All I Want for Christmas

With Christmas just around the corner, there's only a few days left to get in some last minute online Christmas shopping (for myself). To Sophie, Merry Christmas! Love from Sophie x

ASOS White Coat. If there's one thing my wardrobe is missing this season it's a practical black coat. Odd, seeing as it's basically the outerwear worlds answer to the LBD. This seriously oversized coat by ASOS White needs to make it's way into my life now...

 All Saints Funnel Neck Jumper Did you know that roll-neck rash is a thing? Neither did I, until last week when the addition of four more roll-necks to my wardrobe forced my knitwear addition to an all time concerning high and I subsequently developed a rash around my neck from wearing one all day every day. Sure, I do already have a black one, but not an oversized black one. Need.

Ahhh Catarzi at ASOS, bringing 70's retro St Tropez yacht glamour to dreary London.

L'Agent by Agent Provocateur, Vanesa. Probably not the kind of thing you should really ask Santa for. Definitely increases the chances of you getting moved over from the nice to the naughty list...

Topshop Premium Courts My shoe-drobe has been lacking in the 'going out shoe' department for some time now that can only be remedied by the injection of some seriously fetishistic, sexy shoes. The kind that make you want to walk, run, dance, and kick people. Badass.

Glamorous Crochet Dress My Granny used to have these seriously retro rainbow crochet knitted blankets. They just got immortalised in this amazing seventies dress. What's not to love?

ASOS Mongolian Collar Glorious fluffy faux fur! Instantly every bus/train/tube journey will be made better with portable fluffy pillow perfection (aka, a mongolian scarf). Divine. 

Lavish Alice Suit A sharp suit is a must for every man and woman, and I'm pretty sure this one could slice through steel with its clean and strict silhouette.

Fendi & Givenchy These bags need no explanation, although I may as well add winning the lottery to this Christmas list along with them...

Lavish Alice Sleeveless Blazer & Trousers Co-ord What's so irritating about Christmas shopping is the chances of what you ask for being slashed in the Boxing Day Sales (or in most cases now, Christmas Eve). You could wait for the sales, have nothing to open on Christmas day, then be bitterly disappointed when you don't score that half price Zara coat. Alternatively, you ask for it anyway, then get seriously irritated when your best friend turns up for Boxing Day drinks wearing that exact same coat that she got for half the price only a day after you got it (and she probably looks better in it too). OR you try and pick out next seasons best buys now. Thank you, Lavish Alice, for bringing this SS15 co-ord early. I can't wait to put my roll-neck addiction to good use with some chic layering for winter, then strip it all back with crop tops for nights out and Spring days.

Minimal Silver Links

Back when I was 16 I wore so much jewellery that it looked as though I'd been dropped in a jewellery box covered in tar. Alongside my vintage handbag and floral tea dress, I wouldn't be seen dead without a kitsch gold locket, several rows of loose pearls, and a multitude of bangles heavy enough to cause slightly defined biceps and triceps. 

But with the white blank page of minimalist trends bleaching out any need for over-accessorising and serial bling addictions, there was a hole left in my jewellery drawer that could only be filled with tiny little trinkets of the clean, simple and refined variety. 

Bold chunky rose gold chains have been replaced by intricate weavings of icy silver, entwined black leather and rope, and elegantly fragile links. Three delicate chains make up this Links of London bracelet, each dotted with faceted beads that catch the light with a little bit of sparkle. Not too fragile that it's going to break, but it's not quite heavy enough to keep my arms uber toned. 

Well, I suppose sometimes you just have to make sacrifices for style...

Bracelet c/o Links of London via Joshua James. Coat by ASOS. Bag by Zara.

My Favourite Festive Lipstick: NARS Audacious Annabella

All tucked up in a roll-neck sweater, I'm feeling festively cliche in shades of snowflake white and spicy redcurrant. If there's one thing that I cannot live without this season (or any season for that matter) it's a good red lipstick. What I love most about red lipstick is its ability to change your look almost instantly - and often your mood with it - in just a few precise swipes. Feeling sniffly? Red lipstick will brighten you up. Feeling hungover? Red lipstick will make you look less like a dishevelled zombie. It demands attention and is the easiest way to inject a bit of classic glamour into any look.

Flitting between summer favourites Mac So Chaud (the ultimate matte fiery red-orange colour) and Nars Heatwave, I felt as though my winter lipstick palette was lacking and needed a real festive twist. As the days have turned cooler (so cold recently it feels like the air is trying to kill me) the shades of reds have intensely heated up. After picking up Nars Audacious Annabella lipstick from my Sunday Service experience at Urban Retreat at Harrods, I felt like I'd been given the perfect early Christmas present. Described as a 'Bold Poppy Red', Nars Audacious Annabella is a deep warm red, perfect for the festive season. 

Bold, bright and heavily pigmented, the colour is entirely opaque in just one stroke, eliminating any need to layer up. For such a strongly pigmented lipstick the finish has a surprisingly soft sheen without looking overly glossy, as opposed to a matte finish which often has the tendency to dry out your lips. The texture is total lipstick bliss: it applies to the lips like soft and delicious (red) butter. 

And the staying power? You get about six hours wear providing there's no serious eating, drinking, or kissing involved (it should come with a warning that it is HIGHLY transferrable...) It also has a slight tendency to bleed, but for the head-turning colour it's well worth making a few double-checks in your iPhone camera. 

As a lipstick fanatic (I love soft nudes, bold reds, fiery oranges and moody berry colours) I'd love to know what your favourite festive lipsticks are! 

Should we just ditch the Boyfriend?

Mango Coat | ASOS Jeans | ASOS Shirt (similar here) | Zara Bag | Daniel Boots* (similar here)| H&M Hat (similar here)

Grey, oversized, and actually rather shapeless, this Mango coat is my favourite purchase so far this winter. But despite my love of big and roomy coats this season (excellent at hiding Saturday night's pizza binge), there's one word that has been sticking in my head and it's beginning to turn quite sour...

Boyfriend.

Boyfriend coat. 

Boyfriend jeans. 

Boyfriend shirt.

What unites these individual items of clothing is their unconventional sizing: large, roomy, and therefore obviously, boyfriend-y. It's a label that I'm not entirely too comfortable with. No, it's not that I'm not some angry feminist that hates boyfriends. I love them. In fact, the more of them the better. It's when the term boyfriend is used with clothing that disturbs me just a little. Why does a female piece of clothing that is larger and less conventionally tailored have to be described as being boyfriend? Heaven forbid someone might think we are actually wearing a real life man's coat... As a fashion journalist, I know the importance of having an expansive fashion vocabulary (or that thesaurus.com is a fashion writers best friend), but lately, with all the debate about gender equality, I can't help but wonder is there no better adjective to use that is gender-neutral

Here's a task for you: grab your dad, brother or lover, and dress him up in something of the boyfriend variety. Suddenly the term boyfriend doesn't seem right anymore when you have a man standing in front of you squeezed into very small proportions looking somewhat surprisingly girly and emasculated...

And when was the last time you saw a trendy type of man wearing a pair of jeans that looked anything remotely like women's boyfriend jeans? I think it was back in 2007 at some terrible club that you nicked your sisters ID to sneak into ( he was dancing to Cascada and drinking a WKD...) Now most of these well-dressed men are wearing skinny styles or slim-fit. But we don't see anybody labelling them as men's girlfriend jeans based on their figure-hugging fit... 

Despite the push for gender equality, men wearing women's inspired fashion is still surrounded by taboo. Why is it that it's okay for girls to wear boyfriend clothes, but not the other way round?

My best friend once had a boyfriend that would steal her vintage floral shirts to wear with a faux fur coat that had also once belonged to her (he wore eyeliner and had long black hair, to create a more colourful picture for you.) And back when I was 16 all of the cool indie boys bought their jeans from the women's section in Primark (the men's were simply not tight enough, they would tell me.) But these were complete anomalies. The lines between masculine and feminine fashion should be blurred, without labelling clothing with a gender. 

So what I really want to know, amongst the sea of boyfriend coats and jeans and jumpers, is when are we going to start seeing an influx of girlfriend coats and girlfriend jeans for men? 

What I'm really looking forward to is the day a man comes home saying "Babe! I bought this amazing girlfriend top today!" And lo and behold he waltzes in wearing some teeny tiny crop top with tassels and hopefully a glittery pony on it. 

Hmm. I wont hold my breath... 

Three Ways to Wear a Black Leather Midi Skirt this Christmas

Girls Night Out

RJR @ Debenhams Skirt* | Topshop Crop Top | & Other Stories Necklace | New Look Heels | H&M Bag

The Family Event

RJR @ Debenhams Skirt* | Vintage Polo Neck Jumper (similar here) | Zara Scarf | Carvela Flats (similar here)

The Work Do

RJR @ Debenhams Skirt* | Zara Top | H&M Boots | H&M Bag | & Other Stories Necklace

There are many benefits to being a freelancer and working from home. 

Every day is a weekend- Tuesday night (and Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday, and Monday) is the new Friday night!  You get to work in your pyjamas. Or in a ballgown. There are no rules in my office (AKA bedroom.)No morning commute on the Northern line tube (I find PDA uncomfortable with boyfriends or lovers, so that level of breathing-down-your-neck and accidental snuggling intimacy is far too much for me to handle at 7:30am)It's flexible. Sample sale? Always the first there. Work can wait until the evening when there's some discounted Dior on the cards. 

But year after year, there is one thing which bothers me about working from home. I don't have an Office Christmas Party. On the plus side this means no getting horribly drunk and kissing the strange IT guy who always smells like baked beans, but it also means I don't have any real reason to dress up and get glamourous. Of course I could run an office party in my bedroom, but with a houseplant and cuddly cat toy as the only guests on the list, it's unlikely I'd have much gossip to chat about afterwards. 

At least Debenhams are on hand, setting me the task to style up one black leather midi skirt from the RJR range for three different festive occasions: a night out for cocktails with the girls, a family occasion, and a work do. At least now I had an excuse to play dress up and pretend like I had some nice party to go to (as if I really needed one...)

Girls night out means one thing: glamour. Rather than totally overdoing it I kept it simple and black. All loose and flowing, the skirt has so much drama that it deserves to be the centre of attention. 

A family event calls for casual comfort. Cue a cashmere sweater, flats and a scarf so large it doubles up as a pillow for when you get sent to sleep by your batty old Grandma ranting on about one of her collectible dog ornaments mysteriously disappearing.

And as for the work do, well, it's got to be slightly conservative. A bold printed top and classic ankle boots does the trick. You'll be covered up, responsible, and a credit to your workplace. Just don't overdo the Champagne...

Take a look at the full feature here on

The Daily Debrief at Debenhams