It’s official. The silly season has begun and with it the annual conundrum of what to wear. As diaries (and stress levels) reach maximum capacity, the pressure to look the part, whatever the occasion, looms equally large.
The struggle, my friends, is real. In the spirit of giving, we’ve put together a tactical guide to looking fashionably festive whether stepping out or staying in. Grab some mistletoe and prepare to kiss sartorial overwhelm ‘bye-bye’ with these six slick style tips.
It’s 6.45pm. The office party starts at 7.30pm and you’re still working. Great. At best, you’ll arrive fashionably late should you successfully master a quick switcheroo in the loo. Times like these, a gal must ask herself, “What would Anneka Rice do?”
Take the all-in-one approach with a jumpsuit, that’s what. Not only does the unitard shave time off the desk-to-dinner dash; it’s stalwart staying power (think Studio 54) makes for killer kudos too! Plus, you can always cover it with a geansaí during office hours - no one will be the wiser.
Feeling lucky? Look to brands like Hobbs, Uterqüe and Finery London for the best in show.
As for accessories, simply don a pair of awesome earrings (Lulu Frost, anyone?), a crossbody mini bag and your preferred footwear (small block heels, Stan Smiths or glove boots do nicely).
Drinks with Friends
The mercury has dropped and, with it, your tolerance for screaming children, the smell of cinnamon, novelty sweaters and Slade on repeat. Don’t stress. Festive fatigue hits everyone at some stage.
That’s why talking to friends – preferably at the pub – helps ease seasonal symptoms. Should the prospect of a hot toddy and hot gossip down the local beckon, then you’ll need something that says ‘cosy’ but ‘made an effort’.
These are folks you may not have seen for the better part of a year. Make it warrant the 12-month hiatus.
Top tip? Try a thin but cosy merino wool dress from knit wits Winser London with over-the-knee boots (fall hard for L.K. Bennett’s suede beauties).
Layer over a polo neck and add a skinny belt. Seventies style nailed. Done and done.
Just when you thought it was safe to stuff the turkey in your dressing gown, the in-laws text to say they’ll probably arrive early.
In fact, they’re ten minutes away. Great. Time to don thee now thy gay apparel and play hostess with the mostess.
The brief? Something comfortable enough in which to survive cooking a dinner for 12 but chic and festive, nonetheless. Feeling your pain right now Santa.
Thankfully, Zara’s killer cross-body velvet dress (€79.95) ticks each box with the added benefit of disguising a burgeoning food baby.
Plus, it can be layered over a pair of cropped vintage jeans or cigarette pants for cool girl edge. Crisis averted.
As the carb coma from yesterday’s dinner begins to subside, thoughts turn to pyjamas, old movies, sofa surfing and mainlining leftover mince pies. Could this be any better? Hold the phone, kiddo.
Hygge Central might be calling you but you can be guaranteed there’ll be four calling birds ringing that doorbell later today.
Best swap out those jim jams for something easier to pawn off as ‘loungewear’. Unless, of course, you’re rocking some Dries Van Noten catwalk comfies; then that’s totally allowed.
May we suggest some M&S cashmere joggers with a cape sweater and embellished slippers?
Add a spritz of perfume from your stocking stuffer (Jo Malone, anyone?) and relax with the remote, secure in the knowledge you won’t be caught rapid.
Oh, snow balls! You’re still recovering from yuletide overload but the biggest party of the year beckons.
Time to look sharp!
And what better way to see in 2017 than to rock the bells with a bell-sleeved dress?
If the catwalks at Chloe and Marques’Almeida are any indication, expect to see more of this trend for the coming spring/summer season.
Alternatively, pair of tie-waist, cuff hem trousers (fancy joggers that is) with vertiginous stilettoes and a rad tux jacket make the grade for laidback house parties; while a velvet Gatsby-inspired smoking suit (Zara comes up trumps here again) looks bang on era with a matching turban.
Easy, breezy and no hairdresser’s appointment needed. Oh, yeah!
After a season of giving, it’s time for a return on your investment. This can only mean one thing – shopping the January Sales.
Or shall we say – surviving?
The art of retail warfare requires more than detailed field reconnaissance and sharp elbows.
Scoring serious swag also demands the requisite nous to keep laser-focused instead of distracted by your throbbing feet.
Layering is key: think Baltic outside; Balearic inside.
Insider tip? That shearling coat will only make you feel peri-menopausal by the time you reach the till. Opt instead for a furry gilet – less bulk, more limb leverage for bagging a bargain. Layer yours with that pub-worthy polo neck; add leggings and finish with some Alpine-inspired hiking boots.
This way, it’ll be worth the trek.
Keep these heuristics handy should you need a dig out.
And remember: if the fairy lights blow, the oven goes on the fritz or a freak snow drift makes for no unnecessary journeys (bar to the fridge); there’s still the lingering spectre of 4G zoom lens camera phones and fibre-powered broadband to be reckoned with.
Don’t be a statistic this holiday season.
- Patrick Street 021-4805555; www.brownthomas.com; and other branches
– Opera Lane 021-4278086; www.hm.ie; and other branches
- Dundrum Town Centre 01-2079619; www.hobbs.co.uk
– Dundrum Town Centre 01-2963727; www.lkbennett.com; and other branches
– Chatham Street 01-6724024; www.loulerie.com
– Merchants Quay SC 021-4275555; www.marksandspencer.ie; and other branches
- Opera Lane 021-4278268; www.topshop.com; and other branches
- Mahon Point SC 021-4972320; www.zara.com; and other branches