When Christmas comes calling, I prefer to dial down the sparkle. Don’t get me wrong it’s not all bah-humbug at That’s Not My Age Mansions, I love sequins and shimmer. It’s just that I’d rather look chic and simple, than seasonally overwrapped. My ideal outfit is a combination of day and eveningwear, effortless with a little embellishment. It’s a relaxed look that goes everywhere – or what I refer to as Casual Glamour. Take one look-at-me standout piece, juxtapose with some not-so-basic basics and move seamlessly from computer-side to cocktails.

In this latest M&S adventure, a really good look around the Marble Arch store led me to pull out the Party Pants. More fun than the usual frock-fest, fancy trousers are good for running around in, all year long. The glitzy gold pair are Per Una and the sequin tuxedo-style are Limited Collection. Turn the glitz factor down a notch by tempering with a mannish tuxedo shirt (similar HERE) or slouchy cashmere sweater. Finish off with a pair of fabulous flats for those occasions when you actually leave the building.

Next stop was M&S’ very fine beauty department. Perfect for Christmas gifts and the obligatory treat-to-self – after this autumn’s book bonanza I’m planning some serious pampering over the holiday season. Into my basket went the deep sleep heavenly candle, Murad’s perfecting day cream with SPF30 and a bottle of Knackered Cow shower gel. (Leaf-shaped drop earrings HERE). Now I’m counting down to some superior lolling around.


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28 thoughts on “Casual Glamour at Christmas: partywear without the performance

  1. Your glittery trousers look fab so I went to M&S online. Ended up buying a pair of hot pink satin wide leg trousers for the party season. Yay!!

  2. Love both of those trousers, Alyson. But then I’ve become a M&S fan since they sent me the Twiggy suede jacket I won on your website. Still can’t believe that I wasn’t disqualified because I lived in Canada. Now if only we had a store somewhere…anywhere… near me:)
    P.S. Are you done with the “gronde” look?

  3. I have to say that I love both of those pants options that you are wearing Alyson!! They are interesting without being too crazy!! In fact, I almost bought a pair of jacquard jeans yesterday, but talked myself out of them. I may have to reconsider…..Because how perfect with a white blouse!!

  4. Bought the M and S brocade trousers in September and wore with black cashmere -very comfortable and yet slightly glitzy

  5. Hi Alyson—Is it the lighting or have you darkened your hair??? Like this casual-but-festive look especially for one doing the cooking. .

  6. Looks good on you Alyson the glittery brocade trousers. Not not for me with less slender less long legs.
    My version is cashmere pullover with straight silk ikat skirt I designed and had made from shawl or a bronze brocade coat over silk dress. Or for party I’m hosting this weekend monochrome straight silk dress with Art Deco design print. Topped by my old trusty black velvet brocade blazer and Lulu Frost ( via J. Crew) Art Deco style enamel and diamante necklace. Lacy or fishnet black tights to be determined depending on which shoes I end up wearing. Absolutely with you on a mixture of the more evening fabrics with a dressed down element. This looks modern and not too try hard.

  7. Some of my favourite buys from M & S beauty department. First Nuxe, a good French pharmacy brand : Reve de Miel hand cream and body lotion. Classic good products. I’ve treated myself to several things from Ren, a natural product line which they stock. I recommend Moroccan Rose Otto Body Wash for bath or shower. The loveliest rose smell of all I’ve used and moisturising too. Facial products also by Ren “Keep Young and Beautiful ” Firm and Lift Eye Cream. Never mind the name. A very nice texture which works well under eye makeup. And my current favourite lip balm : Ren Vita Mineral Lip Balm in a small tube. Good value not flavoured and keeps lips from drying out.

  8. I’m still thinking about how chic you looked at your book signing event in New York last month. The long black sequined skirt with a blue and white striped oversized cotton shirt and Roger Vivier shoes was casual glamour at its best. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for a similar skirt ever since. I’m sure you would like the tuxedo jackets from Pallas, check them out if you haven’t already. Happy Holidays! Jolain

  9. Alyson I salute you..you have totally nailed it and look fabulously understated but party ready..LOVE IT and I am hoping to get your new book in my stocking..have hinted ..if not will certainly get it as treat to self in new year

  10. It’s a no from me. I understand the intention but the execution doesn’t work for me. The hair tucked into the white shirt is ‘on trend’ but, in my opinion, only draws attention to the transition from blonde to grey.grey. Again it is only my opinion but your hair looks dirty. I understand that to get to the end result we have to leave your hair do it’s own thing.

  11. I love a it if casual glamour, or tomboy lux as I call it! Those sequin khaki pants are perfect for my day time Christmas do, am thinking with leopard print flats and a cashmere roll neck

  12. Love the khaki trousers, if id just seen them on the website I would have passed by quickly, look so different on the blog. Have popped them and the cashmere in my ‘basket’. Thank you.

  13. Just purchased a navy slim shirt with black sequins on the front yolk from Boden (no connection). Looks great with a pair of dark jeans (flared, skinny, straight), black pencil skirt or trousers. At full price I couldn’t really justify the spend but got it with £20 off. Also comes in white with silver sequins.

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