left without a jacket for night;
l Keep a few evening accessories at the office or your car. A shimmering evening shawl or belt may be all you need to glam up your day look. Also keep some evening heels and a clutch handy;
l Trade up the shoes and handbag. Strap on a pair of sexy sandals or flashy heels for evening wear, leaving the standard pumps under your desk. Swap the big bulky bag for a glam clutch;
l Glam up the accessories. For day time, less is usually more in the jewellery department. For night, almost anything goes. We're talking diamond hoop earrings, bold cuffs and eye-catching necklaces. Let your personality show!
l Versatile locks. Roll out a simple bun for flowing evening locks. Or add some hair jewellery to glam up a simple up-do;
l Keep those samples. Never thought you would use those trial-size hair products? They fit snugly into your desk drawer or bag and can transform your hair;
l The dark side. All you need to do to transform your day time make-up is apply a shade or two darker. Include blackest black mascara, smoky eye shadow and a dark eye pencil in your make-up bag. Add a shimmery metallic to the area between the eyelid and eyebrow for extra pop;
l Splash and go. A spray of your favourite scent on your way out of the office and you're officially glam for the evening. Just don't overdo it though;
l Hold your head high. Nothing says glamour and sophistication more than confidence. Stand up straight and don't be afraid to be the centre of attention;
l The ultimate accessory. Remember the brands you choose say a lot about who you are.