Stella McCartney on Bond Street - my favorite shop decorations this year.
I love sparkle for Christmas, and have just dug out a barely worn sequin top for the party season. It's rose gold and a bit oversized, perfect for a buffet. I bought it last winter in Hong Kong, and now it is again in stores in London. A good standby for the season but I don't think it will ever make a perfectly accomplished outfit for me.
A perfectly accomplished outfit is the kind of outfit which fits like a glove, makes you confident in your body, enhances the color of your skin, is slightly different from all the other more predictable outfits in the room, is pretty but also has an edge; a perfectly accomplished outfit is a bit of a contrarian, it is somewhat smug, and it makes you feel more unique than the prints on your finger tips.
My friend Natasha's accomplished outfit is a custom tailored dark red dress with beautiful draping across the body which I first saw on her at The Pawn in Hong Kong. When she wears it she looks radiant in every single way.
My friend Erica wore an all cream outfit to the Coopers Arms about 18 years ago. A cream jumper and pencil skirt and cream grosgrain Manolo pumps. Unforgettable to everyone present.
A perfectly accomplished party outfit for Karlie Kloss is all matte pink.
Karlie Kloss in a stunningly unexpected evening combination of pink suede skirt and lavender jumper, not a sparkle in sight.
In the past I have blogged about matching your shoes to your bottom and your bag to your top (HERE) which is a really effective way of looking polished without feeling old fashioned. From this photo I can't tell if Karlie is carrying a bag, but she doesn't really need one; the perfectly matching shoes and skirt make this outfit magically beautiful, and to me far more interesting than many an embellished evening dress. Admittedly, Karlie Kloss could wear a grass mat and still look stunning.
There are a few easy tricks to transform every day clothes into dressy and elegant combinations (although I am not suggesting in any way a fuchsia pink suede skirt is a regular every day piece of clothing!)
First of all, wear light colored clothes in winter and dark colors in summer.
Many apologies to regular readers, I have posted this outfit before. It's simply a Zara jumper and J.Crew trousers, but the lavender and baby blue colors make it unusual and interesting for Christmas. I lived in Hong Kong at the time, which made the sandals possible.
Another trick is wearing an outfit in two different tones of a color, for instance mint green and bottle green, pale yellow and canary yellow or burgundy and tomato red. You could combine them with nude or grey accessories matched the old fashioned way or in two different materials, like patent grey and suede grey.
Don't get me wrong, I still love sparkle (as recently as my previous post!), but sometimes an outfit stands out more when it hasn't succumbed to a Christmas cliché. And often I just don't want to spend money on sequins which will be worn only once or twice.
I hope you are all enjoying this Advent and spending lots of time with family and friends. My husband and I take regular walks to the many atmospheric pubs in the area, and currently most of them are heaving seven days a week with a lovely mix of 20 somethings and over 50s (the rest are all taking care of kids) feeling lively and getting another drink in. Often London feels exactly like a Richard Curtis movie to me.
Thank you for reading,
Decorations and skating rink at the Museum of Natural History.