MY GUIDE TO CHOOSING A FESTIVE OUTFIT

I don’t know about you, but at this time of the year I go mad with choosing a festive outfit (well not just one). Mainly buying things that I will wear over Christmas, even though I am home more at that time of the year than any other. So this year, I’ve come up with a new strategy to try and minimise the spending (I need to get new floors in my house not more ankle boots) and make the most out of what I do buy. No I’m not sick, I’m just taking out a new approach to road test. I have lot’s of clothes. And I do wear nearly all of them. In fact one of my favourite things to do on a rainy Saturday afternoon is play dress up in my own clothes. Then I take notes of new outfits I’ve made by shopping in my closet. It also helps me see any gaps. And those are things I look to buy. Ok, this all sounds a bit wordy, so to get to my point, if you are shopping for your Christmas outfit, then here are some guidelines.

MAKE A LIST AND STICK TO IT

To illustrate, I go through my wardrobe about once a month to pick out the things I am wearing most often. These tend to be, black jumpers and polo necks, cream jumpers and polo necks, black trousers, cropped high waisted jeans and nice printed shirts. Also in that frequent wear category are my collection of midi length dresses and boots. I’ve got a pattern of items I re-buy, so over 2019 I bought maybe two new “good” jumpers that are standing the test of multiple wears and washes. I’ve noted that I like high waisted straight leg jeans so I bought a second pair of those. All you have to do is make a list of styles you wear the most, and when you are conjuring up your festive outfit, by including these pieces, you know you will wear them again and they will not go to clothing purgatory. None of these have to be expensive by the way, you just need to make sure you wear what you buy. And this doesn’t have to be limited to a festive outfit either.

3 TIMES, 3 OUTFITS

What? When I pick up a piece in a shop now, I ask myself have I got three outfits already that it will match to make up more outfits in my wardrobe, and will I wear this at least three times each month? If the answer is yes, then I consider it as a purchase. Long gone are the days when I just bought a top as it looked cool. Those were the ones I ended up re selling or donating to charity. By doing the 3 times, 3 wears thing, I am wearing everything I own. Magic.

SEQUINS ARE GREAT BUT…

I love a sequin, I do. But I am recommending to avoid certain versions of sequin looks. Why? You will only wear them once. I think sequin dresses are gorgeous, but you wear them for one week once a year. Look at sequin separates instead, they have way more longevity. Black sequin trousers are super glam now and during other seasons (I love these ones from River Island).

Dress up now, wear with a chunky jumper and then with a t-shirt in Spring. The same goes for those silvery sequin tops that are everywhere. I think they look amazing on summer hols with denim cut offs and trainers.

SET THAT BUDGET

Urgh I hate the word budget. It’s limiting. But it’s good. I’m an accountant, I should be all over the B word but I am hopeless. So I had to get strict with myself. Again, I will mention the re flooring of my house in 2020. I have “repurposed” my clothing budget for some house things, but I found that when I had money to spend I actually kind of reluctantly bought things I didn’t really need anyway. So my clothing budget has taken a chop, but I find now in the run up to Christmas, that I am looking forward to my monthly purchase. Before going out to get some new Christmas bits, just re visit how much you want to spend. For example, there was a shirt in Massimo Dutti I really wanted. It was printed and silk and lovely, and it was €90. A bit more than I usually spend. So I forewent the need to buy another Zara top last month and added it to my current month budget and got it. I’ve worn it loads and it was worth it.

Lorna Weightman wearing Massimo Dutti printed shirt holding a camera

AVOID ‘OPTIONS’

I used to go into Zara and buy five tops in one go. I wouldn’t try them on. I would go home to try them on, with the intention of keeping two and returning the rest. But I never, ever returned the rest. I always kept them. Danger. Now, I go into the changing room and I try things on. Yes queues are bad at this time of year, so I try and go before work, or right before closing. I try on my selection and then go through the 3 times, 3 wears thing. I leave with what I need. Again, magic.

Maybe it all sounds really boring, or expected, but some of the above I never did until this year. I moved house and got a bigger wardrobe, but I don’t want to fill it with things so I have lots of choice. I find with a less, more edited wardrobe, I’ve found more to wear.

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