Style Counsel – Winter Collection

Cathy Owen reveals her winter collection…

I don’t know what it is about Christmas party dressing, some normally sane and stylish people insist on sequin overload, feathers and frills, the result… Demented Christmas Fairy!  I prefer a more polished version of my usual style.

At Christmas I’m often cooking and entertaining for a large crowd, so while I like to look a little festive, I do also need to be comfortable – so I can chase after kids, dance and clean up after dinner for ten!

We’re lucky this year that there are some great trends that will allow us mums to look great and not be reaching for a onsie by 7pm. Slouchy velvet, party flats, pyjama cut suits… There’s so much choice.

I LOVE mega high heels, but the older I get the more I wonder if it’s worth it? Hobbling home after a night of dancing to Wham’s Last Christmas, or worse, shoes in hand and feet black after giving in and going barefoot. So I’m going for low heels or flats this year and there are so many pretty party styles I don’t feel I’ll be compromising.

Next have Ankle Strap Points that come in three great options, black stud, shimmer and my favourite green velvet with jewels which are just £45.  I’m imagining them on Christmas Day with slim black cigarette pants, a cream silk shirt and statement earrings. For a more casual outing I think they would look great with cuffed boyfriend jeans and a fine cashmere knit.

My ultimate wish list party flats are the Manolo Blahnik Hangisi 10 blue satin flats, available from Harvey Nichols, are you paying attention Santa baby?!  But if the £730 price tag is a bit steep, Dune have a nice velvet version called Helliee for a mere £80.

Next, the main event. As I said before, this Christmas I want to look stylish but be comfy. I think I might achieve just that with the Crossover Velvet Dress from Zara £29.99. Its got some give, gathers over the tummy to hide any mince pie indulgence, and is surprisingly sexy at the same time with the wrap-over split.

Looking for something a little more edgy? The Metallic Jacquard suit in silver from ASOS might hit the mark (blazer £60, trousers £40).  Ticking off brocade and co-ordinating trends this is current but also versatile.  For the Christmas party season I’d swap the white t-shirt for a black silky camisole, teamed with black sandals, but as the ASOS styling shows, it looks equally as good with more casual separates taking you right through to spring.

Occasion wear at Coast is a fail-safe option for a great festive style.  I adore Olivia Palermo’s style so I’ll be heading straight for that collection. The Exeter Jacquard Skirt (£179) has so much drama and the full skirt hides a multitude of sins.  When accompanied with a simple top and shoes it’s strikingly elegant.

Okay, for all you sequin-loving ladies out there…Who am I to deny you? Head to Monsoon for your sequin fix, they have everything from a light dusting of sparkle to full on glitter ball. Even I might be a convert for the Sofia Sequin Dress (£109).

So now we’re sorted what about the kids? I adore H&M for kids, in particular their party clothes.  I know my son won’t have cause to wear a velvet blazer on a regular basis, but when its just £19.99 its easier to justify, and I can’t resist him looking like a mini-gentleman at Christmas dinner.

My brother has recently become a daddy to twin girls and until now we’ve only had boys in our family, so I’m having fun indulging in shopping for these gorgeous little ladies. I’d dress them in the velvet dress with tulle skirt (£17.99) in the softest pink for their first Christmas.

Of course we mustn’t forget about our partners. My husband does not like wearing a tie, so what to wear to smarten him up without him feeling trussed up like the turkey? A fine knit with smart trousers works for me, and hopefully him.  John Lewis have a beautiful merino turtle neck in navy or burgundy for £35 – not convinced? Check out Daniel Craig in a turtleneck and you’ll be buying one for your ‘other half’ too!

Whatever you decide to wear to celebrate the festive season, have fun and Merry Christmas! x

Cathy Owen is a freelance creative with 15 years’ experience in PR, fashion show production, as a photoshoot producer, art director, model agency manager and casting agent. Her greatest achievement to date is managing to style a shoot with kids, animals and a hot air balloon!

Cathy has one son, Dylan, who is five going on 21. Find Cathy’s blog at or follow on twitter @cathyocreative

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