Thought that the perfect party dress was the holy grail of dressing for after dark this December? Think again. For the year's closing social events, stylish separates are proving that when it comes to dressing to dine, dance, drink and dazzle, the question of what to wear is very much now a split decision. We show you the very best ways to take two or more stylish separates, and transform them into a fail-safe party look.

Model wears the Basset embellished black and white top and the Ombre black shearling coat


As much of a tradition as any of the other trappings that come hand-in-hand with the festive period, if there's a time that embracing embellishment has perfect relevance, the end-of-year party season is surely it. Sequins, sparkle, glitter or beading? We advise taking the trend in its subtlest guise; for this look to micro beading, which, for all its intricacy is surprisingly subtle when worn in classic monochrome as above.

Model wears the Pierre black lace shirt, the Devi blue lace skirt and the Minx leopard print shearling coat


So much of the year is spent observing rules of good style and good taste, but the party season provides the unique opportunity to inject fun and frivolity and into your wardrobe; it's practically a prerequisite. In amped up electric blue, ladylike lace becomes the eveningwear must-have which feels every bit as good as it looks. Pair with a sheer black shirt and a leopard print coat for a look which may not be shy and retiring, but one which is most certainly stylish.

Model wears the Faris black fringed top and the Seliano black pencil skirt 


Texture? Check. Movement? Check. For its sheer novelty alone, it’s hard to deny the pure of joy of wearing fringing for party season. The perfect ruse for under-practiced dance moves (who can’t fail to be fascinated by rippling fringing?), sidestep seasonal sartorial cliche and wear fringing on a skirt or a top instead of a dress. Take note of the design’s inherent attention-grabbing nature though and draw on a neutral or monochromatic colour palette to keep your look on the right side of tastefulness.

Lucy Williams of Fashion Me Now in Reiss AW14

Sharp suiting is the chicest way to stand out amid the social season's sea of dresses.Channel the spirit of YSL's Le Smoking in sharply cut black tailored separates, but to give this look a feminine edge, pair with black lazer-cut high heeled shoes, a shimmering embellished clutch bag, and a pout slicked with scarlet.