It’s been lovely to have had so many people asking when this relaxed Christmas Party Outfits post is coming. I thought I’d make it the first of the outfit posts that I’ll be doing before we move into the excitement of gift ideas. Don’t worry, they’ll be ready in plenty of time for Black Friday.
Before we start though, I want to recap on the trends for this Christmas. It can’t have escaped you that velvet has taken over from lace. This doesn’t mean that you can’t wear last year’s lace top, it just means that if you’re buying something new, I’d steer away from lace – by next Christmas it’s going to look dated. Do bear in mind though that water (or rather prosecco) and velvet are not good friends. I have learned this by ruining several beautiful silk velvet items over the years. I have therefore tried to find washable velvet where I can.
The other major trend is for sequins and embellishment which includes embroidery and heavy jacquard fabrics. Sequins are very ‘party proof,’ heavier fabrics less so. All of these textiles do a great job of reflecting light onto your face which will help you to look radiant and glowing.
After my last post when I showed you the blue LuxFix dress, Sarah emailed to say that she was pleased to see something different to the little black dress but that she didn’t have any dressy events in her diary. She therefore wondered if I could create something similar but with jeans. So I’m starting my relaxed Christmas outfits with ideas in blue before I move onto other colours.
Relaxed Christmas Party Outfits – Blue
Relaxed Christmas Party Outfits – rainbow colours
So on the whole, I’m trying to avoid black. We all know it doesn’t do you any favours after 40 but somehow we still see it as a safety zone. I’m encouraging you to branch out and wear a colour that will flatter you. These are the best tops I’ve found.
A cool marketing girl was wearing this red blouse when I went to a meeting in London and I couldn’t believe it when she told me where it was from.
Moving on to trousers and jeans, the very relaxed approach would be to wear a jazzy top with a pair of plain black jeans. If you’re looking for something a little more special though, these would be my choices.
You’ve already seen me raving about these velour jeans when I bought a pair last month. They go in and out of stock so keep your eyes peeled.
The best value real leather leggings I’ve come across. You’ll notice a big difference between these and faux leather versions. Now SOLD OUT – sorry!
Sometimes if you’re just popping out for a drink, all you need to do is add a great jacket and a pair of heels to an ordinary jeans outfit. Alternatively you can add one of these to the ideas I’ve already given you to make up a complete Christmas outfit.
Unbelievable value – this is the velvet jacket that I am thinking of buying to replace the ones I “Marie Kondoed” earlier in the year
Shoes don’t need any explanation from me – add a pair of standout shoes to any ordinary outfit and you are transformed from party pooper to ironic chick. The best thing about the trend for block heels and flats this season is that they don’t have to hurt your feet so you can wear them day and night.
I should just add that I would love to buy these tinsel sandals just to see the expression on the boys’ faces
Velvet bow sandals in a colour that will still look good in Summer
One of the perils of blogging is that you end up ordering as you go along. Relaxed Christmas party outfits are very much my thing. We have a couple of formal parties and client lunches but other than that, I am planning for my Christmas to be extremely relaxed. We’ll mostly be catching up with family and friends either at home or for drinks and meals out.
So, today I’m trying things on and I thought I’d share them with you – I’ve even put some fairy lights up for a little extra sparkle.
Christmas Outfit Number 1
I first tried this outfit on when I spent the day with Hope at Nayna’s house in the summer and it has stayed in my mind ever since. I already had the foundation trousers and top but needed to order the silver lurex popover. It’s the sort of thing that I like to wear when someone suggests going out for pizza as everything is stretchy but it still looks glam.
Silver lurex top; Foundation top; Foundation trousers; Zara shoes (past season); Claudia Bradby necklace
Christmas Outfit Number 2
I would never have known about this top if I hadn’t tried it when I went for my colour analysis. I know there are endless versions of wrapover styles but I like this one because the collar is slightly raised at the back of the neck which is flattering and the wrap is high. I always think the line of tops like these are ruined when you have to wear a camisole underneath.
It has also been designed to wrap around your curves in a very flattering way. The one thing I’m not so sure about is whether this gold colour suits me or whether I should have opted for the stronger forest green instead.
I’ve already told you about these velour jeans. I love them and have been wearing them endlessly along with the snow leopard shoes which have been another of my ‘best buys’ this Autumn.
Sparkle crossover top; Velour jeans; Snow leopard shoes
Christmas Outfit Number 3
Hush seem to have adjusted their sizes this season so whereas everything used to come up big, it doesn’t seem to any more. This is now the third wrap blouse I have bought because they are so versatile. I wear them both for work and going out. I’ve chosen this blush because I am starting to replace my pure white tops with softer shades.
Now these silk trousers are my usual size but they’re not as loose as I wanted them. They’re fabulous quality though so I will just need to go up a size. I like the fact that the cut is slim around the calf – it stops them from verging into shell suit territory.
The Boden velvet sandals have been in my party shoe collection for years – thank goodness I didn’t Marie Kondo them along with my velvet jackets!
Wrap blouse; silk trousers; Claudia Bradby oyster necklace; Claudia Bradby single pearl necklace
Christmas Outfit Number 4
Now I am thinking that this might be my Christmas Day dress. The sequins on the arms add a touch of sparkle yet it is made from warm, non-itchy merino so it is sufficiently warm for our draughty old Georgian house. The A-line shape is forgiving and will allow me to drink Champagne and eat lots of Bendicks Bittermints. I’m trying it on with shoes here but I may well decide to wear it with ankle boots.
Sequin sleeve merino dress (20% off and free delivery at The White Company until Monday 14th November if you use code AP058); Swarovski crystal necklace; Jigsaw ponyskin shoes past season
Christmas Outfit Number 5
I spotted this maxi dress at the press show in July and so when I saw the email saying that it was in stock, I ordered it straight from the hairdresser’s chair at George Northwood. I’m glad I did because it sold out within days although I suspect that a few returns will appear soon.
It’s causing a difference of opinion in our house. I like wearing it because it is so easy and yet it is very different from anything I’ve worn before. Probably because it is different, Mr MC and the boys keep asking me where my broomstick is. This means that I will have to tolerate a variation on that theme from my brothers, nephews and friends’ husbands right through Christmas.
Actually Mr MC rarely dislikes anything as much as he does this and I do trust his graphic designer’s eye so I’d be really interested to hear what you think in the comments (you can tell by my face that he’s taking my photo reluctantly – he isn’t making me laugh in these shots).
If you holding out for a return, what I would say is that the starry underdress is a very neat fit. If your bust is bigger than a C cup you would need to upsize.
So there you have it, a bumper relaxed Christmas party outfits post. Hopefully that has helped you to plan your wardrobe before you lose yourself in the frenzy of everything else.
One last thing – don’t miss out on the Marks and Spencer advent calendar. You need to spend £35 in order to be able to buy it for £35 (content value over £250). It was one of the most fun parts of my Christmas last year and it includes decent sized samples, many of which lasted me through my 2 week holiday in the Summer. There are a limited quantity available with online orders – details here. I bought this cosy felt wrap which is much nicer than a dressing gown to be eligible for mine.
I’m off to London again to spend the weekend with my friends from the Over40Collective which will be fun but I’ll be back on Tuesday with a post about dresses. Happy Friday everyone.
Recent party dressing posts
Dressing for a very formal occasion
Other Autumn / Winter style posts
Jewellery by the Over40Collective
The process of learning which colours suit you
Using accessories to update your outfits – bags and jewellery
Using accessories to update your outfits – shoes and boots
Dressing in Hush from week to weekend
Reviewing cashmere on the high street
Women over 40 styling Marks & Spencer
Women over 40 styling Winser London
What I’ve been buying from Finery
Hope fashion – the new collection