The Psychology of Self proposes that self-enhancement is a motivator for most of us. As a result, most of us like to present our best selves and from a fashion perspective, look the best we can, but when it comes to dressing for Christmas, we like to shine!

Depending on the situation and the individual, dressing for Christmas can vary enormously. For some, Christmas dressing may involve wearing a new outfit with the intention of being the centre of attention, for others it may be choosing something more subtle that flatters the body and boosts confidence, while for others, it might mean just chilling out in our most comfortable clothes.

Although knowing how to dress for the occasion is key, feeling great in what you’re wearing is the ultimate confidence boost. If you’re dressing for a party or dinner in a fine restaurant, sequins or velvet, red or black are always on trend this season. This year, burgundy is really popular and so is holly green. Of course, women might go for the classic sophistication of the little black dress. Other seasonal favourites are lace, silk, leather or velvet again in black and shades of red worn with pearls or gold jewellery to reflect the light. Add red lipstick and you have the look. Men might choose a new shirt in a colour they wouldn’t wear to the office or a classic tux. Another perennial Christmas favourite is the Christmas jumper. The shops are bursting with these at this time of year, but why not look in your local Charity shop for one as these obviously seasonal items are typically worn only once and then discarded.

Christmas parties are a great opportunity to impress our colleagues and friends. Although womenswear has ruled traditionally in the Christmas dressing tables, when it comes to glamorous dressing, in recent years, menswear has become increasingly important. Many men now want the same level of choice that women have had for decades and seize the opportunity of dressing to impress. We can do this by dressing differently from what we would wear on a daily basis and in a sense, this lets us become the person we would like to be. A change of clothing style enable us to look and feel confident and glamorous.

Although there are many special days in the year such as birthdays and holy days, many of us tend to make more effort to look our best at over the festive season. Culturally, Christmas, as well as several other religious festivals at this time of year, celebrate some aspect of light. Given the short, dark days of the season, who wouldn’t welcome the chance to light up a room when they enter? Making an effort signals the importance of the day and if you’re sharing the day with others, it also signals you care enough about them to put in the extra effort with your outfit.

Clearly, appearance matters and we want to look our best especially in the holiday season, but stressing about what to wear can  undermine our self-confidence and spoil our enjoyment of the event. Most of us don’t look like the models on the catwalk or like the images we see in magazines, but acknowledging and accepting this can help us feel more comfortable in our skin. Think about this next time you go shopping for clothes and buy pieces that feel good on your skin in colours that flatter your complexion. Accessories  can make a huge difference with very little effort. Take a friend with you for honest feedback. When you feel confident in your outfit, you can own the room.

Dress your best and have a wonderful time over the festive period.