Fashion: A stylist’s hacks for effortless holiday dressing
From Christmas day to dinners and drinks, the festive season is filled with events to dress up for. But where to start? Cambridge-based stylist Maggie Devine shares her top tips for elegant - and effortless - holiday dressing
The festive season is upon us, and with numerous occasions to dress up, the options can be overwhelming and costly. My advice is to take your time, try on and shop around: having a few classic go-to outfits is worth the extra effort, plus finding pieces that seamlessly blend with your existing wardrobe allows you to maximise their use. To make it a little easier, here’s my pocket guide on what to wear during the holiday season!
The dress: Whether it's adorned with tassels, glitter or velvet, a black dress for the holiday season is a smart investment. Adding the right accessories or a touch of red lipstick instantly exudes Christmas charm with little effort. Moreover, a black dress is the ultimate wardrobe staple. Another fabulous colour trending this season and perfect for the holidays is burgundy. This wine hue is becoming increasingly popular for a good reason. So don't shy away from colour, especially darker shades of red and green; they are just as flattering as black and offer a great alternative.
The skirt: When you want to diversify your wardrobe, separates are a great idea as they allow for mix-and-match versatility. For a Christmas day look, consider a silk or velvet skirt paired with a chunky knit. Opt for a camisole or a short-sleeved top with details like a puffed sleeve or metallic accents. The beauty of choosing separates is that you can get more use out of them: that chunky knit will be worn all winter, while the skirt can be paired with a bodysuit and fitted blazer for a New Year's Eve look.
The perfect trousers: When it comes to holiday fashion, a tuxedo trouser is an impeccable choice. Personally, I always find myself reaching for two distinct styles: the straight, skinny cropped trouser or a classic wide-legged option. Both strike the ideal balance between formality and style. The straight, skinny cropped trouser offers a sleek and contemporary look, perfect for those who want a modern twist on classic elegance, and the wide-legged trousers exude timeless sophistication.
The jumpsuit: Oh, how I love a jumpsuit! It makes me feel ready for any occasion. During the festive season, my favourite ones feature a silk/lace combination or a velvety fabric. Ensure that it cinches at the high waist to avoid the ‘onesie’ look and pair it with some dangling sparkly earrings.
The accessories: If you already have a fabulous outfit from seasons past and are looking to reinvent or update it, a great way to do this is by adding some accessories! Long, shiny, and dazzling earrings with lots of sparkle scream ‘holidays’. With so many options on the high street, you’re sure to find some within your budget. A chic hair barrette or a velvet bow or ribbon can also elevate your look.
The shoes: While fabulous heels are always an option, gone are the days of the formal requirement of wearing heels at most parties (unless it's a black-tie event). Ballet slippers and kitten heels are currently in trend and are excellent choices for dancing the night away. They are likely to remain versatile options throughout the winter, too.
A top tip: When choosing a dress, cami, knit or jacket that you intend to keep for 10 years (not just 10 months), I encourage my clients to pay close attention to the fabric. Feeling comfortable in your clothes is crucial, and that largely depends on the fabric.
Luxe materials like velvet will serve you much better than a polyester blend. A silk blouse drapes elegantly and doesn't cling like synthetic fabric. Similarly, a cashmere sweater will keep you significantly warmer than a cotton one. I'm not a fabric snob by any means, but I believe it's important to understand the materials in your clothing. The fabric - or ‘ingredients’, as I like to say - can make all the difference.
With these tips, I hope everyone finds the perfect outfit for the festive season! Happy styling!
For more outfit ideas and styling tips, follow @style.devine on Instagram. To book a styling session with Maggie, email Maggie@styledevine.com.
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