The Christmas party wardrobe in numbers

Brits set to spend average of £36 per party outfit with half the nation attending three or more parties this month  

New research released today from eBay, home to over 100 top high street brands such as House of Fraser, Joules and French Connection, has found that 75% of us will be attending Christmas parties over the next month. Furthermore, 52% of British women will attend three or more festive celebrations. The findings also show that the average cost of a new party outfit is £36, with the biggest spend in Coventry where one in three (29%) women splash out between £91-£100 per festive outfit.

This Christmas, two thirds (61%) of British women will purchase at least one new outfit for the party season, with 14% of us set to purchase three or more new dresses. Women from Swansea have been named as the biggest party outfit shopaholics, on the flipside, 63% of women from Wolverhampton will not be making any new additions to their festive wardrobe this Christmas.

The research, which surveyed 2,000 UK residents, has identified that the ‘Little Black Dress’ holds its number one spot as the nation’s favourite Christmas party outfit. Almost half (43%) of British women named the iconic style as their go-to party dress choice, followed by 1 in 4 (25%) of us who will be opting for a sparkly number this festive season.

When it comes to preparation, the average British woman will spend 43 minutes getting ready for a Christmas do. Women from Wales are set to keep their other half waiting the longest, with one in ten (10.5%) women from the country admitting to taking over two hours to prep for a party! 

The women’s party season in numbers:

  • 75% of us will attend at least one Christmas party over the next month with half of the nation attending three or more parties.
  • Two thirds (61%) of British women will purchase at least one new outfit, with 14% of us set to purchase three or more new outfits this Christmas.
  • Each new party outfit purchased will cost an average of £36.
  • The Little Black Dress has been voted the number one party dress choice this year.
  • 16% of British women would not be spotted wearing the same outfit twice.

With almost a third (27%) of us claiming that our biggest party nightmare is doubling up on the same outfit with another guest, women across the county have been heading to eBay en masse to snap up a unique party ensemble this November. Sales of party dresses have soared 75% over the last month, with sales of heels and clutch bags also shooting up. Inspired by the likes of Kate Moss and Rita Ora, sales of black evening dresses have soared 60% and sales of sequin dresses are up by 40%.

Office party politics look set to come to a head this festive season with 62% of Brits claiming that interns will take the longest to get ready, compared to just 12% who said the ‘Boss’ would set aside time out of their busy schedule to get party-ready.

eBay spokesperson, Laura Wilkinson-Rea, says; ‘Historically, the Little Black Dress has always been a staple addition to a British wardrobe but it’s interesting to see that this Christmas it’ll be taking center stage once again as the nation’s number one party dress. With over 940,000 party dress listings on eBay at the moment, the site offers fashion fans the perfect platform to get their hands on unique evening wear to see them through the party season in style!”

 The nation’s top five Christmas party outfits:

1. A classic little black dress
2. A splash of sparkle
3.A striking red dress
4. Skinny jeans teamed with a favourite party top
5. A touch of fur



 For more information please contact the eBay press office at Shine Communications on: or 020 7100 7100


*Research conducted by One Poll with 2,000 UK residents, November 2013

 Notes to editors:

 eBay delivers one of the world’s largest online marketplaces to customers via any connected device, connecting people with the things they need and love.  Founded in 1995 and opening in the UK in 1999, eBay has almost 19 million unique visitors per a month in the UK and Ireland.  Around 70% of listings are for new, fixed-price items and the UK site is home to more than 100 top brands and retailers. 

eBay, Inc. enables commerce by delivering flexible and scalable solutions that foster merchant growth through its eBay Marketplaces, PayPal and eBay Enterprise brands.  For more information visit