The Chic List: Festive favourites

The Chic List: Festive favourites

Gift to self? A change of gear

As a child, I lived in a world where sunscreen wasn’t a thing. While I have plenty of memories of chattering teeth and alarmingly blue skin after swimming in the freezing Atlantic during family holidays in Ireland, I can’t recall applying factor-anything – ever. 

Worse, when I hit my teens, I became obsessed with getting a tan and would slather on Johnson’s Baby Oil before sunbathing. That was my idea of self-care! 

And when it came to clothes, I had, I’m certain, no fashion sense whatsoever. I despair at my younger self now but, at the time, there was nobody around to tell me any different. Oh boy, how things have changed… 

Blazer, Saint Laurent, trousers, Filippa K, top, Banana Republic

Gen Z are now starting to worry about ageing at the ripe old age of 20. Thanks to social media – especially TikTok – and close-ups on Zoom, this generation are constantly scrutinising their own faces. (And when it comes to what to wear, there isn’t a single trend they’re not on top of.) Companies selling anti-ageing serums, masks and creams aimed at the young are making fortunes from their misplaced anxieties. The hashtag #antiaging has 7.6 billion views on TikTok. 

Meanwhile, the Aged filter, which gives users a future glimpse of themselves, went viral earlier this year, garnering an alarming 24.5 million posts. 

Frownies (stickers to smooth out wrinkles while you sleep), jaw-lift chin straps from Amazon, face tape for ‘fox eyes’ and radio-frequency devices such as NuFace are everywhere. And Gen Zers are ‘self-gifting’ these self-care items for Christmas. 

My fellow Gen Xs have thankfully become wiser when it comes to skincare and we’re very on it with our fashion, too. Of course, we also have perimenopause and menopause information coming out of our ears since it all became a huge cottage industry. 

Personally, I think the best gift you can give yourself this Christmas is the art of ‘just being’. As well as my festive wardrobe favourites – winter whites, sultry velvets and gold sequins – I love what I call my December and January ‘just being’ clothes. 

These are the pieces I snuggle into when all the parties are over. The ones I wear when I put down my phone and get out in the fresh air. A long puffer coat (see right) that feels like a duvet is a must have. A cashmere rollneck, a knitted beanie (see top left) and soft denim jeans. Cosy cotton joggers and cashmere socks for reading books and magazines at home. These are the clothes I choose when basking in the bliss of just being and taking a well-earned break from endlessly beating ourselves up.



Beanie, £34.90




Stylish, soft as butter and available in a range of colours, Uniqlo’s cashmere beanies not only keep your head toasty, they make great stocking fillers, too.




Boho belts, ballet flats, Ralph Lauren rugby tops to match foppish haircuts (see Jacob Elordi as Felix Catton, right)… Emerald Fennell’s new film Saltburn is a terrific study in noughties fashion. It’s also full of surprises! Leave any faint hearts at home.



Coat, £249,





I’m planning on hibernating all January and February in a chocolate-brown puffer coat. Arket has just the one – filled with super-cosy down and feathers. The hood is detachable and detailed with snap buttons and a drawstring.

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