Yorkshire style influencers and fashion designers share their Christmas Day 2021 outfits

Festive dressing 2021 means balancing glamour with comfort. Stephanie Smith asks leading fashion and design experts and influencers to share what they will be wearing over Christmas.

Mary Benson wears: The Flaming Heart Dress, £495, and right, limited edition Old School organic cotton jumper, £50, at MaryBenson.London.

Glamour has become a distant memory for many of us. The global pandemic ignited a wardrobe rethink, with party dresses and heels pushed to the back while loungewear remained within easy reach, practicality and comfort valued over style, and certainly way over glamour.

But Christmas 2021 is here, and it is, perhaps, time to put away (some) casual things and take a fresh look at occasion dressing (keeping it easy, of course - no one wants to go back to being trussed up worse than the turkey). These leading fashion and lifestyle experts share the secrets of their festive wardrobe.

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NATALIE ANDERSON

Natalie Anderson wears Amalfi polka dot midi dress, £39.99, and right, print dress from a selection, both at www.thecapsule.co.uk.

Yorkshire actress and presenter Natalie will be wearing dresses from her own The Capsule Collection over the holiday season, including the Amalfi midi dress by Hope Horizon with shimmery golden spots and an elegant high neckline.

Natalie says: “In terms of beauty, I will be sticking to my favourite Chanel Rouge Allure Lipstick for a classic red lip and spraying a little Coco Noir, as it's my favourite. To make sure I keep my skin looking fresh over this busy period, I'll be using the BAO Refreshing Face Wash and Restorative Beauty Oil, as they are such gorgeous organic products and they smell amazing (available online at www.thecapsule.co.uk, as are the dresses).

“To really kick off Christmas, I will also be lighting Jo Malone’s Incense and Embers candle - my little luxury at this time of year. It creates such a festive, woody smell all around the house and Christmas is the only time I have it, so it’s become a bit of a tradition now.”

SARAH THOMAS

Sarah Thomas wears silver sequin dress, River Island (current). earrings - Etta Gray (current); boots - Roberto Vianni (old); bag - TK Maxx (old). And right, & Other Stories sequin trousers (previous season) and current season top from River Island, with shoes from Dune London (previous season). The bracelet is from Venice and the earrings are from The Jewel Jar.

York-based Sarah Thomas is the founder of Clockface Beauty and Sarah Thomas Bakes and also runs lifestyle events, see www.sarahjthomas.com.

Sarah says: “Is it even the festive season if your outfit doesn’t contain some sequins somewhere?

“I am hosting Christmas Day for the family, including the boys’ great-granddad, which is such a blessing after last Christmas apart.

“The sequin trousers are from last year, the top is current season River Island - a great length, and the tie knot makes it a really flattering choice.

Natalia Willmott wears top from Agnes B, trousers from Cos and sweater by Cynthia Rowley and vintage earrings. Right: Red print Maje dress bought for her by her sister in Paris. Picture by Olivia Brabbs.

“The sequin dress is River Island (current). My home is scented with Winter Essential Oil (from Clockface Beauty). It gives that cosy, warm feeling.

“Finally, I wouldn’t be without a bright red lip. I love the Estee Lauder Pure Colour Whipped Matte Liquid Lip with Moringa Butter, in Hot Fuse.”

NATALIA WILLMOTT

Interiors expert Natalia Willmott lives near York and has a homes and accessories shop, www.natalia willmott.co.uk.

Nayna McIntosh wears: The Pleated Mesh Skirt Dress in navy, £150, Boxy Roll Neck Jumper in navy, £135."This is a jersey top attached to a pleated, tiered mesh skirt which is lined. Together they create a sophisticated silhouette which can be dressed up for an occasion." Right: The Recycled Breton Knit, £150, and her favourite Sequin Trousers, £135. All www.hopefashion.co.uk.

Natalia says: “On Christmas Day, we celebrate by slowly opening our gifts and going for a long walk with our dog, watching a movie, playing games and, of course, lovely meals. My husband does the cooking and I create a special festive table and room. So I will go from pyjamas to jeans and a sweater and then a dress for the evening. This year I will be wearing my red dress from Maje, a lovely lipstick and a large pair of earrings. My sister bought the dress for me when I last went to visit in Paris. I think it’s so important to wear clothes that you feel good in.

“On Boxing Day, we have my husband’s family over and we all dress quite casually, as we go for a long walk first. I will wear some corduroy dark green trousers from Cos and a green jumper by Cynthia Rowley, because they are so comfortable, and some sparkly bracelets.”

NAYNA MCINTOSH

Nayna McIntosh launched Hope Fashion, www.hopefashion.co.uk, in 2014 following a retail career which saw her help launch George at Asda and Per Una at Marks & Spencer.

Nayna says: “Christmas is always a half English/half Jamaican affair in our house. With my husband and mother-in-law being from Yorkshire, and me being half-Jamaican, we will have a traditional goose on Christmas Day, but we will have rice and peas to accompany our rib of beef on Boxing Day.

“On Christmas Day, there are the four of us, my husband and our two children (aged 18 and 20), plus my mum and mum-in-law. I’ll be in the kitchen so I choose comfort first, and styles that can be layered. I’ll be wearing the Hope Fashion pleated mesh shirt dress in navy with the boxy roll neck. Together they create a sophisticated silhouette which can be dressed up.

Mary Benson (see below for details of the red dress).

MARY BENSON

Leeds-born Mary Benson is a fashion and home accessories designer, known for her metallic applique prints. Her designs have been worn by Little Mix, Rita Ora, Ellie Goulding and Paloma Faith. Last year, she moved from London back to Yorkshire with her fiance, Tadgh, and their son. She now works from her design studio in York.

Mary says: “This Christmas I'll be wearing our gorgeous cosy black organic cotton Tarot printed jumpers to work most days - The Lovers and The Moon are my favourites.

“For Christmas Day, I've planned on wearing The Flaming Heart dress to cook dinner and wear right through until the evening, when we see family and unwrap presents. I've even got my New Year’s outfit planned. I'll be wearing my favourite and very special Terry de Havilland heels which Terry gave to me many moons ago, with our iconic Celeste dress in a new beautiful Cadbury's purple velvet.”

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“We have a house full on Boxing Day. I’ll be wearing the recycled Breton Knit with my favourite sequin Trousers in black. These have an elasticated waist. I’ll probably opt for a simple trainer. The day for us is all about relaxed family time, which this year feels more precious than ever, after the restrictions we all experienced in 2020.”