July 21, 2024


Specialists in fashion

Keeping it real with the Cocktail Cardigan (and cargo pants) — That’s Not My Age

Keeping it real with the Cocktail Cardigan (and cargo pants) — That’s Not My Age


Are you glammed up and ready to sparkle? At this time of year, TV adverts, online magazines, Instagram and what-have-you are replete with slinky dresses and shimmering trouser suits. But, what do you really wear during the holiday season? Is there such a thing as Party Casual? If so, it’s the dress code for me.

All this festive fandango reminds me of my fashion editor days. In November, we lauded the Little Black Dress. While December meant a crimson front cover, usually starring Nigella adorned in a scarlet off-the-shoulder evening gown (the Domestic Goddess was a dream to work with). But away from the glossy pages, my wardrobe was a party frock free-zone. The fashion team’s evening dress code consisted of jeans and a nice top.



For dinner with friends and family and a drinks party recently, I took a similar, Party Casual approach. Revving up my black cargo pants with a shimmering Lurex cardigan. To pull the just-festive-enough outfit together I introduced a lovely, old velvet jacket and velvet slippers. Whether you’re going out-out, or staying in over the festive season, keep it real with a Cocktail Cardi. The one I’m wearing in the photo is  Jigsaw’s metallic crew cardi in merino wool it’s blue/ black with a metallic yarn running through it and I particularly like the sporty striped rib and gold statement buttons.

Though I do have a couple of sequinned garments in my wardrobe, they are a few years old and I’ve stopped buying new. I do not want to be responsible for sending small pieces of plastic up a dolphin’s nose. Even if the sequins are recycled. Blending decorative textures such as velvet and Lurex, mixing old and new favourites is the slow (fashion) way to go.


Pull. on your party socks. Photo: Neil Mackenzie Matthews


And a quick reminder that Genevieve Sweeney’s sparkly, sustainably-made socks (part of the TNMA Edit) make the perfect finishing touch…



More Cocktail Cardigans, velvet jackets and party tops, here:


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First photo: My velvet jacket is an old one from Frame (similar still available HERE), bought in NYC. The Cocktail Cardigan was a gift from Jigsaw. My cargo pants are my new favourite trousers, bought from Carharrt WIP, they’re the Regular Cargo Pant in organic cotton. Velvet slippers are Le Monde Beryl. Check The Outnet for reductions, and I also like the look of Boden’s velvet penny loafers.

Second photo: Very old party shoes! Genevieve Sweeney x TNMA socks and Uniqlo Heat Tech trousers (from my recent collaboration).