Oxford Circus is usually the last place I want to be as soon as the Christmas lights go up. However, I have just found a changing room so tranquil that it almost makes you forget you're in W1. The place is the John Lewis & Partners styling suites—fitting rooms that are almost as big as many a London bedroom, have a team of Styling Partners on hand who bring everything straight to you, and beautiful velvet armchairs in case you want a sit-down. And yes you can have a cup of tea while you shop. Told you this was more civilised than your typical Oxford Street Christmas shopping experience.
No one does Christmas quite like John Lewis & Partners, and this year it isn't just making us cry over a misunderstood fire-breathing dragon but has solved all our party dressing needs with its 12 Days of Christmas Dresses. For this year's festive period, John Lewis & Partners asked the likes of Ghost, Whistles and Warehouse to each create a party outfit that defines the festive season to them. There are sequin minis, rich silk midi dresses and even a jumpsuit and velvet trouser suit for those who don't want to wear a dress (better yet, all looks are exclusive to John Lewis & Partners).
Three of our editors went to the styling suites to give it a test run and find an outfit that makes us feel our best. At the Style Studio, the team helps with all aspects of the getting ready process—they suggest the best pair of shoes to go with each dress, raid the handbag floor for you so you don't need to step foot on an escalator and even bring you perfume and lipstick from the beauty floor downstairs for the finishing touches. Keep scrolling to see what myself, Alyss and Zoe decided to wear, after an afternoon of playing dress-up.
1. Emma, Who What Wear's Editor, Went for a Bright Midi + Sparkly Shoes
"Do you blush?" Sian, Partner & Personal Stylist asked me. "Because if you do, then I'm right with my hunch that you can really pull off bright colours." She is a colour expert and encouraged me to try this vivid gold silk dress—a shade I wouldn't usually go near in fear it would make me look washed out and sickly. But she was right, this is a colour that is surprisingly easy to wear. The fabric makes this feel really special for a party, but the simple silhouette means it's also appropriate for work when paired with knee-high boots. I went for the brightest lipstick I could find (thanks Dior) and a pair of sandals that are the definition of a party shoe, as they are covered in crystals."
2. Alyss, Who What Wear's Social Media Editor, Chose a Velvet Suit + Gold Shoes
"I love suits but often lean towards dresses for the party season, which is why as soon as I clocked this velvet Jaeger number I knew I had to try it to push myself to do something a little different. I decided to go all out and wear it sans a top—and then teamed it with some rustic gold Whistles sandals to add a festive feel. I'd totally wear this from day to night too and just wear trainers to the office! I am a beauty obsessive, and so I was also drawn towards this Charlotte Tilbury Swarovski-embellished eye palette and made myself feel even more fancy with a spritz of this Tiffany perfume."
3. Zoe, Who What Wear's Fashion Editor, Opted for a Sequin Minidress + Belt
“While I'm generally more of a ‘jeans-and-a-nice-top’ kind of girl, this festive season I thought I’d step up my game and try a full-on sequined look. To my surprise, I actually loved feeling like a human disco ball and catching the light with every step. Mint Velvet's long-sleeve sequin shift dress felt like the perfect choice, as the simple silhouette really allowed the fabric to shine (both literally and figuratively). In keeping with the Christmas theme, I added a pair of emerald green heels by L.K. Bennett to finish the look."