Friday, 17 December 2010

Friend Friday: Holiday party attire

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This year seemed to be rather short on invitations to flash parties in the run up to Christmas in London so my holiday party attire is going to be quite casual in comparison to years gone by.  The bitter cold we've had recently wasn't really helping to get me into a festive mood and I fled the country last weekend!  I am actually currently spending ten days in the south of Spain with friends and flamenco before returning to England for what looks like a very quiet Christmas and New Year.

1. Which holiday party are you looking forward to attending this year?

Tonight I will be attending a Zambomba, a traditional Christmas celebration where the locals gather to sing and play Christmas carols in flamenco style (villancicos).

Zambomba (source: Opiniones)

They are often held in patios of the old Andalucian houses or outdoors in the plazas.  The zambomba is actually the name of a strange looking drum which traditionally accompanies these types of carols.

The Zambomba

Zambombas are very informal family events and people of all ages attend.  A lot of sherry is consumed, in part to keep warm.  In the town I'm currently staying people also get up and dance a particular flamenco party dance called bulerias which is danced solo with one person singing and everyone else cheering the dancer onI've included a few videos throughout the post to show you what the fun looks like!

2. What is your go-to holiday party outfit?

This so depends on where I am for the festive season.

In the years running up to the recession the office parties I attended in London were usually black tie events, some of them themed.  I would either wear a sparkly dress covered in sequins or a black lace dress with a feathery bolero, sky scraper heels and piles of jewellery.  I even wore a vintage top hat and tails to one of them and a black lace flapper dress and feather boa to another.

Sadly there hasn't been many of these events since the recession went into overdrive and Christmas office parties are now much lower key events that partners/wifes/husbands/other halves aren't even invited to anymore.

Some years I spend Christmas in Australia with my family where it is summer and it can get extremely hot.  My holiday party outfit is usually something floaty, summery and cool to cope with eating lots of food at family events in the forty degree heat!  And it isn't unheard of for us to end up in our bathers taking a dip in someone's pool on Christmas Day after Christmas lunch.

This year in the run up to Christmas will be quite a change.  As I will be partying outdoors in zambombas in the milder, but still formidable Andalucian winter, I'll be dressing casually and wearing something to keep me warm until the sherry starts having an effect - coat, snood, woolly hat and boots.  I'll also dress to be comfortable in case I have to strut my stuff on the dancefloor por bulerias!

3. Do you go dressed in something that would be impractical to wear at any other time of the year?

Are sequins, feathers and sky scraper heels impractical?

4. If you are going to a house-party what gift will you bring to the host/hostess?

Looks like no house parties for me this year but we would usually bring a good bottle of wine or champagne if we attended one.

5. If you could buy only one trendy piece to update your holiday party wardrobe, what would you get this year?

Only one? Bad me, I've already bought two.  An oversized charcoal feather coat and a pair of cropped leather biker trousers both by Topshop.  Although I did say my holiday party attire was going to be quite casual, I can't seem to leave the feathers alone despite no black tie event on the cards.  I have however, swapped sequins and lace for leather.

Although Mr V and I still haven't planned what we are doing yet I am hoping to wear these together for New Year's Eve!


  1. I am a BIG fan of your new feather coat. And it is totally practical because feather are warm!

  2. No, sequins ,feathers, or skyscraper heels are NOT impractical!! I know I'm trying to get more sequins into my life.

    My holiday party life is very low key this year too. People aren't throwing parties and my company just gave us a lunch during the workday. Definitely a sign of the times!

  3. In my home we always had a zambomba.
    La zona de Cádiz es la cuna del flamenco. Sabías tú muy bien dónde ir a beber arte.
    Un abrazo my friend.

  4. Too bad the black-tie parties are tapering off...I'd've loved to see your ensembles!

    My husband and I have rarely (never, I believe) had occasions to dress black tie. Office parties and weddings are all formal business, church niceness, or cocktail-level attire. The style manuals tell me to have one evening gown ready *just in case*, so I'm not shopping at the last minute for something I won't be truly happy with...but honestly, there's no point to such an item in my world!

    Hub's current corporation does throw the occasional employees-only event: no spouses, so significant others. It does feel like a bit of a cheap slap, financially and socially. I think crossly to myself, "What, do you think I'm going to drink myself under the table on your corporate Visa card? Or are you planning an orgy you don't want me to see?"

  5. I love the coat and pants! I had an EXTREMLY hard time just picking one must have item for my post answers too! (I did a "one for me, one for you" as I ordered all of people's gifts this year.)

  6. Andalucia must be wonderful right now and your New Year's Outfit is perfect for everywhere (okay, maybe not Australian heat ;) I'm quite smitten with lurex sweaters these days - they seem good for Christmas, New Year and the whole of next year. xo

  7. oh, this makes me so want to learn flamenco...Sacramento's post came up first and then yours. Zambomba seems a wonderful custom.

  8. I so love the feather coat. And it's interesting what you say about office parties being downgraded in London because that's what's happened here in NYC too. Companies either don't do them at all or it's employees-only. Glad I got to attend some fun ones back in the late 90's and early 2000's!

  9. Those celebrations look fun!

  10. Zambomba looks fun!! I love your new buys how fab is that coat! Your right about the lack of parties this year, its just not as fun if you can't get over the top dressed up is it!

  11. Is that you Miss V that I spy in the third video tearing up the dance floor?!!! Zambomba looks like just my cup of tea - I would love to see it live - Spain is calling me to visit again more than ever before. It's a damn shame about the parties - particularly for women with incredible sartorial tastes as yours! I adore the coat and the pants are delish - can't wait to see pix of you nailing your NYE outfit:) xo

  12. Hi Veshoevius, not that i want to be enabler but the black studded trapper hat is now in stock on ;)

  13. @I'm not Emily Brown - I know! I was putting together a post about it as I got your comment - we must have Topshop ESP - I don't know about you but I'm a bit disappointed with how it turned out - there are nowhere near as many studs on the final version as the original photos - currently undecided as to whether I'll buy it!

  14. lol! great minds think alike! i thought it looked different but i couldn't put my finger on it. Looking forward to your thoughts in your post. x

  15. @The Divinitus - haha! yes thought you might! Still gutted I don't have the goat fur one you've got though!

    @Pull your Socks up - could be, could be ;)
    I seem to recall from one of your previous posts that you travelled around southern Spain hitch hicking you adventurous woman you!

    @Pearl Westwood, @jill815, @MJ, @Cloud of Secrets - although it is not unexpected I am amazed at how many people have commented both here and amongst people I know of how low key their Christmas and New Year has been both this and last year.

    @Cloud of Secrets - agree with you on it feeling like a cheap slap - Mr V went out with his team for an Xmas dinner which I was not allowed to attend despite the fact that he had to foot his own bill for whatever he ate anyway. And his company could well afford to take the team out to dinner! Talk about Scrooging!

  16., @Pearl Westwood, @Terri, @sacramento - I got to go to a few zambombas this time, both in people's houses, on the street and in the local flamenco clubs. The latter were packed - the Andalucians love to sing and dance to forget their troubles as much as to celebrate their joys.

    @TMHessler - one for me one for you sounds like a good Christmas gift buying tactic to me!

    @Sabine Pysnopsis - I had a great time in Andalucia! Thanks for the thumbs up on the outfit - re: lurex - I do like lurex for festive dressing too - I have a silver jumper which I bought haven't worn yet because it is not wool and it's been too cold!

    @Penny Dreadful @MJ @jill815 @Pearl Westwood - thanks gals - so nice to have support out there for feathers and sparkles in the wardrobe!

  17. I'm playing catch-up with the blogs - am just hoping that we get an outfit shot of the Marant-esque leggings...!

    Love feathers - want a feathered cape, for no other reason than they are very pretty. It's been a quiet Christmas for me and Mr Bossa, but we went for a Studio 54-vibe on NYE. Still haven't broken out the velvet harems though...!


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