Christmas Shopping

Kathryn O’ Regan provides a handful of tips for ‘party season’ shopping. You better watch out…there could be a few sequins about…

Flick through any fashion magazine in upcoming weeks, and you will more than likely be bombarded with ‘Dressing for the Festive Season’ talk. Often said articles and dodgy features on equally dodgy fashion TV shows are filled with gibberish about sequins and ‘glam’ and twinkly bolero cardigans. Now, don’t get me wrong I’m all for the glitter, mad for the ‘sparkles’ even, but you know what the problem is? Walk into any high street store at this time of year, and it is quite likely you will find yourself rapidly becoming nauseous and gasping for air amid all those darn sequins, diamante detailing and garish satin frocks. Rather than ‘ooohing and ahhing’ over shiny garments, you are making for the nearest exit and probably wondering when did sequins suddenly plot to take over the world…or perhaps, that could just be me?

It is a tricky situation wondering what to buy for upcoming festive parties and Christmassy get-togethers. Here are a few tips, just for you; after all, it is the season of goodwill.

Tip 1: All those shiny garments can be temping, but the question must be posed, will you get the wear out of that Santa Clause – red, bejewelled prom dress? Or, will it merely be admired by Granny on Christmas day, and spend the rest of the year hanging up in your wardrobe in fear of losing a faux ruby? Shop sensibly! Don’t fall victim to gimmicky party season buys.

Tip 2: I am always wary of The Dress Trap when shopping. Not familiar? Dresses are wonderful, sure, but you know something, they are a con. That amazing dress with the tulle underskirt and sweetheart neckline and Miu Miu – esque print will still be the same dress, no matter how many accessorising swaps you try out. Those glittery party dresses are probably the worst, there is no disguising them. Perhaps, it is stating the obvious, but in comparison, skirts and tops provide a myriad of mix and match opportunities.

Tip 3: Mammys tend to love sparkle, or at least, mine does. Show her something encrusted in sequins and she’ll probably love it. Beware.

Tip 4: It’s winter, it’s cold out. Purchase thick knit tights for cosy days around roaring fires, and glittery and patterned tights – bows, 1940s’ seams and polkadots – for yuletide nights.

Tip 5: Tip 1 needs to be reiterated: Think before you buy. If you are anything like me, and convince the world that you do, in fact, need a cardigan/shawl thing made entirely of thick black feathers (don’t ask..), and later, think to yourself: ‘Wow, that was a little overpriced, I could have got a good coat for that’, then you see why this point needs to be recapped. I might love that black feather monstrosity, that has been termed the ‘dead crow’, but really, let’s be honest, it does not get too much wear beyond the festive season.

Tip 6: You probably could get through the entire festive season without a single sequin, but you won’t, without a good, warm coat. Invest in a practical, but perhaps, a little fancy coat, that will see you through many a chilly winter’s day to freezing night.

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