I’m hoping against all hope that this year we might actually get to dress up and go out out during the festive season. Cue the shitty ‘Ebenezer’ variant taking hold and lockdown part 4. NO! It cannot not be, I have dresses I bought last year that still haven’t left the house. This year, I am determined to take them out on the town.
When I say going out out, these days I mean more like a nice dinner with a few friends than a big party. If I’m truly honest, I’d rather it was a lunch than a dinner, so then I can wear my nice clothes in the daytime and still be in bed by 10.30pm latest. If anyone dares to invite me to an event that starts anytime past 7.30pm, then they will get a polite decline. Still like to be invited though, of course.
Gone are those big work dos too; now I’m fully freelance, there are no more flash company parties. Although I can’t say I’ll miss them much. Especially when you get stuck at the bar with Dave from IT who’s blind drunk and won’t let you leave without telling you ALL his thoughts on the need to update the operating systems and how much of a bitch Karen in accounts is. The last time I went to a big work Xmas do, I didn’t even take my coat off – I did a full sweep of the room, ensured I was seen by the big bosses and disappeared down the fire escape without so much as an au revoir. They call that the ‘French exit’ and I live by it.
Let’s have a look at what I’ve found for festive occasions. Be warned, there is a lot of velvet. I like velvet, almost as much as I like corduroy…
Told you.. There’s just something about this fabric that makes you feel good. It conjures up Christmases gone by. I imagine the Little Women would be wearing dresses such as these when their mother made them give all their gifts to the poor and the needy. But who needs presents when you have a velvet dress? Special mention to this one from Albaray that is the same design as the gingham one we loved in the summer and this one from Tallulah and Hope is also amazing.
1. Wyse London isobel cranberry velvet dress
2. Maison M silk velvet pouch bag
3. Seraphina Willow sapphire blue velvet dress
4. Esska Valerie velvet block heel sandals
THE BLACK DRESS (DOESN’T HAVE TO BE LITTLE)
The old adage of ‘if in doubt, wear black’ still stands for me. It’s easy, it’s simple, it’s classy. You could go LBD, or you could go LBBD (little black buffet dress). Both of these tick all my boxes. For the evening look, go for a black dress with a bit of extra detailing. Maybe a touch of embellishment or a few ruffles, just to say, ‘Yes, I might be wearing black, but it’s FANCY black, look at my sheer sleeves/pretty collar/embroidery.’ Add a good pair of evening flats if, like me, you can’t do a heel anymore.
1. Oliver Bonas metallic floral jacquard tiered midi dress
2. Ghost Martha tiered ramie linen dress
3. Vivienne Westwood Roman three strap shoes
4. Office soft square embellish Mary Jane flats
SORT OF SUIT
I think I love this one the best. Back in the late 90s, I had a purple velvet Topshop suit (I blame Prince) and I wore it to EVERY event from October to February. Oh, how I loved it. I don’t think I’d go for purple anymore but I would definitely go for navy blue, like this one from M&S. Also, how cool is this Fabienne Chapot blouse? It just screams CHRISTMAS to me. I’d pair it with my Oliver Cromwell shoes that many of my friends and family hate, but I get stopped in the street by stylish (often older) ladies telling me how much they love them and THAT’S what it’s all about.
1. Fabienne Chapot Maxime festive blouse
2. Gucci leather and canvas shoulder bag
3. M&S slim velvet single breasted blazer
4. M&S velvet slim fit ankle grazer trousers
5. JW Anderson chain link leather mules
I mentioned last week that I would put my personal feelings aside and show you some sequins. I don’t dislike them as such, I’m just not really a sequins kind of girl. Same as I’m not a leather leggings kind of lady. There are things that I love on other people but not on me. When I’ve tried sequins I just feel a bit ‘Jane Norman’, or that I’m a middle-aged woman trying to reclaim my youth. Which of course I am, so I don’t know what my hesitation is really. If I were to try out a bit of glitz, it would be this skirt from Hush that I would pair with an oversized knit, chunky boots and a classic tuxedo jacket.
1. & Other Stories oversized knit sweater
2. Loel and Co gold thick curb bracelet
3. River Island double breasted tuxedo blazer
4. Hush Cecily green sequin skirt
5. Ganni leather chunky Chelsea boots
JUST JEANS AND A NICE TOP
Another fail-safe option for going out out, and one you should never be concerned about falling back on if you’re not a dress kind of gal. Look at me showing you more sequins, but this top from River Island looks like it’s designer and would be the perfect pairing with a casual pair of jeans. Add your best handbag and some heels, if you can still walk in them, and away you go.
1. River Island pink ombre sequin blouse
2. Mulberry small Darley leather handbag
3. Albaray double breasted longline coat
4. Whistles authentic barrel leg jeans
5. Aldo croc embossed metallic heeled sandals
Finally, for all you dress fans out there, the patterned dress. This, for me, is something you can wear all day and all evening and feel like you’re neither over- nor under-dressed, no matter what the event. Plus these ones I’ve picked can be worn throughout the year, and we all love something that works hard for us with its cost per wear, don’t we?
1. Jigsaw Wild Bouquet maxi dress
2. ME + EM vibrant flower field maxi dress
3. Age of Innocence red velvet shoes
4. Arket black leather Chelsea Boots
I hope this has given you a little bit of going out out inspiration. I’m not sure of next week’s theme as yet, will have to see where the mood takes me.