What To Wear To A New Year’s Eve Party | An Embellished Cocktail Dress

Bastyan Arin cocktail dress with deep V back
This is the third in my series of What To Wear To A Christmas Party posts – and as 2014 is just three weeks away, I thought I’d show a glamorous look suitable for a New Year’s Eve cocktail party!

I was contacted by London based brand Bastyan to choose and style a dress for a festive party – they sell beautifully tailored, structured pieces that are all about ageless style and quality. I chose the form-fitting Arin embellished deep V back dress in Oyster grey – and it fits like a glove. It has the most beautiful diamanté, bead and chain embellished low cut back; I was a bit worried it would be too low, but it was in fact perfect (there’s no way I’m a girl who can go without a bra, as you can probably tell from these photos)! There’s also a clever concealed zip at the back of the hem which makes the dress a whole lot easier to walk in (I kept it zipped up for the photo shoot).

So as the star of the show was that embellished deep V back, I kept the jewellery simple – crystal drop earrings and a few bracelets – and I wore my studded black heels to echo the back detail of the dress. There are lots of box clutches in the shops right now, and my black and white horse print clutch is the perfect contrast to the grey of the dress without detracting any attention from it. The look was just crying out for some black and white photos as I felt more than a little red carpet-ready wearing it – the Arin dress would be more than worthy of an event like that (you’d have to practice the “looking over your shoulder” pose for the paps)! This is the perfect time of year to splash out on a really special dress if you’re able to, so go for a classic style that has some sort of interesting detail to it. I think I’ve found my outfit for the post Christmas party I’ve recently been invited to…!

Bastyan Arin cocktail dress, grey
Grey cocktail dress, black & white print clutch
2013-12-11 Not Dressed As Lamb 002
Bastyan Arin Oyster dress
Bastyan Arin cocktail dress with deep V back

[I have to mention: With a dress like this you must wear Spanx. Unless you’re an Olympic gymnast, there is no way you can wear a light-coloured, fitted dress without smoothing underwear. Bodycon dresses are unforgiving and you want all the attention on your beautiful dress, not your wobbly bits. I may be quite fit and reasonably in shape, but before I’d put on my magic knickers my reflection was not very kind to me – gravity takes its toll after the age of 40, no matter how fit or slim you are! So shapewear is not for “sucking it all in”; it’s designed to create a smooth silhouette. Always, always get the ones that come halfway down your thighs – like these Spanx – or you’ll still end up with VPL. Without them the back of your dress will still get a lot of attention, but for all the wrong reasons!]
Catherine x

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Shop my look! I’ve picked out some of the most beautiful party dresses from Bastyan (including mine in the middle!) and a gorgeous selection of box clutches as mine’s sadly no longer available…

Dress: c/o Bastyan, Bag: c/o French Connection, Heels: New Look (old), Earrings: Unknown (similar – US shipping; similar – UK shipping), Bauble ring: Debenhams, Fingertip ring (set): Asos, Bracelets: H&M / Debenhams / New Look, Watch: Debenhams (similar), Nails: Nails Inc Limited Edition

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I have been compensated for this post by Bastyan. All content is original, however, and any opinions are 100% honest.


  1. 16 December 2013 / 11:10 pm

    Wow. If my butt looked like that, I'd feature it first as well.
    Seriously … just beautiful!

  2. 16 December 2013 / 8:19 pm

    That dress is beyond fabulous. The details are stunning. Off to pin it now!

  3. 16 December 2013 / 7:20 pm

    That dress is stunning and classy!! I'd definitely love to have a party to wear it to!

  4. 16 December 2013 / 1:32 pm

    I love this dress! and you are gorgeous, following this blog now!

  5. 15 December 2013 / 10:58 pm

    Thanks for sharing the glam with Visible Monday, Catherine! xox

  6. 15 December 2013 / 10:24 pm

    You look absolutely gorgeous ! Love everything, your dress, your hair and also the accessories !

    Fashion and Cookies

  7. 15 December 2013 / 8:46 pm

    Very chic, but looking at you made me feel very cold. Can't you at least put on tights? Brrr. Beautiful but brrr.

  8. 12 December 2013 / 9:26 pm

    Wow, this dress is amazing. Like this you gonna be the star on new years eve.

    Would you like to follow each other?
    Take a look at our blog and let us know. 🙂

    Kiss, Selina & Olivia, The RedViolet

  9. 12 December 2013 / 9:11 pm

    wow you look amazing as always! i love the plunging neck at the back rather than the front, just low enough to still be able to wear a bra. How people can go bra-less is beyond me! I've worn spanx tights once or twice and I'm 16 haha, found them kinda uncomfortable though! Have fun partying, make sure you go crazy ;D
    lily x

  10. 12 December 2013 / 7:29 pm

    Your figure is amazing, Catherine and I firmly believe it wouldn't be any different without shapewear (which I am a great fan of myself!)
    Silver grey isn't easy to wear in winter but for you and your hair it is absolutely stunning!
    Love it!

    Annette | Lady of Style

  11. 12 December 2013 / 1:26 pm

    Girl – I love that plug for spanx – you are speaking my language!

    And can I just say – your bum looks ah-maz-ing in that dress! Bravo. love it!

  12. 12 December 2013 / 3:25 am

    catherine! you look so dang stunning I had to pin some pictures from this post! that v back and perfect fit dress is beyond amazing! you seriously look so stunning!

  13. 12 December 2013 / 2:58 am

    You look stunning. Sigh…I really need to get into shape now!

  14. 11 December 2013 / 10:50 pm

    I love Tonia Bastyan's chic elegant dress designs, and this is a stunner!! love the embellishment on the neck line. Its a great look – I also like your heels and the glittery NP :0)

  15. 11 December 2013 / 9:09 pm

    Glamorous dress that's also so wearable, Catherine. You look stunning! xox

  16. 11 December 2013 / 8:59 pm

    WOW, that dress is stunning on you! Great post and thanks for including the Spanx info 🙂

  17. 11 December 2013 / 8:30 pm

    Catherine, this is a stunning look. You would star in any party you wear this at. The dress fits you like a glove!! Love it all.

  18. 11 December 2013 / 7:22 pm

    So lovely, Catherine!! This dress was the perfect choice; everything – from the colour, to the embellishment, to the deep "V" back – says "special occasion!!" And the hidden zippered slit is just ingenious!! Finally, I can't NOT mention the clutch with the horse motif…what a great conversation piece!!


    • 11 December 2013 / 7:41 pm

      It's such a shame it's not available anymore, Monika [the clutch] – I scoured the interwebs but all gone sadly. Thank you for your lovely comments as always, sweetie!!

  19. 11 December 2013 / 5:54 pm

    Whit woo! this is a gorgeous and classy look, I like the fact that the embellishment is on the back, makes it more unusual and also this is a really great colour that'd be perfect to wear to weddings too.

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:36 pm

      Gosh yes I didn't think about weddings – it would be perfect! So glad you love it – thanks Helen!

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:34 pm

      WOW now that's one of your best ever compliments, Terry!! Thank you so much!!

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:45 pm

      Always always welcome!

  20. 11 December 2013 / 4:49 pm

    I've got a couple of dresses from Bastyan and they are a joy to wear. I'm sure you'll be the belle of the ball in yours!

    Emma x

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:34 pm

      Ahhh you're a Bastyan girl too, Emma! Yes I was really impressed with the quality – especially with this type of fabric – if it were poorly made it would really show. But luckily it was a beauty, inside and out!! Thanks hun x

  21. 11 December 2013 / 4:40 pm

    Wobbly bits .. tee hee .. I thought that was funny 😉

    Lovely dress .. not a style I can squeeze into .. spanx or not.

    Monica, http://www.pear-shaped-gal.com

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:33 pm

      Most of us have them, Monica!! ;))

      Thank you, I'm glad you love the dress – though there are styles that look hideous on me, even though I love them. We all want what we can't have, sadly…!

  22. 11 December 2013 / 3:46 pm

    Fabulous, dear Catherine

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:31 pm

      I can always rely on you when it comes to dresses, Sacramento!! Thank you xoxo

  23. 11 December 2013 / 3:21 pm

    This is such a classy and sophisticated dress, I love how the detail is on the back. This look is so well put together, the sparkly nails are a nice touch! BEAUTIFUL! x

  24. 11 December 2013 / 3:16 pm

    Yes, beautiful dress, and a lovely choice!

    • 11 December 2013 / 7:29 pm

      Thank you Anna – so glad you like it 🙂

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