And we’re off, I’m officially launching Christmas 2020 on Midlifechic with ‘easy Christmas chic’. Yes it’s going to feel different… but isn’t that great? After all, I think a lot of us have been guilty in past years of muttering “here we go again…” as soon as November comes round. The thing about Christmas in midlife is that we often find ourselves in the position of family matriarch and as such, a lot of Christmas falls on our shoulders… and yet we’ve done it so many times before that it can be hard to feel the same excitement that we perhaps did ten years ago. Waiting for young adults to emerge on Christmas morning when they probably exhibited a little too much Christmas exuberance the night before isn’t quite the same as having rosy cheeked children bouncing into your room at the crack of dawn. But this year is giving us all a chance to reinvent it. And, as yet, we can’t even know quite what the twelve days of Christmas are going to look like so I’m suggesting we just see that uncertainty as added frisson (yes really). Let’s just roll with it.
However, before I start bringing you gift ideas (they’re coming – I have the boys plus their girlfriends working gainfully on ideas for teens) let’s think about ourselves. Because even if we’re going to be based largely at home throughout December, it doesn’t mean we should be looking drab. Remember – ‘dress for how you want to feel’ is the style mantra and at this time of year that should be sparkly. Easy Christmas chic is what we need.
The ‘what to wear for Christmas’ post is always one of my favourites but I have to say that this year it’s underlined just how many brands have disappeared from the high street and how small the partywear inventory is at the ones that are still with us. Warehouse… Oasis… Laura Ashley… so many stores that were good for Christmas glitter have gone – and there’s no point in looking at the spectre of House of Fraser or Debenhams, even though they’re still hanging on in there. Quite a few retailers seem to have decided not to bother with partywear at all and although it’s understandable I do think it’s a shame. However there are still some good, wearable options around.
Ever the optimist, my hunch is that most people won’t be living in the current state of extreme lockdown in a month’s time. We have longstanding plans to go (far) away straight after Christmas and sadly I don’t think that will happen but I do think we’ll all probably be able to go out and about a bit. If we can’t, I still think it’s good to have something that feels special to wear so I’ve focused on separates for this post – pieces that will work hard with items that we already have in our wardrobes. I’m planning to wear something that feels festive every day from 1st December onwards, just to keep myself in the right spirit. So, let me show you what I’ve found and then at the end I’ve done a quick try-on of some pieces I ordered last week from Hush along with a dress from Hobbs.
Easy Christmas chic – what to wear for Christmas 2020
It may not seem intuitive to start with bottoms rather than tops but I find that they’re often the most hardworking. If you have a touch of glamour on your lower half, you can then add jumpers / t-shirts / blouses to create myriad outfits. Most of these even have comfort waists – I think the end of the fixed waistband really will be 2020’s wardrobe revolution.
- Midnight blue velvet trousers with belted waist – I’m starting with these because they’re beautiful and they’re a bargain – plus they’re still available in all sizes. They’re from last Christmas but that doesn’t mean they won’t work just as well now, such a lovely elegant cut and you can’t beat blue velvet for a luxe look in my opinion.
- Velvet jeans – the Symon jeans always get five star reviews so it’s good to see them released in a festive velvet edition. I’d call them a relaxed skinny cut, so they’ll look great worn with a looser top or jumper and heels or boots.
- Sequin trousers – all of your Studio 54 dreams in one pair of trousers at a great price. Plus there’s a matching poloneck that would give a jumpsuit effect if you wore them together – and endless other options as separates.
- Grey satin trousers – an exclusive collaboration with John Lewis & Partners, these have all of the Hush style with a party finish
- Midnight velvet joggers(more sizes here) – another iteration in my favourite midnight shade of velvet, you’ll wear them for Christmas and beyond. Made from cotton velvet they’ll feel lovely to wear but reviews say they come up small so size up
- Gunmetal sequin midi-skirt – a perfect sparkly skirt for swishing in and the gunmetal shade makes it cool, you’ll bring this out every Christmas for years to come.
- Gold sequin midi-skirt – a Christmas version for all fans of the pleated skirt – a lovely rose gold for people with a warm skintone.
- Metallic velvet pleated midi-skirt – a quieter version of the metallic skirt, this one is in washable velvet and it’s a great price. The colour is subtle enough to wear year round but it will come into its own at Christmas.
Statement shoes and boots
Next in my versatility hierarchy for easy Christmas chic is footwear. I always think that statement footwear is a great weapon in any midlife woman’s armoury because you can wear something understated and then confound people’s assumptions about you when they see your feet. It has the same effect as a twinkle in your eye. Sadly there aren’t many party shoes around this year other than sky high stilettos (they’ll be the first to hit the early sales) however I still found some great options.
- Pink sequin shoes – you’ve seen me wearing the navy version of these and they’re great. A timeless style that you’ll be able to wear all year round for parties or to lift a simple outfit when nights out are a thing again.
- Rose gold boots – I have these boots too, I bought them as soon as I saw them to add to my collection. I particularly love the shape of these boots and I now have them in leopard, metallic red, metallic blue and pewter too. It sounds indulgent but in ordinary times I wear them all regularly for both night and day.
- Ankle boots with glitter studs – if you’re looking for a low cost / high comfort pair of party boots, these are for you. They have subtle glitter studs all over that will catch the light, subtle but still interesting.
- Gold slouch boots – the slouch boot is the reigning trend this year and this gold glitter pair will look great with jeans but if you wear them with skirts the loose cut will visually slim your legs. Low stock.
- Jewelled flats – a simple way to boost an outfit and easy to wear because they’re flat. The navy suede finish strikes a lovely contrast with the jewelled effect.
- Jacquard loafers – there’s a new ‘house shoe’ trend going on and these fit the bill, great for wearing at home to strike a Bloomsbury vibe.
- Silver ankle boots – the most practical of them all, you could wear these for your Boxing Day walk to the pub (let’s hope) and still have sparkle.
Relaxed sparkly tops
It’s good to have at least one sparkly top that lives in your wardrobe, ready to be pulled out when you need a mood boost. It’s an easy way to do ‘nice top and jeans’ – they can really elevate Zoom calls too.
- Pink and blue ombre sequin top – such a pretty combination of pink and blue – I know a few of you bought the skirt version last year with its dipped hem – now you could add the top for a midi-dress effect.
- Forest green velvet top – more subtle than holly berry red, Christmas tree green will still feel festive and it will work with all of the blue, black and grey pieces in your wardrobe.
- Navy blouse with metallic spots (also available in black or ivory) – the spots on this blouse are metallic and so they’ll twinkle when you wear it. Particularly good for people who prefer sleeves but feel the heat.
- Navy patterned sequin top – this has an interesting diamond pattern and flattering 3/4 sleeves cut at a bracelet length.
- Black sweatshirt with metallic sequins – the sequins on this have a mixed metallic effect, I love this sweatshirt with a neckline that is cut slightly lower than a crew to reveal the clavicles
- Black and gold lurex cardigan – another easy chic option with a hint of metallic lurex – wear it on its own with jeans, trousers or a skirt or layer it over a top or camisole
- Jumper with metallic silver flecks– the iconic Annie jumper that is loved by almost everyone because of its soft viscose blend. The classic crew neck now comes in ten different colours, this season there’s also a dolman style with a raised neckline here, a poloneck in three colours here and even a cardigan in three colours here.
- Black sequin turtleneck – this has been photographed the wrong way round – this is actually the back because it’s designed to be worn as a poloneck. It’s the top that matches the sequin trousers above.
- Lurex jumper – very subtle sparkle on these jumpers, also available with a scoop neck – easy to wear with a choice of necklines to flatter your face.
- Velvet tie-neck top – another of my favourites – you saw me wearing it last month. Washable velvet and also available in black.
Easy Christmas chic – quick partywear try-on
The new winter collection from Hush launched when I was off last week so I decided to order a few pieces and do a quick try-on. Now you’re going to have to use your imagination with these pictures – we took them on a very wet November day. As I went upstairs to get changed I suggested that Mr MC might help by thinking of a way to make them look a bit more festive. Fairy lights was what I had in mind but when I returned his effort had run as far as pouring a glass of wine – at 11am on a Sunday morning – as you can tell by my face, it wasn’t quite doing it for me!
Anyway here’s the first outfit and I wouldn’t necessarily wear these together. The gold top is simple and stretchy. It has a lovely neckline and it would work well with ordinary jeans or a skirt. The trousers are great and you could wear them with a plain jumper, a blouse or even a breton and still look festive. They don’t have an elasticated waist and they were a perfect fit in a size 12 which actually means that for Christmas I’d size up because I like to have a bit of room in my waistband. Both of these pieces would be lovely to wear at home this year and then when we hit the season-long party of next Christmas, they’ll come into their own.
Metallic top, sequin trousers; Boden bronze shoes (gifted 2019)
I was getting a bit more into the mood by this point (I’d put Sister Sledge on which always helps). Now this lurex jumpsuit is basically like wearing your pyjamas because it’s so stretchy. Lurex started coming through last Christmas as part of the 70s disco revival trend and it was set to be huge for this season before most orders were cancelled. That means that it will be big again next year as retailers resurrect the designs they’ve put on ice. It’s a great solution – warm enough to wear at home without getting too hot and there’s plenty of stretch for Christmas pudding. Plus the way that the top half is designed to fall over the waist will help to disguise your indulgence.
On an impulse I included this dress in my order because I love the Kensington and was intrigued to see how it would feel in chiffon. The green somehow gives a nod to Christmas without making it so festive that you couldn’t wear it all year round. Once again the waist is elasticated but this time with attractive shirring so that it looks like part of the design. The good thing about waistlines like this one and the jumpsuit above is that you can set them at the right point on your body for good definition. I’ve got the jumpsuit right but looking at this photo I should have placed the waistline on the dress a bit higher – if you’re short bodied you’d want it to sit lower like this. I’ve paired it with boots here for a daytime mood but you could add party shoes and you’d be set for evening.
Chiffon Kensington dress
And just to finish, here’s a dress that arrived on a sunny day which meant we could photograph it outside. It feels like ages since I’ve worn my favourite colour but when Hobbs invited me to choose something Christmassy from their website, this jumped straight out at me. You couldn’t really find a better dress for wearing at home on Christmas Day, it’s made from smooth jersey with a silky lining which gives it structure so that it doesn’t hang limply and there’s a perfectly placed twist panel above the waist meaning that it skims over your midriff. Hobbs have 25% off all boots here this weekend by the way.
Red jersey dress
That’s everything for today because we have the funeral this afternoon. I’ll be back on Tuesday though, talking about ways to make Christmas feel special at home. Don’t forget it’s last orders for the bags this weekend here – and a huge thank you to everyone who has supported my tiny business by buying one, happily we have enough demand to do another run. Have a lovely weekend – plan lots of nice things for yourself throughout lockdown and that way you won’t want it to end.
Disclosure: ‘Easy Christmas chic – what to wear for Christmas 2020’ is not a sponsored post
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