Photo: Penny Wincer

Velvet jackets are a bit like buses, you wait an eternity for one to come along and then two arrive at the same time. Following my New York purchase, I subsequently received a gift voucher from Jigsaw to spend before our stylish Christmas event. Given my proclivity for Gentlewoman Style, the navy tuxedo jacket was always going to catch my eye. And it’s an absolute winner (now with 30% off in the sale: available HERE). The lunchtime talk at Jigsaw’s lovely Duke of York Square store was a grand get-together of gorgeous women…

Josie from Jigsaw: what makes people want to up their style game at Christmas?

TNMA: As a fan of Casual Glamour, I tend not to get glitzier when Christmas comes around. It’s important to feel like yourself and not like an extra from this year’s panto. Juxtaposing velvet, leopard print, silk or Lurex with a pair of jeans or a jumpsuit adds a sprinkling of decadent luxury, and feels more relaxed, less try-hard; whatever the season. This is how women want to dress today.

And here’s my ‘Christmas party dressing and not overdressing’ style selection:


Feeling comfortable and confident is the most important thing – and so I chose luxurious fabrics for my Christmas party looks. The beautiful flame red cashmere sweater and green velvet cigarette trousers would feel fantastic and be perfect for Christmas drinks with friends; while the jumpsuit, outstanding fuchsia coat and velvet slingbacks are ideal for a snazzier occasion. All of these items are chic not shouty.

Josie: what style question did you want the book to answer. And what was the solution?

TNMA: Over my 30-year career in fashion, from magazine reader makeovers to meeting women at various events and online, or simply chatting to friends (even the ones who seem confident, comfortable and chic) – I have regularly been asked questions about style. And this often comes down to establishing ‘what goes with what.’ What accessories complement a favourite outfit, what colours coordinate well – or make the perfect mismatch, what to wear for a special occasion without spending loads of money or ending up looking like Barbara Cartland? What goes with what is the key question I wanted to answer in Know Your Style – read it to discover a multitude of style solutions!

The full chintz-free Christmas conversation on party dressing and not overdressing is HERE. And the other chic not shouty items on my rail are as follows:


10 thoughts on “Christmas party dressing and not overdressing

  1. I used to have a couple of velvet jackets, but I got rid of them when they didn’t fit anymore. Even my mom (the 70+ model on my blog) has one. I guess it’s time to try shopping for another one?? LOL!!

  2. Just getting ready to pack. Thanks for reminding me of my velvet jacket. I’m now packing it for celebrating the holidays. I’ve got a beautiful old burgandy colored jacket that will look great with black jeans, tights or whatever. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Glad to have been able to attend this Jigsaw event. You looked super in the navy velvet tuxedo jacket on the day. It’s clearly versatile if it can be worn with a striped Breton top or with a silk blouse as in main photo.
    I’m sticking with my old velvet blazers which I’ve worn a lot. The perfect new one hasn’t crossed my path yet this year so I’m making do without.
    Festive greetings and Happy Holidays to all.

  4. Hi Alyson love your style and have both your books! Obviously a fan! I’m in Australia and would love some thoughts on Christmas dressing for our climate ie hot!?

  5. My favourite is still a warm chocolate brown vintage one from Banana Republic circa God knows when. It looks great with deep indigo jeans. Now if only I could master that smoky eye to go with it……………!

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