Joanne Hegarty – These are the ones who get things started

I’m  committed to velvet and feathers for Christmas. Trousers, Diana D’Orville. Blazer, Cos

 I’m  committed to velvet and feathers for Christmas. Trousers, Diana D’Orville. Blazer, Cos

 Last December I badly missed the sprinkle of fairy dust that normally comes with this time of year. A ghostly version of a sad and anxious Christmas limped in and took its place instead – coming and going without any of the usual life-affirming fanfare. Gorgeous textures associated with the party season, such as velvet, didn’t get much of a show. So hands up if, like me, you feel like making up for last year’s miserable damp squib.

Bring on all the festive glamour – the tipsy twirls around the kitchen while the turkey cooks and for all the parties and gatherings beforehand. I’m hankering for champagne, sequins and outfits adorned with this year’s on-trend silky feathers. They will also be enjoyed by our sweet cats, who were there to make us smile last Christmas.

But deciding what to wear is never easy when there’s everything else to do. So I’m serving up my recipes for party season outfits that go together like turkey and cranberry sauce. For drinks out with friends, dress code: festive dressy but not out-out dressy – the vital ingredients are contrasting textures. The white blazer is great over your sequined top. Pair it with leather trousers and your fave heels. The combination looks effortless and chic.

Alternatively, team a sequined or metallic skirt or pair of trousers with a contrasting neutral – a black or white blazer or a toned-down knit – for the same dazzling effect. LK Bennett sells a beautiful sequin trousersuit that can also be used as a separate. Luscious velvet is always perfect at this time of year – a sumptuous dress or a quietly confident trouser suit can really pack a punch. You can add sexiness to your look by pairing a black lace blouse with high-waisted pants.

There are few things better than dramatic colours and black is an iconic color. 

Cos, Arket and Totême are my favourite brands for these sort of party pants. For dressier invitations – such as the annual office party – you may want something that says: ‘Hey Christmas, I’m here and I made an effort.’ There’s a good chance you have that occasion dress in your wardrobe already but if you don’t, make a list of features you like – such as what sort of length and shape – then start whittling down your choices from there.

Nothing beats dramatic festive shades such as ruby red or metallic gold but don’t be afraid to opt for black, too. For good reason, the LBD has become a timeless classic. Don’t forget to look on pre-owned online shops. There’s nothing more satisfying than replying, ‘It’s vintage’ when someone asks where you got your knockout dress.

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 Shimmer all night in this sequin combo. Jacket, £379, and trousers, £229,


Mix textures and team velvet with metallics. Top, £85,

Add heels and a gold clutch to be party ready. Dress, £49.99,

Instant glamour = chunky bling Bracelet, £130, Laura Lombardi,



Wear with black trousers for a chic festive look. Blazer, £390,

For a stylish festive look, pair it with black pants. Blazer, £390,