Christmas party season is here, and for certain areas of the country the tempestuous weather has narrowed dress options down to either wellingtons and a Sou’wester or shorts and thongs, sometimes in a single hour.
It’s rather difficult to choose what to wear to a 6pm cocktail party when it’s bright blue sky at 10am, hailing at 3pm and back to sweltering 30 degrees with a humidity level of 1000 per cent by 7pm.
Dabbing my perspiring face at a crowded drinks party last week, I noticed more than few men in their jackets and shirts looking a little flustered.
I was in a loose-fitting long silk dress, one of the most lightweight pieces I own, and was about to spontaneously combust I was so hot. I felt the temperature rising just looking at them.
“Take your jackets off guys,” I suggested.
“Can’t. It’s too late,” said one of them regretfully, pulling back his jacket lapels and indicating the expanding sweat stains underneath.
I think it’s time to rethink the jacket for the cocktail party gentlemen. Or, the minute you start to feel hot, whip it off. There is nothing more handsome than a white shirt worn on its own, collar unbuttoned, sleeves rolled up.
The short-sleeved, untucked shirt looks a lot more comfortable to wear, a style that really looks fab when worn with 1950s or 60s-style slacks.
Personally, I haven’t tucked anything in for the last twenty five years, due to the lack of a waist. I was discussing this with a couple of girlfriends last week of various ages between 30 to 50.
We were commenting on some Instagrammer’s super flat stomach.
“Imagine that,” said my friend. “Imagine wearing a crop top.” We all laughed incredulously, as if someone had told us anti-cellulite cream actually works.
“Imagine belting a winter coat,” I offered. We all groaned.
We started thinking about the possibility of a waist. “I’d tuck in everything,” said one friend. “I’d tuck a t-shirt into high-waisted jeans and then add a belt.”
That was too unrealistic to even consider, so we lost interest ordered more fries and more wine.
Happily, fashion at the moment is favouring those who lunch, and there are lots of lovely, loose-fitting, long-sleeved dresses around.
They are the most wonderful choice for the party season – pretty, comfortable and forgiving. Fine cotton tends to be cooler than silk, and preferable for those who feel the heat.
The priority should be to feel great, as well as looking party appropriate. Belts, jackets and waists absolutely optional.