The Darling Buds Of December

We are officially in the week's run down to Christmas! If you're not feeling festive by now it's time to grab yourself a mulled wine, a mince pie and get Last Christmas playing full blast to put you in the mood. Due to a minor miscalculation with my dates I may have thought the weekend just gone was the last before the big day and so spent all of last week frantically buying in presents and speed wrapping like a maniac... I've no idea how I got it so wrong but the silver lining is I'm now 100% prepared and ready for some much anticipated Christmas celebrations and family time. Phew!
Now is the week where you need to seriously be thinking about your Christmas Day and/or New Years Eve outfits and if you don't already have an idea this can be slightly stressful as online shopping is slowly becoming a no-go. But don't panic just yet! There is still some time and next day deliveries will be your saviour. I've already touched upon party dressing so I think we've got that one covered and I've even ticked velvet styling off the list of things to talk about but there's one last big trend we see every December which we have yet to discuss. Oriental styling!
There's something about oriental style which is just so super festive. Somewhere between the ornate patterns, luxurious jacquard fabrics and rich colour palettes, oriental pieces are perfect for Christmas. I often find however that as beautiful as eastern inspired clothing can be, it can also feel a little tricky and often when I wear it I feel like I'm immediately transported back to the 90s when all I really really wanted was a Eastern style dress from Tammy Girl. As one last Christmas gift to you I thought I hand you over three key tips on how to style this trend for December without completely channeling that Geri Halliwell circa the Too Much video... Note I said "completely" because there's nothing wrong with just a touch of 90s girl power injected into your outfits. I repeat, just a touch...

Transitional Colours

Classic Eastern print colour palettes include reds, blacks, golds and jade greens. These are amazing but sometimes you just want to go for something a little more subtle, I get it. Why not try transitional tones which will not only eliminate that dated 90s feel but also expand your outfit past December into the new year. How about blues, burnt oranges, browns and dusky pinks? Alexa Chung launched her clothing line back in May and one of the hero pieces was a lilac Chinese inspired dress... Proof in the Christmas Pudding that this trend really doesn't have to be confined to just the festive period. 

Just A Pinch Will Do

You don't have to commit to an entire outfit based around Eastern prints! Again, subtlety is the goal here so just ever so slight hints will do. A Mandarin collar blouse is perfect for touching upon the trend without going overboard. Alternatively try oriental, jacquard fabrics in something other than a dress- a mini skirt (like mine), a smoking jacket over a T-shirt or even your shoes/accessories! Just the slightest glimpse of this style will immediately give your outfit a more opulent and festive feel.

Nice and Simple

Style with simple pieces- nothing too detailed and nothing too fussy, you don't want to look like a walking Christmas tree! If you go for a skirt team it with a plain crew neck for a more casual look or possibly a classic roll neck for something a touch more chic! I've opted for a very simple, Seventie's inspired shirt which gives my overall outfit a slightly kitsch feel (we know I love a bit of vintage). I tend to team any mandarin blouses I own with indigo denim kick flares or stone washed jeans, this will simply transform your look into daytime appropriate and away from Christmas party territory. If you do want to wear a oriental style dress (and I wouldn't blame you one bit, they really are beautiful) just remember to keep accessories and shoes low key. Black is best but it does depend on the rest of your outfit of course- as demonstrated by myself and my bright gold Mary Jane's in this post.
So there you have the three main rules as decided by me on how to style oriental prints perfectly this year. There's nothing complicated to it! You can draw more inspiration from my outfit which FYI is quite possibly one of my favourites of the year! I absolutely love the mix of cornflower blue (one of my top colours) with dusky pinks, oranges and sage green to give my outfit that retro feel I always aim for. As mentioned above I've not shied away from accessories with my Orla Kiely Gold pumps I've had for years, but as flamboyant as they may appear I feel it works for a super Christmasy feel. 

This is such a versatile trend and when you stick to the three main tips you'll find it's perfect for Festive dressing and then there on after too. 

Happy Christmas guys, may you all look super stylish!

Sophia x

Outfit details: Blouse- Topshop, Skirt- Topshop, Shoes- Orla Kiely (old but see further suggestions below in the carousel), Earrings- And Other Stories

Location: The Patron, Northern Quarter, Manchester

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