Top 5 Tips for Finding a Bargain Christmas Party Dress
With my inbox inundated with special offers, Christmas sales about to go live, this has really encouraged me to think about how to make Christmas affordable. It’s been a while since I posted a ‘Top 5 Tips’ style post, but after finding a couple of bargain dresses this week, I wanted to share how I did it and how you can bag a bargain Christmas party dress. For first hand shoppers and lovers of second hand alike, I’ve compiled five top tips to help you find a bargain dress this party season.
1. Find the best of the Black Friday offers
I get it. Not everyone wants to shop second hand, or has time to be rummaging for that diamond in the rough. We all know there are times when you need a dress quick, like yesterday, and as great as second hand shops can be at moving with the seasons, charity shopping is a pot-luck gamble. Although, tread carefully. Last week, a report by Which? found that half of Black Friday deals were cheaper in the months before and after. Here are my picks of the sale.
For my fellow curvaceous vixens out there, Lovedrobe are not only offering 50% off but are offering free postage too. Dresses start at £7.50 and feature a range of styles. They’ve got you covered for all festive events, from casual after-work drinks to Belle of the ball chic.
Fun fashion brand, Yumi, are also currently offering 50% off all dresses. If you’re looking for a party dress with added quirk, this brush stroke print skater dress is my favourite choice. It mightn’t seem like the obvious festive choice, but its versatile style means it will see you into the new year
Retro fashion brand, Lindy Bop are well-known for their budget prices and is usually one of the first places that I check for a bargain Christmas party dress. Their Black Friday sale sees popular styles such as Audrey alongside newer pieces. If cocktails are on your mind, then ‘Lita‘ will make sure everyone knows about it. Reduced from £30 to £19, it’s my favourite dress in the sale. Stay up to date as more sale items are due to be released.
2. Check for further discounts and bigger bargains
I know that most people are already wise to running a discount code or voucher search when buying online. Serious bargain hunters will also know to sign up to reputable cashback sites. In the heat of the moment, it can be so easy to forget this. Finally, don’t neglect the ‘Sale’ section of a site, if they have one. Sometimes, you can find last season’s stock for bargain prices.
3. Visit your favourite charity shopping area
Just like the season, there’s been a distinct changing of colours on the charity shop rails. Primary colours have been replaced for seasonal neutrals of black, grey, green and plum. Charity shop retailers are increasingly revolving their stock to mirror consumer shopping habits. If you’re serious about making a sustainable choice, block time out to visit your favourite charity shopping area. Whilst you’d be lucky to find exactly what you’re looking for in one shop, visit more than a handful and your odds are seriously increased.
4. Manipulate an eBay search
Master eBay’s search feature to unlock a potential party dress. Years ago, we’d try to manipulate eBay by purposefully misspelling our search terms. To find the perfect bargain Christmas party dress, ditch the Christmas keywords. Sellers try to take advantage of this Think about the type of dress you want: what colour? What size? What fit? Once you’ve hit search, narrow the search functions down to include a specific price, for example selecting no more than five pounds. Then hit ‘ending soonest’. You’ll be able to see what’s ending soon and a realistic price.
5. Waste not, want not! Get customising!
When it comes to changing our clothing, there’s so much on offer. Tons of dresses hanging in the wardrobe but nothing that’s just quite right? If it fits, add gems, add studs, add embroidery: want to see how? Check our Paige Joanna’s YouTube, especially this video, which sees her transform a simple denim dress with embellishments. If it can be taken in, consider visiting your local tailor. You’d be surprised how little it costs to have a dress hemmed, or taken in.
The Wind in the Willows at The Lowry, Salford
Poop Poop! Who remembers Kenneth Grahame’s classic tale, The Wind in the Willows, from their childhood days? I’ve no doubt many primary teachers tried to introduce me to this classic text, but somehow, it passed me by. Arriving to see The Wind in the Willows at The Lowry, Salford on Press Night, John and I tried to recall a story famous to us only by name.
Brought to life by producer Jamie Hendry, writer Julian Fellow, composer George Stiles and lyricist Anthony Drewe, we discovered the tale to twee, heartwarming and alive with song,. We’re happy to say The Wind in the Willows has survived the transition from childhood to adulthood and is a treat from start to finish.
The Wind in the Willows at The Lowry, Salford, begins along the riverbank and the grand sound of the orchestra signals the introduction of the opening song, ‘Spring’. We are introduced to Mole first, as the music gradually builds to reveal a cast of anthropomorphic animals busily preparing for spring. Alongside the riverbank set design, it can only be described as mesmerizing.
The Wind in the Willows is a tale of unlikely friendship between Rat, Mole, Badger and Toad. When the story begins, Mole (a solitary character) is bored of spring cleaning and ventures out onto the riverbank where he meets Rat. ‘Ratty’ is a good soul and shows Mole the ways of the river. The two become good friends and Ratty takes Mole to meet his friend, Toad, who is wealthy and likes to have a good time. A rich playboy, Toad decides he must own a motorcar. This ultimately leads to Toad’s imprisonment, whilst Ratty and Mole decide to seek the help from Badger. The story unfolds to deliver lessons in morality whilst tugging on the heartstrings.
What is intriguing is how costume designer, Peter McKintosh, is able to convey the creature through the use of simplistic costume. Most obviously, Toad, always attired in green or golden scales. Cleverly, the sly weasels of the tale dressed like gangsters with only their ears poking out of their hat to betray their animal tendencies.
Fra Fee as Mole and Thomas Howes as Ratty are endearing as their friendships grows alongside the story. Neil McDermott, famed for his television roles, is fantastic as Chief Weasel, leading his woodland pack of weasels, foxes and stoats to take over Toad Hall, whilst Toad is unfairly imprisoned for driving offences.
The show is recommended for children and adults alike, although it may not be suitable for children younger than 6. Badger’s language, in certain parts, is antiquated for the purpose of adding to his upper class character. In addition, the show is relatively long: roughly an hour on each side, with a twenty minute interval in between.
Overall, we found the show thoroughly enjoyable and left the theatre feeling uplifted and singing the catchy songs. It was definitely a date night to remember!
Have you seen The Wind in the Willows? What did you think?
Our tickets were provided complimentary for review purposes. However, the show is at The Lowry until 6th November, tickets can be purchased here. Readers in and around Southampton can catch the show from the 10th November.