Festive fashion is one of my favourite things about December – second to camembert, and third to my birthday.
And each year, I always book in a personal shopping session at Lula Boutique, in Leek, to pick out my Christmas party outfit. It also gives me plenty of things to add to my birthday and Christmas list, much to my mum’s relief. This year, I took mum along with me to try on some festive ‘fits, and managed to get some of her Christmas gifts ticked off the list, too.
Personal shopping is something I always try and do twice a year if I can – once in summer, and once in winter. It’s such a confidence-boosting and exciting experience, and fashionista Emma Howle, who owns the boutique, is amazing at picking out what will suit you.
The shop – which opened up in September 2019 – caters for diverse ages, sizes and budget, from affordable brands like Glamorous, to more luxe boutique brands like Sister Jane and Ghospell.
For the appointment-only personal shopping sessions, Emma shuts up shop and the whole downstairs dressing room is yours for the next couple of hours. The style-expert filled a rail with handpicked clothes for both me and my mum, as well as shoes and bags to accessories.
The dressing room has been fully kitted out for Christmas with a beautifully decorated tree and glitterballs courtesy of Snow and Rocket, with the huge statement mirror centre-stage so you can check out each look.
There were so many looks to pick from, with a real variety of textures, from leather, to wool, sequins to velvet. Emma gave us privacy to get glammed up in the outfits before popping back down to offer her opinion on styling tips, and how we could wear them. The rail saw a stunning selection of dresses, tops, skirts, trousers and jumpers providing a real mix of things to try. If you’re a ‘jeans and a nice top’ kind of girl, trying on dresses you’d typically avoid is a great way to find what suits you. I always find something on the rail I’d never pick up in a store, but fall in love with it when it’s actually on.
So, here are nine outfits you can find at Lula Boutique that are perfect for your Christmas party:
I arrived at Lula wearing – all Lula! These Blaze faux leather trousers, from Ghospell, were one of my summer picks that I wore on holiday, but they’re equally incredible for winter too. And Emma still has one or two pairs of these available on sale at £55.20. I also wore a black polo neck top which I bought from Lula a few weeks back, which was £16 – but the quality, comfort and thickness of these is amazing. There’s a grey one on sale on the site right now for £12.80, with a gorgeous teracotta colour in store too.
To level up my existing look, I threw on this amazing oversized leather shirt jacket (size 10) and these chain sock boots for £40. What I love about these boots is that the chain is detachable which completely changes the look, so it’s like two pairs of shoes in one.
We love a leather and knit combo for winter, and this skirt and jumper is the perfect choice. The cream frill jumper is so soft and really flattering, and even my mum – who has a much fuller bust – loved the way it looked on her shape too. I loved it tucked in slightly to this pleated PU chocolate skirt, and i feel like you could style this with a pair of tights too. The jumper comes in at £40, and the skirt at £30, with the boots, this whole look costs £110. And yes, the boots came home with me, because I was completely and utterly in love with them.
This metallic winter floral dress is giving me all the 70s vibes and I am here for it. It’s got such a gorgeous lustre in the fabric, which it what makes it so perfect for party season. The high neck and hunky cuff with a bit of a balloon sleeve offer an amazing shape, and this could also be worn belted to give it a different look, too. I love the way it looks with these chunky platform boots, but you could also style with stilettos for a more sophisticated look. The earrings I’m wearing are a Vivienne Westwood-inspired number, also from Lula for £8. The dress (£34) also came home with me, and if you see me in December, I’ll probably be wearing this.
At every personal shop, there’s an item on the rail you don’t think you’ll like, but will be pleasantly surprised. Green isn’t a colour I tend to wear, but this velvet wrap midi just felt so flattering as well as being subtly festive in this beaut spruce shade. The dress costs £45, and I wore it with the most incredible David Bowie silver boots, priced at £28. The dress buttons on the inside for security, with a tie at the left side of the waist, so you won’t find yourself un-doing and re-tying it a million times throughout the night. I feel like you could also get away with wearing this as a long jacket over an LBD to jazz up the classic look.
Jewel tones are so in this season, and this emerald blue mini dress is super dreamy. There’s nothing worse than being at the works do having worn an outfit that needs an entourage to take you to the loo to get in and out of, or feels uncomfortable the moment you eat a canape. This wrap shirt mini dress (£34) is so easy to get on, has elastic hidden within the waist, and the ruched detail disguised parts of my stomach that I’m self conscious about. I wore this with the silver boots and studded bag (£18) – making this look a total of £80.
My mum adored this outfit, and I’ve bought her the skirt and the sandals for Christmas. But it’s one of those styles that looks great on everyone. The ribbed co-ord is super stretchy – ideal for that three-course meal you had planned, and you can wear it in so many different ways. Style the skirt with an oversized collar blouse, or the top with some glitzy flares or, as you’ll see later, a leather skirt.
The skirt comes in at £30, and the jumper at £24, while the strappy sandals are a very affordable £22, which you can wear with pretty much anything this party season. There’s a knack to getting them on, but once you’ve sussed out the strappy part, they’re really comfortable thanks to the chunkier heel. Definitely a shoe you could wear all night.
Here’s a different way to style that puff sleeve mustard knit, with a panelled leather skirt, which again has quite a vintage quality about it, with the faux leather jacket and chunky black boots. This just adds a pop of colour to a monochrome look, and mustard never goes out of style, so this is something you can pull out in all-seasons, too.
If you’re usually a jeans and a nice top kind of person, upgrade your look to jumper and fancy pants. This moon jumper is quite thick and feels lush – and if you shy away from leather trousers for fear of ending up like Ross in Friends, then this pair are your bestie. The wide leg is super comfortable, and the lining doesn’t allow the trousers to stick to you or make you too warm. You don’t squeak when you walk, and after 5 minutes wearing these, they felt like they were already mine – they’re just so comfortable.
This whole look comes in at £90, with the jumper priced at £28, the trousers £34, and of course, these beautiful metallic boots.
This is a Christmas morning kind of look for me – Christmas comfort, if you like. These buckle hem balloon jeans are so easy to throw on and don’t feel as restrictive as they might look – the buckle really is just for show. I paired them with my trusty black polo neck, and this stunning festive cardi, which screams Christmas – I feel like Cindy Lou Who in the Grinch, which is a look I’m totally here for in December. This cardigan is priced at just £36, with the jeans at £32 – glammed up with those silver booties which are frankly, a festive must-have.
So, which of these looks would be your go to?