Fashion: Manchester Arndale After Dark Party #MAAfterDark

Last Thursday, I turned up at Manchester Arndale’s exclusive blogger event ‘Manchester Arndale After Dark’ to celebrate Christmas, and of course, party fashion with lots of other Manchester fashionista’s! Embracing the fab partywear available around Manchester Arndale, the event was put together to give each of us the chance to represent a retailer from the shopping centre by chosing a party inspired outfit and wearing it at the event. I was selected by BANK – therefore was given the task to find a striking party outfit with a budget of £100.

The task couldn’t have been more fun – I found this gorgeous crystal embellished little black dress, with cut out detailing to the back, and some killer black platform heels and a cute LYDC clutch bag, all for £100…

Once we were handed a glass of fizz on arrival, we browsed the rails of clothing which featured all our blogger dresses and accessories, as well as rails of gorgeous dresses from the Manchester Arndale retailers to get us in the party spirit. There are some absolutley stunning occasionwear pieces from all the retailers – I got so much inspiration from the bloggers and the Manchester Arndale’s selections, especially from Oasis and Warehouse! After browsing the rails, we were treated to a hair and make-up session. Of course, I took an obligatory selfie pre-glammed up, so you can see a before and after transformation…

maafterdark maafterdark11
After a once over with make-up products and a curling tongue to work it’s magic, I slipped into my party outfit and was ready to enjoy the drinks and canapes along with all the other bloggers. We did a little video interview, and also got fashion illustrations done of ourselves from taleneted illutrator ‘Dom and Ink.’

The shot below is myself (right) and the beautiful Irena and Elizabeth, fellow Manchester bloggers…


Getting my ‘glam on’, as you do…


So you may be wondering what the outcome of the #MAAfterDark event is? Well, head judge Victoria (fashion blogger from InTheFrow) and Emily from the MEN newspaper were weighing up all the bloggers outfits, before picking a final top 10 best dressed. The top 10 are then up for public vote, to reveal the best party dress winner from Manchester Arndale. Here’s a little group shot of us all in our frocks…


And a sneaky look at Dom sketching away …


Myself and the gorgeous Georgie from She Dreams blog…

And yep – that’s ‘me’ below in fashion illustration form strutting my stuff in my glamorous dress. Pretty hot right? I’ll settle for this picture anyday! Now I just need a frame so it can proudly go on my bedroom wall…

So now for the top 10. These stylish dresses all got shortlisted into the final, and are now up for public vote. How amazing do they all look? However this isn’t the complete set of shots – to view them all properly, take a look here and cast your vote, and you could win a £100 Manchester Arndale voucher to treat yourself to a shopping session too! If your anything like me, you will enjoy your Manchester Arndale party shop as much as I did…

top ten group

Just before I sign off, here’s some interesting facts about Christmas parties and girls getting ready in general that may sound very familiar to some of you. It all rings slightly true to me! And take a look on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #MAAfterDark if you wish to see more photographs from the night.

*The average woman spends £259 getting ready for their work Christmas party, research revealed yesterday.

* A study of 2,000 women detailed the time and effort put into looking good for the office do, with preparation kicking in around three weeks before the big event.

*Making extra efforts at gym classes, new make-up and a fresh haircut all added £75 onto the bill.

*A further £99 will go on a new pair of shoes and matching accessories, as well as a manicure and a spray tan.

*Fear of being tagged in Facebook photos spurs almost one in five to spruce up more than usual, whilst four in ten said making an effort helps them feel comfortable with female colleagues.

*Romance is on the cards for a hopeful one in ten who confessed to going the extra mile in order to impress an office crush.

*But the majority (42 per cent) of women polled said they just like having an excuse to get dressed up.

*Sadly, a significant 37 per cent said they felt jealous of how great someone looked at the work party, whilst many admitted this spurred them to spend more on their appearance the next year.


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