Due to the combination of bad weather and the urge to decorate, the Christmas season is scattered with potential wardrobe disasters and cries of ‘There is no such thing as festive fashion!’ For a memorable example of how not to do it in December, one only has to think of the tinsel-scarf-and-reindeer-antler combination that Bridget Jones sports in the eponymous film, or perhaps the curtain she later wears to her mother’s New Year’s Day lunch.
Fashion Runway, Chloe, Moschino
Indeed the multiple social occasions that arise over this period, from decorating the village church to the office Christmas party, can make it all the harder. However this season need not be an anxious one, as without sacrificing comfort for style, there are some simple and reliable ways to inject festive flavor into your wardrobe.
First, keeping warm doesn’t have to make you frumpy. Mark Darcy got it much better than Bridget with the festive jumper, and since then – if not indeed because of it – the knitted Christmas jumper has seen a resurgence, papped on the backs of celebs across the globe and scattered through winter catalogues. To accompany your jumper try one of the cute bobble hats, promoted this year by British Vogue-model Lily Cole, and hand-knitted by grannies.
Beyond the jumper, a decent coat with timeless class and neutral, base colors is essential. These months it will not be something just to throw on your host’s bed but as important as your outfit underneath, and constantly on display as you conduct your December shopping or browse the Christmas market. Puffa-jackets have an enduring quality and appeal, but if you are someone – like me – who likes a strong stick of cinnamon in their mulled wine, I would recommend tartan as the way to spice up your outfit this year.
Fur can also work, but beware the temptation of white; though crisp and apposite in winter, there is a risk of melting into a snowy backdrop, or giving of an overly frosty ‘White Witch’ feel, with your fur being mistaken for faun, not faux. This is winter too far. Better go for a winter-berry blue, or even try out wearing blush.
While it is good to embrace the season, it is important not to go overboard – (I’m thinking Mean Girls’ Jingle Bell Rock rendition – we all know how that one ended up …) Gwyneth Paltrow recently displayed how not to do it at a charity function when, standing in front of a Christmas tree in a blue and gold sparkling dress, blending into the fir, she appeared as just a smiling, hovering head. To avoid this fate, stir clear of baubles and accessorize sparsely.
Silver works especially well, evoking Christmas tree tinsel without inviting children to stack presents at your feet. Top-quality pearls, such as those offered at www.mesenso.com, hand-picked and high-class, can inject an outfit with sophistication and elegance, reminiscent of winter stars and falling snowflakes.
So as advent approaches, and the goose is getting fat, don’t add fashion to your Christmas shopping worries. Keep in mind a handful of key tips and avoid certain pitfalls to create the perfect, festive wardrobe and embrace the season. I urge you to wear that woolen jumper when roasting chestnuts, or over at the neighbors’ for mulled wine and mince pies. It worked for Mark and Bridget. It may well work for you.
Jessica Fletcher – Fashion and design enthusiast, Jessica is a freelance writer and lover of crafts.