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Wit and Wisdom on Festive Style and Etiquette

Wit and Wisdom on Festive Style and Etiquette



festive tweed style

“A good tweed jacket is a must for your wardrobe – and perfect for a smart casual Christmas party” – Charlotte Temple.


As the year draws to a close we felt it was time to turn our attention to the important issues of the day; parties, presents and preening.


It is after all the sparkly season when even the most diligent among us feel the need to raise their nose from the grindstone, dress up to the nines and have a fling with fun.


So, in the name of fun we thought we’d consult our most favoured style brokers – bloggers, brands and brave stylish souls – for a pearl, or two on how to dress, party and give this Christmas.


Our style panel are:


Charlotte Temple

Sales & Marketing Director, and the fourth generation, of treasured Irish tweed brand Magee.


Derek Guy

The man behind ‘Die, workwear,’ our favourite US style blog devoted to the good life.



Co-founder of Millican, makers of the best rucksacks, shoulder bags, overnighters, washbags and travel accessories that money can buy.


Kim Bailey

National Hunt Racehorse Trainer, man of style and racing blogger; Bailey’s Blog


Mikael Vallin

Writer of another favoured style blog, The Drone’s Club, this time Swedish and named for the gentlemen’s club of the PG Wodehouse/Jeeves yarns. His blog posts are signed “Archibald”.


Nigel Hudson

Writer, blogger, artist, photographer, angler and English countryman. Publisher of Fennel’s Journal and Fennel’s Priory.


And of course, where would we be without a word of sartorial wisdom from Archie Hume. You’ll be sorry you asked……



festive bladen

“Dressing should be smart comfortable for Christmas parties” – Kim Bailey.



How to Dress for Parties


Informality does not, as it’s commonly believed, equal conviviality. Always dress for the occasion, but don’t be afraid to overdress just a touch when it comes to holiday parties. A well-tailored sport coat should work for almost any kind of gathering. 

–       Derek Guy, Die, workwear



Now that completely depends on the occasion of course, and the location. Living in The Lakes, we’re aware there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. So when the temperature gauge hit minus 15, cocktail dresses with walking boots and ice grips were “de rigeur” here in Keswick.

–       Nicky, Millican



I am voting for tweed this year! With a huge international love of heritage and tweed a good tweed jacket is a must for your wardrobe – and perfect for a smart casual Christmas party.

–       Charlotte Temple, Magee


This Christmas, wear a reindeer or snowman sweater and spend Hogmanay on your own!

–       Archie Hume


Mikael Vallin's essential Black Tie accessories

Mikael Vallin’s essential Black Tie accessories; a velvet or knitted silk bow tie and black buttone fastened braces.


If it’s a black tie event, pay attention to the details; make tailoring adjustments for an immaculate fit, the sleeve length should show at least half an inch of cuff. Choose a velvet, or knitted silk bow tie to add a personal touch. Always of the kind you tie yourself – it’s no harder than tying your shoelaces. Black button fastened braces always look best and signal style awareness. A single white carnation boutonniere gives a nice finishing touch.”

–       Mikael Vallin, The Drones Club


Dressing should be smart comfortable for those Christmas parties; not Austin Reed but the A Hume way as they produce the perfect match.

–       Kim Bailey, National Hunt Racehorse Trainer




“I’ve found it’s hard to go wrong with a bottle of good wine or Scotch.” – Derek Guy



Good Gifting


Ralf Emerson said that “the greatest gift is a portion of thyself”. This is true for those who are away from home for long periods of time, or have a spare kidney, but I believe that the greatest gifts are those that say “I know you”.

–       Nigel Fennel, Fennel’s Priory


Assuming you can’t think of something more personal to give, I’ve found it’s hard to go wrong with a bottle of good wine or Scotch. Unless the person is underage. Then literally anything would be better than a bottle of good wine or Scotch.

–       Derek Guy, Die, workwear


I once gave my wife a chestnut roaster for Christmas. Still to this day she likes to roast my chestnuts by an open fire.

–       Archie Hume


Of course, any of the timeless travel bags and accessories from Millican would make your loved one very happy on Christmas morning, from the compact but perfectly formed Ian the Camera Case to the stylish Harry the Gladstone Bag. For the adventurer: how about the new arrival James the Duffle? For the i-pad lover, Joe the i-pad cover fits the bill perfectly. And for the Foodie, Les the Cooler Bag is ideal, it keeps drinks and nibbles cold for over 6 hours – long enough for any picnic.

–       Nicky, Millican


Gifts should be personal and fun and that does not mean Anne Summers.

–       Kim Bailey, National Hunt Racehorse Trainer



“This Christmas, stand underneath the mistletoe and pull a real Christmas cracker” – Archie Hume

Source: via Kat on Pinterest



Party Etiquette


Behaving at parties is left to others to make the mistakes and you to laugh.

–       Kim Bailey, National Hunt Racehorse Trainer


If it’s a work party, offer to be the taxi driver…..then you can wake up confident no embarrassing photos will appear on Facebook or the company newsletter.

–       Nicky, Millican


Don’t talk too much about yourself and enjoy a few glasses of alcohol, ideally from the bottle you brought “as a gift.”

–       Derek Guy, Die, workwear


This Christmas, stand underneath the mistletoe and pull a real Christmas cracker.

–       Archie Hume



And lastly another gem from Nicky….


A camera or i-phone at hand means if the conversation is waning you can always become the unofficial party photographer.

–       Nicky, Millican


Thank you to our panel for sharing their wit and wisdom.

We hope you all enjoy stepping out in style this festive season.