Rosemary Mac Cabe

Hemlines, heels and haute couture – your daily dose

Christmas day dressing

What do you wear on Christmas Day? In my house, it’s long been a tradition to get a “Christmas Day outfit”, which my mother would say is testament to how spoilt I am. It might be related to mass – …

Thu, Dec 16, 2010, 12:50


What do you wear on Christmas Day? In my house, it’s long been a tradition to get a “Christmas Day outfit”, which my mother would say is testament to how spoilt I am. It might be related to mass – you know, the Sunday best but multiplied by a million for Jesus’s birthday, but despite the fact that I no longer go to mass or, you know, believe in Jesus, I still believe in the power of the Christmas Day outfit.

So what am I going for this year? Well, sadly, times are tough, so I doubt I’m going to buy anything new. However, I do own a beautiful Diane von Furstenberg navy silk dress that I’m hoping to wear . . . although now that I’ve typed that out I realise that I wore it last year, and heaven forbid last year’s Facebook album is the same as this year’s. I’ll have to rethink.

Were I going to buy something, Topshop has a great selection of Christmas Day-appropriate dresses that won’t break the bank (especially if you buy from the website, and I reckon today would be your last possible day to do so). My personal advice would be to go for something embellished (it is Christmas, after all) and think room – room for turkey, room for ham, and room for the oodles of mince pies that should be floating around come supper snack time. Click through for my picks (and let me know what you’ll be wearing on the big day*).

This dress is not for the larger chested ladies among us, but it would be perfect with a pair of black tights and some gold jewellery (black tights being, I think, the stalwart item for anybody’s Christmas day, unless they’re spending it in Barbados).

This reminds me of the Reiss dress I was going to buy a few weeks ago. Nice and loose on the skirt, fitted bodice – the shape almost feels casual, but the embellishment gives it that extra je ne sais quoi. Go easy on the jewellery, would be my top tip.

This dress isn’t embellished at all, but the pattern of the flowers, to me, resembles sequins from a distance. I love the shape of it, and the colours, and it’ll work right into spring, if you’re looking for something a little versatile.

Again, not the most Christmassy of dresses, but a gorgeous shape, and another really versatile number. Black opaques, boots and a cardigan for office-appropriate attire, anyone? (Am I the only one who owns at least four “Christmas” dresses that I have never been able to roll out for another occasion?)

The 1920s-style drop waist on this dress is just sublime, and the beading is gorgeous. Warning: it’s likely this is dry-clean only, and it’s even more likely that you will wear it once and deem it way too recognisable to roll out again. Plus, you’d want to have a fairly boyish shape for drop waists to do anything for you. I would if I could . . .

One-shouldered dresses are, I discovered yesterday, fairly divisive. The office verdict was that we either love or hate them. I hated them for a while, but now I’m feeling the love again, which perhaps could be attributed to this unlikely but oh-so-chic pairing of black and navy.

Last but not least, this navy kimono-style dress may not look like much but might be the most versatile dress you will ever purchase, not least because it’s neutral, will hide a multitude of sins, and will look equally amazing dressed up and down. Pile on the jewellery to make a statement, and pair with coloured tights for something a little different.

All dresses from Topshop.

* Does anyone think “the big day” should be used to describe more than just weddings? I’m going to start using it every day. “I’m excited about my big day next week,” I’ll say. “What’s that now?” they’ll ask. “You know! I’m going to Whelan’s, it’s going to be awesome!”