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How To Recreate Famous Festive Fashions On A Budget

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, I look at tips from style experts at Nasty Gal for recreating the iconic Christmas looks we all love, but can’t afford to buy, on a budget!

After missing out on Christmas Party Season for two years of Covid misery, more and more people are looking to make up for lost time! Searches for “party dress” are at an all-time high with a 127% increase.

While my natural instinct is to spend the entire cold season wrapped in layers of fluff and never leaving my house, I have to admit I do love an opportunity to get dressed up and go out to have some fun. But what to wear? And can I afford to get dressed up?

Iconic Christmas Looks

The festive season has produced iconic looks in the past, and Christmas queens come back every year to inspire our shopping choices for the upcoming festive parties as well as our everyday winter wardrobes.

In preparation for the upcoming festive season, style experts at Nasty Gal reveal how to recreate five of the most iconic Christmas outfits on a budget this winter. 

Mariah Carey – “All I Want For Christmas”

Red Puffer Jacket on JJ Barnes Blog
Red Puffer Jacket

For many of us, the first person who comes to mind when we think of Christmas icons is the Queen of Christmas herself, Mariah Carey!

Over the years, All I Want For Christmas Is You has racked up over one billion YouTube views across the original track and newer versions, and it remains the most streamed Christmas song to this day. 

In the 1993 video, Mariah Carey can be see at a snowy amusement park, bundled up in a red cinched ski jacket and matching trousers tucked into a pair of chunky white boots. She accessorises with white gloves and a cosy red knitted Fair Isle hat with her hair in plaits underneath.

Ski clothes can be expensive, but there are options to get the same impact without the investment. Padded and puffer jackets are much cheaper and will give your outfit the same ski-luxe vibe at a fraction of the cost. Sometimes we can lose our shape in chunkier coats, so cinching the waist with a belt accentuates your figure and gives you a more tailored silhouette.

Puffer jackets were a huge trend last year and are having another moment this winter, as searches have surged by 291 per cent worldwide now compared to the previous five years. 

Destiny’s Child – 69th Annual Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting

The Rockefeller Christmas tree has been an icon of New York for almost a century, and the fashion icons Destiny’s Child performed at its 2001 lighting ceremony in all-white matching outfits with fur accents, designed by Tina Knowles. Beyoncé’s off-shoulder white dress with a fur trim and a peekaboo cutout neckline, was worn with white calf-length boots, a cute winter hat with matching fur trim, and silver drop earrings.

Fur-trim dresses were a big trend last year and will make an even bigger comeback this holiday season. Google Trends data reveals searches for ‘fur trim dress’ and ‘fur dress’ are skyrocketing 1,718 per cent and 180 per cent right now compared to average levels seen over the last five years.

To recreate this look without the celebrity price tag, pair a white fur trim dress with a faux-fur jacket and white boots. Add a touch of holiday sparkle with some silver jewellery, perfect for reminding coworkers who the Beyoncé is at your office holiday party. 

Christine Baranski as Martha May Whovier – The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

If you’re looking for a statement coat this Christmas, look no further than Christine Baranski’s performance as Martha May Whovier in The Grinch.

On average, there are 3,500 searches a month for ‘Martha May Whovier costume’. 

Town bombshell Martha wears a classic Christmas colour palette of red, green and gold, snowy whites and blues, but the exaggerated fur-trimmed baby blue robe with billowing sleeves is what solidified her status as a Christmas style icon.

To channel Martha’s camp festive style into an everyday version of this look, wear a light blue fur or borg trim coat with silver strappy heels and silver jewellery.

Tilda Swinton as Jadis the White Witch – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

brunette woman with red lipstick wearing a reindeer headband
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com

Tilda Swinton’s transformation into Jadis, the evil White Witch, for the remake of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe became an iconic Christmas look.  Seventeen years later, over 1,800 searches are made for the witch’s costume each month.

In the scene where Jadis meets Edmund, she wears a floor-length blue-grey wool and silk gown with a white lace overlay and an exaggerated, couture-inspired structured neckline. The colour palette consists of icy blues, whites and greys, which evolve throughout the film.

Searches for sequin dresses are rising just in time for the festive season – increasing by 128% worldwide compared to the last five years as we look forward to a lockdown-free Christmas.

Taking inspiration from Tilda’s ethereal glamour for a swanky holiday party look, opt for an ombre sequin dress – aim for blue-grey rather than blue to avoid looking like Elsa from Frozen. Throw on a pair of silver heels and wrap a white faux fur stole or jacket to complement the look and keep you warm. 

Cameron Diaz as Amanda Woods – The Holiday

Amanda Woods, played by Cameron Diaz, has a style which oozes LA cool with a colour palette of neutrals with pops of colour. While we’re obsessed with every outfit from her designer wardrobe, Amanda’s chocolate brown and cream shearling coat makes the top of our Christmas list, and despite being released 16 years ago, the coat is still Googled over 800 times monthly.

Pair a shearling jacket with an off-white turtleneck and flared jeans to recreate the effortlessly chic look. It wouldn’t be LA-style without accessories. Take inspiration from Amanda’s square black sunglasses and leather gloves to complete the look.

We couldn’t mention the Holiday without talking about the scene where Amanda stops by Graham’s (Jude Law) house in a sexy outfit to surprise him, only to discover his two daughters at the door. 

It’s glamorous and wearable all year round, perfect for an understated holiday party look. 

To recreate it at home, style a black blouse and off-white pencil skirt with a statement belt and gold jewellery. 

Nasty Gal

“After two years spent in lockdown wearing loungewear, trend reports show a growing desire to get dressed up and go all out,” said a spokesperson from Nasty Gal. “We all like to put a little extra effort in at Christmas to wear something glamorous, sparkly, and festive. Whether you’re looking for a special holiday party look or to update your winter wardrobe, there is so much style inspiration to take from these iconic festive moments”.

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