What should I wear this year? A question that plagues women every winter before the start of the ball season. Men have it a bit easier: polished patent leather shoes, tux or tails, depending on the dress code, extravagant bow tie and medals that they have earned or simply awarded themselves for the evening. Hey presto. In contrast, the women of the world are spoilt for choice. We dropped by Miu Miu, Kiton, Saint Laurent, Brunelli Cucinelli, Roberto Cavalli, Sergio Rossi, Alexander McQueen and Valentino to compile some handy hints to help you make a decision. Whether it’s a dress (floor-length? But of course!) or a clutch, the colour scheme de rigueur is black and gold. Basically, you have two choices: 1) as extravagant a dress as possible, combined with sparse make-up and accessories and an uncomplicated hairstyle. Or 2) a simple dress with eye-catchingly lavish designer jewellery. Though only glimpsed when you’re climbing stairs or sitting down, make sure your shoes sparkle.