5 Tips to Help You Dress Sustainably Over Christmas and Party Season

5 Tips to Help You Dress Sustainably Over Christmas and Party Season


Written by Rosa Morell

Glittery garments are ruling the rails of fast-fashion stores, your festive calendar is filling up and, Bublé’s annual defrost is near completion – that’s right folks, party season is upon us. While some delight in the chance to channel disco-ball chic, others find the constant pressure to buy new feathery frocks and glitzy gowns a little, well… intense. If you’re in the second camp, I’m here to show you that you don’t need to sport a head-to-toe sequin look to steal the show, as the hidden gems in your wardrobe could be just as show-stopping. So, whether you’ve got a works Christmas party or a New Year’s soirée on the horizon, here are five tips to help you survive the season sustainably!

  1. Get creative with what you’ve already got

Forget second-hand shopping for a second; wearing what you already have will always be the cheapest and most sustainable option. Shopping your wardrobe doesn’t have to mean reaching for the same items over and over; the key is to look at your items with a new lens. For example, tailored workwear could bring structure to flowy summer pieces, a colourful knit could add a playful pop to a midi skirt and heels combo, and a statement clutch from a wedding could add a little magic to a minimalistic outfit. All you need to do is carve out some time (and floor space) for a mammoth try-on-sesh and see what you can come up with. After all, you’ve got nothing to lose, and potentially a whole new selection of party looks to gain.


  1. Rework your wardrobe

Do you have a favourite party piece that doesn’t fit quite like it used to? A dress you think would look better as a two-piece? What about a top you’ve been meaning to crop? Not only will upcycling extend the lifecycle of your most treasured pieces, but it’ll also rescue them from a life of otherwise collecting dust.

  1. Elevate your pieces with embroidery

Whether you want to add some hearts to the collar of an old shirt, some beaded flowers to a clutch bag or even some Christmassy designs to a plain jumper, trying out embroidery is the perfect way to add a festive touch to your clothes without breaking the bank. And no, you don’t need to be a dab hand with a needle and thread to give it a go; all you’ll need is a vague idea of what you’d like to hand embroider, plus a good tutorial. If you’re an embroidery newbie, Re_Considered’s article: The Basics of Hand Embroidery: How to Upcycle Your Old Clothes and Accessories features a step-by-step guide to help you get to grips with the basic stitches.

  1. Borrow from your besties

If you and your friends have an event in the pipeline, why not seize the opportunity to host a swap shop? It’s the perfect way to find a dreamy piece without the need to rent/or buy new. Before you meet up, make sure to let each other know the kind of items you’re envisioning (e.g. minimalistic, sparkly, or patterned) so they know to bring along the right kind of pieces. Not the same dress or shoe size? Not to worry - you can also borrow everything from hair accessories and jewellery to bags and belts. It’s a win-win situation (until it’s time to return it, but you’ll have to cross that bridge when you get to it!).

  1. Hit the second-hand shops

According to Oxfam, 1.7 million sequinned items are binned after the Christmas season. That’s one heck of a lot of sequins. Instead of joining those in the buying-and-binning brigade, why not shop second-hand for a piece you’ll love this party season and beyond? As a serial second-hand rummager, there’s nothing better than finding a hidden gem in your local charity shop. So, if you have some spare time, I recommend going on a charity shop crawl in search of some party pieces. If you’re more of a scroller than a stroller, Vinted is just as good (if you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically a less intimidating version of Depop) for snapping up some preloved goodies. On the app, you’ll find everything from vintage and designer pieces to fast-fashion items still with the tags on.

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