Christmas Time: Putting Together Festive Outfits

It’s a time of year where people can dress to show Christmas cheer.

There are a number of ways that you can wear a Christmas themed outfit, depending on where you are around the world. Here are some ways you can wear a festive outfit without having to don a costume.

The Colour Story

The easiest way to put together a festive outfit is to utilise a lot of green and red. The key to looking sharp while doing this is to make sure you aren’t decorated like the front of a December house, but rather like a gentleman who simply wishes to communicate a cheery message with his clothes.

The rule of thumb here is much the same as when it comes to pairing anything; with the colours go for one bold, and leave the rest more muted.

You could also use one really bold item – i.e. a shirt – and make sure it’s the star of the show with no competition, like I’ve done below:

Of course, a bold shirt like the above is strictly casual. If you’re looking to communicate some Christmas cheer through a more dapper touch, look to a jacket and tie ensemble.

Jacket and Tie Outfits

Putting together a festive jacket and tie ensemble is relatively simple since you have several components that you can utilise to show your Christmas colours: jacket, shirt, tie, square and trousers.

You can choose to utilise the colours exclusively in the top half of your outfit, which will give off a much bolder approach (especially when both colours are equally saturated):

Or, you can choose to distribute the colours throughout your entire outfit and tone them down with other subtle colours placed to keep things low key:

Notice I’ve used the same jacket and same tie in both, but in the lower outfit I’ve lengthened the distance between the red and green. While red and green theoretically are rather close to complementing each other according to colour wheel theory, the clash between them is quite loud; especially when the saturation of each colour is equally dense.

In the lower outfit, I’ve also used a less saturated green which again tones down the loudness of the overall ensemble.

Other Ideas

If you’re in a cooler part of the world, you might want to incorporate a Fair Isle sweater into your outfit. You might also look at something like a tartan trouser or jacket in appropriate colours, and utilise the same red/green colour story that has been discussed at length.

What you do is up to you!

I’ve showcased here a couple of festive options for the casual or jacket/tie outfit, but have missed the suit. The thought process behind jazzing up a suit for Christmas is much the same as you would follow for a jacket and tie rig, but you may be limiting the Christmas colour story to your accessories for a more conservative environment. In more casual settings, you might also utilise the shirt; or if you’re in possession of a green or red suit you can go for the whole nine yards!

What’s your favourite festive outfit?

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With content features ranging from appearances on popular menswear hubs (The Rake, StyleForum, Put This On) to French perfume newsletters and university course readings, Sam is a writer, designer and enthusiast in the fields of menswear and fragrance.

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