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"The word chic disappears in December": How to do Christmas according to Jenna Lyons

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TTHE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW YORK CITY -- Season:14 -- Pictured: Jenna Lyons -- (Photo by: Gavin Bond/Bravo via Getty Images) (Bravo)

When it comes to mastering the art of Christmas shopping, there are few individuals as adept as Jenna Lyons to guide us through the festive frenzy.

For years, the fashion maven and former J.Crew creative director has been captivating us with her impeccable style choices that range from classic to cutting-edge. She describes her style as, “A little bit grandma, a little bit aspirational teenage boy and slightly off kilter. Over the years I probably dress less for men and have ditched the nipped waist and push up bra,” Jenna tells Hello! Fashion. She’s of course traded that aforementioned look for her signature tailored suiting and “the ever present white shirt.”

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Her her no-nonsense attitude and aesthetic hasn’t changed one bit since joining the cast of RHONY, “I don’t really plan on camera looks which may be apparent when you see, I'm wearing jeans and a white t-shirt in almost every scene.” That being said, seeing her in a cosy sweater paired with sequinned pants for a holiday gathering is par for the course when you watch the show.

When it comes to curating the perfect wardrobe and gift list for the season's celebratory events and navigating the bustling shopping scene, Lyons, a seasoned trendsetter, possesses a wealth of knowledge. In fact, her latest venture as Klarna's global holiday campaign ambassador  showcases her expertise in capturing the essence of the holiday shopping hustle and bustle. The global payments platform has levelled up with a shopping platform, which has become a  go-to solution for fashion insiders who want to make curating Christmas gifts that bit easier. “What I really love about the app is that there are a lot of brands that I have not heard of but there are a lot of brands that I am deeply acquainted with and love,” says Jenna, “Everything from Adidas to Prada to Tata Harper skincare and French brand AMI. There's really something for everyone.”

Jenna Lyons has partnered with Klarna as their holiday ambassador
Jenna Lyons has partnered with Klarna as their holiday ambassador (Slaven Vlasic)

Luckily for us, the fashion icon took some time out of her busy festive schedule to school us on the do’s and don’ts of Christmas shopping. Keep scrolling to get her tips…

Do buy little luxuries:

“I love a luxury version of an essential for a gift, like a luxury cashmere sock that people wouldn’t necessarily spend money on but there’s nothing better than a luxurious pair of socks. Or a classic white shirt, that’s a must have for everyone and seasonless.”

Jenna Lyons  at the Victoria Beckham SS24 fashion show
Jenna Lyons at the Victoria Beckham SS24 fashion show (Darren Gerrish)

Don’t be a minimalist:

“If it doesn't sparkle or light up it doesn't make it into the house. My holiday decor is maximus, magnitude, magnified. 800 candles, 80 sparkly reindeer, and thousands of colourful lights on my tree. The word chic disappears for the month of December, I want my house to exemplify Pharrell’s song JOY.”

Do shop smarter:

Klarna’s 'Try before you buy' allows you to purchase multiple items, especially if you're not sure about a size or colour, it gives you the option to try it on and decide in real life it's the right thing for you or your loved one. That is pretty damn cool.”

Don’t play it safe this party season:

"My general rule is to play with opposites. If I'm wearing something incredibly sparkly up top I opt for jeans or a men’s trouser on the bottom. If the skirt is sparkly I’ll go with a simple menswear sweater. My philosophy is never head to toe one thing."

Jenna Lyons is famed for her quote, "as far as I'm concerned leopard is a neutral."
Jenna Lyons is famed for her quote, "as far as I'm concerned leopard is a neutral." (Robin Marchant)

Do opt for cosy comfort during holiday travels:

"My go to travel sweats are from Wardrobe NYC and I pull out a clean pair of sneakers or cashmere socks and shearling birkenstocks. Throw a tailored coat over it and you look somewhat presentable."

Don’t miss out on the fun:

"Weather permitting we will do a pie fight and go to Rockefeller centre to see the tree [over the holidays]. And eat lots and lots of peppermint bark, peppermint ice cream and candy canes. My favourite."

Do gift what you would want to receive:

"My number one rule is pick something I want myself. Then if they hate it they can give it back to me."