In November, most sales are wound down in swish department stores. Much better to explore niche boutiques, especially online. These offer the sort of mid-priced, modern occasionwear that is so elusive on the high street.
The trouble with buying that Marks & Spencer frock is that hundreds of women will have done the same. Several e-boutiques such as Fee G (feeg.ie) and Dia(dia-boutique.com), specialise in occasionwear. Also try net-a-porter.com, mywardrobe.com, austique.co.uk and lotuslondon.com.
Meanwhile, nothing comes close to the original “babe” boutiques such as The Cross, Anna, Matches and Browns for investment in evening wear.