It's that time of the year again: office parties, family gatherings and general merrymaking. Many forsake style to dress in a Santa Claus hat or reindeer antlers or the clichéd Rudolph or snowflake sweater. But those costumes are best left to those who fall out of bars at two in the morning. If you're reading this, it is assumed that you have classier holiday soirées to attend. The ones that require elegant garb mixed with the right amount of festive spirit. Tartan, especially in red, is one of those joyous motifs. Ralph Lauren showed a full tartan suit (left) for autumn, paired with a black waistcoat, pleated tuxedo shirt and bowtie. Dapper and classic with just a modicum of edge. Many might find tartan intimidating, but break it down and it can be paired with almost any item in your closet. Take the jacket (HK$34,960) and tame it with black trousers. Regular tuxedo pants will work, too. Or wear the trousers (HK$6,120) with a double-breasted navy sport coat, preferably in velvet, and a pair of monogram velvet slippers for that old-world look. Church's black velvet slippers with gold embroidered crowns are a handsome substitute if you don't have a monogrammed pair. Reach for seasonal colours such as red or gold. A red velvet jacket (right, HK$25,795) from Balmain at The Swank, worn with jeans and a white shirt is ideal for a Christmas get-together. If you don't think you can pull off a gold smoking jacket, try a gold ceramic bow tie (bottom, HK$1,750) from Cor Sine Lab Doliat Harvey Nichols. Put some fun into your footwear with Alberto Moretti's embroidered velvet loafers (left, HK$5,995) available at The Swank.