Festive tailoring ideas: a smart alternative to the Christmas party dress you can rock this winter
It’s Chriiiiistmaaaas! Well, almost. But as soon as it’s acceptable to start planning my Christmas party wardrobe I am there. Sequins, satin, velvet… the festive period is definitely my favourite in the fashion calendar.
But imma level with you. After 24 years of Christmas party dresses I’ve been craving a look that’s a little bit different. Sorry, sequin mini dresses – I’m cheating on you this year.
Enter centre stage left the festive tailoring trend: luxurious two pieces, jazzy jackets and structured dresses provide a chic alternative for us fashion-forward gals.
The blazer dress
The first tailored look I’m going to walk you through is the blazer dress. This is the girliest take on androgynous tailoring, and I think it’s really sexy. This is an outfit that always seems polished (even though I didn’t iron the dress, don’t @ me) and effortlessly sophisticated. If you want to look fashion editorial for your Christmas party then this is the outfit for you.
For the brave amongst you, look for an oversized vintage blazer and just rock it as your whole outfit. But if that gives you the fashion fear then there are plenty of stunning blazer dresses on the High Street to satisfy your Christmas party needs. If you buy one with real buttons (you’d be surprised how many don’t have them) then your dress can double up as a smart jacket worn over skinny jeans or sparkly trousers. A blazer dress also looks cute dressed down with some knee high boots with a turtle neck jumper underneath. Who said party clothes are not a good investment?!
If you are after a look that leans more towards the traditional party dress then there are lots of sequin, satin and metallic blazer dresses on the High Street right now to keep you happy. I was immediately drawn to the rich oxblood colour of this Boohoo dress, and the satin-like fabric adds some extra luxury. Even if it creases like a mofo.
To avoid being drowned by your oversized blazer a belt is essential. Lots of blazer dresses come with a matching belt, but if not a glitzy hardware number will keep your outfit looking party ready. Otherwise, I’d keep the rest of your look fairly paired down and let your festive tailoring do the talking.
The luxe suit
I’ve been searching for my whole life (well, since 2015) for the perfect party suit and I think I’ve finally found it in this AMAZING leopard print velvet two piece from Nasty Gal. It’s quirky, on-trend and a real eye catcher.
A suit is a great alternative if you find dresses too girly, and this leopard print look screams rock chick to me. An added bonus is that the stretchy velvet fabric is so COMFY – hello Christmas dinner-friendly fashion!
Finding the perfect suit really is an investment, as the top and bottom can be mixed and matched to create multiple party looks. I’m already planning to wear my leopard trousers under an oversized jumper for a cozy daytime look, and the jacket will look amazing over some faux leather jeans.
Even wearing the jacket open or closed creates a different vibe. Personally, I love the tuxedo suit with nothing underneath look on women, but I didn’t think it was quite right for a chilly Thursday morning shooting in Edinburgh city centre!
I know some of you will be looking at this outfit and think: ‘but I could never wear that’. Spolier alert: you can, and if you want to then you should. The Christmas party season is the time to realise all your luxe fashion dreams – the more over-the-top, the better!
Aaaand – the accessories!
More is more at this time of year, so don’t be afraid to accessorise your Christmas party look. Massive 80s-inspired statement earrings remain a favourite for winter, and anything big and glitzy is a winner. I usually snap up my earrings from eBay for a few quid. I also love an ear cuff – team with a deep side parting to show off your sparkle.
While matchy-matchy accessories can be a bit ‘mother of the bride’ if you’re not careful, I’m a little bit obsessed with this green velvet bag and shoes combo. They aren’t even from the same shop – just a happy coincidence that they work so well together! Velvet accessories are perfect for the Christmas season, and as this trend never goes away they will last you year after year if you look after them.
Hair-wise, it’s impossible to beat some soft curls to complete your Christmas party outfit. I used an oval-shaped curling wand to create these s-shaped waves, which is the perfect undone look. The side pleat adds some extra detail.
As my outfits are so bold I kept my hair fairly simple, but if you are feeling adventurous there are some gorgeous hair accessories on the High Street. A glitzy hairband, embellished hair slides or even some spray-on glitter would complete a Christmas party outfit.
Being totally extra also applies to festive make-up looks. I love a bit of eye glitter (ignore my runaway eyelash in the photo), and a berry-coloured lip is always on trend for winter. I’m wearing my go-to festive lipstick Mac Diva in these photos. It so long lasting you can sip Christmas cocktails all night without needing to reapply. Woohoo!
What festive party looks are you obsessed with this year? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.
Keep on sparkling,
Photos taken by Edinburgh photographer Katie Blair Matthews.