With more choice than ever on the high street, plus-size partywear shopping needn't be a chore. Katie Wright runs down the trends that will look and feel festive fabulous

Plus-size fashion - increasingly being labelled the 'curve' collections - really went mainstream this year, thanks to 'Body Positive' models like Ashley Graham and Tess Holliday.

Retailers are really coming up with the goods too, taking the seasonal trends and making them work for every figure.

Festive fashion is no exception. In fact, the AW16 trends lend themselves fabulously to partywear - and we've got the style gurus' insider tips to prove it.

From sumptuous fabrics to all things shimmering, here's how to work the winter trends your way...


"This season is really the Golden Age for velvet pieces. We're seeing them not just in a range of colours but also a range of weights and styles," says Bethany Rutter, fashion expert at Navabi. "This means it's easy to find trend-led velvet items that won't cling, if that's something you're worried about. There are amazing jackets, trousers and dresses all made out of heavier velvets, as well as figure-skimming styles with ruching that can make you feel amazing."

:: Scarlett & Jo Joanna Velvet Maxi Dress, £75 (www.scarlettandjo.com)

:: Studio 8 Eva Dress, £130 (Kaleidoscope.co.uk)

:: New Look Curves Dark Green Velvet Wrap Dress, £27.99 (www.newlook.com)


"Every girl loves to sparkle at Christmas, so we have a few options at Scarlett & Jo, from the more subtle lurex tunics in multiple colours, to our top-selling pleated gold foil dress," says founder Gifi Fields. "It comes with a waist tie, which is a great add-on to cinch in and minimize. We call it our goddess gown."

"Sequins are a fun, beautiful way to mark the festive season with your wardrobe," agrees Rutter. "If there's a part of your body you feel self-conscious about, you can use the attention-grabbing qualities of the sequin to put the spotlight on areas that make you feel great."

:: Scarlett & Jo Gold Wrap Pleated Maxi Dress, £150 (www.scarlettandjo.com)

:: Weise Sequin Taffeta Dress, currently reduced to £103 from £206.50, Navabi (www.navabi.co.uk)

:: ASOS Curve Mermaid Embellished Shift Dress, currently reduced to £51 from £85 (www.asos.com)

:: Manon Baptiste Reversible Sequin Bomber Jacket, £218, Navabi (www.navabi.co.uk)


"Well-cut tailored pieces can really make the most of your shape," Rutter advises. "There's a lot of 'style advice' that dictates certain shapes and designs of tailoring should be avoided if you're bigger, but it's much more fun to use your instinct to figure out what makes you look and feel amazing.

"A super structured blazer could be exactly what you need over your party dress, or leg-lengthening cigarette trousers."

:: Evans Black Contrast Trim Jacket, £36; Collection Black And White Star Print Blouse, £38; Collection Black Satin Wide Leg Trousers, £36; Black Standard Fit Velvet Platform Heels, currently reduced to £35 from £45 (www.evans.co.uk)

:: Studio 8 Brooke Sequin Jacket, £97.50, John Lewis (www.johnlewis.com)


Think that all those Nineties-influenced slip dresses and strappy tops aren't compatible with a fuller figure - and the dreaded strapless bra? Think again.

"There's a huge trend right now for layering slip dresses with tops underneath, this is a great way to wear the trend, whatever your body shape, and not compromise on comfort," says Fields.

"I actually like wearing my black satin slip dress with a light sweater over it, which creates a chic midi skirt look until I take the knit off to reveal a sleek eveningwear dress," recommends Rutter.

:: New Look Curves Burgundy Velvet Skater Dress, currently reduced to £18.74 from £24.99 (www.newlook.com)

:: Evans Black Velvet Lace Camisole Top, £25 (www.evans.co.uk)


Always wanted to be part of the so-called Balmain Army alongside Kylie, Kendall, Gigi and co - but your budget doesn't quite stretch that far? Pretty Little Thing has got you covered. Their Christmas collection features enough luxe, long-sleeved bodycon dresses to kit out your whole squad. Add thigh-high boots and your favourite Instagram filter, and watch the 'likes' pour in...

:: Pretty Little Thing Asha Premium Velvet Panel Detail Bodycon Dress, £65 (www.prettylittlething.com)


She may have slimmed down in recent years, but Lisa Riley is still passionate about plus-size fashion, which is why the actress has launched her own label, called Just Be You. Available in sizes eight to 26, exclusive to Ideal World, the inaugural collection features easy-to-wear separates, jewel-toned tunics and a party-perfect LBD.

:: Just Be You Lace Bardot Tunic Dress, £29.99 (IdealWorld.tv)



It may come as no surprise to learn that guys and gals approach Christmas shopping very differently, but now House of Fraser has the stats to prove it. According to a survey from the retailer, most men grab all their gifts in one day, whereas 76% of women pick up bits whenever they can, and are so forward-thinking that 86% shop in the January sales - for the FOLLOWING festive season! A languishing 28% of lads, on the other hand, use the discounts to purchase presents for the Christmas just GONE, a tactic that's sure to land them on Santa's naughty list before the 12 Days of Christmas are even over...


Jetting off for some winter sunshine? Lucky you. In need of some new shades? Sunglasses Shop has a major sale on at the moment, with up to 70% off selected styles, including Ray-Bans for less than £50.

:: Ray-Ban 3025JM Red Sunglasses, reduced to £48 from £153 (www.sunglasses-shop.co.uk)