The clocks have gone back and the darker winter months have arrived but it's not all doom and gloom - winter fashion can be fabulous too and planning some sparkly festive outfits is always fun and uplifting! I've been slowly sorting my autumn/winter wardrobe out, having a bit of a refresh and seeing what gaps need filling, as well as checking my diary to see what invitations are coming up so I can decide on my festive outfits!
As you probably know, I am a big dress fan, and whatever the season, a dress is just so easy to put on, style and wear, with no cumbersome too tight waistband to worry about, a dress can be the ultimate in comfort as well as style. And I was recently asked by Afibel if I would like to choose four of their new season dress styles, alongside two gorgeous jackets and share how I've style them. All the outfits featured in my post are from the Afibel new festive collection.
Remember that everyone, whatever size or shape, can rock a dress, and in this blog post I am going to talk through a few different style details to look for to ensure a flattering fit every time.
Afibel is a French company, it was founded in 1954, and offers ready-to-wear clothing for every BODY from a size 6 to a size 34. I was very impressed with the combination of style details and high quality fabrics in the dresses I received, so do read on to take a closer look and let me know which one is your favourite!
This is a sponsored blog post.
Why choose a dress this festive season?
To look instantly stylish, and for ease of getting ready, then a dress ticks all the boxes, plus I find a dress so much more comfortable without a tight waistband to worry about and no unsightly muffin top either. And whilst it is lovely to consider the latest autumn/winter trends, it is important to start with finding the best fit to flatter your shape. Then add in your own style personality with colour, print and texture.
I know what dress shape suits me - I avoid a fitted shift dress for example - and favour a fit and flare style or shirt dress. It just works so well for me, and although I am slim with a small waist, I am also curvy so I like to choose a shape that will skim and feel comfortable all day long.
Make sure you understand what your best features are and what you want to accentuate - for me it is my shoulders and decolletage then my waist, I love a V-neck style for example. Remember that even if you are feeling a bit self-conscious of your body shape, and would like to lose weight, there will still be beautiful features you should show off!
I am wearing a size 10 in all the Afibel dresses and jackets featured, they fitted exceptionally well and I didn't find the sleeve length too long, the sizing was spot on.
The universally flattering fit and flare dress
My first pick from the Afibel new season dress collection, was this green knit dress with a crossover effect, the Heristal dress comes in four colourways but I loved this green animal print. It is made from a soft knit jersey fabric and the crossover neckline ensures a feminine look and fitted shape. A V-neck gives a slimming effect by drawing the eye towards the centre and I love this style to avoid any overheating, I'd rather add a scarf for warmth that I can remove than feel constricted with a high neck and no option to strip off! The clever panelling on this dress ensures it skims beautifully from your waist and over your hips and the tie belt pulls your shape in. It has 3/4 length sleeves which are perfect for the cooler months, shows off a little bit of wrist and will highlight pretty bracelets plus it means the sleeves never look too long.
I am a big fan of the fit and flare dress, also known as an A-line style, they are fitted at the waist and flare out to the hem, this style is universally flattering and will work well for most body shapes. It looks great with heels, boots, flat shoes or trainers and with a jacket over. Length can vary from a shorter midi length (shown here) to a classic midi or a midaxi.
A jersey fabric for a dress is another love of mine, the soft stretch, no static and the fact that it doesn't crease are all big ticks!
A stand out velour blazer
I've styled the Heristal dress with this gorgeous velour jacket, the Tibus comes in green and navy blue, it is fully lined with pockets and really adds a touch of sophistication and pop of colour to the dress. Of course it can also be styled with trousers, a skirt, jeans or mix and match it with the dress further down this post! A velvet or velour jacket does not have to be saved for a night out, it will look equally fantastic for the office, ideal for desk to dinner or for adding a warmer layer to a little black dress.
The metallic trend for AW23
Next up, another fit and flare dress (I did say they are my favourite style), my top tip, if you find a dress style that works for. you, buy it on repeat and add it to your capsule wardrobe.
But I added in the very on trend metallic by choosing this amazing biker jacket, the Terja comes in pale gold and goes with everything, it really adds a striking finishing touch. I love how it is reflecting the light in my photos and it looks fabulous with the Hymont dress from Afibel but would look equally as good with jeans or wide leg trousers for an evening out. Or why not style it with the party dress I am wearing later on in this post!?
This season texture is all about the metallic theme, it's everywhere, and looks so striking and fun! I've been watching my Instagram feed explode with silver trousers, gold boots and stunning metallic skirts. There is great outfit inspiration on insta but be careful with the overall look, as much as I love the metallics, I have to be realistic about how often I might actually get to wear them - I am not likely to be popping to Waitrose in silver leggings! So unless off to a party, my personal style tip is to consider the next best thing, accessories or a jacket!
Colour, texture and layering for your winter dress style
The Hymont dress is another lovely green, with a modern graphic, floral print, it has a super flattering elastic smocked waist detail and the long sleeves are finished with elastic too making them easy to wear. Still with the attractive V-neck detail, the neckline isn't too low, so no worrying about cleavage on show.
Don't be afraid of print, if you are more petite like me then a smaller print is better, but make sure you experiment with different looks!
I always style my winter dresses with long boots, I prefer not having to worry about tights, and I think a long leather calf boot is elegant, offers a leg lengthening effect and is a little warmer too! I would only wear an ankle boot with a midaxi length, I feel the gap between top of boot and bottom of the dress can give too much of a shortening effect and my 5'2" height needs a bit of. help. The boots I am wearing are a pull-on style from Phase Eight (current season) and they are generous on the calf.
The always comfortable knitted sweater dress
A straight shift dress isn't my favourite style but I do make an exception when it is a knitted, sweater dress. A shift dress tends to be a loser, straight style rather than the more fitted sheath dress which pulls in at the waist, a shift dress is more likely to skim the waist like this one, the Haget from Afibel. This light beige colour with a jacquard pattern really suits the winter months, it has a Christmas, apres-ski, type look to it which is what attracted me to it. A neutral colour is a popular choice for creating a timeless, classic look, that can be worn as an entire outfit or used as a backdrop for other colours. I have added a cream knit around my shoulders, a cream cross-body bag and my brown Fairfax & Favor suede boots for a country look.
And finally a festive party dress!
I really love this dress! It is the Waouh in black and gold and features a flattering cross over neckline and flutter sleeves, it has elastic at the waist and a soft, flowing skirt that falls to an elegant ankle length. Again it has the nod to the metallic foil trend and I've added gold platform sandals from Sole Bliss and a gold clutch bag from Zara as well as a sparkly necklace and earrings.
Afibel have a fantastic festive dress collection with lots of partywear styles for the season ahead!
During the winter months particularly I wear an all-in-one slip under my dresses, this adds warmth as well as giving a smooth finish without the faff of shapewear. And not applicable to the knitted, jersey dresses I'm featuring here, but an all-in-one slip can help with any static too, I like to spray my dresses and skirts with an anti-static spray, I hate it if I leave the house and find the fabric has become too clingy!
I hope you enjoy my picks from Afibel and get some festive outfit inspiration!
Disclaimer: this post is sponsored by Afibel and my dresses and jackets were gifted to me to review, all opinions and words are my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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