Bonmarche1Wearing a jacket to the Christmas party has a long and venerable tradition. Consider the very first Christmas party of them all. What did the Three Wise Men turn up wearing?

Precisely. They all had very smart jackets. Not only was this a sensible choice as it can get very chilly in the Middle East once the sun goes down, but it meant they were impressive and immaculate, even after a long and dusty camel ride!

A well tailored jacket isn’t going to lose its shape no matter how arduous the journey; whether this involves being squashed in an overcrowded tube train, or a hike from the nearest car park in a downpour.

The Three Wise Men could cut a dash in their jackets because the jacket is such a highly adaptable garment that it can be embellished and adorned with all sorts of handsome decoration, from braiding and beading to tassles and toggles.Bonmarche3Jackets make a good first impression which, in their case, was doubly important as they were really turning up unannounced. Joking aside (since we are unlikely to be “gate-crashing” on events ourselves) the season of goodwill is coming around again. With it comes the first flutter of “save the date” cards and parties being pencilled in on the calendar.

Leaving it until the last minute to start thinking about festive outfits is a bad idea since you will end up battling the Christmas shopping crowds. You will also have to settle for whatever’s left on the rails, which may well not be an awful lot.

If you have a series of functions, you won’t want to turn up wearing the same thing every time, so a little forethought and planning is really essential. This is where a clever jacket strategy can come into its own. Choose wisely and an evening jacket will escort you to any party, whether friendly or formal. It can instantly glamorise whatever you are wearing underneath, from a cocktail dress to a trousers and blouse set.

Looking around for a jacket to fit the bill, we found two great possibilities in the Bonmarche Christmas collection. The first is a stunning Bolero – black, simple and very chic. Now this could go with literally anything and look classy. Bonmarche2It has a single button at the neck and is prettily edged in black satin ribbon, with unobtrusive darts under the bust. This would make it sit nicely and it is chopped to waist length for added impact. This is a jacket you may not wish to take off. There is also a matching dress in the range, so it would be possible to synchronise this smart set.

The other strong contender for a “go-anywhere” over jacket is the the Opera Quilted jacket.Bonmarche4Although more of a winter warmer by nature (which is no bad thing) this is definitely smart enough to sashay into any upmarket venue. It has a sleek, long line, lovely detailed gold buttons and stitching detail on the collar.

The quilting ensures that it is super cosy, essential if you are heading off in the depths of winter and what you have on underneath is quite sheer or skimpy.

Bonmarche also has cord jackets in bold block colours, which may at first make you think “too daytime” but if partnered with a dress in the same tonal range it allows you to pull together a sophisticated co-ordinated look. Bonmarche5The jacket is a staple in the wardrobes of well-dressed women the world over for good reason. A jacket has a cut and a character to it which indicates a willingness to make an effort and make an entrance.

Turning up in your usual coat is just not the same, especially to a work party, where your colleagues have seen you in the same garment every day of the week. A little jacket like the Bonmarche Bolero says “special occasion” and has the advantage that it can be left on or slipped off, as the mood and the temperature dictate.

As this busy time of year approaches, it is reassuring to have a key item like this ready and waiting to work its magic – whatever you choose to wear and however little time you have to get ready.