The Chic List: These always get the party started

Fashion columnist and influencer Joanne Hegarty shares her advice on fail-safe Christmas outfit ideas.

Last December I badly missed the sprinkle of fairy dust that normally comes with this time of year. A ghostly version of a sad and anxious Christmas limped in and took its place instead – coming and going without any of the usual life-affirming fanfare. Gorgeous textures associated with the party season, such as velvet, didn’t get much of a show. So hands up if, like me, you feel like making up for last year’s miserable damp squib.

Jo Hegarty
Image: Victoria Metaxas

Bring on all the festive glamour – the tipsy twirls around the kitchen while the turkey cooks and for all the parties and gatherings beforehand. I’m hankering for champagne, sequins and outfits adorned with this year’s on-trend silky feathers. Our two lovely cats, who arrived to cheer us up last Christmas, will have a field day with those!

But deciding what to wear is never easy when there’s everything else to do. So I’m serving up my recipes for party season outfits that go together like turkey and cranberry sauce.

For drinks out with friends, dress code: festive dressy but not out-out dressy– the vital ingredients are contrasting textures. One deliciously easy winner is a white blazer over a sequined top, paired with leather trousers and your favourite heels. This combination always looks chic and effortless.

Alternatively, team a sequined or metallic skirt or pair of trousers with a contrasting neutral –a black or white blazer or a toned-down knit – for the same dazzling effect. LK Bennett has a gorgeous sequin trouser suit in store which also works as versatile separates.

Luscious velvet is always perfect at this time of year – a sumptuous dress or a quietly confident trouser suit can really pack a punch. A dash of sexy sophistication can be whipped up with a black lace top and some high-waisted trousers. Cos, Arket and Totême are my favourite brands for these sort of party pants.

READ MORE: The best Christmas party dresses

For dressier invitations – such as the annual office party – you may want something that says: ‘Hey Christmas, I’m here and I made an effort.’ There’s a good chance you have that occasion dress in your wardrobe already but if you don’t, make a list of features you like – such as what sort of length and shape – then start whittling down your choices from there.

Nothing beats dramatic festive shades such as ruby red or metallic gold but don’t be afraid to opt for black, too. The LBD is a classic for a reason.

And remember to search on preloved online sites. There’s nothing more satisfying than replying, ‘It’s vintage’ when someone asks where you got your knockout dress.

CHRISTMAS OUTFIT IDEAS

cefinn blazer

Wear with black trousers for a chic festive look. Blazer, £390, cefinn.com

sequin blazer

Shimmer all night in this sequin combo. Jacket, £379, and trousers, £229, lkbennett.com

Reiss top

Mix textures and team velvet with metallics. Top, £85, reiss.com

Stories earrings

Statement bling is a must. Earrings, £23, stories.com

Add heels and a gold clutch to be party ready. Dress, £49.99, mango.com

party mules

Comfy and glamorous. Mules, £98, thewhitecompany.com

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