Karen Matich, Polwarth Design

The silly season is upon us. Unbelievable. The rumble over the 'where and when' of the Christmas work party is gaining momentum, along with the 'in-law versus family' Christmas negotiations and the 'tested with time' organisation for the annual neighbourhood get together.

Table reservations are being secured, in advance, by savvy PA's at popular restaurants, supermarket shelves are being scrutinized for slashed price 'giggle juice' suitable for stock piling and hire places are accumulating trays of glasses, resin chairs and trestle tables in preparation for the festive gatherings at home or the beach. It's all about socialising and fun!!!

So what to wear??

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Does the wardrobe bulge with 'same style different colour' looks that are safe, or is it time to challenge the comfort zone? Absolutely!! Why be predictable? If you're a pants person, look for a dress – just for a change. Nothing is more exciting than finding something fabulous that you thought you could never wear. If you love wearing black – look for a bold exciting red, lime, cerise pink or a striped white, 'wow" piece in a jacket, singlet or cover up that gives life to black and makes you stand out – you're worth it!!

If you're a tunic and leggings person, it's time to aim for a dramatic make over in complete contrast to what you're used to. Those stomach muscles haven't seen the light of day for some time and your waist line is probably bordering complacent. Try wide leg culottes teamed with a cropped top, nonchalantly half nipped into the waist band to show that flat finish, or a tucked in and bloused top over relaxed trousers tapering to the ankle. No-one has tucked and bloused for twenty years. Finally we can wear a belt. Know a good belt company? Most have rebranded and turned into handbags, it's been that long.

Just for fun throw on a maxi dress with a serious side split to suit your stride for the next barbecue or casual dinner out. Nothing beats the top to toe body-line of a maxi dress for a slimmer appearance. Elevated with a nifty metallic sandal or wedged slide and topped with a no nonsense contoured denim jacket and you're hot to trot. With hemlines sliding lower, the Frank Lyman floral knit dress tapered to below the knee is drop dead gorgeous. He, along with Emily and Fin, have done their homework, in a summer where gardens of floral dominate the cat walks.

So while the Silly Season starts heating up and the invitations begin rolling in, remember to give yourself time to experiment with the fabulous colours, fabrics and styles that make up this year's summer collection. Make it fun, have a play and don't be afraid to challenge that comfort zone.