With Cathy Owen
Cecily Sequin Top
Aston Velvet Jumpsuit
Leopard Print Maxi Dress
£140, Somerset by Alice Temperly at John Lewis
Textured Weave Suit
Blazer, £79.99, Trousers £39.99 and Muscle-fit Ribbed Sweater, £22.99, Zara
Tulle Skirt with Sequins
£17.99, H&M is a sample
Shirt and Bow Tie
Party night booked in September, presents bought and wrapped in October, festive look planned by early November… does this sound like you? It’s certainly not me! If you’re not ahead of the game this year, I thought I’d lend you a helpful hand this issue with some of my favourite party looks and gift ideas.
I’m quite sure I’ve mentioned my love/hate relationship with sequins. I DO love them, it’s just the overkill at Christmas that dazzles my eyes. Using separates is a great idea and allows you to balance the sparkle with simple styling. Monsoon have a perfect sequin top which can be paired with slim trousers and heels for an understated sexy vibe, but will still look great with jeans all year-round.
Velvet, I’m always on board with and you’ll find some great looks at Boden. I’ve recommended them in the past, for coats, shoes and kids and generally find the pieces quite safe… Not the case this season! There is a chartreuse velvet suit that I truly adore, (but the bold colour isn’t for everyone) so instead I’ve selected a velvet jumpsuit. Wear this the entire festive season, on Christmas Day with some jewelled flats and to the party night with skyscraper heels and statement earrings.
Oh, and I just have to show you these shoes simply because they are so pretty!
My personal favourite, and quite possibly what I’ll be wearing this festive season, is a Temperley dress from John Lewis. Animal print is on-trend and always a winner. It’s comfy and floaty,
I can style it with a sparkly belt for a party look or wear all winter long with boots.
If the occasion allows, I prefer my husband to dress without a shirt and tie, so for smart dressing over the festive season I’d suggest a sleek suit teamed with a knitted T-shirt, or slim jumper and keep it tonal for a modern look.
H&M have never let me down when it comes to affordable kids’ clothes or party dressing! For little ladies, a tulle and sequin skirt is perfect, while the ‘tough’ shoes prevent the look being too saccharine sweet – although I’d possibly opt for patent lace-up boots and coloured tights.
I have no idea why, but my son loves wearing a bow tie. I’ll indulge his sartorial choices by combining with jeans for super cool style and with navy cords for smarter events.
Now ‘tis the season for giving so let’s talk about gifts. I know being gifted a jumper at Christmas seems so stereotypical, however I have found styles that elevate the humble jumper to desired gift status. For your sister, friend – or even you if you’re smart and leave this article lying around for someone to find – this jumper from Jumper 1234 has Boxing Day written all over it and I’d be more than delighted to find one in my stocking this year!
For something a little more budget friendly head to Boden… Yes, Boden again! And Zara’s knitwear for girls is so good I wish it came in my size, like this pompom jumper. You can’t consider knitwear gifts for kids without looking at Gap and I can totally see my nephew in this… altogether now, ‘Baby Shark do do do do do do!’ And any man in your life will love you for a luxurious sweater from Reiss – although please remind them to try and not spill turkey gravy down it.
Cathy is a freelance creative with experience in PR, fashion show production, 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!