What to wear for every type of Christmas holiday you may be going on

What to wear for every type of Christmas holiday you may be going on
A chunky knit and slip skirt is perfect for Christmas in the city. Knit, £59.99 and skirt, £29.99, Zara

The Christmas break is upon us, and whether you’re spending the festive season at your family home in the countryside, on a staycation in the city, or (lucky you) abroad getting some winter sun, we’ve done the hard work for you so that you can pack for your break easily and look stylish throughout. Here’s what to wear for every type of Christmas break… 

In the countryside

Packing for a rural break (that’ll no doubt include long walks with potential for rain and strong winds) needn’t be a dull task. This brief calls for warm layers that can be peeled off should you happen upon a quaint pub for lunch in the afternoon. 

Steer clear of your dodgy old jersey pieces that have seen better days: fine, tonal knits (so that your outfit looks just as good when you lose the top layer) are a must. 

Begin with your base layer (a long-sleeved fine knit will do the trick) as an outfit  starting point. Then layer a statement cardigan or knit on top. For your bottom half, you won’t regret packing HeatTech leggings or tights that can be worn under trousers or loose-fit jeans. Chunky walking boots (not your fancy ones that’ll cause heartbreak should they get muddy) are an essential - a bright cross body bag that’ll leave you hands-free for map-reading and will pep up neutral outfits is a wise addition.

High collar cardigan, £325, & Daughter; Nanette boots, £275, Grenson; Corduroy trousers, £41, & Other Stories; Fine knit jumper, £39.99, H&M; Cross body, £595, Mulberry; Yellow gold earrings, £110, Otiumberg

A winter sun break

It feels like months since we donned a sundress, and thinking about dressing for the sunshine when temperatures at home are currently in the single figures is tricky to get your head around. To make matters even more problematic, the shops are full of wool and cashmere, so instead of shopping for full outfits, look for accessories and swimwear that’ll update your existing summery pieces. Head to online havens like ASOS, Net-a-Porter and Matches Fashion who have holiday clothing on offer year round. 

A cotton smock dress is a no-brainer: wear it over a swimsuit and with tan slides and a straw tote by day. A striped shirt is great as a cover-up on the beach, and also works with chinos and espadrilles should you be sightseeing. Always pack a light cover-up, too: when the weather cools down for evening, a silky kimono or jacket will keep you warm and add a glamorous touch.

Hunza G swimsuit, £135, Harvey Nichols; Poplin dress, £29.99, Zara; Ancient Greek Sandals leather slides, £140, Matches Fashion; Tort sunglasses, £54, Le Specs; Kayu straw tote, £155, Net-a-Porter

A spa weekend

It’s been a long year and you’re ready for some much-needed pamper time. If you’ll be unwinding at a spa for a few days, cosy separates and snug accessories are key to ensure maximum relaxation - no-one wants to be in a restrictive pair of jeans post-Swedish head massage. 

Instead of traditional brushed cotton pyjamas, choose pulled-together loungewear that can be easily elevated with flat mules and hair accessories to take you downstairs to the brunch buffet if needed. A super-soft dressing gown will be a wise addition to your case: it’ll be much more luxurious than a standard hotel one.

Ugg scuffette slippers, £79.99, Office; Waffle robe, £35, John Lewis; Knitted trousers, £125, Arket; Cosmos hoops, £45, Daphine; Cashmere top, £115, Arket

A skiing trip 

If you'll be having a white Christmas spending the break on the slopes, ensure you're in the festive spirit by opting for jazzy, bright pieces in festive hues. Opt for a seasonally-appropriate jumper under your quilted coat and be sure to layer a fine knit underneath for extra warmth. 

Activewear brand Perfect Moment do the best skiwear in statement prints and colours, which should add a festive touch to your snowy days.

As you'll likely be bringing a big suitcase along to fit all of your skiwear in, for evening, throw in a few extra chunky knits, which can be worn over your favourite printed midi dresses. Warm trouser suits are an equally chic option, or look for dresses in weighty materials like velvet (over silk and satin) that can be worn with knee-high boots.

Reusable cup, £19, KeepCup; Fairisle knit, £149, M&S; Flared ski pants, £350, Perfect Moment; Pom beanie hat, £12.50, Accessorize; Colourblock puffer jacket, £255, J.Crew

A city staycation with friends 

If you'll be with friends in the city, take full advantage of the festive season and dress up. Save the cashmere co-ords for the onslaught of movie nights, and instead opt for a smart/casual ensemble that means you can head straight out for fancy drinks following dinner. 

A statement skirt is the ideal starting point to dress around: choose a sequined or velvet one that’ll act as the centrepiece of your look. Pair with a simple knit and chic heels for a pared-back dressy vibe which, crucially, is glamorous enough that your friends will appreciate your efforts. Throw on some coloured gem earrings and a slick of lipstick and you’re good to go.  

Rebecca Vallance fringed sequin skirt, £420, Net-a-Porter; suede courts, £99, Uterque; Cashmere turtle neck, £59.90, Uniqlo; Evie clutch, £75, Hobbs; Belted wrap coat, £175, Whistles; Sparkly earrings, £29.95, Massimo Dutti