Christmas Gift Guide

If you’re still looking for Christmas gift ideas for stylish ladies, here are some of my top picks to help with your Christmas shopping this week. The only “person” I’ve bought for so far is my dog, so I need a little inspiration myself! (And if any of my family are reading this, this is pretty much my wish list, hint hint 😉).

Stocking Fillers

No lady’s maid would be without a fully stocked sewing kit – This Liberty print sewing scissors and holder would be a stylish addition to it for a budding seamstress.

liberty

My favourite chocolates at Christmas time from Hotel Chocolat; best to only buy the pocket selection or I won’t stop eating them 😋

hotel chocolat

Please don’t think me weird for including a stapler in my wish list, but there’s something about Ted Baker’s “let’s get together” rose gold stapler that I love! Perhaps one for those who are hard to buy for, have a sense of humour and like a tidy desk.

 

I love Christmas scented candles – these are two of my favourites from Marks & Spencer – Frankincense and Myrrh and Mandarin and clove.  Really good value and they smell amazing.

A Royal Christmas – a great Christmas book, published by the Royal Collection Trust, exploring the Christmas traditions of royalty, past and present.

royal christmas

Luxury Gifts

I know you shouldn’t be swayed by packaging, but when it’s a Fortnum’s hamper I don’t really care what’s in it – just save the basket for me 🙂

fortnums

This world class tech case is a really good buy for jet-setting ladies who travel a lot – keeping all your gadgets organised in style on the move. Available in different colour combinations, but this is my favourite.

 

 

I love Smythson notebooks and diaries. I especially like this Soho diary as it has a “To Do” page for notes each week as well. The cobalt blue is super stylish.

Aspinal currency wallet – I have a similar wallet to this one that I bought from Heathrow Airport several years ago when I was travelling a lot and didn’t want to carry different wallets for multiple currencies – really useful.

aspinal

Wilbur & Gussie make the most stylish clutches. It’s impossible to pick a favourite, but this gold glitter clutch is a wardrobe classic.

wilbur and gussie

For hat-loving ladies with a busy social calendar in 2019 – an unlimited hat hire voucher for a year from The Cotswold Hat Club. Wear a different one each weekend if you want! Great value if you have a lot of formal day dress events to plan for.

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You can’t go wrong with a cashmere scarf as a gift. These ones from John Lewis are great value for cashmere, and available in a large range of colours, I like this coral red to brighten up wintery days.

scarf

Add a glamorous touch to your winter coats with a brooch from Susan Caplan. I like this wreath of pearls and turquoise – it would look great on a winter white coat. (20% off with the code LADYSMAID20).

susan caplan

I couldn’t not mention my book! If you’re bored of the family on Christmas afternoon, then dip into a copy of Wardrobe Wisdom and start planning your New Year Wardrobe for 2019.

cover

 

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Christmas Jumpers

Christmas Jumpers

You may think that Christmas jumpers have no place on a page about style, but you’d be wrong! I used to think they were incredibly naff – my main image of them being from American 80s/90s Christmas movies. These days there are much more subtle and stylish festive sweaters out there, so you don’t need to worry about looking like your Grandma dressed you on Christmas Jumper Day. In my wardrobe, this silver sequinned angel jumper, bought from Top Shop in 2015, is a favourite. The plus side of only wearing it a few days a year is that it’s still in excellent condition!  (There are a few on ebay if you like it.)

Christmas Jumper Day is on Friday 14 December this year. People in schools and offices across the UK wear their best novelty knit in aid of Save the Children. I’ve trawled through the festive knitwear on offer to bring you some of my favourites – from novelty knits to stylish sequins, via festive Fair Isle: there’s a Christmas jumper out there for everyone!

Novelty Knits

M&S leads the way with some stylish and wearable Christmas jumpers this year. These are three of my favourites:

Embellished Mistletoe jumper, M&S

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Robin embroidered jumper, M&S

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Embellished stars jumper, M&S

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All other high street stores now have a Christmas knitwear offering too – there are some good ones in H&M, Next and Dorothy Perkins. Tu at Sainsburys and George at Asda also have some great ones:

Sequin stag sweater, Dorothy Perkins

 DP Stag

Red reindeer studded jumper, New LookNew Look.png

Are you noticing a pattern? I quite like reindeers 🙂 Gold sequin reindeer jumper, Monsoon

Next

One for dog lovers – puppy in antlers from Tu at Sainsburys

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 A subtle offering from Top Shop – a mini candy cane crested black jumper

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There are quite a few Fair Isle/novelty hybrids if you want something that doesn’t scream Christmas:

Jacquard knit reindeer Fair Isle, H&M

Reindeer HM 

Robin Fair Isle, Asda

Asda Robin Fairisle

Slogan knitwear merges with festive fun in this “baby it’s cold outside” sweater from Bella Freud

 

Bella Freud

Make it easy for people to guess your drinks order with this Navy sequinned champagne Christmas jumper from Asda

Champagne

JOY red sweatshirt – Save the Children x Selfish Mother. 50% of the retail price is donated to Save the Children.

Joy

Everything sounds better en francais – “joyeux Noël” from Top shop

joyeux noel

Festive Fair Isle

If you don’t want to spend money on a jumper that you only wear one or two days a year, then Fair Isle is a great alternative to the novelty knits – still Christmassy but much more stylish and wearable throughout the winter months, not just December. Fair Isle knits are named after the place where they originate from – the tiny island of Fair Isle, one of the Scottish Shetland islands (where you’ll be in need of a cosy knit to keep warm at Christmas). The style became popular in the 1920s when the then Prince of Wales was photographed wearing a Fair Isle jumper whilst playing golf. Since then they’ve become a winter wardrobe classic, especially during the festive season.

Ivory Agnes Fair Isle, Boden

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Georgina sweater, Hobbs

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Mohair Icelandic jumper, Brora

Brora

Fair Isle sweater, Ralph Lauren

Asos

 

Islay print, Fat Face

Fat Face

 

Somersby Fair Isle, Jack Wills

Jack Wills

Stylish Sequins

Another more wearable option to the classic Christmas jumper is sequinned and jewelled knitwear – a great cocktail casual option for Christmas parties. I particularly like the grey ones as the dull colour carries sequins and jewels really well.

This grey jumper with bow motif from HM is my top pick

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I also love this pretty blush snowflake number from Next – this would look great with a pleated satin skirt and sparkly silver heels

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Jewel embellished jumper, Warehouse

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Grey sparkle jumper, Oasis

Oasis

Arqyle sweater with sequins, Zara

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These Christmas jumpers all get the seal of style approval from The Lady’s Maid – which one will you pick for Christmas Jumper Day?!

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Christmas Style – Bombshell HQ

The festive season is just around the corner, and The Lady’s Maid loves a Christmas  party frock!

In this post I have picked my top five festive dresses from Bombshell HQ – a London based dress label designed by Katya Wildman who specialises in elegant dresses for curvy ladies.

Mother of the Bride – Christmas Wedding

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Forest green was one of the most popular colour choices at the recent Royal wedding this year. It’s a great colour for brunettes and perfect choice for a Christmas Wedding Mother of The Bride. I’ve styled Bombshell’s Confident dress in dark green here with a feathered hat by Bundle Maclaren, available to hire from The Cotswold Hat Club, green velvet clutch and heels from L.K. Bennett and vintage star earrings by YSL available from Vestiare Collective.

Winter Wedding

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All shades of red have to be the most popular choice for the festive season. If you like your reds a little more mature and discreet, as opposed to a standout scarlet, then this mulberry hue is the one for you. Pictured is the Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress in wine accessorized with a matching pill box hat and kitten heels from Phase Eight, clutch from Hobbs and vintage earrings by Jennifer Gibson.

Christmas Party

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without some burgundy velvet. I’ve picked out the Stretch Luxe ¾ length sleeve in wine velvet as my top choice for a Christmas party frock. Accessorized here with matching velvet heels by L.K. Bennett, bag by Dune London, earrings by Susan Caplan and a winter white coat from Hobbs.

Christmas Day

Christmas_Day.png The Midnight Tartan on this Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress is a great choice if you want to dress up on Christmas Day. I’ve accessorized it here for a trip to church on Christmas morning – winter coat and faux fur scarf by Hobbs, bag by Aspinal of London, gloves by Mulberry, heels by Rupert Sanderson  and earrings available at Vestiare.

New Year’s Eve Ball

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You can’t wear too much glitter on New Year’s Eve! If you have a fancy ball to go to over the festive season then this Gold Sequin Gown will put you at the top of the best dressed list. Glam it up to the max with a glitter clutch from Wilbur & Gussie, snake hoop vintage earrings by Susan Caplan and sandals by Dune London.

 

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Christmas Party Dresses 

As Christmas falls in the midst of bleak midwinter, you may find the prospect of wearing short party dresses a little uninviting. Sparkly sandals may look pretty, but they only really look good on bare legs – tight-seamed toes are a fashion no-no – so if you are wearing a short dress, The Lady’s Maid advises going for dressy court shoes so that you don’t freeze as you tip-toe around the party circuit this festive season. As a dress code, cocktail dresses are traditionally short in length (mini to knee length). Christmas is a great time to go for rich jewel shades – think sapphire blue, emerald green and burgundy red – or metallic silver/gold sequinned numbers. Here are the Lady’s Maid’s top picks for party dresses on the high street:

 

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Ted Baker embellished pleated dress, £249; Adrianna Papell embroidered crepe shift dress, £230; Whistles Aria star embroidered dress, £185; L.K. Bennett Matilde black/gold courts, £150; Coast black/gold clutch, £45; Karen Millen satin stilettos, £45

 

 

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Warehouse navy velvet tieback dress, £36.80; TopShop royal blue fringe beaded dress, £150; Ted Baker Jeanne Stardust flute sleeve dress, £199; blue satin clutch – Bottega Veneta; L.K. Bennett blue metallic court shoes, £129-£195

 

 

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Whistles green satin pleated scrappy dress, £169; Adrianna Papell sequin shift dress with flared cuff, £142.50; L.K. Bennett Kara evergreen velvet dress. £295KG by Kurt Geiger Silver Stiletto Court Shoes, £79.20-£99Dune Everlina Clutch Bag, Silver, £112; Ted Baker Tie the Knot Azeline Bow Stiletto Heeled Court Shoes, Silver, £126

 

 

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Principles by Ben de Lisi – Gold sequin knee length shift dress, £63.20; L.K. Bennett Jazz Sequin Dress, Silver, £175; Dune silver clutch, £48-£52Steve Madden Daisie Stiletto Heeled Court Shoes, Pewter, £68Steve Madden Daisie Stiletto Heeled Court Shoes, Rose Gold, £68L.K. Bennett Flora Clutch Bag, Soft Gold, £157

 

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Reiss, Zaira wrap neck cocktail dress, crimson, £195Dune Eterrnal Clutch Bag, Gold, £52L.K. Bennett Fern Pointed Toe Leather Court Shoes, Gold, £129-£195

 

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Fenn Wright Manson Elaoise Dress, Wine, £199L.K. Bennett Nina Suede Box Clutch Bag, Poppy, £195L.K. Bennett Floret Pointed Court Shoes, Poppy Suede, £175

 

 

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Lace and Beads Low Back Short Dress, Burgundy, £100Reiss Rana Halterneck Dress, Wine, £180Boden Carrie Stiletto Heeled Court Shoes, Burgundy, £68.60-£88.20Ted Baker Cena Bow Evening Clutch Bag, Oxblood, £109

⭐️🎄Christmas Jumpers🎄⭐️

Christmas jumpers are a fun novelty addition to the wardrobe during the festive season – you may not want to “dress up” when at home on Christmas Day so donning a Christmas jumper can be a comfy and casual way of entering into the festive spirit. They can be stylish too – The Lady’s Maid suggests selecting Fairisle or star patterns ⭐️ so that you can wear them a little longer than the 12 days of Christmas!🎄 Here are her top picks for festive knitwear and how to wear them:

Star Embellished Novelty Jumper, £29.50, Marks and Spencer

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A light-weight knit that can easily be tucked into skirts or worn casually with jeans. Shown here dressed down with jeans from Mint Velvet and Grey suede boots from Ted Baker. Or dress it up with a silver pleated skirt, block heel sandals from Whistles and matching clutch from Dune.

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Berry Red Snowflake Jumper, £26, Dorothy Perkins

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Features pretty diamanté snowflake embellishents. Shown here with a maroon pleated skirt from Ted Baker and Burgundy velvet heels from Boden.

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Star Black Cashmere Sweater, Chinti and Parker £350

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Luxurious and playful – this starry “forever sweater” is shown here with cashmere star wristwarmers and hat from Brora, black scrunch suede ankle boots from Carvela Kurt Geiger and a winter white coat from Ted Baker.

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Jewelled Fairisle Cashmere Jumper, N Peal, £399

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Farisle is a stylish alternative to the novelty jumper and looks trendy as well as traditional. Perfect for cosy Christmas weekend walks. Seen here with tan leather Dune boots a tan Jaeger wrap wool coat and cream cable beanie hat.

n_peal

Fliss Fairisle Jumper, Monsoon, £55

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This cosy cream/grey fair isle jumper from Monsoon features pretty sparkling beads across the pattern. Shown here with a long wool skirt from Joseph, grey suede ankle boots from Mint Velvet, a faux fur jacket from Reiss and star earrings from Estella Bartlett.

 

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Christmas Stocking Fillers

With the arrival of Advent, The Lady’s Maid’s mind has turned to the small matter of Christmas shopping. This post looks at her favourite ideas for Christmas stocking fillers with a Lady’s Maid’s leaning.

Liberty Print Sewing Roll Kit, John Lewis, £15.95

 

 

No Lady’s Maid would be without a sewing kit. This useful sewing kit from Liberty has everything you’ll need to make basic sewing alterations on the go. Features a classic ‘The Strawberry Thief’ Liberty print.

Katie Loxton Travel Jewellery Case, “Sparkle Everyday”, John Lewis, £19.99

 

 

This pretty gold leather heart jewellery case, lined with grey suede, is the perfect travel accessory to keep your jewels safe on the go so you can sparkle every day everywhere!

Cashmere Pilling Comb, M&S, £5

pilling_comb

If Father Christmas has brought you a luxury cashmere jumper this year, you will need to give it plenty of TLC to keep it in top condition. Knitwear is prone to pilling (little bobbles) after wear, so a pilling comb is essential for all those who covet cashmere. (See Caring for Cashmere for more tips on the care of woollen knitwear).

Golden Lily Lavender Eye Mask, Morris & Co., £16  

eyemask

If the festive season gets a little too much, you can relax in style with this Golden Lily Lavender Eye Mask from Morris & Co., featuring a classic William Morris print.

Vintage & Co. Fabrics & Flowers Scented Drawer Liners, Heathcote & Ivory, £7

drawer

Scented drawer liners will help keep your clothing fresh as well as repelling bugs such as moths. These vintage fabric and flowers patterned liners from Heathcote & Ivory will also add a touch of colour to your drawers and shelves. (Fragrance Notes: Orange Blossom, Sweet Birch, Gardenia, Jasmine, Rose, Lilac, Coconut, Peach, Amber and Vanilla). See The Scourge of the Moth for more tips on how to repel this pesky pest.

Mini Initial Lavender Pillow, Museum Selection, £9

lavender

Delicate, hand-embroidered cotton pillows filled with lavender inspired by Victorian embroidery. Lavender is particularly hated by moths, so place these in your knitwear drawers to help keep moths at bay.

“Star of Wonder” Myrrh & Opium Flower Scented Candle, M&S, £7.50

candle

Christmas candles create a cosy ambience on winter nights at home – this Myrrh and Opium candle from M&S is subtle and exotic without being overpowering.

L’Occitane Refreshing Verbena Bauble, M&S, £12

bauble

The Lady’s Maid’s dainty hands suffer in wintertime, especially when she is hand-washing delicates! This festive bauble will add a little luxury to your hand-care. Inside the gold bauble there are three L’Occitane verbena surprises: verbena soap gently cleanses, and the hand cream and body lotion protect and moisturise hands and skin, leaving behind an invigorating scent.

Twelve Poems for Christmas, Seren, £5

poems

A sparkling anthology of Christmas-themed poems to peruse over the festive season.

Charbonnel et Walker Milk Chocolate Handbag & Heels, John Lewis, £7

chocs

Stylish and tasty – the perfect gift for every shoe-loving lady!

How to Dress for Success, V&A Shop, £9.99

book

Edith Head, Hollywood designer to the stars, offers no-nonsense fashion advice straight from the 1960s. There is still much to learn today from Head’s witty style tips and delightful drawings. Bound in real cloth with ribbon page marker and foil embossing.

Happy Advent!

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