Party Pieces Our Pick of the Formal Style Trends of 2021
After 2020’s shift from big events to small intimate gatherings, this year, parties are tipped to be bigger than ever -- and with that comes a renewed focus on refined going-out style. Need a refresher on getting glammed up? You’re not alone. Read on to find out how.
Published 11 March

A big date in the diary is a great reason to go shopping for the perfect outfit, and with new winter styles hitting the shelves every week and a little expert guidance, you’ll be able to find formal-appropriate fashion trends to fall in love with.

This season, womenswear designers are scaling up the romance; dramatic billowing sleeves, ruffles, satin, sumptuous fabrics, bohemian prints and feminine colour palettes will all dominate in the style stakes.

For men, impeccable tailoring will always be a given, but it reigned supreme this season. We also saw a touch of the romantic in menswear with ‘70s silhouettes and bohemian rock dominating runways.

Read on to get some style guidance for your next event.

1. Sumptuous Velvet

Velvet is a classic. It’s surprisingly versatile, and, when done well, looks elegant and chic. The texture and sheen of the fabric can elevate your outfit and bring an added dimension to your look. We’re also seeing velvet in accessories but this year the fabric is bringing the drama, no matter how it’s worn.

Nothing says romance like this season’s velvet dress. Perfect for a winter wedding or seasonal celebration, velvet is warmer than silk or flimsy fabrics. It also looks phenomenal in photographs and will give you an added shine if you’re looking to stand out.

For men, try a burgundy velvet suit accessorised effortlessly with a black bow tie. Or, simply add a touch of intrigue to a wool-blend suit ensemble with a dark velvet bow tie to add depth to your outfit.

1. Zara - Velvet Belt with Engraved Buckle
2. Aquila - Extra-slim-fit evening jacket in cotton velvet
3. Lovisa - Black Velvet Turban Headband


2. Bohemian Rock

The bohemian look is nothing new, but this season it takes on a rockstar feel. For women, think dresses with black fringing, or floaty, feminine frocks made edgier with a black boot and heavy jewellery.

For the gentlemen, think suits in paisley prints or those made from natural fabrics like linen and cotton -- add a hat if you’re sartorially savvy.

1. Rodd & Gunn - Blumine Jacket
2. Mimco - Form Choker
3. Witchery - Lace Neck Dress


3. Stun in Satin

Silky-smooth satin is having an enormous resurgence. Satin is ideal for glamour gowns in that it drapes beautifully and feels as luxe as it looks. A matching satin suit always makes a statement, too – but if that’s not your style, dresses this season range from sleek and stylish to edgy and luxurious.

And satin isn’t just for womenswear. It can also work on men. If you’re willing to make a statement, a satin suit jacket can certainly do the trick. For a black-tie event, try jewel tones like red or blue, paired back with black trousers.

1. Cue - Drapey Satin Hooded Utility Top
2. Country Road - Long Sleeve Popover
3. Veronika Maine - Matte Satin Wide Leg Pant


Or, discover more retailers to explore here.