The Adorned

One hit wonder

A sustainable way to find the perfect killer Christmas outfit

What do Tainted Love, Come On Eileen, Take on Me and Video Killed the Radio Star have in common? Other than the fact they’re all great karaoke songs, they’re all one-hit wonders. Their respective bands briefly had their time at the top of the charts, beloved by all, before tumbling off and never being heard from again. A bit like how we consume fashion nowadays.


We’re all a bit guilty of a one-hit wonder when it comes to our wardrobes. A Censuswide poll revealed that throughout the summer season, Brits would spend £2.7 billion on more than 50 million summer outfits that’d only be worn once. It seems this problem isn’t limited to summertime though – we do the same for Christmas. Two out of five novelty Christmas jumpers are only worn once over the festive period, while 1 in 3 under-35’s buy a new jumper each year. And eight million garments bought for Christmas end up going to landfill after being worn just once. 

‘Tis the season for dressing as extra as possible: an opportunity to shine brighter than the Oxford Street Christmas lights, sparkle more than Carnaby Street, and shimmer more than a holiday window display (or, if you’re as broke as I am, Asda tinsel). And let’s not forget New Year’s Eve – a night that gives you the reason to wear as many sequins as humanly possible.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to don a dazzling festive frock. The problem is we’re using it as an excuse to purchase an outfit that will be worn once, and then most likely thrown away (or, at least, not see the light of day again for another 365 days). I’m not trying to go full-on Grinch here – I’m a Christmas baby! But instead of dreaming of a white Christmas, aim for a green one – be more sustainable with your choices. Avoid being a Christmas one-hit wonder, aim high and be a Last Christmas or All I Want For Christmas Is You.

If you have a few options in your wardrobe that you think could work for a Christmas party, but you aren’t sure if they’re quite festive enough, consider renting out accessories! You can make an outfit feel new again by pairing it with statement clutches, bejeweled headwear, some eye-catching earrings – extravagant pieces you wouldn’t necessarily buy yourself. There’s a thrill that comes with renting and wearing something new and sparkly (that’ll look great on the gram), without the guilt of calculating cost per wear.

And if you’re absolutely stumped, and nothing in your wardrobe seems to translate into a good Christmas party outfit – why not rent out an entire outfit? Christmas is the one time of year when you can dress to rival a holiday ornament and no one can criticise you for it. It’s time to maximise your style: try lustrous velvet dresses, statement sleeves, sheer patterns, bold animal prints. You may consider yourself the greatest Christmas gift, so show that off to people and deck yourself out in bows!

Christmas may be one of the most magical times of the year, but it would be infinitely more magical if it produced significantly less waste. And one way we can do that is by making sure our wardrobes aren’t one-hit wonders. Leave the one-hit wonders where they belong: at karaoke.

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