The obvious alternative is the jumpsuit which I really do rave about, but all for good reason- it's hugely feminine but still edgy. A playsuit is not as effective (as they are basically dresses), but a jumpsuit can really pack a punch.
Shorts are not an obvious thing to wear at a party, but they can look immensely cool especially if they are in a more glamourous or luxurious fabric like brocade or lace. It's all in how you wear an item- but you definitely don't need to be flitting about in a silky dress to make an impact this party season.
Here are five high street looks that I have put together for those of you who like to steer clear of party conventions!