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What to wear on Christmas Day, whether you're lounging at home or lunching with the in-laws

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The festive season has been in full swing for weeks, and while you might have already exhausted your party wardrobe, the main event is yet to come.. 

While some people will spend the big day lounging in pyjamas at home, others will have travelled to be with in-laws or hot-step it to the countryside for a breath of fresh festive air, where more practical garms are called for.

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Then there are those of us who might get a bit too merry on Christmas Eve and will be in dire need of an outfit that distracts everyone from the fact you are battling through a raging hangover.

Whatever your fashion needs may be this Christmas, our outfit guide has you covered for all occasions – because it isn’t just the most wonderful time of year, it’s also one of the most stylish.

1. When you want to conceal your Christmas hangover

You might not be able to shine, but your outfit certainly can

De Le Vali, Jane sequined crepe top: £330, Zara, velvet trousers: £49.99, Alexachung, Crystal-embellished velvet Mary Jane pumps: £217, Mae Cassidy, Babi Bracelet tasseled embellished velvet clutch: £310, Le Specs, Outta Love oval tortoiseshell-acetate sunglasses: £40, Charlotte Tilbury, Hot Lips lipstick: £25.

So you’ve had a bit too much to drink on Christmas Eve and you’ve woken up with the kind of hangover you haven’t had since Fresher's Week. Spending an entire day feigning interest in distant relatives and sipping on Buck's Fizz isn’t exactly your ideal plan right now, but it’s Christmas Day, and you have social obligations.

Once you’ve taken the necessary remedies – Diarolyte or Paracetamol should be enough to have you feeling right as rain –  it's time to find the sparkliest, most eccentric outfit in your wardrobe. You probably feel too jaded to make small talk, so let your outfit do the talking. Seek out metallics where possible (gold is always a festive favourite) and add a slick of red lipstick to brighten up your complexion. Go to town on your accessories too. Velvet handbags, sequin headbands, embellished hairclips... there are no limits to this pizazz.

If you're really struggling, it's acceptable to hide your tired eyes by putting on a pair of stylish sunglasses. If anyone asks, you can always say they were a Christmas present and you just couldn't wait to wear them.

2. When you’re going for lunch with the in-laws

Time to fix up and look sharp

& Other Stories crushed velvet double breasted blazer: £95, & Other Stories crushed velvet kick flare trousers: £75, H&M, Glittery polo-neck jumper: £12.99, Malone Souliers, Maybelle metallic-trimmed leather point-toe flats: £425, Tom Wood, small gold-vermeil hoops: £128.

For lunch with the in-laws, you need a look that strikes the right balance between smart and comfortable. Enter velvet tailoring. No fabric says Christmas spirit more than velvet, and suits in the material tend to be a bit slouchier than most, perfect for a day of feasting on canapés, playing board games, and laughing at old family photos.

Flat shoes are advisable, not least because they're easier on your feet than heels but because they will help you feel more relaxed. As for what to wear underneath your suit, try something snug and long-sleeved, like a polo-neck top, which will complement the loose-fit of your suit and keep you warm.

3. When you’re disguising the fact that you’re not getting out of your pyjamas

Indulge in chic but cosy sleepwear

Eberjey, Larkenhooded cotton-blend robe: £185, MAC lipstick: £17.50, Versace Gold and silver-tone ring: £168, Sleeper, Black Tie feather-trimmed crepe de chine pajamaset: £245.

For the fortunate few, Christmas Day is a chance to spend 24 hours lolling about at home in your pyjamas. Make the most of this joyous occasion by sprucing up your sleepwear and fancying yourself as a retired Hollywood screen siren.

Nothing is too glamorous. Don your fanciest dressing gown, deck yourself out in gold jewellery, and add some colour to your lips with a rosy gloss or lipstick. 

As for the pyjamas themselves, a matching set is a must. Any embellishments, think playful patterns or a feather trim, are welcome too.

4. When you’re spending Christmas in the countryside

Practicality is key

LouLou Studio,  Murano cashmere turtleneck sweater: £320, The Kooples, leopard print scarf: £54,50, Topshop, jeans: £40, Jacadi, chelsea boots: £95, Reiss, Sabel red overcoat: £145.

If you've decamped to the countryside for Christmas, you can take this opportunity to be more casual with your attire. Chances are, you'll spend a portion of the day walking, so it's important to dress accordingly.

Protect yourself from the cold in your favourite pair of jeans and a polo-neck jumper and be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, ideally boots.

Colour-wise, there's no need for anything fussy. Neutral shades like beige, grey and navy will suit the setting just fine.

But for those wanting to add some festive joy to the look, do so via your outerwear and your accessories. A brightly-coloured coat and a patterned scarf will be the style statement you need to feel Christmas-ready without looking out of place

5. When you’re preparing for a food baby

Avoid anything too tight-fitting

Shrimps Sylvia leopard-print silk dress: £245, Jil Sander roll-neck stretch-jersey top: £180, Dr Martens boots: £135, John Lewis tights: £10, Bobbie Brown, Cabana lipstick: £24.

For some people, Christmas is about food and little else. It's about savouring freshly carved slices of turkey, indulging in rich fruit puddings, and lining your stomach with potatoes.

In these instances, it's important to consider any bodily restrictions your outfit may impose. So to avoid sitting at the table with your jeans unbuttoned, seek out loose-fitting clothing that will give you plenty of breathing room.

An oversized shirt or a patterned smock is ideal. You can add an extra layer of warmth to the latter via a long-sleeved top and a pair of thick black tights.

Keep your feet happy, too with a pair of chunky Dr Martens or Veja trainers.

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