With Christmas party season in full swing, wardrobes across Doncaster are hurriedly being ruffled through in a bid to find that all-essential outfit for the big night out.
If you’re a woman, chances are there’s numerous slinky little black dresses hiding away that can be pressed into service when it comes to partying. And if not, its easy to nip out and snap up a little off the peg number to make sure all eyes are on you rather than Dave from accounts getting lively on the dance floor after one two many sherries.
But what about us blokes? What if we want to step away from the traditional shirt and trousers combo or black tie and tux if its an ultra-smart bash?
Marie Wilson, personal shopper at the Doncaster Frenchgate Centre branch of Debenhams, says men are often too scared to step outside their comfort zone and all too often go for the easy option - a smart shirt and a pair of jeans being about as exciting as it gets for most fellas.
Fitting squarely into that mould, I volunteered to be styled by Marie to find out just what the look will be at this season’s office party.
“Formal and casual wear are always the safe option,” she said. “But the way to be noticed and stand out is to be a bit more daring, a bit more bold, a bit more quirky.”
Rushing off into the store, she came back armed with items I know I’d never have given a second glance to - a mustard yellow bow tie, a trilby hat and a tweed waistcoat, as well as armfuls of brushed cotton shirts, Chino trousers and smart cut jeans. The country look is very much in this year,” she said. “A sort of more styled countryside meets the city look is proving very popular with the younger lads.”
Teamed with mustard yellow Chinos, a checked shirt and brown boots, my hat tilted at a jaunty angle and bow tie tied neatly around my neck, the look was complete.
She said: “People shouldn’t be afraid to mix patterns and colours, or perhaps go for a Chino trouser rather than jeans.
“And waistcoats help add something to help men accessorise. Given direction, men are more inclined to try something on they perhaps wouldn’t normally wear than a woman.
“The thing about this particular ensemble,” added Marie, is that it can all be worn individually, or part of other outfits. Everything here can be worn again in a different way. Men just need to have the confidence to go out and wear an outfit like this.
“It is the kind of outfit that will get them noticed at the Christmas party and catch the girls’ eyes and get them talking.”
“Don’t be scared to be quirky,” she added. “Women like that and see it as attractive in a man.”
So if you are planning on turning up to your works bash in a suit or a wacky Christmas jumper, maybe its time to think again and step outside your comfort zone.
n Debenhams offers a free personal shopper service, run by specially trained staff offering style advice.
Appointments can be anything from half an hour to two hours and the service is open to women as well as men.
Book online at www.debenhams.com or call 08445 616161.