Mixing Metallics and Styling a Bardot-Style Christmas Party Dress #iwillwearwhatilike

Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

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What screams “Christmas party” more than metallics? Gold, silver and all things shiny are fabulous all year round, but none more so than during the festive season.

I’ll always love a pretty dress at Christmas time, whether it’s for a full-on party, a gathering with friends or the big day itself. And as I’m also a fan of midi dresses, this grey ruffled dress with silver polka dots had me swooning the second I saw it – it ticks so many trend boxes! The ruffles, the off-the-shoulder Bardot-style top and the spots come together to make a dress that may not be super bright or over the top colourful, but I fell in love with its elegance and feminine frills.

I chose this dress as part of my collaboration with JD Williams – you may have seen in September that I’m part of their exciting Colour Council (with five other influencers) that the brand launched to coincide with their total rebranding the same month? They are now not just a fashion brand but they’re “JD Williams – The Lifestore”. I have to give them full marks for a truly excellent rebranding campaign: the message, the imagery, the models used and even the colourful new logo are all well worth checking out.

For me, the reason for joining their group of fabulous women was to show how colour plays such an important part of our lives… It’s all about leading a colourful life, not necessarily just wearing orange with pink and yellow (though as regular readers will know I’m all about the colour clash as well)!


Although this outfit isn’t smack-you-in-the-face bright, it has a subtle colourfulness to it that makes as much of a statement as any rainbow brights will. It’s not that obvious, but I’ve been a major rule-breaker with this outfit in the form of using mixed metallics. I know some people wince at the mere thought of mixing up gold and silver, but when you have a dark grey dress that’s completely covered in silver polka dots it needs warming up. It would also be overkill (in my opinion) if you were to pile on silver accessories and jewellery, so I thought I’d try gold instead.

Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style



You know what? I think it totally worked. By pairing the dress with strappy gold sandals (I tried my gold block heels but they were too chunky for such a delicate dress), a clutch bag with gold sparkles and gold hardware plus long gold earrings I got the additional warmth I needed. My orange nails and the red bangle gave the outfit an extra (but subtle) punch of colour.

BTW did you know that these barely-there strappy heels that were so popular back in the late 90s/early 00s are back? You may want some tips to make wearing heels more comfy if you want to give them a try.

And can we talk about off-the-shoulder (Bardot) tops and dresses?

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I’ve shied away from this style for so long, and I did dabble in it last year with a OTS top that I adored, but I’ve not bought any other tops or dresses in this style since. Being somewhat busty, I find that without a ruffle my top half looks very 1950s (you know the cone-shaped bras they wore?) and it’s not an area I want to draw attention to that much. The ruffle stops my ample chest from being exaggerated even more (helped further by my strapless Wonderbra), so when I saw this dress I was praying that it would work and not make me look too buxom… Check and check on both points!

So the festive season really IS the time to break out the brights, or break out the metallics, or glam up your black and neutrals. Just go for something glitzy, sparkly, floaty – anything that makes you feel more tszujed up than you do on a normal day. It’s the best opportunity you’ll have all year to experiment with a new look, so be daring and just TRY those sequinned pants, ladies!


– JD Williams

The Colour Council

I’ve been really proud to be part of JD Williams’ rebrand – it feels like a company has finally woken up to the fact that 40+ women don’t want to be age appropriate, that we don’t want to be treated any differently to the 20-somethings as far as our need (and want!) to shop and look great is concerned. The new TV advert announced that we should “Scrap age. Scrap over the hill, long in the tooth and past your prime…” (hear, hear).

I also…

Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
I also love this quote from the Director of Creative at the group which owns JD Williams, who said:

“We’re incredibly excited for everyone to see the new campaign and the brand’s new look. We’ve evolved JD Williams to evolve with our customer and are championing and celebrating the 45 to 60-year-old women in a way which taps into her unique attitude, rather than her age.”

Now that’s something I am SO relieved to hear. For too long we’ve been given the token silver-haired model as a way of appeasing those of us who say we’d like to see midlife women represented more in advertising. Don’t get me wrong – these women are stunning, but a beautiful older woman with long silver hair is NOT representative of all midlife women. So to see women who could have been anything over 40, 50 or 60 (minus the silver locks) appearing in the JD Williams advert was a revelation.

Let’s hope other brands sit up and take notice…!

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Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

Dress | Heels | Clutch: all JD Williams c/o

Earrings: Asos (similar)
Bracelet: Asos (similar)
The strapless bra I wear is by Wonderbra: black and beige (A-G cups, back size 30-38)

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The #iwillwearwhatilike link up with Not Dressed As Lamb

Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist’s list of “inappropriate” items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!


The link up goes live every Monday at 3pm UK time and will stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you’re wearing whatever you damn well like!

An InLinkz Link-up

Linking up etiquette…

CLICK HERE to read the rules of linking up (and to grab the #iwillwearwhatilike button). Basically it’s just good manners to link back to here – to leave a comment is even nicer!

Featured favourites

Fashion bloggers who believe in #iwillwearwhatilike

My favourite outfits from last week’s link up:

(L-R) Talitha’s Take | Lazy Daisy Jones | Tones Stil


To get yourself featured next week, make sure you’ve included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!









– 7 Last Minute Christmas Party Outfits From the Over 40 Collective

– What It’s Like to Be a Guest Editor for a Fashion Brand’s Magazine | The JD Williams Magalogue


Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeVisible MondayShoe and TellFake It Until You Make ItTurning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog Posts, My Refined Style, Passion for Fashion Friday, Fun Fashion Friday, Saturday Share Link Up

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by JD Williams (click here for my full disclosure)It contains some affiliate links which means if you click through and buy I may receive a small commission. All content is original, however, and opinions are my own and 100% honest.

Christmas party dress: Grey off the shoulder ruffled midi dress with silver polka dots | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style


  1. 18 November 2017 / 10:31 am

    Beautiful dress, suits for all occasion even in Christmas party. With adding elegant jewellery just like you did, makes dress even more expressive.

  2. 10 November 2017 / 11:12 am

    Lovely dress, Catherine and I love the barely there heels. You look beautiful

  3. 8 November 2017 / 9:05 pm

    It is a very festive dress and also pretty, but not in a girlish way. It is a feminine dress especially with you in it. Great find to pair it with gold(en) accessories. I have no problem with that. Cute cuff bracelet and cute clutch (4 "c's). What puzzles me though is the bare legs and sandals. Nikki did the same. I am freezing even looking at it. I know it looks lovely, really it does, but how do you do that? I am always so cold in winter.

  4. 7 November 2017 / 8:03 pm

    Such a lovely feminine dress Catherine and perfect for the party season. I really like the mix of metal colours here and agree that all silver would have been too much/too boring. You never come across as having a busty figure which is testament to your clever dressing at all times, well done!
    I couldn't agree with you more about the rebranding of JD Williams. It's an impressive campaign, so eye catching and colourful but most of all wonderful that they're acknowledging women of our age. What a great thing for you to be involved with this forward thinking brand. Thanks for the link up party again!

    Anna x

  5. 7 November 2017 / 7:30 pm

    Very pretty dress! I love the red bracelet too. I was really impressed with the JD Williams TV ad – my husband saw it first and paused the TV to show me, he said "you've got to see this, it's so you!" I guess he does pay attention after all! 🙂

    Emma xxx

  6. 7 November 2017 / 7:02 pm

    Christmas! CHRISTMAS?! Gaaa!! Yes, it's time to bring in on I suppose. My local store is playing carols already – my sympathies went out to the workers at the till. This is a great ruffled dress, a perfect party outfit. Thanks for the linkup.

  7. 7 November 2017 / 5:11 pm

    You look great, as always! Love the dress! And thank you so much for featuring me 🙂

  8. 7 November 2017 / 4:55 am

    I'm totally "dotty" over your new party dress, dearest Catherine!! Polka dots are certainly unexpected for the holidays…but in silver and grey – and then highlighted with your red and gold accessories – it's a perfect choice!! You'll be the belle of every Christmas ball!! XOXO


  9. 6 November 2017 / 8:23 pm

    This is gorgeous! I wish I could wear this for Christmas, but not in my climate. I'd have to wear snow boots just to get to the party, and then slip on those shoes once inside, and the off-the-shoulder aspect would be freezing. I so envy women who live in warmer climates!

  10. 6 November 2017 / 7:00 pm

    I struggle with off the shoulder looks because I'm small chested!!! I think it's a really sexy look—love it!

  11. 6 November 2017 / 5:00 pm

    Party perfect! I do like a bit of metallic at this time of year, it cheers things up enormously. The dress is very chic on you Catherine xx

  12. 6 November 2017 / 4:57 pm

    Oooooooh, I LOVE this dress so much. When I saw it on Insta this morning, I knew it would be a gorgeous outfit. I agree that the warmer accessories work beautifully. You look beautiful and serene. Thank you for hosting the link-up (as always), love Liz xxx http://www.whatlizzyloves.com xxx

  13. 6 November 2017 / 4:54 pm

    I love off-the-shoulder and boat-necklines, they are so flattering! You look gorgeous in this cute dress, C. I feel in the UK you have a lot more Christmas parties and occasions to dress up. Missing those here in Germany…

    Annette | Lady of Style

  14. 6 November 2017 / 4:46 pm

    Oh yes those strappy rose gold metallic heels totally do work! Gawjus as always Catherine xx

  15. 6 November 2017 / 3:34 pm

    I love this style on you, and the colour is just that bit different from black – well done Hun. x Jacqui

  16. 6 November 2017 / 3:17 pm

    "Occasion dressing" is quite hard for the over 40s I find – it's difficult to find something workable between dresses aimed at the 20s and under and those aimed at the "older woman" with sleeves and shrugs and goodness knows what. Not to mention the challenge of what hosiery to wear. A minefield. But you've totally nailed it. That dress plays to everyone's strong point, their shoulders, and your gold sandals are gorg.

  17. 6 November 2017 / 3:03 pm

    I think metallics at the holidays too and how fabulous that the Color Council is embracing older women!!!
    That dress would be so fabulous even on my mother, although she would probably put the shoulder part up instead of down the arms!!! But the material is so flowy, and gorgeous!!

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