Our busy lives can make hosting and attending relentless social events seem like the grittiest of endurance challenges. What’s more, we end up spending our hard-earned cash on unsightly disposable crockery, overpriced decorations and party-wear that we’ll discard as soon as January rolls around. But what if there was another way? At BuyMeOnce, we believe there is – we’ve been thinking up some clever ways to help you celebrate in style this year while being kind to yourselves and the planet. The two needn’t be mutually exclusive.
HELP! WHAT DO I WEAR?
Heading straight from the office to cocktails? Need to dress in a work appropriate vibe with a hint of sass or suave? Yes, this can be done! Check out our festive wardrobe basics and add your own little touches, or build on existing wardrobe items for a party look that will not date nor cost you or the earth.
THE BASE – WOMEN
The little black dress is an enduring essential – an elegant, hardworking classic that can effortlessly go from day to evening. For the perfect one, look no further than Marie Hell. We love the Quiver Tunic. It’s understated enough for the office and works as the perfect base for a party outfit. Details like the dipped V at the back showcase the shoulders and give subtle evening sensuality.
The right shoe can take a look to the next level, and this one is certainly a winner. The L.K. Bennett Sledge is an elegant pump/court shape will never date and will work with any outfit. The high heel will flatter and, no need to fear a post-party tumble, the platform makes walking in these shoes a breeze.
BuyMeOnce Tip: For instant evening jazziness, add a statement piece. We love the Holland Street Luisa Kimono – it will lend glamour, femininity and a refreshing change from the swathes of sequins that are ubiquitous at this time of year.
LITTLE FESTIVE TOUCHES – SOMETHING FOR THE GIRLS
If you’re not in the mood to go all out with your ensemble, you can dip into the festive vibe easily with these little touches.
Buy a Ribbon. Proper old-school haberdasheries often sell beautiful quality ribbons in rich, deep pile velvet. Opt for a deep red and simply tie it in a bow around the collar of a favourite blouse. The result is full of elegance and impact.
Add a lipstick. Not so keen on wearing a party outfit to work? Throw a lippy in your bag and come evening you’re good to go! We’ve chosen Hynt Beauty – made from 100 percent GMO-free, plant-based ingredients with added jojoba oil, this lipstick is as kind on the planet as it is on your lips. This bold Pomegranate is the perfect siren shade for this time of year.
THE BASE – MEN
You can't go wrong with a smart jacket. For a lasting sartorial statement, we’ve chosen this John Lewis & Co. Overcheck Tailored Jacket made from Yorkshire-spun wool. John Lewis & Co, a diffusion line of the retailer’s own brand, is driven by their mission to make long lasting, quality garments using traditional techniques with a focus on British craftsmanship. For festive social occasions, either team the jacket with a smart shirt or go for maximum impact with the full three piece.
Shoes can make or break an outfit, so to keep you up to snuff, we’ve chosen a true British icon in this Church’s brogue. Church’s shoes celebrate English craftsmanship and design. Each shoe is carefully crafted in Northampton, England, where there is a rich heritage in producing the finest leather products. We’ve chosen this classic style; it features a traditional rounded toe and perforated detailing in a stunning, shining full-grain leather. The triple sole gives comfort, protection and durability. These shoes work perfectly for evening outfits as well as for every day.
LITTLE FESTIVE TOUCHES – SOMETHING FOR THE GUYS
Don't have the energy to get all done up? These little additions will skyrocket your dress shirt and trousers to holiday party heights.
A bow tie is the perfect way to add a sense of occasion without committing to a full evening look. We love this style from Aendee, an accessories brand based in Fargo, Minnesota; their entire collection of beautifully crafted statement pieces is made from upcycled materials.
Don’t underestimate the power of a pocket square. Vivid jewel tones and eye-catching prints work beautifully for the evening and add sophistication. We love this little fella in a green leaf print from Glass House. Glass House is a brand after our own hearts – all of their pocket squares are made out of offcut fabrics from their shirt production to help minimise waste!
OKAY, PHEW, I LOOK GREAT! BUT WHAT ABOUT MY HOME?
There are many ways to create a stunning festive vibe without spending oodles of money on throwaway things or spending days on complicated installations. Don’t have time to turn your home into a sustainable Santa’s grotto? Us, neither. Check out these tips for some easy, peasy, fun decoration ideas.
Christmas trees are beautiful, but they do have their drawbacks. The constant sweeping of pine needles required to maintain the area around them, the precious floor space they take up and finally the fact that it feels a tad wrong to have a tree in our homes for a limited time and then hurl it out. That depressing graveyard of Christmas trees that line our streets come January does nothing to lift the spirits once the festive season is behind us. Here’s a great and effective alternative – the ladder tree! Simply hijack your domestic ladder and swirl Christmas lights around it. Hang decorations on it at will!
Have you ever wondered what you could do with your empty booze bottles? Why not upcycle them into groovy lighting features? We love this version that uses a Bombay Sapphire gin bottle. Simply wash and dry leftover (particularly pretty) bottles and stuff them with strands of small solar-powered garden lights.
If you’d like to attempt something a little more challenging but still achievable, go for these stunning origami paper decorations. They look great dotted around the house adding colour and cheer. Full folding instructions can be found here.