Tartan Dress*, Blue Vanilla / White Top (with collar), Topshop
This red tartan dress is from Blue Vanilla and it is perfectly festive without going overboard. As well as it being my Christmas Day outfit, it can be worn throughout Winter too. Tartan was a big trend last year and I'm glad to see that it's back again! Like a lot of you, I bought this tartan dress from Primark last year and although I love it the design, colour and fabric, it isn't a comfortable dress to wear. It absolutely bugs me that the upper half of the dress, in particular the sleeves, feels really restricting in movement.
However, this red tartan dress from Blue Vanilla is made from fabric that has a bit of a stretch to it. It's also a thick material with black flock that make the lines of the plaid, but most importantly, it is comfortable. It doesn't come with a collar or the black tie, those are my own. I know I often wear this combination anyway, but I really liked the style of the Primark dress from last year (just hate the fit!) so I wanted to emulate it.
I did try to venture out of my style comfort zone and even did a search on how to style a red tartan dress and the second photo that came up in Google images was this Zooey Deschanel (one of my girl crushes!) wore it this was so I thought... if it's good enough for Zooey, it's good enough for me! Her overall look is slightly more "punky" (as punky as Zooey Deschanel can get) and I struggled to find accessories that would go with my new dress. I tried big bangles and dainty bracelets but nothing suited it. When I wear this outfit on Christmas Day, I'll probably just put a black watch on and shiny black ballet flats.
For anyone under 5ft 3, you might need to alter the hem like I did. Without alterations, the dress came down at knee length but I sewed it up a couple of inches to make it look better on me. It was pretty easy to sew and took less than ten minutes.
Although I am being biased, I do think I've picked the best dress out of the current range at Blue Vanilla. However if you're still looking for a dress for the party season, they have some lovely sparkly ones in at the moment! And they're not too expensive either. The P&P cost for standard delivery is £2.99 (or it's free when your order is £35 or over) and they also offer express delivery for £3.99.