“Twas the night before Christmas when, sat in my house,

I stared at my wardrobe and furrowed my brows.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

But I couldn’t decide, what the hell I should wear!?”

Christmas is a BIG day, and this brings BIG pressure when it comes to deciding how to dress. The choices are endless. However, fear not. The subsequent guide goes some way in offering sartorial instruction for the more conventional ways of celebrating the most wonderful time of the year.  

“The Christmas Day breakfast”

Although we all celebrate Christmastide in different ways, the Christmas Day breakfast is surely a ubiquitous phenomenon. Regardless of what time you wake up or at what point you open your presents, parading around the house in your dressing gown and pyjamas is, in many ways, an eighth Sacrament. Such pageantry requires forethought.

Overall, given the lively nature of Xmas merriment, your pyjamas should be relatively conservative. Whilst that Victoria’s Secret lace teddy might look great, it may well send Grandpa Bernard into cardiac arrest. Likewise, gentlemen should be wary of foregoing pyjama bottoms for fear of accidental exposure; I think everyone’s happy to wait until lunch for their meat and two veg. The answer: more traditional “jammies” should be worn. Besides, dressing like you’re about to climb aboard the Polar Express can provide a certain joy, if only to recapture the youthful exuberance and cheer of your younger years.

“For the families that relax at home”

For those of us set for a more understated affair, there is certainly more room for flexibility. Armed with a baggy jumper and comfy jeans, you can sit back and drift off to the Queen’s Speech without a care in the world. Likewise, the day is a great opportunity to show off any new gifts and festive garments. After using your Lynx Africa gift set to full effect, throw on your novelty socks and Christmas jumper, and release your inner (s)elf. However, let’s be honest, there is such a thing as a bad Christmas jumper. A Primark sweatshirt reading ‘Merry Christmas ya filthy animal’ can quickly ruin Christmas for everyone.

“For the families that head out and about”

Whether it’s a trip to the local pub or jaunts across the countryside, many families attempt to brave the outdoors on Christmas day, dragging the entire family along for a “fun” walk.

Naturally, big jumpers and jeans are a must. However, these look great when paired with brown suede jackets and a nice pair of boots, plus a bobble hat and scarf to enhance the look. It might not be a white Christmas, but you will still look like you’ve just stepped off the set of Chalet Girl.

“For the families that go all out”

With the decadent excess we’ve come to expect from our festive Oxmas formals, it’s unsurprising that many families try to compete when it comes to yuletide festivities. For those with a more formal dress code, the key is to don clothes that are both glamorous and comfortable.

For ladies, this is the perfect opportunity for that swanky festive shift dress and favourite (comfiest) pair of heels. Red velvet, sequins, and golden adornments are all possibilities. However, that said, do exercise prudence. Pairing your nicest dress with candy-cane earrings or bright red stockings can quickly leave you looking like Mrs Claus. Meanwhile, for gentlemen unwilling to invest in a Christmas-patterned suit, smart trousers and a patterned shirt should do the job. Blue and red gingham is both festive and tidy (and looks great when matched with a pullover or blazer). Although it is worth remembering that, whilst a well-fitting shirt is a must, you won’t be getting any slimmer over the course of Christmas Day…

To this end, whilst we can all attempt to look glitzy and suave, heels that are too high or shirts that are too tight can quickly make Christmas unworkable. Don’t just dress sexy, dress smart.

So, there we go. Christmas is one of those complicated social affairs that pretends it’s entirely casual and unplanned, though months of careful preparation precede it. However, in all honesty, don’t overthink it. Fashion, like presents or mince pies, is not the main event but an aside. It’s about the giving of cheer, and not so much about the receiving of compliments. What really counts is that you’re dressed in a way that will allow you to relax into a day of celebrations with those who mean the most to you. Regardless of all of our questionable fashion choices, may your day be merry and bright.

From all at Cherwell Fashion: Merry Christmas and have a fashionable New Year.