How to avoid the two biggest festive fashion mistakes

Every year we wrestle with the same tricky Christmas dilemma – what to wear. You want to feel festive and look special, but at the same time, you don’t want to compete with the glitz of an over-decorated Christmas tree!

Thankfully, to help steer us in the right direction, fashion stylist Karen Skagerlind warns us off the two biggest festive fashion mistakes, and shares her picks for a stylish look to see you through your family Christmas.

Fashion mistake #1 – novelty Christmas jumpers

Christmas day from a style perspective is the equivalent of a wedding invitation. The what to wear scenario is amplified with jingle bells on and sends normally style-savvy women into a woollen separate last seen on Colin Firth in Bridget Jones. Folks, FYI that was a movie and Colin Firth is… well let’s just say that only Colin Firth (and anyone else who can get away with wearing breeches) can carry off a Rudolph knit!

So please, I implore you if you are over the age of seven, step away from the novelty jumper. I think Coco Chanel must have been  looking at such a sweater at a Christmas Day soiree when she uttered the words ‘Always remove one thing before you leave the house’.

I accept that it’s not going to be easy to avoid the novelty Christmas knit this year, because the high street is chocker block with them (I can guarantee the sale rails will be full of them too).

I’m not sure what M&S were thinking when they decided to buy 10 options. If they think they can resurrect their womenswear sales  with snowmen, robins and candy canes then they may as well believe in Father Christmas! Sadly the offer front of store will snow (sorry slow) sales down not take them through the roof. They’d be much better off leaving the festive stuff to their fantastic food department.

Fashion mistake #2 – sparkly outfits

So if you’re not going down the novelty jumper route, where does that leave you? Unfortunately, the other adjective that springs to mind for most of us when seeking a  Christmas outfit is ‘sparkly’.

Depending on how good your history is, Mies van der Rohe was probably at the same party as Coco Chanel when he coined the phrase ‘Less is more’. And yes, he meant you in the sequin jacket, metallic skirt, diamante heels and snowflake jewellery!

I’m really not sure where we get the practice from of shining so bright we could be mistaken for the North star. Isn’t Christmas about the birth of Jesus? Surely the only fashion reference in the stable was swaddling and a headdress akin to a tea towel, but I don’t see everyone sporting that look come 25th December.

Anyway rest ye merry gentlemen/women, Wardrobe Wand is here to guide you through this festive fashion crisis with outfits you’ll wear – not just for Christmas, but right through to the New Year and beyond!

What to wear instead?

So if novelty Christmas jumpers and festive sparkles are out, what CAN you wear?


Jump into Christmas Day!

Excuse the dreadful pun, but if your everyday look is jeans or trousers then stick to jumpsuits for a more glamourous Christmas Day look.

This deep red style from Coast has an internal boned bodice for a smooth silhouette and flattering V shaping at the bust. Team with a feather fringe strappy heel from Topshop, nails in ‘My voice is a little norse’ OPI colour from their mini Nordic collection and Next star & moon diamante rings.

If you want a more relaxed style then this Monsoon jumpsuit with sleeve embellishment is a step or two up from a onesie but just as comfortable. Wear with these metallic tonal heels, again from Topshop and nails in OPI ‘How great is your Dane’, from OPI mini Nordic collection.


Get into black lace

If you prefer to don a dress then think black lace. No, not the band that brought us that musical classic Agadoo! Instead, think Scarlet Johannsson in the Dolce & Gabanna perfume ad – sexy and sophisticated.

This prom style from Chi Chi London at ASOS is perfect with a flattering boat neck and ¾ length sleeves if you like coverage on the arms. Pair with gemstone heels from Next or, as on the model here, with silver chunky heel sandals.

If you prefer a slimmer silhouette then I love this Ted Baker Raenna dress. The lace over the hem gives it a designer look too. If you want a bit more edge to this feminine look then opt for a temporary tattoo. Inkwear is a brand favoured by celebrities. Try this falling star design on the back of the neck or cut for a smaller tattoo on your inside wrist.

For a more modern take on the BLD (black lace dress) this French Connection Layla dress ticks the box. Keep the look minimal with a gold and John Lewis black box clutch and Zara gold heels.


Tux in this Christmas!

Yves Saint Laurent was onto something when he first designed a tuxedo suit for women. It has become a classic evening look over the decades and Net a Porter has already sold out of the YSL cream version, priced at £2,025!

It just goes to show that a tuxedo suit is definitely investment dressing and can be worn throughout the year to events long after the turkey sandwiches have gone.

You’ll find more affordable offers from the high street like this Zara satin trim midnight navy suit. Wear with silver cami from Miss Selfridge, Zara pearl statement necklace and Pewter Faith Heels from ASOS or Michael Kors woven open toe heels.

Ted Baker has both a Tuxedo style velvet trouser suit and a tux style dress this season. Add sparkle with these LK Bennett Faye heels. Go that one step further and experiment with the Yves Saint Laurent Couture Eye Shadow Palette, Tuxedo.


Go festive in poinsettia red

A poinsettia red dress gives a nod towards the festive season but can be worn long after the decorations have come down. I would add a vintage brooch to the twist on this Kaliko dress and wear with heeled booties from Zara with an opaque tight.

This mini dress from Ted Baker already has an embellished collar and can be worn with statement flats like these from Boden or keep a sixties nod with these block heel pumps from Next.

Louche is a newer brand at John Lewis and this lace insert dress can be worn for any occasion come the new year. I’ve teamed it here with a lower heel T-Bar lace shoe from Next and would wear a sheer denier black tight.

There have been a lot of celebs wearing origami inspired dresses lately and this Untold dress at House of Fraser is definitely a statement dress, so no baubles necessary! Add a simple bronze court and if going bare arms and legs invest in a spray tan – although no Strictly glitterball trophy here.


Driving home for Christmas?

Of course you may be travelling on Christmas day so you need suitably dressy outerwear that’s also practical enough to wear until the weather warms up.

This coat from French Connection is in on-trend burgundy and ‘Now you see it …now you don’t’ as the faux fur trim is detachable so can be taken off after the festivities. I also love these two tone faux fur trim leather gloves at Ted Baker.

Don’t fancy braving the cold? You will in this duvet soft winter white coat from M&S and even when the last chorus of Auld Lang Syne has been sung this coat will still be going strong.

If you want an evening cover up then an alternative to all the faux fur gilet is this eyelash fringe waistcoat from Next. Definitely a micro trend that’s emerging so you’ll be ready for the SS season.

Start planning your Christmas Day outfit!

So get cracking, there are only four sleeps to go! The plus side to leaving your Christmas outfit so late is that it may be in the sale.

There’s only one item I’ve missed off… well you wouldn’t want to spoil it would you! Oh and this cute beanie hat is on my Christmas list if Santa is reading.