With Christmas around the corner, we all want to find the best outfit to wear. Should we settle for something comfortable, or perhaps go for a sparkly look? Fashion blogger, Josephine Lalwan, is here today to give us some tips for best Christmas day outfits. Enjoy the show!

 

Margaret Manning:

My guest today is Josephine Lalwan. She has a great website called Chic at Any Age. She started it with the intention of enabling older women to have a love affair with fashion, to be as stylish and comfortable as they want to be. I really want to welcome you to the show, Josephine. Hello.

Josephine Lalwan:

Thank you very much, Margaret. It’s an honor to be on your show. I think your site is a great resource for women over a certain age.

Margaret:

Thank you very much. In fact, we work really closely with women like you because you are doing great things in fashion, and we’re not fashion experts. It’s wonderful to have people on the show who can give us some advice on areas that I would just throw my hands up in the air and say, “Whatever! I don’t know.”

Thank you for that; we’re a good team. Today I would like to chat with you about a holiday that’s coming up really soon. I’m not sure when people will be watching this video, but we are about ten days from Christmas 2016 right now.

Josephine:

Oh yeah, tell me about it.

Margaret:

It’s an exciting season for me. I do love this time of the year, but there is one thing about which I wanted to ask your advice. I don’t want to go out and buy strictly new clothes for the holiday, so what do you suggest we wear on Christmas day?

Josephine:

There is a very important question we should address first: Are you cooking the Christmas dinner? Because if you are, your outfit should be really practical.

Margaret:

With an apron.

Josephine:

Yes. I was going to say that the first thing you should do is treat yourself to a really fun, nice apron. That’s a good start. Wear something comfortable because you’re going to be moving around a lot. Depending on where your oven is, you’re going to be bending over. You’re going to be carrying things out, etc.

Don’t wear anything tight or constricting. Wear something that you’re really comfortable with; that is a little bit loose and gives you room to maneuver. Shoes must be practical. You do not want to stagger around in stilettos, spill the Champagne or drop the turkey.

Margaret:

It cracks me up when I see these magazines featuring a woman standing in the kitchen, with those very high heels and that little skirt on, with the turkey or trifle in one hand. This picture cannot be further from the truth. So, if you’re cooking, choose comfy and safe shoes.

Josephine:

You can do the block heals; they’re on trend. I’ve got a fantastic black pair. They are very comfy and secure.

Margaret:

So secure, safe, comfortable shoes.

Josephine:

Yes. Also, I would suggest you do not wear a cream silk blouse as it’s very easy to get a grease stain on that. Wear something colorful to brighten you up. It is Christmas after all. Wear a soft red or a flattering blue; turquoises are fashionable this year. There are a lot of options to choose from.

Don’t wear anything too thick. Remember that if you are doing the cooking, the kitchen can get quite hot, and you don’t want to come out all sweaty. Perhaps you shouldn’t wear your thickest sweater even though it might be a Christmas present.

Margaret:

Aren’t you into the big Christmas sweater syndrome with the reindeer and “Ho ho ho” writing?

Josephine:

It’s not my thing. But if you want to, you can put on your sweater after you’ve had a good meal and a lot of alcohol, and the time has come to sit down and relax in front of the TV. I would keep it simple before then.

Margaret:

I don’t know if people think about this anymore, but we should consider dressing well if we’re going to have pictures taken. These days there’s always someone walking around with a video camera, and before you know it, the entire family dinner is live on Facebook.

A good suggestion might be to wear some color or a design that’s going to look flattering on you. Then, when you look at the pictures you’re going to say, “Oh that was a nice picture.” I’m not sure about stripes, but it should definitely not clash with the rest of the picture.

Josephine:

No, stripes can be tricky because patterns and too much glitz will have you competing with the Christmas tree and all the baubles. That’s not the idea. I would keep it plain, and I would add some fun accessories to go with the outfit. I’ve got a lovely necklace here, which is an ideal Christmas accessory.

Margaret:

Oh wow. It looks beautiful. Is it fabric?

Josephine:

Yeah, it’s fabric. It’s interwoven with crystal things, and you can put it on any color plain dress—black, navy, grey. I actually wear the necklace with my burgundy tunic because it happens to be the same color. Something like that can really lift a very simple outfit.

Margaret:

I also like it because it’s kind of funky. It has that gothic look. This is what I really like about fashion—you can be stylish by choosing items that make your personality shine.

Josephine:

Yeah, fashion is fun. Of course, it needs to work for you. If you are more petite, you would like things that are more delicate. You would need something a little bit more refined, maybe pearls. I think fashion varies with taste.

Margaret:

Yes, I agree. I heard someone talking that brooches are back.

Josephine:

Yes, they’re definitely back. Actually, I’ve featured a brooch this week. I’ve got a lovely wrap-over coat, and I use a brooch to keep it in place. Brooches are really useful. I love them.

Margaret:

I just bought a top that has a big cowl neckline, because I like those loose necklines. I felt like wearing a brooch with it, so I just grabbed part of the neckline and brought it over to the side. This created a nice asymmetrical look; then I put the brooch on to secure it. It’s all about taking what you’ve got and making it work.

Josephine:

Yes, it’s about adapting it in various creative ways. Sometimes we get bored with our clothes, but you could always jazz them up a bit. A sweater that has been around for a while is really classic, and you can make it really special with the right accessory.

Margaret:

So, on Christmas morning you are going to get up and put on something comfortable. If you want to be dressed up a bit, you can wear a sparkly top or something fancy. Although, make sure you are covered up if you’re cooking.

Josephine:

Yes. Then in the afternoon you might like to change into, say, a lovely cashmere track suit that somebody has given you.

Margaret:

Have you been to a Christmas in France? What do the women there wear on a Christmas day?

Josephine:

Their big, traditional celebration is Christmas Eve. That’s when they have the oysters and the turkey with all the family around. They also do the Christmas lunch, but that’s a little bit more relaxed and casual. The night before is the more formal celebration.

Margaret:

Do they dress up for that?

Josephine:

Yes, they will be quite dressy for that one, whereas on the Christmas day they will be a little bit more relaxed.

Margaret:

I’d love to know what you are going to be wearing for Christmas Day. I think it is a very personal choice. Some people would like to literally stay in their pajamas all day; others will get up and put something on that makes them feel sparkly and special. What about pants versus skirts? Do you have a long skirt?

Josephine:

I do have a three quarters, very nice day line skirt. Although, for Christmas day I’m going to be wearing my favorite black trousers and a color shirt. If it’s really cold I might put a thermal vest underneath. Then I’ll wear the jewelry.

I have three grandchildren, all boys. We are talking six, three and 18 months. So, I will be crawling on the floor, playing with them. Christmas day is not a dressy occasion anymore. It is a get-down-and-have-fun occasion for me, personally.

Margaret:

This is great. I think a lot of women are in that category. It’s funny that you should mention that, because I’d actually put down, “Play on the floor with Chris. Make sure that what you’re wearing is washable.”

Josephine:

Yes, you never know what might happen. I’ve had enough accidents, so definitely make sure your entire outfit is washable.

Margaret:

The most important thing is to have a great time with your family. We shouldn’t create situations that could stress us out, like the silk blouse—that’s just asking for trouble. I don’t know what I’m going to wear yet. I do like skirts. I’ve noticed there are cute slip dresses of midi length that I think would look good on me.

Josephine:

I like them, personally, because I’m quite pear shaped. The midi length would work very well for me, though I need a slightly more A-line; otherwise, the dress would cling on the wrong place. That’s just my figure. You’ve got to go with what you’ve got.

Margaret:

Exactly. You have to know yourself. On that note, if you were to describe your personal, Josephine style in three words, what would they be?

Josephine:

I would say, “It’s classic with and elegant twist.”

Margaret:

I think that’s good.

Josephine:

That’s what I strive to.

Margaret:

I think once you define those words, you can then make sure things are refined around them. I did this as an exercise, and my words were ‘cultured bohemian’. I’m kind of like you because I like the classic look, but I also like to wear bohemian scarves. So I would mix things up, like classic pearls with a big piece of chunky jewelry.

Josephine:

I think mixing it up is definitely good. Also, wearing a mix of high end and low end items is very on trend at the moment.

Margaret:

Good. That means you can get away with just about anything. Still though, you should be fashionable and stylish in your own beautiful way. Thank you so much for this wonderful chat, Josephine. Have a happy Christmas!

Can you think of a Christmas Day story to share, which involved your choice of an outfit? What does comfortable holiday clothing mean to you, personally? Please join the conversation!

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