Fashion

Christmas party outfit: “Why we shouldn’t save our partywear for best”

Posted by
Olivia Lidbury
Published
christmas party outfit

Have you bought your Christmas party outfit yet? New research shows that 78% of us will buy something new for the festive season – yet 51% of us will only wear it once. But partywear shouldn’t be just for Christmas, so here are our tips for extending the life of the wardrobe pieces that always guarantee a good time.

Christmas, AKA party season, is upon us. 

The shops are dripping in sequin-encrusted trophy jackets, crushed velvet dresses and silky separates. Doubtless the office party will have you furiously clicking and collecting something that screams ‘new’ – but take a moment to think about what you wore last year… Has it seen the light of day since? Could you wear it again in a completely different context, without a special occasion being called for?

As I type this, a Stylist staffer is sitting behind me rocking a sequin pencil skirt with a deliciously sloppy and cosy roll neck jumper. It’s an outfit that masters a high/low mix brilliantly; it’s unexpected, eye-catching (literally) yet still office-appropriate. And it’s also a great example of clothes transcending dress codes in order to be worn at any time of the week.

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When e-tailer Boden polled its customers last year, a third admitted that a chunk of their wardrobes hadn’t been worn because they were saving them for best. Similarly, new research from Voucher Shares found 78% of women will buy a new outfit for their Christmas party, but 51% will only wear said outfit once. How’s that for waste? 

So here’s to not saving anything for best. Here’s to wearing ‘party-worthy’ pieces on a Wednesday afternoon. How? With a little guidance from these stylish dressers below…

Add in some shirting

Christmas party outfit: why not add in some shirting?
Christmas party outfit: why not add in some shirting?

There’s nothing a white shirt and lace-up sneakers can’t temper. Sure, a sequin skirt is pure partywear, but it’s also dazzling on sunny days, grey days and everything in-between when worn with something crisp and serious. 

Contrast cotton and silk

Christmas party outfit: try contrasting cotton and silk.
Christmas party outfit: try contrasting cotton and silk.

That tip about shirting? It applies to slip dresses, too. The greater the contrast the better – think a khaki safari shirt under a dusky pink slip. It’s also a great hack to bear in mind if your nightie is just too good to be worn indoors only.

Temper everything with denim

Christmas party outfit: temper everything with denim.
Christmas party outfit: temper everything with denim.

Stonewash denim takes everything down a notch, meaning that yes, you can repurpose your NYE sequin top for a pub lunch in January. You could also try it with some baggy utility pants. Just keep your shoes flat or athleisure-inspired.

Mix functional with fun

Christmas party outfit: always mix functional with fun.
Christmas party outfit: always mix functional with fun.

Yes, Eva Chen’s Anouki trench is lined with enourmous silver discs (and wait for it – it’s reversible!). So while it sits at the top of our wish list, it’s a great lesson in how to layer something practical (and resolutely British) over something more altogether more fun and frivolous, like the aforementioned trophy jacket. 

If in doubt, add a jumper

Christmas party outfit: there's nothing wrong with adding a trusty jumper into the mix.
Christmas party outfit: there's nothing wrong with adding a trusty jumper into the mix.

A formula that will never let you down is a chunky knit with something more streamlined, like London blogger Lucy Williams’ slinky skirt. Adding suede boots also adds a great dose of texture. 

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This piece was originally published in November 2018

Images: Getty