Summer events come with some serious dress-code dilemmas. How dressy is too dressy? Does a hat look dated? Can you wear black to a wedding?
We’ve enlisted the help of Alice and Hannah – bloggers and bridal designers at @belleandbunty for inspiration on staying true to your personal style – whatever the dress code.
What do you think are the biggest mistakes people make when it comes to occasionwear?
“Although you might be looking forward to an event, sometimes the outfit part can be daunting for lots of people as you feel really on show and out of your comfort zone. The key is to make sure that your occasion outfit is an extension of your everyday style. If you’re comfortable in feminine loose cuts go for a dress like that, if you’re more of a tomboyish dresser go for a jumpsuit or something more tailored with a chunky heel.
Remember, occasionwear doesn’t have to be fitted or too formal. The biggest mistake people make is forgetting what their style is in order to ‘fit in’ and you will look a lot more stylish if you are happy and comfortable!”
What tips do you have for ‘keeping it real’ when there’s a dress code?
“Definitely don’t wear shoes that you can’t walk (and dance) in as there’s nothing worse than aching feet when you are out to enjoy yourself! Chunkier heels like these block-heel sandals or wedge espadrilles are always more comfortable and practical (especially on grass!) and there are some great ones in the collection.
“Also make sure you ‘buy wise’. Think: Can I wear this again? Is it versatile? Can it be dressed up and down? And, most importantly: will I get my money’s worth? We are big believers in buying less but investing in great quality pieces you will love wearing time and time again.”
What are the key SS19 pieces to invest in for smart-casual dress codes?
“The midi satin slip skirt is the piece of the season. It’s incredibly versatile and definitely a style to wear on special occasions but, equally, looks great dressed down – a perfect investment piece. Leopard print is still going strong this season and the long, slim silhouette is more flattering than you’d think: it’s elongating on all figures. Keep your waist nipped in and emphasised rather than anything too oversized on top. Just make sure you have great ‘no VPL’ underwear underneath for smooth lines!”
What are your tips for making the same pieces work for a series of events in your summer calendar?
“Accessories are key as a simple swap can make an outfit look and feel so different. Dressy black accessories will always give an outfit a more Black-Tie feel; tan and neutrals add a relaxed vibe and opting for on-trend colour clashing will give your outfit a fun, eclectic feel.
“Hair accessories are big news this season and great instead of a traditional hat or fascinator. Hair clips and head bands are a fashion-forward way of accessorising this season and really easy to wear.”
Do you have any occasionwear no-nos?
“Usually, we never say never when it comes to style. It’s all about personal preference and expressing your personality in a way that makes you happy. But, when it comes to occasionwear, we’d say, think demure! With dresses and skirts we’d stick to midi or maxi lengths, especially if the style is more figure hugging. A shorter length looks classy in something like these short-suit looks as the shorts are voluminous, not too short and are balanced out by the tailored blazers.
Remember, it’s not a party but a special occasion – so save your partywear for your next night out!”