‘Tis the season to get jolly… and alas, ‘tis also the season for some serious car-crash dressing. The temperatures have dropped, we’ve got a military-style present shopping mission to plan and on top of all this, the worry of who’s going to win the X Factor final. Christmas – play fair, yeah? (And Cher – get that swag on). Whilst the light of the end of the tunnel is always Christmas day itself, there’s a whole lot of festive parties to attend before then…. And a whole lot more suitable outfit planning to arrange.
Whereas Toys ‘R’ Us tantalised us children of the 90s with the lyrical genius of ‘there’s a magical place, we’re on our way there. With toys in their millions all under one roof’ (still want that as my festive ringtone, believe), I find myself wishing there was also a magical place acting as a one stop shop for party dressing – not for you and I, you understand (we just need a nudge in the right direction), but for Brenda from accounts and Dave from Finance. I don’t want the mulled wine and canapés at my office party served with a side of fashion fatality thank you very much (sorry Brenda, and no hard feelings, Dave…). And so, along with gold, frankincense and myrrh, these wise(ish) words are those I wish the Three Kings had also brought to the Christmas table: some sound advice, if you will, to ensure that Santa believes we’ve sartorially been a good girl and boy all year. Lest we forget, you’ve gotta be in it to win it; that mistletoe-sponsored window of opportunity has an expiry date, people!
1. How to dress up…and dress down.
You know who I’m talking about don’t you? It’s the lady from IT who last ventured to a club NOT inclusive to a work night out the same year the Nolan Sisters were respectfully on any hip DJ’s playlist. And, as such, you’d better believe this lady is ‘in the mood for dancing’. Her attire for the return to the dancefloor? Predominantly, something hideously inappropriate. If it’s your most recent night out this side of the original Nativity, I fully applaud you, however my one advice in this case would be to keep your ensemble slightly more discreet than your dancing and tipple choice of Babysham. Backless tops? Anything lycra? V-necks deep enough to put every member of JLS to shame? There’s a reason Rochelle from The Saturdays dumped Marv, babes… Ergo, think your typical daywear and simply turn it up a notch: visit your nearest beauty counter for sound advice on this season’s must have lip colour and book yourself in for a blowdry for instant low-key glamour. If anything, the blowdry is a sound excuse to wriggle out of having to wear the party hat provided with your Poundland cracker. WIN.
2. Dance under the glitterball – don’t dress like one.
Glitter, glitter everywhere, but not a drop to drink… Yes, Santa is on his way, Rudolph has got his red nose on and the tack is back. Baubles, glitter balls and fairy lights are suddenly omnipresent and not just in the comfort of my boudoir (all year round, I may add – boys: call me). Never before has so much sparkle and glitter been so widespread and similarly, never before have epileptics lived life so close to the edge… Whilst your Christmas tree is a perfectly acceptable place to embrace your inner Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, your party ensemble is not. Do you look in the mirror and think ‘disco ball’? Step away from the sparkle sunshine – one glittering statement item is a dream. Sparkly top, sparkly jeans, sparkly shoes AND sparkly eyeshadow is enough to make you see my Christmas dinner in speedy reverse. Sorry, guys.
3. Cosmetic bag surgery.
And speaking of glitter… Let’s face facts, with ‘face’ being the operative word. Christmas is allowed to be fun and frolic filled for the full festive period – it’s the one time you’re allowed (nay, morally obligated) to know every word to A Muppet Christmas Carol, believe Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You is genuinely a musical masterpiece AND mainline an entire family sized selection box before breakfast. I should probably keep my personal life to myself… However, whilst the carefree Christmas attitude and festive fun should be top of your must have list, perhaps err slightly on the sensible side when you approach the festive cheer in your make up bag. Alas, all that glitters isn’t always gold, so pick one key Christmas-endorsed makeup product and call it quits. You may think glitter eyeshadow, highlighter, coloured mascara and a shimmery lipstick screams ‘Mrs Claus’ but it may be your guests screaming when they think you’ve been toying with the transvestite lifestyle since last year. Albeit with slightly more makeup…
4. Wrap star.
It’s minus 5 degrees. You’re wearing a bobble hat for the first time since 1992. You’re even starting to think you can go against all your most stoic religious morals and… try a pair of Ugg boots. Purely under the guise they just look so warm and you don’t mind looking like a mad bag lady who’s forgotten to change out of her slippers. No judgement. You might even consider a pair of mittens and some ear muffs for the full on Kevin from Home Alone effect purely to keep yourself warm – and to believers of winter warmers I say ‘amen!’. However, I also say, if you’re that stylishly sensible in the daytime, there’s no need to throw caution to the icey wind post-watershed and hit your night on the tiles in half the amount of clothing you would normally wear three months earlier. Geordie girls – I’m looking at you. Whereas you might think bare legs and naked arms are alluring to your potential Santa Baby, you’ll be detagging the next day’s Facebook photos quicker than you can say ‘frostbite’ when you catch sight of your festively fetching purple limbs and collection of more goosebumps than your just-plucked Christmas turkey. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
In an ideal world we’d all have £67517653176 to spend on our perfect Christmas ensemble – or in my case, I’m eyeing up this French Connection number (yes, I do accept bribery) and seriously tempted to embrace my inner Kelly from Saved by the Bell (that crush on Zack still runs deep) with this 80stastic number from hire company Girl Meets Dress . Vintage Chanel handbag priced £2256 from Harvey Nichols Fourth Floor optional but preferred. Whatever you choose, just remember: aim to look more like the fairy on top of the tree than the tinsel adorning it, always add just one key sparkle to your ensemble rather than 176512765176275, and finally, and most importantly, bear in mind the timeless festive equation that free bar + Dave from finance + office sponsored mistletoe will equal Christmas party disaster. Merry Christmas one and all!