Festive Frocks & Frolics

I’ve been in denial for sometime that Christmas has been lurking around a tacky tinsel strewn corner but the first viewing of this year’s “Buster the Boxer” John Lewis advert marks the start of the official festive countdown. The party season will soon be upon us so it’s best to embrace festive dressing early. I recommend you get ahead and buy your perfect all-purpose party outfit online ahead of the crazy Crimbo crowds. Last year I succeeded in finding the perfect little black dress, which I intend to salvage, dry clean and wear again, but this year it’s all about the statement evening coat. Look for clashing metallic, sequins, intricate embroidery, elegant embellishments and subtle textures such as brocade and pleats. If it looks as though a Disney magpie has been collecting shiny items all year round to decorate your dream coat then you’ve nailed the look. Speaking of nails, pair with dark and dramatic hues or go for all-matte gold talons. The metallic trend applies to guys too with spacey silvers being a big trend in menswear this autumn. So that means Lurex sneakers or a shiny dove grey bomber jacket will see you through with space age aplomb. For more classic gents the military trend for coats is of course ever-present, so if you haven’t already source a double-breasted overcoat with cuff and epaulet detailing. Although, if you buy one piece this season that will take you through any merry gathering it’s a western inspired shirt, you can wear it with jeans for true cowboy appeal or with smarter trousers for a more “smart-casual” function. The Kooples has some great ones, as does Zara.


Also, get ready to flash your undies (girls only, this time) because the underwear trend has been updated this year to incorporate demure long sleeved Chantilly lace tops and sheer glittery knits veiling brazen beaded bras and studded bustiers. It’s a subtle game of skin peekaboo and getting the balance right is key so it doesn’t become trashy. If you’re a fashion maverick then do a trend hat trick by sourcing a sheer polo neck (eighties excess was all over the catwalks this season) over a Rhinestone torsolette, one that would make Rihanna blush is ideal. Or, if you’re too shy to flash your assets to the finance director at the work Christmas party then you can remain prudent and keep your statement coat on.

One trend I usually despise that comes out every year with the bauble box is velvet, but this year you have my permission to embrace it fully. Just promise me you’ll experiment? Don’t rely on witchy, gothic black velvet with shimmery starlight features; opt for something softer like pastel cinnamon-pink hues or minty-sage greens to bring your look bang up to date.


Finally enjoy your festive frolics but here comes my disclaimer: any new item of clothing worthy of hanging space in your wardrobe should last the test of time. It’s a bit like cheap Prosecco, it might seem all fun and fizzy bubbles at first but the hangover from hell the next day is to be avoided like the plague. Make sure you invest in quality and “classic with a twist” pieces and don’t fall into the fast-fashion equivalent of a luring one-night stand. Wearing items just once or twice before discarding them is a fashion crime as far as I’m concerned. I don’t want to see you all looking remorseful with bags of charity shop clutter on January 2nd because we all know we’ll be recovering from that aforementioned Prosecco hangover on January 1st.


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