Millions are avoiding festive get-togethers this year because they’re too stressed about what to wear – with many concerned about 'splashing' out on a new outfit due to the cost of living crisis.
A study of 2,000 adults, who go to Christmas-related social occasions, found 27 per cent have bailed on an event after struggling to decide on an outfit.
While 23 per cent claimed they didn’t have anything suitable, with 26 per cent admitting they have never re-worn an existing outfit.
But seven in 10 are planning to spend less money on their outfit this year, due to the rise of living costs (46 per cent), with (39 per cent) planning to wear something they already own to be environmentally friendly.
As a result, a third of those polled are likely to worry more about their outfit, than about what to eat (20 per cent) or if their dancing will be embarrassing (15 per cent).
It also emerged they will typically decide what to wear to a Christmas social weeks in advance.
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And it’s not a quick decision, with 62 minutes spent looking at clothes in shops, 49 minutes browsing online and 53 minutes trying on options throughout the festive period.
Following the findings, Tu, which commissioned the research, has teamed up with fashion psychologist Dr Dion Terrelong to help adults find the perfect festive ensemble for every occasion.
'Seven in 10 are planning to spend less money on their outfit this year'
Author and TV presenter, Candice Brathwaite stars in a video with the expert showing how to put Dr Dion’s ‘Four C’s’ formula to the test – classic, colour, comfort, and components – to help reduce the feelings of stress over what to wear this season.
While a quiz has also been created to help those struggling with what to wear this winter, be it a lavish social occasion or a night in with friends.
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Dr Dion Terrelonge said: "As the festive season approaches there are mixed emotions around feeling our best; excitement for events can often be tainted by stresses over what to wear while looking after your pocket and the environment.
“Using research, sales data and psychology I’ve worked with Tu to create the ultimate Festive Wardrobe Formula – The 4 Cs.
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“It’s a tool anyone can turn to when stuck on what to wear, by simplifying festive dressing and hopefully reduce some of the anxieties associated with getting an outfit together for an event.
“I want the Festive Wardrobe Formula to empower people to repurpose items from their wardrobes, connect with the pieces they love, and use key items to embellish and spruce up any look, for any occasion.”
The study also revealed the top worries when deciding what to wear, including feeling unconfident in their chosen outfit (32 per cent), being over (29 per cent) or under-dressed (29 per cent) and clashing with someone else (23 per cent).
And while 35 per cent will re-wear the same get-up to a social occasion if it’s with different people, 26 per cent are keen to think of ways to rework their existing wardrobe this festive season.
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More than a fifth (22 per cent) are looking for more affordable high street options and 16 per cent want to replicate high-end designer fashion with cost efficient alternatives.
It also found being complimented on an outfit at a Christmas party leaves people feeling happy (40 per cent), flattered (33 per cent) and confident (26 per cent).
And the qualities of clothing which give people a confidence boost are velvet (18 per cent), silk or satin (17 per cent) and leather (14 per cent).
While the go-to colours for such events are black (35 per cent), blue (23 per cent) and red (18 per cent).
But the most important factors when deciding what to wear to a festive occasion are comfort (45 per cent), being practical (33 per cent) and warmth (25 per cent).
And 21 per cent also like to express their personality through their choice of outfit.
Those polled, via OnePoll, take into consideration how formal the occasion is (41 per cent), whether it’s indoors or outside (37 per cent) and how far they have to travel (28 per cent) when deciding what to wear.
Emma Benjafield, director of product at Tu Clothing, said: “Over the festive season, we want to spend our time well with loved ones, enjoying ourselves, feeling and looking our best.
"However, research has shown that it’s sometimes easier said than done.
"Dr Dion’s 4 C’s will help make dressing this festive season as stress-free as possible.
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"It creates a way for shoppers to mindfully update their wardrobe through key pieces which make them feel great, without compromising on style or value.
"We hope this festive season the focus can be on enjoying quality time with loved ones, instead of fretting over what to wear.”
Are you confused about what to wear? Take this quiz to find out what you need to complete your winter looks.
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