How to dress well this party season

How to do party season right
India Price,-Menswear Editor

Out with the novelty jumper, in with the perfect festive wardrobe

With Christmas socialising as we know and love it back on the agenda this year, there's no excuse not to make an effort. Whether that's with a new overshirt or a pair of smart-casual trousers – or both, here are the pieces to help you stand out on the party circuit this festive season.

1.

The half-zip knit

Now a firm wardrobe staple and providing a contemporary alternative to a plain crew neck, the half zip is the perfect piece for pretty much any occasion – whether that's drinks in the pub, a festive meal or a post-work do. Just pair it with a simple cotton T-shirt, loose-leg trousers and your favourite pair of trainers.

2.

The fancy loafer

Last year was devoted to chunky all-weather boots to get through outdoor socialising; this year, feel light on your feet with an elegant loafer. Providing a slimline alternative to work-smart lace-ups, pick a style with a tassel or a woven upper (or a blend of both) and roll your trouser hems up to show them off. Dune boasts a generous selection, while Ted Baker has an affection for a soft-soled driving style.

3.

The new Christmas jumper

We’re not talking about the novelty type you’d usually expect to see around the office during December but instead a subtle nod to the season through Scandi-inspired Fair Isle knits. Balanced and definitely stylish, they’re the perfect pieces to finally prove that you’re no Grinch. Can’t quite muster the courage? Pick a cable knit piece that’s bulky and full of warmth.

4.

The sweet-spot trouser

So called because the holy grail of trousers unites smartness with comfort (but isn't loungewear). Of course, dark denim provides a foolproof approach, but look for structured styles with 'relaxed' or 'easy' in the name and your legs will still be delighted with the fit. And for winter's answer to the chino, John Lewis & Partner's moleskine style offers the perfect level of warmth for the winter season.

5.

The easy top

If a crisp shirt and tie feels a formal step too far, long-sleeved T-shirts and polo shirts will your best friend this December (and well beyond). Layer them under your festive knit or zip-down bomber and style with jeans – and keep the sizing slim for a considered, fitted silhouette. 

6.

The smart-casual jacket

If the occasion doesn’t quite call for classic suiting but you want to look like you’ve made an effort, call on an overshirt or a zip-down bomber jacket. A crisp collar on the former will elevate a plain white tee instantly, while a dark bomber with metal hardware feels smarter than the nylon version you might have worn in your youth. Both go with jeans, and are slim enough to layer under a thick winter coat or a tailored overcoat. Win-win.

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