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What lies beneath matters. We take three figure-hugging festive looks and reveal how to feel 10 times more confident in them

The outfit: pencil skirt

A hip-skimming wiggle skirt nods to old-school glamour (think Marilyn Monroe) and is always a chic choice for Christmas parties. This season’s skirt options come bedecked in catwalk-inspired sequins and look suitably festive paired with a cashmere jumper and silver shoes. Just add a relaxed up-do and red lipstick for the final flourish.

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The shapewear: big knickers

Hang up any hang-ups you might have about wearing a pencil skirt and invest in a pair of magic knickers. These hip-whittling, tummy-smoothing wonder pants have come a long way since Bridget Jones’ unbecoming beige pair circa 2001, and the latest styles now elegantly fuse glamour and comfort. Opt for a pair with feminine lace panelling for a bombshell-worthy look.

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Tuck in for a feminine silhouette
Add sparkle to your festive line-up
A great-value strapless bra set
Modern briefs with retro charm

The outfit: bodycon dress

If your invite calls for cocktail attire, a chic little black dress is your safest bet. A deep V-shaped neckline is flattering and on-trend this season, while elbow-length sleeves remove the need for a cardigan or jacket. (One less last-minute decision to make while the taxi waits outside.) Just add undone waves and high heels for instant polish.

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The shapewear: firm-control slip

Create the illusion of hourglass curves under your bodycon dress with a waist-cinching slip. Tailored from super-stretch fabric, this innovative design promises clean lines under fitted clothes without restricting movement (hello, dancefloor). Forget any notions of old-fashioned corsetry or fiddly hook-eye fastenings with a pull-on style. The best bit? You can wear your own bra to ensure just the right level of support.

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Every wardrobe requires an LBD
Creates the illusion of longer legs
Take the plunge with this bra
The anything-but-boring slip

The outfit: tailored trousers

What to wear this party season if you’re not a dresses or skirts person? Try the ‘nice top and trousers’ combo. It’s every bit as festive when you keep the textures interesting: think sequins and satin for a luxurious feel. We also love these plush velvet tuxedo trousers, which feel on-point teamed with a silk camisole and glittery slingback heels. In fact, suiting is a savvy choice if you have lots of desk-to-dinner dos to navigate in December.

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The shapewear: waist cincher

High-waisted trousers may look effortlessly chic, but they can also feel a tad restrictive after a mince pie or three. Conjure up a nipped-in effect in seconds with a waist cincher, which sculpts an hourglass silhouette while being so comfortable you’ll almost forget you’re wearing it. Which is a shame really, when it’s as pretty as this one with its retro-chic jacquard fabric.

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The double strap adds extra interest
These look great with a silk camisole
Enter the Sumptuously Soft bra
Hourglass waist, no gym required

Editor: Dulcie Emerson / Photographer: David Gubert / Stylist: Chloe Forde / Hair stylist: Ben Cooke
Make-up artist: Emma Kotch / Manicurist: Charley Avenell / Model: Iza at Milk

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