Tuesday, 20 February 2018
Latest Issue


August 2017

By Cathy Owen. Style Counsel's regular columnist Stephanie Berkeley is on holiday.

"It’s traditionally the time of year for weddings, and days out at the races, therefore this issue presents the perfect opportunity to consider occasion wear and for me to help you plan a flawless summer-event look...

I have two weddings to attend this summer – one of which I’m a bridesmaid at – so what I wear is out of my hands (although thankfully the bride has made a very elegant choice and I won’t be cringing at the pictures for years to come!). For the other, I’m already having great fun researching potential ensembles, and just for the record... there will most definitely be a hat involved.

I love the classic occasion wear styles in shops such as Coast, Hobbs and LK Bennett, however my concern is that you run the risk of committing that most heinous of fashion crimes... wearing the same outfit as another guest, and even worse, gasp horror... imagine if they look better in it than you! That’s the reason I like to consider less known brands to ensure an individual look.

Three Floor is a great starting point. They often feature sexy sheer elements in their designs, which are fab for nights out, but for a wedding I love the more demure styles, such as their navy and contrasting blue dress, which I would style with claret accessories for a bit of colour blocking. I also adore the coral confection, teamed with a golden tan and nude accessories it would look sensational at a summer wedding.

Weddings are now often a much less formal affair and a lot of the ‘rules’ no longer apply. If you are attending a more boho chic affair, this flowy jade patterned style from Mango, styled with delicate pink accessories and loosely braided hair, will create an effortless look every time. Don’t want to wear a dress? Then stand out in a sleek suit. Look out for strong colours and unusual detailing to avoid looking like you’re heading to the office. ASOS have a big selection, such as hot pink, check, jackets with ruffles, but my absolute favourite is their jacquard design. I’d pair this with a contrasting camisole for a slinky look in the evening when the jacket comes off.

I will happily wear a hat any chance I get, however, you may not want to spend a lot on an item that you may not wear again, or often, so I’ve found a couple of amazing hats which won’t break the bank. This statement flower from M&S is only £29.50, and while fascinators may be considered by some to be passé, I think this style is bold enough to look more contemporary than your typical net and feather variety.

Debenhams have a huge selection of hats to choose from, but I’m particularly drawn to this style from the collaboration with milliner extraordinaire, Stephen Jones, to add a touch of designer flair!
Okay, so we’re almost set to dazzle at our summers weddings, or our outing to the races, but before you start planning your own show- stopping looks we must discuss shoes. I have mentioned this before, I am at an age where I will not ruin a special occasion by hobbling about in fabulous, yet crippling, shoes. If you are going to be on your feet all day, dancing, or tip-toeing over soggy grass you must find that oxymoron of beautiful, yet sensible heels.

Luckily Russell & Bromley have an abundance of pretty block heels... your only problem will be picking just one pair. Wedge heels are not my favourite shoe style, but for navigating the race course or a garden wedding. Pippa Middleton is a fan and has been spotted wearing styles by Castaner. The low cut of their espadrille design makes it look more elegant than a regular espadrille and with the right floaty dress they work well for a more informal look.”

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