‘Tis The Season to Sparkle, in A Relaxed Way. Part One

Sequins, yes, or no? I will be answering this question later, but, first……. do you find the dress code at festive gatherings a challenge? The smaller occasions being the trickiest to negotiate. Many years ago, I thought a cream Aran sweater dress would be the perfect item for a festive “do” – the only downside was the temperature in the house we were visiting resembled the tropics. I ended the night looking like a melted snowball. I have never worn a sweater dress, since, mainly because I felt a …… little chunkier!! Because, the full-on sweater dress is not flattering on my shape. It simply added pounds. The alternative for versatility and comfort is the woollen “co-ord”. I find a two-piece easier to wear, simple and flattering, especially if the top half is slightly oversized. This look is also perfect for layers. Popping a small vest, underneath, is handy in times of unexpected heat – a quick disrobe can save the day.

Vivienne Westwood – Tartan, Tweed and Sequins

Growing up in the late seventies and eighties, it was inspiring to observe the punk and new romantic explosion of fashion where tulle, tartan and sequins were used with such flair – making the whole ensemble look as if it had been easily thrown together in minutes. And though my style was probably more conservative, with a touch of the rocker/hippy thrown in, I still picked up great ideas from those amazing personalities gracing the Kings Road in London. So, I would mix my moderate style with their punk vibe.

 So, do you go full-on disco ball or is your festive style a subtle touch of razzle-dazzle? Everyone is different. Our style is how we express ourselves. I find this time of year a good time to experiment with new ideas. I have always avoided anything with a shimmer or sparkle but now I am enjoying being a little more adventurous, though in a pared-down way. “Party casual” is more my look – this can be as subtle as a favourite pair of sparkly earrings with velvet trousers or twinkly accessories like a beautiful clutch with a diamante bow, perfect!

Now, we are wearing shimmer and sparkle in the summer months, too, which means we are getting our money’s worth and enjoying these items for longer. For a big occasion, there is also the choice of renting an item or outfit. This would be my option if I were invited to something, posh. Alternatively, there are always pre-loved sites to check out such as Etsy, Vinted and eBay, which is where I bought the pink sequinned skirt in the pics.

At this time of year, there are some new season items to tempt us – I know I have my eye on a few things. In the event there is something you have seen from, afar, tried on and loved, there are always the Black Friday discounts. Or, you can try to hold out until the end-of-season sale. A little saving doesn’t hurt. Failing all that, buy the item without regret and get lots of pleasure from it.

Over the last couple of years, I have liked the non-conventional ways people are wearing shimmer on Instagram and Pinterest, which inspired me to indulge myself. My first-ever purchase of sequins was in the Spring with this vest. I bought it for my holiday in Rhodes, Greece. This vest is great to wear in many ways, but my favourite is with jeans and under jackets. It is still available from River Island. Another source of inspiration came from Trinny Woodall who I follow on YouTube. Trinny was showing some amazing, sequinned vintage pieces she has collected over the years. Give it a whirl if you want some more ideas or see Trinny’s amazing collection.

If you’re looking for ways to introduce a little glitz into your own wardrobe, here are a few ideas of how I am keeping “party wear” real, wearing some sparkle with casual wear, a mixture of bold and quiet, formal, and relaxed – different textures and items worn together, hopefully, making the result interesting and relaxed. And, as this is a recent look for me, I have loved experimenting – sometimes, getting it wrong! But, I am having fun, trying!

Item Number One – Sequinned Vest  and Trousers (River Island) Both £32.00

Tuxedo Jacket; this one is over five years old (Zara). The wonderful thing about a tuxedo is how versatile it is.  It can look as dressed up or down as you like. There are lots of styles and various materials to choose from which flatter and enhance any outfit – from party attire to the simple cool look of jeans and combats. It is a must-have and certainly earns its keep.  These black trousers I am wearing are from River Island.

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Item Number Two – Pink Sequinned Skirt (H & M – 2017) Ebay

In July, I spotted this sequinned midi skirt for sale on eBay for £40.00 from “Adore Once More”, a preloved small business. I did haggle (well, you have to try).  I managed to get it for a bargain £33.00 including postage. I think it is around seven years old and still in perfect condition – I love how the sequins have a low sheen instead of the “out there” sparkle.

I have seen this skirt many times before on Instagram and Pinterest. There are lots of ways to style a sequinned midi skirt. Perfect with a chunky roll-knit jumper – wearable, affordable and statement-making in a pared-down way.

In today’s post, I am wearing it with a grey hoodie, borrowed/stolen from my son! Then. as an alternative a fitted white shirt.  Hope you like these looks.

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Item Number Three –
Black Sequinned Trousers Marks and Spencers £45.00

I was so unsure about these trousers. I have worn various tops with them which have not worked. So, through trial and error, I have found that both a fitted top and a sloppy jumper work. They are wonderfully comfortable, and, of excellent quality, with the bonus of pockets.  Here, I’m wearing them with my Ashley Breton top from Baukjen and a sloppy oversized jumper bought a few years ago.

Thank you for reading.  I will be back shortly with part two of my  “not shouty” Christmas style ideas.

Alison x

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  1. /

    I’m all about the sparkle right now and these outfits are fabulous! I love your sequin pants paired with the striped top!

    Jill – Doused in Pink

  2. /

    Oh I loved the punk period a lot! Wore black all the time, still do actually! Love that sequin skirt!

  3. I’m a fan of sequins at any time of year! I love your sparkly pieces and how you’ve styled them, especially the black trousers and striped top. Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • I’m late to the party regarding anything remotely sparkly, so like you the few pieces I have carefully chosen will be worn throughout the year. Hope you have had a lovely Christmas.x

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