Royal Style, style, Style Secrets, The Lady's Maid's Looks

Royal Wedding Style

The Royal Wedding is almost upon us! I thought I would have a bit of fun and match some of my favourite Instagram wedding looks that I have posted over the last few weeks to members of the royal party in anticipation of the big day!

Lets start with HM. The Queen is quite loyal to her favourite couturier and milliner so I think it’s safe to say we will see her in a dress and coat by Stuart Parvin with a hat by Rachel Trevor Morgan. She wore yellow at the last royal wedding so my bet’s on blue this time round. The hat I’ve pictured below is by Philip Treacy, with dress coat by Suzannah.

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Mother of the Bride. It must be quite daunting for Meghan Markle’s mother, Doria,  dressing for an occasion like this. I think she would look good in a nice peachy coral or maybe a lemon yellow with ivory hat. This is one of my favourite coat dresses by Claire Mischevani with hat by Philip Treacy.

Doria

The Duchess of Cornwall. Camilla usually wears really shimmery pastel colours – and quite large wide brimmed hats so she’ll probably stick to this formula with a hat by Philip Treacy. Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 11.13.25

The Duchess of Cambridge. Usually loyal to Catherine Walker or Alexander Mcqueen on occasions like this. A tricky one for the Duchess so soon after giving birth but she’s lucky enough to have the expert services of the best couturiers on call so her dress dilemma will be made a lot easier with a bespoke number. The Duchess doesn’t wear green much but it would really suit her so I would dress her in a bespoke version of this lovely mint green dress coat by Catharine Walker, with hat by Lock & Co.

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The Countess of Wessex. Sophie wore a silvery Bruce Oldfield skirt suit at the last royal wedding. I’d like to see her in blush or rose pink for spring – with a hat by her usual milliner, Jane Taylor. I would dress her in this lovely pink dress by Oscar de la Renta pictured here with a hat by Philip Treacy.

Sophie

Princess Beatrice. Beatrice’s hat was one of the more stand-out memories from the last royal wedding. The infamous Treacy pretzel hat was quite a statement! Her dressing has become more and more elegant lately so I’m expecting to see her in a stylish dress and jacket and a sophisticated head piece, like this unusual floral headband from Juliette Botterill Millinery.

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Princess Eugenie. Eugenie loves a bit of colour so I’m not expecting this one to be too matchy matchy! I think she’d look good in this emerald green dress by Self Portrait with hat by Camilla Rose.

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Enjoy the royal wedding!

 

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style, Style Challenge, Style Secrets, The Lady's Maid Recommends, The Lady's Maid's Looks

Dressy Flats

These looks are for a follower on my Instagram page who is looking for an outfit for a wedding at Sandhurst this summer. She specified that she needs to wear flat shoes due to a leg injury so I’ve scoured the shops for some dressy flat shoes and here are my findings!  These have to be my favourite flats – pointed satin slingback in emerald green by Zara. I love this jewel-like shade of green. I’ve matched them with a pretty lace-trimmed aqua green tunic dress from Ted Baker a jewel-encrusted bag from Zara and a champagne headpiece from John Lewis. Zara is one of my favourite high street shops and they have some great dressy flats and clutches at the moment.

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The second look features a vibrant yellow dress from Warehouse with asymmetric satin shoulder panel. Yellow is quite a tricky colour to carry off but if you have the right colouring it can look great in the summer – I’ve matched it with two sets of accessories for two different looks. On the left, silver pointed slingbacks from Boden, a striking geometric box clutch from Zara, Swarovski earrings and a black headpiece from Whiteley Hats. For a softer look on the right I’ve pictured an ivory/gold beret headpiece by Rachel Black Millinery, gold flat sandals by L.K. Bennett, a beaded yellow clutch from Zara, and earrings by Infinity & Co.

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The third look features a blue lace midi dress with black trim by Warehouse. This is a bit trickier to accessorise without picking out the black in the accessories which could appear too dark for a summer wedding…so I’ve gone for ivory jewelled pumps by Dune London, pearl earrings by Accessorize, a sheer black headpiece from Issa, and a pale blue bag by Zara.

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Here are some more of my top picks for dressy flats!

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Luisa pink jacquard flats, £125, L.K. Bennett.

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Nude diamante flat sandals, £75, Dune London.

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Bejewelled electric blue slingbacks, £25.99, Zara.

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Blush pink slingback shoes with pearl embellishment, £88, Phase Eight.

 

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Royal Style, style, Style Secrets, The Lady's Maid's Looks

What to Wear – Royal Garden Party

These two outfits are styled for an instagram follower who has a Buckingham Palace garden party to dress for this summer. As an ex-BP employee I have been on duty for numerous garden party days and have attended as a guest too so it’s something I am very familiar with. For the first look I have pictured the supremely elegant Hana dress by Beulah London. I love the subtle pleating in this dress, they call it a “hero” garment and hero it is in my book! I’ve matched it with a beautiful rose pink percher hat by Juliette Botterill, pink pearl earrings, an ivory clutch with pearl detail from Coast and ivory floral heels from Office. Now I’ve already advised her to wear comfortable shoes as there is a bit of queuing at the gates involved on garden party days and you’ll be on your feet on grass all afternoon…but I wouldn’t always listen to my advice! With shoes like this in the world it would be a shame not to wear them!  Honestly though if you do opt for high heels I’d always advise to wear tights and use a shoe cushion insert to support your foot. Boots and M&S sell good value ones, otherwise you’ll get blisters and be hobbling home! Alice Bow insoles are a more luxury brand and are apparently used by the Duchess of Cambridge. M&S also have really low denier cooling tights that are good in summer and feel like you’re barely wearing anything – they’re practically 0 denier – they’re hardly there at all.

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A garden party in England brings out the florals in me as you can see from the second look here – a gourgeous soft blush pink embroidered fitted dress by Karen Millen that I have paired with two hat options – the left one is by Awon Golding and on the right is another headpiece from Juliette Botterill Millinery. I think the soft pink accessories are best – L.K. Bennett clutch and matching blush suede courts – but you could also go for bright pink if you fancy more colour💕 (Dune London clutch and Kurt Geiger courts).

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Enjoy the garden party – the afternoon teas are the best!

 

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style, Style Challenge, Style Secrets, The Lady's Maid's Looks

Style Challenge – Summer Wedding

This set of looks is for an Instagram follower who has a wedding in Milan to attend this summer and will be heavily pregnant on the day!🤰Stylish maternity wear can be hard to find and maternity occasion wear even trickier! I’ve pictured two maternity dresses and two regular dresses. I’ve known a couple of ladies that go down this route when it comes to maternity occasion dress – they just size up in a regular label and choose tunic/cape styles that will cover the growing bump. I love the statement sleeves on the Ted Baker dress which will also help to balance out the growing baby bump, and the dusky rose colour matches beautifully with the floral headpiece by John Lewis and satin clutch by Carvela.

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Blush floral headpiece, John Lewis, tunic dress, Ted Baker; blush satin clutch, Carvela; pink jacquard shoes, L.K. Bennett; pink pearl earrings, A.B. Davis.

Coral pink is a great colour for summer – I’ve pictured below a pleated maternity dress by Seraphine Maternity and a chiffon cape overlay dress by Gina Baconni. If you sized up in this dress I think the cape overlay is a nice addition to discreetly cover the baby bump.

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Pleated coral dress, Seraphine; coral cape dress, Gina Bacconi; copper ruffle brimmed hat, Bee Smith; pink jacquard clutch, L.K. Bennett; nude patent shoes, John Lewis; ivory jacket, Phase Eight; coral drop earrings, Kendra Scott.

And lastly I have picked out a pretty “English Rose” dress by Tiffany Rose Maternity which I have unashamedly accessorised in an excessively romantic and feminine way! The English Rose print just makes me want to skip around in an English flower bed! Now I’m not a fan of fascinators but I think if it’s more of a floral hair clip then this is fine – I just don’t like anything too flimsy as it doesn’t really enhance the outfit.

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Left accessories: Ella pillbox hat, Whiteley Hats; dusky pink satin clutch, Ted Baker; pink suede heels, L.K. Bennett; pink quartz drop earrings, Lola Rose.

Right accessories: coral Fascinator, Failsworth Hats; crystal bobble clasp clutch, Ted Baker; rosebay suede heels, Boden.

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This series of looks is for a follower on my Instagram page who is looking for an outfit for a wedding this summer. The wedding date is four weeks after she is due to give birth so I’ve recommended that she go for a tunic style of dress that skims over the figure and perhaps make more of a feature of the accessories or hat. I’ve picked out three tunic style dresses here and matched them with accessories.

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Look 1:

Chatsworth Bloom Scallop Dress, Ted Baker (£189)

William Chambers hat from SS18 collection (prices from £195)

Aerielle scallop back shoe, Dune London (£80)

Bonie blush suede clutch, Dune London (£60)

Double drop pearl earrings, A. B. Davis (£149)

This look features the Chatsworth Bloom Scallop dress by Ted Baker, with sheer panelling around the top and a scallop edge. I’ve picked out the scallop detail in the blush/gold courts from Dune, and added their matching clutch, classic double drop pearl earrings from A. B. Taylor at John Lewis and a statement headpiece in the same tone from Scottish Milliner William Chambers. These shoes are a great neutral court shoe for special occasions – the nude colour will go with every dress and the scallop detail and streak of gold make them a little dressier than a regular beige court. The Ted Baker dress has quite a bold print but in subtle colours so I think you can still make a feature of the hat.

 

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Look 2/3:

Nicolette headpiece, Bundle Maclaren (£147)

Parsons statement earrings, Kendra Scott ($85)

Flame Dress, Goat Fashion (£460)

Boraa black clutch, Dune London (£70)

Gwen flower court shoes, L.K. Bennett (£250)

Diana headpiece, Bundle Maclaren (£198)

Aphrodite Statement Earring, Olivia & Pearl (£175)

Secondly we have the Flame tunic dress from Goat Fashion in a vibrant coral shade. The Flame dress is simple, versatile and stylish. Shaped for an easy fit, the dress has a round neck and an over-sized feature button on the outer sleeve. I’ve shown two looks here with different accessories so you can see how the dress can be worn two completely different ways – great if you have a busy social calendar this summer and don’t want to buy multiple dresses! On the left I’ve matched the vibrant colour of the dress in a button head piece from Bundle Maclaren, and statement earrings from Kendra Scott. If you’re wearing a block colour like this you can afford to add embellishments in the accessories so I’ve added an embellished black suede clutch from Dune with matching bag from L. K. Bennett.  For a softer look I’ve used the same accessories as the first look and added a button pink sequinned headpiece adorned with an oyster and dusky pink silk flower from Bundle Maclaren with statement mother of pearl earrings by Olivia & Pearl. This headpiece could also match with the first dress from Ted Baker.

 

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Look 4:

Ruffled sleeve shift dress, Boutique Moschino, £410

Duchess of Cambridge pill box hat, £116.95

Brompton court shoes, Kurt Geiger, £149

Sophh palace gardens canvas clutch, Ted Baker, £65

And finally a baby pink dress by Boutique Moschino featuring pretty ruffled sleeves and a square neckline, which I’ve accesorized with a classic Whitely swirl hat, the Olivia Pearl earrings, rosy suede heels from Kurt Geiger and a floral clutch from Ted Baker. I love Whiteley hats – they’re classic and elegant and look great with dresses like this if you want a sophisticated look!

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Another instagram follower is quite the social butterfly this year 🦋 she has four weddings and a day at Royal Ascot to dress for! Sounds like a sequel for a Richard Curtis movie! She wants to re-wear her beautiful peachy coral flower & twist headpiece from Juliette pictured here for at least one of the events. I’ve selected some dresses and accessories below to mix and match so that she can get three more wears out of this hat!

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Top left to right: Coral percher hat, £470, Juliette Botterill millinery; Wanita raspberry pink dress, £120, Phase Eight; Bella floral dress, £130, Phase Eight; Floral dress, L.K. Bennett.

Bottom Left to right: pink pouch clutch, £130, Vivienne Westweood; beige/rose gold heels, £120, Boden, Dee coral drop earrings, $39.97, Kendra Scott; rose leather heels, L.K, Bennett; Madeline beige nappa clutch, £195, L.K. Bennett.

For a slightly more formal look I’ve picked out a floral jacquard dress coat from Bruce by Bruce Oldfield available at John Lewis. I’ve matched it with two sets of accessories – one silver and one bluebell blue so that you can get two wears out of the same dress.

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Silver accessories: silver disc hat, £225, Vixen Millinery; grey satin clutch, £80, Dune London; white/grey pearl earrings, £395, Georg Jenson; grey suede heels, £80, Dune London.

Bluebell blue accessories: oval disc feather hat, £130, John Lewis; powder blue clutch, £195, L.K. Bennett; blue topaz/diamond earrings, £395, London Road; Fern powder blue suede heels, £195, L.K. Bennett.

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Style Secrets, The Lady's Maid's Looks

Racing Fashion – The Cheltenham Festival

Racing Fashion – The Lady’s Maid’s Guide to Style for The Cheltenham Festival

When you think of hats and horses, Royal Ascot might be the first event that springs to mind – a week in June that is as synonymous with style as it is with all things equine. March sees a very different racing event in terms of fashion: the Cheltenham Festival (13–16 March), the most prestigious meeting held at the Cheltenham racecourse, and the first notable event of the English racing calendar. Whilst the outfits of attendees are not quite so dressy as those at Ascot, it is still a place to show off your best country attire. Held in March, the weather usually calls for more practical winter wear – hats are worn but tend to be primarily for reasons of warmth as well as style, and are not obligatory; felt fedoras or berets are more appropriate than flamboyant fascinators.

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 14.15.34.pngZara Tindall, The Duchess of Cambridge, Autumn Phillips and The Princess Royal pictured at the Cheltenham Festival.

The royals are the best models for inspiration when it comes to dressing for the races, pictured above in an array of neutral earthy tones. The best colours to wear for Cheltenham are autumnal shades, perhaps with a little pheasant feather flourish on the hat in keeping with the country feel. As for the outfit itself, smart country wear is the aim: tailored tweeds, houndstooth, skirts in countrified colours, rather than rainbow brights. As an outdoor event your outerwear will be kept on most of the time, so pick a smart longline tailored coat with simple separates underneath. For footwear, leather boots with a block or flat heel are advisable over stilettos; there is a wide variety of stylish leather and suede boots at Fairfax & Favor, some with elegant heels suitable for smarter ensembles. English weather in March is unpredictable so a scarf and gloves are also advisable; a patterned silk scarf or faux fur collar are stylish ways to add warmth to your outfit.

I’ve styled five possible outfits for Cheltenham below. The hat is the best signifier of how smart the look is. The first look is a fairly casual sweater and skirt ensemble topped off with a fedora hat; the last outfit features a more chic silk trimmed occasion hat from Jane Taylor London. This would be more suited to Ladies day at Cheltenham, held on the second day, Wednesday 14th March – this is the day when you will see dressier outfits, more colour and flamboyant headwear, and where there is also a competition for the best dressed lady, known as #ColourMeMarch, to add a bit of fun to the style stakes!

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Clockwise from bottom left: “Soraya” coat: Hobbs; “Amberley” leather satchel in oxblood: Mulberry; cashmere turtle neck jumper in bottle green: Really Wild Clothing; “Emma” leather gloves: Dents; “Suffolk” fedora in maroon with guinea feather wrap: Hicks and Brown; mother of pearl drop earrings: Kendra Scott; silk scarf: Aspinal of London; suede over-the-knee boots: Gianvito Rossi; houndstooth check midi skirt: Luisa Beccaria.

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Clockwise from bottom left: brown wool midi skirt: Joseph; smoky quartz drop earrings: Kiki McDonough; blossom check wrap: Really Wild Clothing; “Neptune” beret hat with pheasant feather trim: Rosie Olivia Millinery; white cashmere polo neck: N.Peal; “Regina” mahogany boots: Fairfax and Favor; brown leather Half Moon snakeskin-effect cross-body bag: A.P.C; tweed jacket: Dubarry of Ireland.

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Clockwise from bottom left: block heel leather boots: Loro Piana; faux fur trim collar: Troy of London; leaf stud diamond and gold earrings: Anne Sisteron; “Provincial Lady” tweed hat: Lock & Co. Hatters; brown leather gloves: Dents; brown suede clutch: Peter Kaiser; dusty pink coat: Damsel in a Dress.

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Clockwise from bottom left: black suede long boots: Russell & Bromley; beret hat in emerald green: Camilla Rose Millinery; faux fur trim gloves: Reiss; “Franklin” emerald green coat: Katharine Hooker; mini hat box bag: Aspinal of London; emerald leaf earrings: Anne Sisteron; black faux fur collar: Troy of London.

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Clockwise from top left: “Citron” hat: Jane Taylor London; Toscana Lima coat in navy: Joseph; blue lace agate earrings: Monica Vinader; navy knitted dress: Altuzarra; grey suede clutch: L. K. Bennett; blue cashmere and silk scarf: Katharine Hooker; grey suede boots: Gianvito Rossi.

 

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New Year’s Eve

If you’re fretting about what to wear for New Year’s Eve, The Lady’s Maid has rounded up a few of her favourite picks from the Christmas Sales to help you welcome the New Year in style.

Outerwear can be a bit of a conundrum when it comes to evening clothes – you don’t want to spoil your party look with the final layer, so it’s worth investing in one coat that will cover all evening outfits. A long-line black coat is a safe bet, but The Lady’s Maid’s favourite look for evening is winter white. A white coat is a classic wardrobe staple for evening events and will go with every outfit. Bright colours especially, like the dazzling pink dress from L. K. Bennett shown below, will be neutralised by a white or off-white cover-up.

 

 

Another option for evening cover is the cape – a chic way of shielding your shoulders from the cold winter’s night, while still revealing a glimpse of your glad-rags below. The one pictured here is not on sale, but works well with a black jumpsuit. The black jumpsuit is turning into the new Little Black Dress in terms of its wearability and versatility. This one from Whistles continues the summer’s “cold shoulder” trend and is now half-price.

 

 

The Lady’s Maid loves this metallic fitted coat by Bruce Oldfield at John Lewis. More of a statement piece in itself, you’ll want to keep it on all night! Shown here with a metallic blue dress from Ralph Lauren, available from House of Fraser, and pewter accessories.

 

If you’re staying at home but still want to dress up a little, why not go for fancy flats – velvet embellished flats, like these from Aquazurra, are a simple way of dressing up a plain outfit. 2017 has seen flat footwear appear more frequently in evening wear, which is a relief for those who struggle with the discomfort that the lofty heights of heels can cause after a night of partying. If you have to carry your shoes at the end of the night, you know it’s time to go home.

 

 

Happy holidays!

 

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Style Secrets

Christmas Party Dresses 

As Christmas falls in the midst of bleak midwinter, you may find the prospect of wearing short party dresses a little uninviting. Sparkly sandals may look pretty, but they only really look good on bare legs – tight-seamed toes are a fashion no-no – so if you are wearing a short dress, The Lady’s Maid advises going for dressy court shoes so that you don’t freeze as you tip-toe around the party circuit this festive season. As a dress code, cocktail dresses are traditionally short in length (mini to knee length). Christmas is a great time to go for rich jewel shades – think sapphire blue, emerald green and burgundy red – or metallic silver/gold sequinned numbers. Here are the Lady’s Maid’s top picks for party dresses on the high street:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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