A festive ensemble inspired by Christmas Past.
Season’s Greetings! I hope you’re all having a lovely festive time and were thoroughly spoilt by Santa. I thought it would be fun to share a wee Christmas outfit as I did last year, especially as this year’s ensemble reminded me so much of Christmases past. When it comes to festive dressing some favour the casual and comfy approach, making the most of the opportunity to wear pyjamas or onesies all day, while others – myself included – love the excuse to dress up for the occasion (or for any occasion).
With that in mind, I realised that Christmas, the little red dress and I go way back. My Mum is a dab hand at sewing and made a lot of our clothes when we were wee, setting the tone for a lifelong love of girly colours and Peter Pan collars with her creations. There was always a special outfit in the planning for Christmas parties and of course the big day itself. Seasonal reds often featured – my all-time favourite was a red velvet number Mum made when I was two, with a stand-up collar and bow pockets, and trimmed with a detachable white swansdown collar.
I loved it to bits. I’m not sure any other Christmas dress has ever quite lived up to it – and maybe never will. That said, it inspired a bit of a theme for festive frocks of Christmases to come as well. Red and velvet frequently featured – from a red tiered tartan number made by Mum (age 4 – 5) to a burgundy velvet Peter Pan collared dress from M&S (age 6).
That’s why I’m quite sure that this year’s festive outfit was inspired by seasonal nostalgia – when this red lace dress popped up on the ‘new in’ section of M&S I couldn’t resist. I wasn’t quite quick enough though, and sadly it sold out before I could click add to bag. Luckily, as I had hoped it would be, the dress was restocked a few days later and this time luck was on my side.
The dress is definitely a more grown-up take on my favoured Christmas party look, but feminine and festive nonetheless. It’s a beautiful warm, ‘Christmassy’ red, and the cut is flattering thanks to the nipped in waist and just-above-the-knee length, while the high neck and elbow-length sleeves keep things elegant. It’s made from beautiful quality lace and the scalloped finish is just the kind of detail you would expect from M&S.
I’ve waxed lyrical about the gems to be found in M&S before and this dress was a star find. I’ve worn it on a couple of occasions already and received a fair few compliments. Everyone asked – and was surprised by – where it was from (in a good way!) expecting it to be from a higher end high street store, costing more than twice the price. The Baroque-inspired red lace number (reminiscent of a certain Dolce & Gabbana collection) is perfect for the festive season, and I’m sure it will serve me well for many Christmases to come.
The dress makes such an impact on its own that I feel it only needs minimal styling – my favourite kind of effortless dressing up: throw on, grab a bag and go. For a recent dinner party, I wore the dress with my retro Kurt Geiger T-bar shoes that appeared in the Orla Kiely AW13 show; gold nails, a simple gold heart ring from Whistles and big hair.
And, last but not least, I added my Lulu Guinness metallic lips clutch, which has got to be one of my favourite recent purchases. I have admired the brand for a long time and love how Lulu combines beautiful design with a sense of humour. The lips clutch is one of her most iconic designs and adds serious glamour to any outfit. Mine was an absolute bargain of a find from T.K. Maxx (more on another fab purchase from there very soon). You really can come across such fantastic designer treasures there for a mere fraction of the RRP – this clutch was on sale for a third of the price, and is the perfect finishing touch to a festive ensemble.
What do you wear for Christmas? Do you favour comfort or dressing up?
Me at Christmas, 1992!