Christmas Day style is an enigma. I saw a meme recently that said: “I never understood why we get so dressed up for Christmas Day and don’t really go anywhere, just walking around my nan’s kitchen looking fly as hell.” Ha, yes. And what a fashion melting pot this day can be. The 20-something cousins who are hungover but still looking chic in their ACNE t-shirts and chinos. The parents of the young kids who are beyond exhausted but quickly made an effort with a festive necklace and a “good shirt”. The uncle and aunt everyone only sees once a year dressed in the exact same khaki get-up they had on last year. The fun dad who wears a Christmas-themed ugly sweater and reindeer beanie all day despite the 32 degree weather. And this how style salad culminating in one annual table photo featuring torn bon-bons, heads covered in paper crowns, awkward lean-ins (“we can’t see you Aunty Carol!”) and Grandpa with his eyes closed.
It’s no wonder this time of year has been immortalised over and over in film and television. For those that celebrate it, this festivity is perfect, relatable entertainment fodder. So what will you wear this year? Why not take your 2021 Christmas Day style cues from the characters you’ve watched do the tinsel tap dance so many times before. Here’s our pick of the greatest and most chic (some surprisingly so) on record.
Keira Knightley in Love Actually
She’s copped flack over the years for the weird hat she wore to visit Mark (Andrew Lincoln) in search of her wedding video, but turns out the poor thing had a giant forehead zit on the day of filming and this was actually the stylist’s solution. So back off, everyone! Anyway, aside from the conductor hat, the white, off-shoulder knit she was wearing around the house when Mark came knocking in that scene was immortalised. Creamy short sleeve knitwear forever!
Cameron Diaz in The Holiday
This cult rom-com seems only to be snowballing in popularity each year. Cam is so chic in this movie, it makes a house-swap to a small English town seem like the most romantic option for anyone with a festively timed broken heart. Like Knightley in Love Actually, she rocks her fair share of winter-white knitwear, but it’s the chocolate shearling coat that makes us swoon. Not so great for the Aussie summer, granted, but take cues from the earthy tones. Try a cream tee and chocolate-coloured layer vest instead.
Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City The Movie
Okay okay, we know this is really New Year’s Eve but this scene is still so crazily festive we’re adding it to the list. When Miranda calls from her lonely Brooklyn apartment and Carrie gets out of bed and hot-tails to see her friend in the middle of the snowy night. In true Patricia Field (the show’s costume director) form, her “just out of bed look” was fantastically chic. That vintage fur (we vote go faux) over trackies with a cami and a sequinned beanie (why not!) is all kinds of Christmas goals.
Diane Keaton in The Family Stone
Another super-favourite, if slightly darker, rom com, all the styling here is pretty great. SJP is perfectly suited up to reflect her unwelcome, up-tight persona, while the contrasting characters of Claire Danes and Rachel McAdams (hello, also, is this the best cast ever?) are all turtlenecks and cable sweaters. But it’s Keaton who’s wardrobe steals the spotlight. We’re never over the full skirt and crisp white volume shirt cinched by a wide belt. This is Christmas matriarch goals.
Renée Zellweger in Bridget Jones’s Diary
The one who makes us all feel better about everything. Bridget Jones has been all of us at some stage of our lives and we endlessly salute her singleton, “carpet”-wearing self. Also the infamous look she was forced into by her mother at the ‘Turkey Curry Buffet’ is kind of…chic. Can definitely imagine Gucci doing a ruffle collar and printed corduroy waistcoat come autumn/winter 2019.
Anna Faris in Just Friends
Maybe we’re partial to this because Faris does losing-her-sh*t-chic like very few others. Throughout this homecoming movie, Faris’s character Samantha James gets all the best scenes. From her terrible/awesome songs to setting fire to the microwave on her private plane, she’s the reason this movie is a re-watcher. Channel her IDGAF style with a wild jacket, some hints of mauve and raucous hair. It will be liberating if nothing else.
Beverly D’Angelo in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
It’s hard to imagine why Clark (Chevy Chase) kept dreaming of Christy Brinkley in the National Lampoon movies when his wife was so freaking stunning. Beverly D’Angelo’s Ellen Griswold is the head of the household who keeps a cool head while her husband’s hair-brained ideas keep (literally) blowing up. And then there’s her style. That lace key-hole blouse, the emerald green taffeta skirt and that festive gold collar brooch. Think Emilia Wickstead or Oscar De La Renta or Christian Dior of the now. Chiiiiiic.
Meg Ryan in You’ve Got Mail
The follow up to Sleepless In Seattle, Meg and Tom teamed up again in 1998 for this now extremely dated narrative about romance via online chat rooms. What’s not outdated however is Ryan’s cuteness in the film, which is all set in a very Christmassy New York. Firstly, her choppy short haircut is a fashion accessory all of its own, and one I’m yet to see ever pulled off quite so well on anyone since. Secondly, her dreamy, romantic persona is draped in cashmere cardi’s, black turtlenecks, tunic dresses, man-style trousers and one preppy woollen pleated midi-skirt in grey that I spent the rest of 1998 trying to find.
Catherine O’Hara (aka Kevin’s Mum) in Home Alone
You tend to only think of a teeny Kevin (Macauley Culkin) walking the burbs of his home in the first film and the wintery streets of New York in the second instalment when you think of Home Alone. One could even overlook that Kevin’s mum, Kate McCallister is a seriously well dressed mum of…four (?)…I could never tell which child belonged to which parent in these movies. Anyway, she wraps herself in Max Mara-esque wrap coats, cable knits and always with the gold statement earring. This is peak 90s upstate New York. Go McCallister-chic with some polished prep and vintage bling.
Donna Reed in It’s A Wonderful Life
We’re delving to the archives for this one, but for good reason. This film which brings all the feels every time we watch it is not only beautifully written but also timelessly stylish. The fashion of 1946 was polished, pretty and probably more than occasionally uncomfortable. However, the cuts of then, are still serving us well now. Party dresses that included layered ruffles, chiffon puffed sleeves and repeated motif prints are ones you can wear straight to the Christmas table in 2018…pleasantly leaving the strangling corsets in 1946.