How to: wear metallics

How to: wear metallics

It's time to sparkle - literally.

Sequins, beading, treated silk, glitter mesh, sparkly lace, crystals... the American Music Awards looked like a Christmas discount store as celebrities opted for shiny, molten and blinged-out looks. Best on the carpet was Taylor Swift in a glittery mini dress by Zuhair Murad, Jenny McCarthy in a gold mermaid skirt and Stacey Kiebler in gun metal, embellished Collette Dinnigan.

Christmas party season is upon us and shimmering metallics scream 'celebration' like nothing else. But, beware: Hot? Yes. Sexy. Yes. Tricky to get right? Absolutely.

Too much is too much

Gold says enough on its own don’t you think? The most important rule when it comes to wearing head-to-toe metallic is to keep everything else understated. Do you really need the chandelier earrings and the sequin bag? There’s a very fine line between looking elegant and looking like a Christmas tree when wearing tinsel-tone colour, so always follow the less-is-more principal and keep your accessories to a minimum. Try just one piece of jewellery (a ring, stud earrings), and make sure the shoes have simple, clean lines. If you’re wearing an all-out metallic gown, you should think about losing the jewellery altogether and carrying a handbag that blends with the tone of the frock.


Nail it with neutrals

Not all of us can/want to do head-to-toe metal, but you can still get maximum impact from the trend by wearing a single piece and mixing it with neutrals. Try a metallic skirt or pants with a cream jumper or a sequinned shirt with black cigarette trousers. In general, creams, pinks and greys looks great teamed with rose gold, gold and copper while black, grey and crisp white work best with silver and gun metals.

Play with colour

While most metallic pieces are in the standard precious metal hues (bronze, silver, and gold), there are some super-luxe options in brights like green, red and blue. Remember a little goes a long way with coloured metallics, so a chic way to bring them into your wardrobe is with glittery accessories – a statement shoe, a jewelled clutch - or a single, fabulous piece, like an embellished skirt or jacket.

Not too tight, not too short

You don’t want to look like a superhero - and tight gold and silver has the tendency to make you look like you're ready to save the Universe. Avoid this look by focusing on cut and fit - lamé, metal jersey, bugle beading and sequins can be very unforgiving and add inches, so make sure you check hem lengths, seams and shoulders before you leave the change room.


See our gallery, above, for buys to try this festive season.

Images: Taylor Swift, Stacey Kiebler and Jenny McCarthy dazzle at the American Music Awards. Getty.

Paula Joye

Paula Joye has spent the last twenty years working in the fashion industry. She is the former editor of Cleo, Shop Til You Drop and Madison magazines.

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