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A Christmas costume

It’s Christmastime! Bring on the champagne in buckets. You might have been thinking that your most important outfit this month is the one you’ll wear on Christmas Day in order to maximise your capacity for eating puddings, but ho ho ho – you are incorrect. Your most important outfit this month is your Christmas season costume, says Megan Blenkarne.

Christmas is a time of huge social interaction, which means it’s a good time to remember the power of dressing up. Science tells us that how we dress doesn’t just influence how others see us, but how we see ourselves. So as you gird your loins for lunch with Aunty Mavis, the world’s nosiest woman, remember that the right outfit will not only convey your true awesomeness to Mavis before you’ve even opened your mouth. It will also send you a gentle subconscious reminder that you, my friend, have got this. 

Picking the right costume is also about rising to the occasion that is the 10th party in two weeks, off the back of a hangover and a decided lack of any vitamin rich food. I know you want to lie on the couch with a bag of chips until the last possible minute, then blindly chuck on a vaguely suitable outfit, but resist. Take the time to get in a fancy mood.

Megan Blenkarne in her rainbow-striped, vintage silk dress

The best way to perk yourself up for a party is to festoon yourself in bright colours. We associate dark colours with gloomy things such as bad weather and corporate drudgery. We associate bright colours with wonderful things like holidays, sunshine and play. Christmas is meant to be all about fun, generosity of spirit, and time with loved ones. I think we can agree that a mood of sunshine and play is going to get you a lot further in the social stakes than an outfit that reminds everyone they have work tomorrow.

Whatever its colour or style, your Christmas costume should be a bit special to you. Perhaps it’s the dress you wore the first time you met your now-husband, or it’s the top that your best friend gave you before she moved away. Maybe it’s just a rainbow-striped, vintage silk number that makes you feel like a walking fiesta. Wrap yourself up in something colourful that makes you feel great, and that lifts the hearts of all that behold you. That’s the true (stylish) spirit of Christmas, right there.

First published in Capital issue #47
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