If it hasn’t kicked off already then it will in the coming weeks, as party season is well and truly on its way. I’ve got to attend a number of events for work in the lead up to Christmas and it has got me thinking about even dressing. I know it can become quite a costly exercise having to pull together a new look for every occasion. That’s why I firmly believe that if you start with the basics then you’ll be able to rotate those pieces around to create new looks, while working with existing pieces in your wardrobe. These are the essentials of dressing through the festive season.
A great clutch
Whether you’re attending the office Christmas party or drinks with friends, it’s always a good idea to have one standout clutch on hand. I prefer statement clutches — those with a bold colour or punchy print so it can act as an accent piece to the rest of my look.
A pair of classic heels
If you’re planning on attending a range of different events then it can be quite cost effective to invest in one pair of heels that will work with myriad looks. For example the black heels that I’m wearing below have worked with so many different outfits, in various styles and colours and as such I’ve been able to wear them several times. Instead of trying to source multiple shoes for different events, try finding a simple style that’s a bit of a style chameleon.
A pair of statement earrings
I don’t often wear huge jewellery, favouring simpler, delicate pieces but I do believe that a pair of statement earrings can really dress up a look. They don’t have to be huge but just a style that’s a little bit interesting, a little bit different and have a sense of boldness to them.
A little black dress
The LBD is the MVP of any party season wardrobe. Invest in a single black dress that you absolutely love and wear it to death by switching up your accessories and footwear each time. The key is to keep it quite understated and simple, avoid huge embellishments or detail if you want the dress to be quite versatile. Also you can pop on a great blazer or jacket over the top and instantly change the dress’ vibe.
I try and make this time of year as stress free as possible so my summer entertaining usually involves a lot of BBQs, really easy salads, fresh fruit and cheese platters. I’d rather be spending time with my nearest and dearest than hanging out in the kitchen so as much as possible I do lots of my prep beforehand or just pick really simple things to make. Here’s what I do when it comes to managing festive gatherings….
Stock the fridge
As I said I am a very casual entertainer so I always make sure to have the fridge stocked up with fresh ingredients. I always do a big online shop to get my supplies in order. I usually go on the Harris Farm website and order all my fruit and veg, cheeses and everything I need before the weekend so it’s always on hand in case I unexpectedly have people pop in. I think great produce is always key so you can make really simple, easy things that will still be a hit with guests.
I’m all about a great platter as I think it’s a great shortcut when you’re busy or low on time. Whether it’s pastries or fruit platters in the morning or it’s prosciutto and cheeses or ham for lunch they’re great for being able to lay on a spread quickly.
Whenever I have people over I always have a selection of cheeses, various types of dips and crackers ready to go as I like to make sure people are fed as soon as they walk through the door. And you never know when people are just going to pop in. We live close to the beach so we get lots of people dropping by all the time and platters are something you can put together really quickly if you have everything in the fridge (this is why the first step is so important!).
Take advantage of Christmas hampers
One of my little tricks is to use the contents of Christmas hampers whenever I’m entertaining. They’re stocked with such a variety of different condiments or nibblies that it’s great for putting together an interesting platter of goodies that are just slightly more special in nature.
Have drinks on hand
As it’s so hot I like having drinks that are really refreshing. I’ll stock up on bottles of champagne, beer for the boys or have the ingredients for a quick cocktail or mocktail ready to go such as peach juice in case I want to make a peach bellini. Aperol spritzes and mojitos are also a favourite during summer as they’re so refreshing. I always make sure to have some sparkling water in the fridge to serve to guests. I think overall the most crucial thing to remember is to keep everything as simple as possible so you can get onto more important things, and that’s spending time with friends and family.
What are some of your favourite Christmas entertaining tips?