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The response to yesterday's Helen Mirren story about dresses with sleeves got me thinking about the proliferation of strapless and strappy dresses at this time of year, and the ongoing problem of what to wear with them to keep off the chill. Assuming you wear a coat to go in, you'll then need something a bit thinner and more party-like to wear after you've removed it.

While some super-stylish people can make a loose, men's cardigan look amazing over a strapless prom dress, others will need something a bit more appropriate. Luckily there are plenty of shrugs, boleros, capes and cardigans around...

My advice is to stay away from sequinned shrugs, which still reek a little bit of Winter 2006, when Primark sold that gold shrug. Instead look for something a bit more 40s glam, with frills, chiffon or more unusual embellishment, like Dorothy Perkins' gathered chiffon shrug (top left, £20).

If you really want your dress to do the talking, a simple, fitted black shrug (above right, £10.76 from Quiz) will keep your arms and shoulders warm without drawing attention away. You have to be careful what you wear them with (no combats and vest tops - can we all say Steps video?) but they work really well with strapless dresses.

Tuxedo jackets are everywhere this season, but might be a bit too heavy to wear over a dress. Jasper Garvida for Oli Fusion has solved this problem with short-sleeved, bolero version (£39).

Finally, go all out with faux fur or feathers if you're off somewhere really glam. River Island's feather bolero would look brilliant over a bright coloured dress. It's yours for £48.92.