THIS SILLY SEASON, TRY NOT TO BE TOO DAFT
From the catwalk to your wardrobe… Grace Cahill on the fashion fixes that work in the real world
WHAT IS IT ABOUT CHRISTMAS that makes everyone from your ex’s mother to your former colleagues want to meet for a glass of bubbly? In rolls December 1 with a deluge of text messages and pings from WhatsApp — and suddenly staying in is no longer an option.
Silly season may have some naff connotations – ie Christmas jumpers – but it’s also the one time of the year where you are expected to make an effort. The secret to party dressing is to look like you have tried – but not overly so – and your outfit choice could work at both a snazzy dinner or a laid-back lunch with friends.
I’m talking about clothes that strike the perfect balance between over and underdressed. Clothes that sit somewhere in the middle. In my case, mediating a moderately dressy effect requires savvy morning decisions in minimal time because I’m not that girls who plans her outfits — I don’t have the time.
My solution is to wear something memorable. Try a slick suiting option with serious wow factor, anything from a tailored Victoria Beckham tuxedo blazer with black skinny jeans, or team a silky folk blouse with a velvet jumpsuit and double breast blazer. Accessories-wise, opt for a choker, a silk scarf and shimmery Balenciaga-style pointed kitten heels.
The modern way to wear suiting is to inject some personality. A full-on tuxedo veers into try-hard territory but the jeans, scarf and folksy blouse play it down a notch.
The ‘do it all dress’ also works wonders especially when your presented with last minute challenges (laddered tights, I’m talking to you). This dress is soft, silky with long sleeves with a mid-calf to the top of the ankle finish, just long enough to keep you warm and cover any sins. It comes in wild prints with a open back or a deep V neckline. I like the idea of a cool, slightly rebellious prairie-girl, with a thigh-high split that looks divine with either slouchy suede boots or slinky heels. Mine is a Ganni dress from last year’s Brown Thomas sale covered in stars and a an old vintage DVF dress – both are memorable, both perfectly pitched for party dressing, as easy and smart as you want them to be.
When it comes to glitz, I’ll preach about tassel curtain earrings but when it comes to wearing them, I’m like Scrooge. I chicken out. There are so few other opportunities, however, when we can unashamedly sparkle and get away with it. My only advice is that if you are into jewellery, then size matters. If you’ve your heart set on big earrings then you don’t need a necklace, and vice versa.
I also swoon over glitter tights with kitten heels every year and promise myself I’ll be brave enough. You never know, maybe this will be the year to take the plunge...
“THE SECRET TO PARTY DRESSING IS TO LOOK LIKE YOU’VE TRIED – BUT NOT TOO MUCH”