Drafting a gift list that’s long enough to put you in the red might be your priority at this time of year, but, as well as ensuring the stockings get stocked, it pays to plan for pre-Christmas parties.
Once you’ve got the quality check out of the way, it’s time to think about quantity. Look ahead in your schedule and plan your choices accordingly, noting you might need some extra shirts or accessories if you have a couple of events on consecutive days. Shirt-less tuxes might work for the Chippendales, but it’s not a look that’ll leave your boss merry at your work Christmas do.
Just because shirt-less tuxes are off the menu, it doesn’t mean you need necessarily stick yourself to tradition. Sure, certain parties will have strict dress codes, but for those that don’t, you can loosen your collar – literally.
By investing in a few solid smart-casual separates, you’ll have plenty of outfit options for the festive season’s less stuffy engagements. For a fail-safe combo that can be dressed up or down to suit the occasion, try a navy blazer with a pair of grey trousers
1. Moss Bros, Moss 1851 – Tailored Fit Prince of Wales Check Trousers RRP: £90 NOW: £29
2. Skopes – Kennedy suit jacket Royal blue RRP:£140 NOW £80
3. Moss Bros, Moss London – Extra Slim Fit Navy £32.50 / Indigo shirt £45 (2 shirts for £35)
Like the concept of smart-casual dressing, nailing a festive party dress code can prove tricky when it’s not as straightforward as ‘Christmas jumpers’ or black tie.
This is especially important when it comes to work parties as clothes give more of an impression of who we are. While work attire is a dress code of sorts, there is more room to get this wrong at a Christmas party. By all means choose a more relaxed outfit but not one that would cause it to be remarked upon for the wrong reasons.
A great way to pull this off is a velvet evening jacket or mixing things up with a patterned shirt, rather than wearing a traditional satin lapel dress suit with a dress shirt and bow tie. You can stand out from the crowd making your individual mark, while still adhering to the party dress code so as not to offend.
1. Moss Bros, Moss London, Moss Esq. – Print shirts RRP: £32.50 NOW: from £15
2. Suit Direct – Black bow tie RRP: £12 NOW: £8
3. Moss Bros, Moss London – Velvet Blazer in Blue RRP: £179 NOW: £79
No amount of hairspray will hold your quiff in place once pelted with British weather. Try to Avoid high maintenance styles. This is the UK. It’s windy, wet, and potentially snowy. You’ll be wearing a hat, or being battered from all sides by Hurricane Steve. High maintenance haircuts are just going to get annoying, and you’ll never look as intended once you arrive at your destination.
Instead, steer simple with naturally unfussy cuts like a textured sweep back or smart (but strong-hold) slick styles like a classic side parting. Products such as waxes, putties and gels can all give a diverse style without looking dull…Oh, and this also goes for the stubble too!
1. Home Bargains, VO5 Matt styling paste £2.69
2. Home Bargains, VO5 Matt fibre £2.69
3. Home Bargains, DAX short and neat £2.39
4. Home Bargains, Schwarzkopf Phenomenal hair paste £2.95
5. Home Bargains, Brylcreem light glossy hold £2.49
6. The Body Shop, Mens grooming kit, RRP: £39.99 NOW: £23.40
Pocket squares complete a look. Whether it’s a suit, separate jacket or a tie or no tie occasion, a silk pocket square can make the outfit.
And while ’tis the season for something festive, no one wants to see your gaudy holly print. Instead, inject a little Christmas spirit with a patterned print or a block-colour style in a seasonal shade of red or blue.
1. Moss Bros – Selection of pocket squares RRP: £15/12 NOW: from £3
If nothing else, party season is a test of your endurance. So, for best performance, make sure you stock up on supplements. Choosing the right clothing and grooming products can go a long way, whether it’s to impress your boss, a potential date or simply want to show off your individuality and style.
How do you plan for party season? And what will you be wearing this year?