Rock the Holiday Look
We dug out our favourite festive albums and noticed an untapped fashion source. Perfect inspiration for looking good this holiday season, here are the five most stylish festive albums ever
The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
The sound: Santa on a surfboard sums up this 1964 album, with The Beach Boys’ signature bouncing harmonies keeping the California vibe alive among the jingle bells and references to the North Pole. Sombre tracks such as We Three Kings benefit from the band’s effortlessly upbeat vocals.
The look: A preppy take on California cool, with cheerful shades such as yellow and blue. Chinos are about as dressy as this look gets, with the girls in the gang free to experiment with bright, playful dresses.
The standout track: Little Saint Nick, a reworking of the band’s hit Little Deuce Coupe, is a reminder that Santa visits California too.
A Very She & Him Christmas
The sound: his stripped-back, soulful take on festive favourites by the musician M. Ward and the actress Zooey Deschanel, conveys a sense of both longing and joy. Deschanel’s ukulele and the pair’s trademark lo-fi vocals add a nostalgic layer of folksiness.
The look: Deschanel is renowned for her girly vintage look of little dresses, Peter Pan collars and colourful coats. M. Ward follows her modern retro lead in bow ties, suede jackets and gingham shirts. Don’t forget the sunglasses.
The standout track: Baby It’s Cold Outside is a pacy, almost breathless take on the festive standard. The duo bring a new dimension by swapping the traditional male and female parts.
Just Can't Get Enough: New Wave Xmas
The sound: A mixture of original and classic holiday songs from cool Eighties bands you’d never expect to embrace the festivities, including Squeeze, The Pretenders, They Might Be Giants and Captain Sensible. Think lots of synth, guitars and deadpan vocals.
The look: The Pretenders’ front-woman, Chrissie Hynde, exuded effortlessness in skinny jeans, rock tees and dark, structured knits, while the New Wave boys loved leather jackets and slim-fit shirts. Eyeliner for everyone!
The standout track: Fairytale Of New York, aka the rousing masterpiece by The Pogues and the late Kirsty MacColl, alternates between sweetness and bitterness.
Christmas With The Rat Pack
The sound: Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr give their booze-soaked but always charming swing treatment to their favourite Christmas songs, dialling down their characteristic brashness (but not the swagger) for the more spiritual numbers.
The look: The Rat Pack look of sharp suits and skinny ties that get looser as the night goes on remains a timeless classic in menswear. Girls can channel the only female member, Shirley Maclaine, in sassy cocktail dresses and swing coats.
The standout track: The group’s camaraderie is infectious in A Marshmallow World, a beautifully bizarre cover of a song about walking with your girl on a whipped cream winter day.
A Christmas Gift For You From Phil Spector
The sound:In 1963 the eccentric producer gave his ‘Wall Of Sound’ treatment to an array of festive tunes using his favourite vocalists (The Ronettes, The Crystals). The result is a monumental album of melodic soul that tugs at your heart strings.
The look: All shift dress in eye-catching prints and devastating pencil skirt and sweater combos, this is pure Sixties pop princess. Men can rock Ray-Bans, dark suits and shirts with white tees underneath for a touch of smart rebellion.
The standout track: (Christmas) Baby Please Come Home, the particularly arresting original version sang by Darlene Love, has gained a fanatical following.