Introduction

Let’s be fair, you’ve got a lot on your plate right now.

Let's list your problems, you know, for smuggish sake of predictability.

  • You’ve learnt turkeys are not microwavable and that duck is not an appropriate substitute
  • Making small talk at the office Christmas party is not your forte
  • Neither is keeping your hands on the employed side of your bosses wife
  • It’s almost [probably], [definitely] your fault that your partner is a size 8 in one shop and size 10 in another only adding to the impossibility of gift-buying
  • You can’t for the life of you find number 11 on your advent calendar
  • You’ve just inadvertently agreed to owning an advent calendar
  • Boxing day means a game of Russian roulette at the relatives; waiting to see which bastard relative got you the ugly jumper this year.
  • And to add to it, your masculinity is under severe scrutiny as you are expected to know vehicle-related snow preparation techniques that would baffle Nasa.

It’s not going well for you.

The Dogma

By the way, have you got your Christmas outfit done and dusted?

You know, your Christmas outfit? Come on, it’s a term thrown around in excess at this time of year. It’s a term [pause to allow feminists to leave the room...] women love to throw around.

An ordinary outfit from your wardrobe will not suffice. No, no, no. This outfit has to have been blessed by Santa himself, approved of by the cardinal congregation and err well within the blurred lines of its definition.

Every year men pray for a store that displays a 'Christmas outfit department,' like that Ferrari, Santa never delivers. Ouch, festive cynicism.

So you can sack the idea of getting those orange counter-girls to help you. Google-ing it won’t help you very far either. Touch up the keyboard long enough to ask “what is a Christmas outfit” and it’ll nudge you in the direction of showing up to any festive do dressed as a sugarplum fairy or yuletide log.

The term 'Christmas outfit' is a dogma but it’s a doctrine we are going to unravel and stick two fashionable fingers up at any woman who assumes we know any less than they condescendingly do. Oh yeah, ho ho ho and all that.

The Christmas Outfit

This guide is aimed towards the less formal of seasonal wardrobe events. The way to gauge if this is the guide for you is ask yourself, “will more than three relatives be drunk at the event?” –if the answer is yes then please read on. If you need a more formal approach please look at the A/W Party Season Lookbook here on FashionBeans.

A Christmas outfit should be picking up on the warm feelings of seasonal goodwill (yeah, all that stuff). It’s feng shui on a hanger. Women’s propaganda will tell you if it’s not done right it will look sh*t. Sneering at a festive outfit choice leaves you in the position that you may as well have slapped grandma for buying you an oversized Toblerone for the fourth year running. You really want to do it but it just isn’t done, unless you’re Scrooge [or really hate either Toblerone or your Nana respectively].

How to Style:

The Christmas outfit is often given considered thought however, it should be given no more thought than your occasional wear. This applies to those who often are consciously careless with their choices on a day-to-day basis. I should probably be yearning you to try harder but frankly, why look good for one or two days of the year on to come Monday go back to your lucky dip tie technique?

The Christmas outfit, along with any other protocol wear (weddings, funerals, black tie etc.) is for the considered because only the considered are giving it the consideration. By reading this you are the considered, so well done. Look around you right now: office, train, tube, restaurant, bar – it’s full of the consider-less right?

Layering

This years Christmas outfit should pull on the layering abilities you’ve built up over the oh-ten seasons. It’s now time for that one-man-show to shine and for the productions costume to be appreciated a little less than forcefully. Remember with layering to be keeping your pieces in constant. Thinner towards the skin is the rule and when explained it goes without saying: if you have ever dabbled in the choice to begin with a shawl neck cardigan and follow it up with a t-shirt; I think you need to layer down and reconsider that choice.

Designs

While trying to project the warmth of the season in your ensemble, remember where you are going to be. If it’s an afternoon round Nana Pat’s with the entire family sweltering in her off-key decorated bungalow, perhaps excessive winter-warmth should be avoided.

The way to get the look right is to find the Christmas ho-ho in the design and cut of your pieces; not how thick and how fast you can bundle sweaters on top of each other. Favour Fair Isle jumpers, Peruvian prints and chunky knits (but not all at once) for that eclectic ‘awww’ feeling.

Make sure you know where you want you focus to be. If a Fairisle knit is at the centre of your look, pair with a basic tee and a strategically garbed snood. Effortless and not blinding!

Colours

If you come from a fashionable family firstly, please breed [but by no means together] secondly; you’ll appreciate the need not to be penned-up with the rest of the cliché-concerned lot in Nana Pat’s living room having all dressed in the same effort. I come from a family who are all fashion conscious. It’s an unwritten motive that we’re all trying to outdo each other.

Nevertheless, the downfall of many at Christmas is that they only stick to what they know. Ask for a Christmas colour and you’ll be pointed in the direction of red, so toying in the other colours can set you apart from the related sheep.

Because Fairisle and other knits have been so popular throughout the early A/W months, there is no shortage of alternative primaries. No effort should be made to step outside of the pen wearing a summer palette of yellows and oranges. It’s important keep your look collected and effortless and you can achieve this by throwing in the occasional earthy colour (beiges, greys, browns and creams) all these mix in perfectly with primary colours. Add these in through your accessories and shoes. I make it a rule to stay away from black shoes at Christmas unless it is a formal affair.

Tones in other colours such as purple are acceptable as long as you can build your Christmas outfit with them in mind; it’s not the usual but if we never did the unusual, I would be greeting you in a top hat and monocle.

The Real Seven Days of FashionBeans…

I can’t nurse you through your yuletide hangover; I’ll have my own to medicate. Nevertheless I can still walk you through the do’s, don’t, if’s and but’s of any given wardrobe assembly.

The song famously appropriates twelve days of Christmas. I usually have the ability to sustain my excessive intake of food & merry sorts of drinks for seven, the big day (25th) right up until the big night (31st).

FashionBeans will turn you into a walking triumph with an outfit fit for festivities through our seven days of Christmas picks:

On the FashionBeans Nice List:

On the first day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… Fairisle Knits:
  • Farah Vintage Wilding Red Fairisle Knit
  • WHITE FAIRISLE POLO T-SHIRT
  • Alexi Crew
  • Blue Reverse Fair Isle Shawl Cardigan Levi's
  • J.Lindeberg Andy Fair Isle Cardigan
  • YMC Fair Isle Crew Knit
  • Sigur Cardigan
  • Lou Dalton Fairisle Knitted Crewneck Jumper
  • GREY FAIRISLE SWEATSHIRT
  • Beige Fairisle Jumper
  • UNIVERSAL WORKS Fairisle Navy Crew Knit
  • Grey Embelished Fair Isle Knit Crew Marc by Marc Jacobs
On the second day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… A Pair of trousers:
  • Levi's Vintage 605 Skinny Jeans
  • Denham OBL Skin Skinny Jeans
  • 55DSL Pyrons Jeans
  • Raw Blue Stretch Skinny Jeans
  • Indigo Skinny Jeans
  • NUDIE Thin Finn Dry Organic Ecru Embo Jeans
  • Plum Cotton Skinny Chinos
  • Dr. Denim Red Cord Chino
  • Edwin 77 Chino
  • Junk De Luxe Kirk Engineered Twisted Seam Chino
  • Hugo Boss Heise Slim Coloured Trousers
  • Rust Skinny Carrot Chinos
On the third day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… Winter boots:
  • Fenchurch Fendock Washed Boots
  • Sperry X Band Of Outsiders Grey Ripstop Boot
  • Dr. Martens Manton Brown Desert Boot
  • GRENSON Fred Tan Boots
  • RED WING Classic Moc 875 Original Boots
  • FOLK Andre-3 Truffle Leather Boot
On the fourth day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… Festive neckwear:
  • Burgundy Geo Print Snood
  • YMC Fairisle Scarf Grey
  • Alexi Snood
  • Lou Dalton Fairisle Knitted Scarf
  • ASOS Red Paisley Neckerchief
  • MJK KNITTED PLEAT SCARF
  • ASOS Cable Knit Scarf
  • Jack & Jones Navajo North Scarf
  • White Fairisle Pom Pom Scarf
  • Yellow Jaquard Snood Scarf
  • Trieste Snood
  • ASOS Fair Isle Snood
On the fifth day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… Colourful Socks:
  • Ayame Rattle 3 Qtr Socks
  • Humor Cotton Mino Socks
  • Happy Socks Multi Pattern Socks
  • Red and Grey Houndstooth Socks
  • Plain Ribbed 5 Pack Socks.
  • Polo Ralph Lauren Cotton Rib Socks
On the sixth day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… A seasonal shirt:
  • Indigo Denim Shirt
  • Off-White Scoop Neck Shirt
  • NAVY JERSEY SHIRT
  • Humor Lolli Checked Detail Shirt
  • Farah Vintage Blake Button Down Red Check Shirt
  • ACNE Rockwell Bleached Indigo Shirt
On the last day of Christmas FashionBeans gave to me… Accessories:
  • Red Reindeer Motif Slim Tie
  • Stone Leather Aztec Belt
  • Eastpak Authentic Summit Woodstock Backpack
  • ASOS Wild Goose Chunky Knit Bobble Beanie
  • ASOS Chunky Fairisle Gloves
  • Dents Deerskin Cashmere Lined Gloves
  • Hobo Brass Nylon Wax Cord Bracelet
  • D&G Rough Canvas & Leather Cuff
  • Brown Card Holder
  • Light Grey Textured Bow Tie
  • Flurry Beanie
  • FOLK Buckley Navy Multi Belt

CHRISTMAS WISHES
From all of the FashionBeans team x

…if only you knew what was coming in 2011.