According to experts, shops are set to see record highs of sales of little black dresses, with more expected to be sold this weekend than at any other time of the year.

Whether glitzy and glamorous or chic and sophisticated, every woman needs the perfect little black dress in her wardrobe.

Find your dream number and you’ll be winning. That dress that accentuates all the right places, puts a spring in your step and makes you feel a million pounds is undoubtedly a necessity.

Since its inception in the 1920s, its hemlines may have fluctuated and its embellishments become more flamboyant, but the little black dress is most certainly here to stay.

With Christmas party season fast approaching, the hunt is on to find 2014’s perfect party dress.

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From cocktail to ball-gown, classic to sequinned there’s something out there for everyone – but how to choose? We enlisted Nathalie Gibbins, editor of online dress specialists LittleBlackDress, to share her top tips on finding The One.

Don’t be a slave to a trend

Jennifer Lopez may look amazing in a slashed navel-gazing number, but if you aren’t going to be comfortable in it. Walk away.

The most flattering styles are ones that suit your shape and make you feel great. Hate your arms? Embrace a sleeve. Bit of a tummy? Invest in a loose-fitting flapper style. Pins to die for? Raise your hem as high as you dare!

Plain can be perfect

Nothing says chic quite like a well cut, perfectly fitting plain black dress that can be jazzed up with shoulder-grazing earrings, jewelled cuffs and a bright clutch bag.

Plus they’re the perfect pieces for wardrobe longevity; layer with a chic cashmere sweater, statement necklace and brogues for a failsafe daytime look. 

[Related story: 5 celebs who are bringing back the little black dress]

…but so can sequins too

Christmas is the one time of year you can go all out and get away with it. Don’t be afraid of sequins; by keeping to a simple silhouette you let the shimmer do the talking. Keep your accessories simple and let the sparkles do the leg work!

Legs vs cleavage

Pick one but never both, even if you have a figure to rival Carol Vorderman’s! Why not mix it up a bit this year – stay mostly covered up with a flash of décolleté or a slinky backless number.

Invest in the right underwear

There’s no point in splashing out on a dress if you’re base layers aren’t doing their job. There’s a host of strapless, backless, stick-on multiway bra options these days, so you needn’t have straps on show, and for a totally smooth silhouette never underestimate the power of a pair of control pants.