Style Notes: Navigating Festive Dressing

Even if your diary doesn’t remotely resemble that of a Tatler insider, your calendar is likely to be heavily populated in the run-up to Christmas and New Year.

There are extended family get-togethers. Al fresco evening knees-ups huddled around the outdoor heater. Hearty walks in the country followed by even heartier pub lunches. Weekend visits. Work dinners. Christmas shows. Parties which don’t require formal dressing up, but where you want to look party-ish. It’s enough to make you want to stay home in your pyjamas until February. (Can we recommend the Piped Silk Pyjamas if you do choose this option?! Which happen to work perfectly for both weekends away and Christmas morning present-opening around the tree.)

Fortunately, you don’t need to have a socialite’s wardrobe to keep up with a socialite’s schedule. The key is choosing pieces that do (at least) double-duty. Take a pair of Leather Leggings – a worthwhile investment buy that is the mainstay of many a stylish woman’s wardrobe. They work with a Velvet Puffer Jacket and the Mercury Jumper for that wintry tramp through the countryside. Joanne Hegarty, the former fashion journalist and blogger behind The Stylist and the Wardrobe, wears hers with a chunky jumper and Britt Parka by day and with a statement sweater, like the Confetti Sweat Top which has a sophisticated sprinkle of sparkle, to get party-ready in an instant. Note to the style savvy: if leather’s not for you, swap in the Coated Skinny Jeans – black denim with an almost wet-look sheen and rock ‘n’ roll zip-up pockets.

We also think that everyone needs a great, doesit-all dress in their style arsenal. Teamed with boots and a black leather jacket, the Phoenix Lurex Stripe Dress is just-dressy-enough for a family gathering or casual drinks party, or we love the Velour Colourblock Slip Dress with its two-tone baby blue and navy combination. A dress is Joanne’s sartorial go-to this time of year, too: “If you can’t wear a favourite glam dress this season, you might as well throw in the towel right now. So, I’ll be wearing the Phoenix Lurex Stripe Dress with slouchy, knee-high boots – as an easy, stylish outfit, it’s a winner. You want a dress that feels sexy and stylish, but manages to look chic without trying too hard.”

(Top insider tip: wearing your dress with trainers instantly makes you look cool and laid-back if you have fear of being overdressed. If you’re not a dress person, the Vivian Jumpsuit is the answer to your prayers. Just add our Chilton Heels and big statement earrings.)

Speaking of statements, never underestimate the power of the statement coat, such as the checked Pelle Wool Coat slung over Boyfriend Jeans and the Patti Star Jumper for a Boxing Day walk – or worn with the Charlie Twist Flannel Dress for a chilly evening of carol singing and mulled cider. Because this may be the season to be stylish – but it’s also the season to be cosy. Who says fashion can’t be sensible?