Smoking slippers and an Ally McQueen silk scarf – Bronson van Wyck’s festive dress codes revealed!

Remember to restrain your inner Christmas elf, if you feel yourself going all red and green, advises the party planner
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Bronson van Wyck puts the finishing touches to the Jimmy Choo ICONS Collection Dinner. As reproduced in Born to Party, Forced to Work
Bronson van Wyck puts the finishing touches to the Jimmy Choo ICONS Collection Dinner. As reproduced in Born to Party, Forced to Work

Wondering whether to pull the trigger on that Gucci scarf or Hermes belt, for this weekend's parties? Bronson van Wyck, our man at the very reactor core of modern socialising, certainly thinks you should.

“If you’re unsure about what to wear, follow the maxim that it’s always better to be over- than underdressed,” America’s greatest event planner and author of Born to Party, Forced to Work, tells Bloomberg, in a seasonal wardrobe feature. “Effort is attractive, and a lack of it is not.”

 

Bronson van Wyck in black tie (right) with his mother and sister
Bronson van Wyck in black tie (right) with his mother and sister

Of course, not every seasonal, sartorial stipulation calls for oodles of personal expression. “There are two types of dress codes: the ones that tell guests how to fit in and the ones that tell them how to stand out,” he says.

Yet, even when it comes to formal events which require black tie, you can work a little personal detailing in, especially if the dress code stipulates something such a ‘Festive Casual Black Tie.

 

Christmas at Bronson's parents house in Arkansas
Christmas at Bronson's parents house in Arkansas

“Swap out your standard dress shoe for a smoking slipper, or add an Alexander McQueen silk scarf to go under your dinner jacket,” Bronson advises, adding, “in a sea of black suits, a deep royal blue or rich charcoal grey becomes immediately memorable.”

Still, there are certain things that its wise to avoid. Christmas colourways of red and green might be tempting, but van Wyck counsels against these combos. “It looks cheesy,” he says.

It’s tempting to layer on a bit of velvet during the colder months, but, if you must, limit yourself to a single item – “a blazer or loafer from a brand like Tom Ford, Saint Laurent, or Gucci.”

 

Born to Party, Forced to Work

That’s the way to remain the bell or belle of the ball, rather than gauche Christmas bauble. For further party advice, from lighting to playlists, drinks to décor, buy a copy of Bronson van Wyck’s book, Born to Party, Forced to Work, here.

 


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