How to Dress for the Festive Season, with Emma Paton and SeaSalt Cornwall.
Emma Paton shares her styling tips for Christmas.
The festive season is my favourite time of year to dress up, catch up with friends and family, eat, drink and be merry! A good outfit always helps and I’m here to show you some ideas and looks for what I would wear, before and on the big day.
There’s something about velvet that instantly makes you feel grown up and pulled together. The rich colours and silky texture always make it feel special and luxurious. A good way to update velvet dresses this season is by adding a knee-high boot or some kitten heels. Here, I’ve picked the Boscawenun Velvet Dress which is simple and elegant. I love its A-line swing shape (plenty of room for eating!) and shorter, above the knee length. I’ve teamed it back with spotty tights and slingback kitten heels for a bit of a retro feel and colour pop. It would also work well with a thicker tight (burgundy would complement this Dark Night colour well), over leggings, skinny jeans, or leather/ pleather trousers if you don’t want to show your knees or legs so much. The super relaxed fit means it’s figure-skimming and a style you would be comfortable spending all day in! Swap out heels for a chunky boot and long coat for that Christmas Day walk.
If dresses aren’t your thing, then a velvet jacket is a very sophisticated nod to the trend. This Holly and Ivy Velvet Jacket has a luxuriously drapey feel to it and looks good back with jeans and a knit or over a dress as an extra layer. You could also belt it to make it more into a top. I like the grown-up kimono feel it has with wide 3/4 sleeves and soft draping. Here I’ve layered it over a hot pink knit which helps emphasise its jewel tones. It works for both a dressed down look – such as with boyfriend jeans loafers or trainers – as well as a dressed-up look with high heels and slim fitting trousers. It’s one of those timeless styles that is an easy go-to for instantly lifting an outfit and transforming it into one that is very fitting for festivities.
As you may already know, I absolutely love print and colour and Christmas is a time to embrace it! I picked this Forestry Midi Dress in Festive Ribbons Red Ship as the print reminded me of baubles and the colours are rich and fun. It’s an easy fit that nips in a bit at the waist (with those all-essential pockets!) and can be worn with a chunky Chelsea boot for a dressed down look or a knee-high boot or heel to dress it up. Burgundy, tan, cream, or black footwear would complement the print. I picked a fun statement metallic boot here to really get into the festive spirit! Add a metallic or velvet bag for a contrast in textures. You could layer up a few gold necklaces or add some statement earrings too.
Stand out at your festive gathering in a bright pink knit. I picked the Lily Bell Jumper in this vibrant Camellia colour back with the Fairy Light Spot Heatherbank Midi Skirt. So many colours would work back with this skirt – green, mustard, pale pink, light blue, navy, red, cream… it could be a knit, blouse, shirt, or tee.
The Lily Bell is a very plush jumper with ribbed hems and rolled edges, made from a soft blend of recycled fibres and wool. Super cosy for this time of year and an easy, flattering crew neck. I would also consider layering a shirt underneath or a jersey roll neck. It looks good back with blue and black denim jeans or skirts.
The pleated skirt is super fun and gives off a party vibe, great for twirling around the Christmas tree! I picked velvet platforms to style it with, but trainers, ankle boots, knee high boots or loafers would also work well, it’s such a versatile piece! Add a denim jacket or a smarter wool coat over the top when you need to head outside.
Metallics are so fitting for Christmas and there are ways to carry it off subtly if you don’t want to go too bold. I picked this Violet Bank Blouse Top as its soft textured spots glitter in the light. I teamed it back with washed black jeans here, but it would also work with a black skirt, cord, or a nice pair of wide leg crepe trousers to make it feel dressier. A blouse is always a nice option as it’s easy fitting and comfortable and you can always pop a cardigan over the top if you need to layer up but still want to show it off.
Accessories are an easy way to update and elevate any outfit for Christmas. My go to pieces are always necklaces and gold hoops that I can layer. I picked the Wingtip Necklace and Dew Drop Hoop Earrings (which would also make excellent gifts!) for easy everyday wear.
Winter walks, carol singing, Christmas shopping… whenever you venture out at this time of year you want to feel warm, cosy, and festive. I’ve teamed the Sandymouth Bay Coat which ticks all those boxes back with this joyful Fair Isle Beret to complete my look.
Whatever you choose to wear this year I hope you have a fantastic Christmas season and that you find some joy in spending time with your loved ones. I also hope Santa gives you what you want under the Christmas tree.