Tuesday

How To Dress For Special Occasions When Dressing Up Isn't Your Vibe

If you’re anything like me dressing for weddings, christenings and even just nights out fills you with dread. Yes I love a dress and a sandal, but the kind you can wander around the park in rather than a church or posh hotel. As a useful addition to the problem  I absolutely hate buying for the sake of it – I’ve never been one to buy outfits for a particular thing. Instead I prefer to buy things I know will work a minimum four or five times alongside things I already own. 

dress, here / same dress in black here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

So, now I’ve reached the age that I have a celebration of somebody’s life stages every four weeks, I’ve had to work fairly hard to find things that I can repeat wear – and where I don’t totally lose my style and end up feeling self conscious all day. For that reason this post isn't all about cheap options; because I think it's worth spending whatever you can afford in order to feel good and project good vibes on a day that's meaningful to your nearest and dearest (don't get me wrong, my budget isn't Gabbana but I'm more £100 over £10 when it comes to feeling good). This post serves as a little run down of the places I’ve bought things that work for me…

dress, here / same dress in black here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

I really hope I'm not alone in saying I long for the day that jeans, blazers and tees become wedding acceptable. I really think I'd be a more fun wedding guest if I could rock up in my favourite Levis. However, until that day arrives I've spent some real time surveying the stores to see who makes stuff I'll feel comfortable in. Firstly, a huge surprise was Kate Spade (where this dress is from).



I had written this brand off for being too twee a long time ago so was really surprised when I found this one. I am borderline paranoid about my arms (we've had tears before events on a regular basis) and the capped sleeves are super flattering. Pale pink is a brilliant colour if you're spending a little bit more on a dress - it doesn't have to be girly either if you get the cut right (this dress from Reformation being a brilliant example of that)...


dress, here / same dress in black here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

One of the go-to brands for me is Needle and Thread. Back in the day when there were also a few styles it wasn't as appealing as there was always the danger that somebody else would turn up in the same one, but now they've expanded and have dresses to fit all shapes and sizes I always check them out. This one is brilliant for anyone looking to cover up but look cute. 

I was a bit naughty and bought this one from Zimmermann for a friend's wedding next month (in my defence it was the cheapest one in their collection and I LOVE it). For a cheaper option, And Other Stories are great- I'm eye-ing up this wrap dress for a christening in the summer (which I could totally wear open like a kimono with jeans after the event). 


dress, here / same dress in black here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

Before I go on to the next outfit I thought I'd talk about shoes. I'm pretty fussy with my shoes and for that reasons don't have many pairs. I have small feet meaning huge heel heights don't work for me as my foot hasn't got much stretch in it. I also hate getting stuck in grass/grates in heels so it's block heels for me all the way. Every time I wear the heels in this picture I get asked where they are from... They're a cheap Mango purchase from two years ago - you can't get the exact same any more but below are some similar pairs:


I'll always wear a neutral tone for weddings etc because I'm lazy and I can't be bothered to find shoes to match an outfit (plus, I really don't like the matching shoes and bag thing, it's very outdated in my humble opinion). Ordinarily, I'm a snob with shoes (hence why I don't have many because I can't afford them...) but Mango ones tend to be good - they don't hurt my feet and I don't sweat in them (plastic insoles = slippery nightmare that more people should talk about and possibly form a support group). This pair from Whistles are worth a mention too. My other favourite is L.K.Bennett and I have a similar-ish pair from them from a campaign last year, above are the closest ones I could find. 

dress, here / same dress in black here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

Speaking of L.K.Bennett, you already know I'm quite the advocate for their clothing. I've worked with them for a long time and seen the collections develop beautifully. Some of their pieces are for their more, ahem, traditional customer but the quality of their dresses, skirts and shirting really is quite special. This dress below is a brilliant example of everything I love about them. They're cut beautifully so I'm confident in it and the length is suitable for lots of occasions. Whats more, its now half price in their sale, here.

dress, now half price in sale here / see more from the brand here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

I appreciate it isn't always acceptable, but if I can get away with it to an event then I will as I don't think any other colour is as special as bright white. The blue in this dress is so beautiful too, and looks amazing with darker skin tones (or in my case; shed loads of fake tan).

dress, now half price in sale here / see more from the brand here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

Monikh snapped these pictures of me and I really love them, you can tell I'm really happy and confident and in my opinion I look great! I've worn the same shoes again, they really are brilliant all rounders. In fact they're currently in the cobblers getting re-heeled, which goes to show how much I love them as they'll probably cost more to repair than they were to buy!


dress, now half price in sale here / see more from the brand here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

Before I go, and because I don't have events to go to for all the dresses I've found here are a few that I really love and recommend. If you're anything like me, you just want to feel happy and like you can dance around like a prat when the music comes on, so I wouldn't be hugely experimental as you'll feel less like yourself. Stick to size and shapes you know work for you. Whats great is as the fashion is super relaxed at the moment we can by floatier dresses than we used to be able to!


dress, now half price in sale here / see more from the brand here / shoes, old but similar here and here
NB - these are affiliate links, see base of page for info.

Products were bought myself unless otherwise disclosed. This is a standard footer on all blog pieces; some links used in this post may be created with an affiliate tag meaning I will receive a small % of any purchases made as a result of clicking on them. This does not make any price difference for you, the consumer.
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