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Style Doctor Kash O'Hara gives you the best style advice for the festive season.  (Written for  LifestyleYOU online)

1. From BBQ to big family cocktail party, what are the essentials for event dressing during the silly season?

This festive season, staple clothes such as a basic dress, playsuit or skirt and top combo are must-have pieces to get you (and your wardrobe) ready for any occasion. Minimalistic pieces will allow you to create a more versatile outfit, and are perfect when you are taking your look from an afternoon BBQ to a cocktail party with the simple addition of a bold shoe or accessory.

For BBQ’s, a statement hat and pair of sunnies will not only protect you from the harsh sun but can also add to your look. Panama hats and large fedoras are on trend this season while aviators, cat’s eyes shaped sunglasses and round frames are not only trans-seasonal but they suit various face shapes.  

Dress up your look for a cocktail party with a great pair of heels, a clutch and jewellery. Keep in mind that accessories are there to add to your look and not draw attention away from the whole outfit, you can play it safe by opting for minimal styling, and always make sure to take another look before leaving the house and remove any piece that you are not too sure about.


2. What are the traditional elements of a Christmas Day outfit, no matter what the event?

No matter what the event and the style of your Christmas celebration, it’s always nice to embrace the Christmas spirit with a touch of some festive colours like red or green. 

If it’s a casual Christmas lunch that you are going to, then a coloured top paired with denim or a light shift dress will work well. If it is more of a dressy affair or a traditional sit down lunch, a festive-themed dress would look stylish while keeping with the holiday theme. 

In the heat, what are the best types of fabrics to choose at Christmas to ensure you’re comfortable in the heat?

Summer is usually in full swing by the time Christmas rolls around so make sure you’re wearing natural fabrics that breathe well in the heat. Cotton, silk, linen or light-weight wool fabrics are best or if it’s a blended fabric, make sure the majority is a natural fibre. 


3. Are there any elements to an outfit that should be outlawed for Christmas day?

I’m a big believer in getting into the Christmas spirit so if you want to accessorise with Christmas-themed pieces, then go for it! Some people would outlaw these items but this is the perfect time of year to add a vibrant pop of Christmas cheer to your outfit.

A key tip is to always make sure your outfit flaunts your best assets and compliments you shape. No matter what the occasion, it is still important that you express your individual style.


4. When it comes to the days following Christmas, what are your must-have pieces or accessories?

If you’re someone who will be spending time outdoors either by the pool or at the beach, a great pair of swimmers and a cover up such as a kaftan or a sundress are essential pieces.

If you are going for a casual day out, either to lunch with family or friends or even attempting your luck at the Boxing Day sales then a smart casual outfit of a basic shirt, jeans and flats will have you lasting the whole day.


Quick-fire guide to the holiday season:

For a Christmas Eve Cocktail Party

Dress/Style: Cocktail dress

Accessories: Clutch bag, minimal jewellery 

Colours: Festive colours: Red, green, gold, silver or the basics: black, navy or white
Shoes: Heels or wedges for more support

Top Tip: If you’re wearing red or green, pair it with a nude or metallic shoe to tone down your look and if your outfit is a more of a neutral tone then try brighten up your look with some contrasting colours. Also remember that this is a family event so it’s the perfect occasion to bring out one of your more conservative numbers. 


For Christmas Day (Family BBQ)

Dress/Style: Smart/casual
Shoes: Sandals
Accessories: Hat and sunglasses
Colours: Red, green or white

Top Tip: At the moment, white on white is a popular trend, it works for most women and is a look that can be dressed up or down. 


For a formal Christmas Lunch

Dress/Style: Elegant dress
Shoes: Heels
Accessories: Small handbag and fine jewellery
Colours: Simplistic with a pop of Christmas cheer

Top Tip: Even though it’s a formal lunch you still have to remember it’s a day time event, so keep styling to a minimum and ensure that it is something that you will be comfortable in all day.   


New Year’s Eve Party

Dress/Style:  Party / Cocktail dress
Shoes: Heels
Accessories: Something that sparkles! Think shoes, bag or statement jewellery
Colours: Choose a colour that suits you complexion and brings out your best features.

Top Tip: Have fun with your outfit, introduce textures, go big and go bold, it is after all, a night to have fun, let your hair down and introduce a new and better year.