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

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - STYLE WATCH - Grace Cahill

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”

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