We’ve all been there. You arrive at a social event and, too late… you realise that your clothes are all wrong. It’s mortifying. So to help you out, here’s our guide to event dressing.
Check the etiquette
Most events will put the dress code on the invitation. Do follow it. Even at relatively informal events, an inappropriate outfit makes you feel uncomfortable. At worst, you may be refused entry.
The Royal Enclosure at Ascot, for example, has a notoriously strict dress code. Hats are compulsory for women - but not just any old hat. It must have a solid base of 4 inches or more – and fascinators aren’t allowed. Dresses or tops must have straps of at least 1 inch – and the length must be “modest” (falling just above the knee or longer).
It’s worth reading the whole dress code, even if you haven’t received your invitation… yet. Here it is
A quick word about weddings
Always check how formal the wedding is going to be. A country wedding, for example, will call for a different dress code to a city wedding.
On grass, stilettos and kitten heels won’t be your friend. You’ll spend the whole day toppling backwards. Fortunately, block heels are bang on trend at the moment so it’s worth investing in a pair. These days, hats are optional. If they don’t fit your clothing personality, they’re not essential. But if you’re comfortable with hats, they can certainly add something special to an outfit. Before you buy your wedding hat, it’s worth checking out Debrett's thoughts on the subject. Along with some useful advice, they have a hilarious section about the perils of “socially kissing” in a wide brimmed hat.
Would you like some help with wedding outfits? Ask your local personal stylist about our wedding service. That way, everyone will look fabulous - from the bride and groom to the guests.
Remember the skin rule
This one’s especially important for work parties but it applies to any event. Show off legs or décolletage - but not both, otherwise you’re in danger of losing authority.
Test run your outfit
Give it a thorough workout beforehand. Sit down, stretch up, do whatever’s needed to make sure it’s comfortable. After all, there’s nothing worse than spending an entire event feeling awkward in your clothes.
Actually, there is something worse… A public clothing malfunction. For instance, if you’re wearing a tight skirt, make sure you can tackle stairs, get on and off minibuses and generally have room to manoeuvre.
Think outside the box
Even at formal functions, you don’t have to wear a dress. A trouser suit can be perfect - and if your clothing personality can do it, culottes are popular at the moment.
The key is to understand the dress code and apply your clothing personality accordingly.
Minimise your handbag
A beautiful handbag is always good, but it’s best to minimise the contents - perhaps a retractable lip brush, compact, tissues and spare tights.
Try and make sure everything you take out of your handbag is beautiful (apart from the spare tights!)
And finally, if the weather looks dodgy, bring an umbrella in your best `wow’ colour.
July 2016 NewsHow to pack a suitcase - top tips for a holiday capsule wardrobe
January 2017 NewsUsing a pyramid structure in your wardrobe.... and why you need it.
October 2015 NewsFrom Met Police to Personal Stylist - Judi's Story