Christmas Style – Bombshell HQ

The festive season is just around the corner, and The Lady’s Maid loves a Christmas  party frock!

In this post I have picked my top five festive dresses from Bombshell HQ – a London based dress label designed by Katya Wildman who specialises in elegant dresses for curvy ladies.

Mother of the Bride – Christmas Wedding

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Forest green was one of the most popular colour choices at the recent Royal wedding this year. It’s a great colour for brunettes and perfect choice for a Christmas Wedding Mother of The Bride. I’ve styled Bombshell’s Confident dress in dark green here with a feathered hat by Bundle Maclaren, available to hire from The Cotswold Hat Club, green velvet clutch and heels from L.K. Bennett and vintage star earrings by YSL available from Vestiare Collective.

Winter Wedding

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All shades of red have to be the most popular choice for the festive season. If you like your reds a little more mature and discreet, as opposed to a standout scarlet, then this mulberry hue is the one for you. Pictured is the Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress in wine accessorized with a matching pill box hat and kitten heels from Phase Eight, clutch from Hobbs and vintage earrings by Jennifer Gibson.

Christmas Party

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It wouldn’t be Christmas without some burgundy velvet. I’ve picked out the Stretch Luxe ¾ length sleeve in wine velvet as my top choice for a Christmas party frock. Accessorized here with matching velvet heels by L.K. Bennett, bag by Dune London, earrings by Susan Caplan and a winter white coat from Hobbs.

Christmas Day

Christmas_Day.png The Midnight Tartan on this Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress is a great choice if you want to dress up on Christmas Day. I’ve accessorized it here for a trip to church on Christmas morning – winter coat and faux fur scarf by Hobbs, bag by Aspinal of London, gloves by Mulberry, heels by Rupert Sanderson  and earrings available at Vestiare.

New Year’s Eve Ball

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You can’t wear too much glitter on New Year’s Eve! If you have a fancy ball to go to over the festive season then this Gold Sequin Gown will put you at the top of the best dressed list. Glam it up to the max with a glitter clutch from Wilbur & Gussie, snake hoop vintage earrings by Susan Caplan and sandals by Dune London.

 

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Royal Wedding – Best Dressed

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An autumn wedding is always going to be tricky when you’re planning an outfit in advance. The gusty winds in Windsor yesterday saw plenty of hats fly off the heads of guests filing into St. George’s Chapel, revealing those who had and had not utilised the hat pin! The most successful headwear on a day like yesterday were the small discreet pill box style hats/headpieces, secured with an elastic band, or the alice band style headbands that are more popular lately, as worn by the Maid of Honour, Princess Beatrice. For dresses – heavier fabrics, longer hemlines or fitted dresses/skirt suits were the best choices to avoid any unfortunate Marilyn Monroe moments. Autumn/winter weddings are a great time to wear rich jewel shades and there were a lot of them on show – forest green being the most popular, worn by Princess Anne, Autumn Phillips and Pippa Middleton – also berry pinks and burgundy reds. My top three favourite outfits go to those who seemed to nail the autumn wedding look in colour, style and appropriate headwear.

Alessandra de Osma

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Alessandra de Osma wore a forest green midi dress by Andrew Gn, with ¾ sleeves and scattered floral embroidery. This was definitely my favourite dress of the day amongst the guests. I love the deep green colour, the slightly fluted sleeves and flounce hem and the floral scatter embellishment adds just the right amount of autumnal floral detail to glam it up a bit. Forest green was a really popular colour at the wedding but I like the combination of green with berry pinks here. Alessandra picked out the berry of the embroidery in her headpiece by Mimoki, with burgundy velvet clutch and patent heels.

 

 

The Duchess of Cambridge

 

The Duchess of Cambridge’s outfits are fairly predictable at formal royal events as she rarely strays from her two favourite designers for formal wear – Alexander Mcqueen and Catherine Walker. For yesterday’s wedding she opted for Mcqueen – wearing a lovely raspberry shade of pink, matching it with a velvet veiled headpiece trimmed with handcrafted flowers – a bespoke variation of this velvet calotte from the AW18 collection of Philip Treacy. If Alessandra wore the best dress this is definitely my favourite hat from the wedding – a variation of the style was also worn by Kitty Spencer at a wedding earlier this year and on Michelle Dockery at Royal Ascot in June. Kate’s dresses by Mcqueen tend to be variations on a theme, but I’m not holding that against her as the hat was the standout element in this ensemble anyway, so it needed to be set against a simple block colour to shine. Her burgundy velvet accessories were the perfect final touch to the look.

Cressida Bonas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cressida Bonas wore a blue devoré velvet dress by Tory Burch. The dark velvet fabric could have drowned her delicate frame if worn with the wrong accessories but she matched it perfectly – with a velvet headband by Juliette Botterill and contrasting burgundy shoes by Rupert Sanderson. The hemline and fabric were perfect for the weather and season and the headband adds a touch of youth to freshen up the look. Big ticks all round from The Lady’s Maid.

Other Best Dressed Guests:

Demi Moore

I think Demi was the “Amal” of this wedding – dressed head to toe in burgundy red. Dress: Stella McCartney, hat: Philip Treacy, bag (appropriately named “Demi”): Gabriela Hearst, shoes: Malone Souliers.

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Princess Beatrice

Princess Bea has never looked better – loved this royal blue skirt suit by Ralph & Russo with lilac suede accessories, also by Ralph & Russo, and a blue/purple headband by Sarah Cant. The bee brooch is adds a nice elegant touch too.

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Jane Gottschalk

I love this belted blush/burgundy shirt dress by Luisa Beccaria – I featured it on my Instagram page last week so I’m glad to see it make an appearance at the Royal wedding!

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Lady Natasha Rufus Isaacs

Loved the autumnal florals of this midi dress matched with a dusky pink hat by Laura Cathcart.

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Alice Naylor Layland

A bold and beautiful teal floral jacquard tiered coat by La Double J with hat by Laura Cathcart.

 

Ayda Williams

A stylish silver look – love the patent pewter accessories. Suit: Armani, hat: Philip Treacy.

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Autumn Phillips

Dressed in the colour of the day – a forest green jacquard dress by Suzannah.

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Caroline Sieber

Chic in lilac Chanel.

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Lydia Forte 

There were a lot of veiled hats at this royal wedding – and this one by Jane Taylor was one of the chicest – love the statement brooch too.

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Anya Rowland

Monochrome chic in a tailored ecru dress from The Fold with hat by Jane Taylor.

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Lady Gabriella Windsor

Here comes the next royal bride – Lady Gabriella Windsor in turquoise Claire Mischevani.

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Nicky Malone 

Beautiful in burgundy by Claire Mischevani with matching floral headband by Juliette Botterill

Clare Mountbatten, Marchioness of Milford-Haven

Wearing an elegant navy blue Claire Mischevani dress coat.

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Royal Wedding – what to wear

With Princess Eugenie’s wedding a couple of days away I’m rounding up my series of Instagram outfits that I would like to see some of the royal party wearing!

The Queen

I’m thinking pink for HM. It’s a colour she hasn’t previously worn at a royal wedding and one that would suit this time of year. Most likely to be by her milliner and couturier dream team Rachel Trevor Morgan and Stewart Parvin although she could choose something by her senior dresser, Angela Kelly, who designed the green hat she wore at the last royal wedding. One thing that’s easier to bet on is HM’s accessories – she may be known for dressing in a kaleidoscope of different colours for her formal events but her accessories rarely change: black patent shoes by Anello and Davide, black patent bag by Launer, classic pearl and diamond stud earrings – a wedding present from Queen Mary, a triple strand of pearls, and a diamond brooch. Her pearls are part of her regal uniform and I can’t imagine her not wearing them can you?!

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Mother of the Bride – The Duchess of York

It will be a big day for the Duchess of York next Friday, welcomed back into the royal fold in her prominent role as Mother of the Bride. Fergie made two public appearances with the royals this year (at the Royal wedding in May and at Royal Ascot in June) wearing classic navy blue head to toe both times, but I’m expecting her to up the style stakes a little as MOTB. I think she might dress in Roland Mouret or Vivienne Westwood with hat by Philip Treacy and I’d love to see her in gold  –  she’d look great in a dress coat like this one by Claire Mischevani – classic still but with an edge of glam.

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Hat: Rachel Trevor Morgan, clutch: bottarga Veneta; pearls: Annoushka; heels: Jimmy Choo; brooch: The Antique Jewellery Company.

Maid of Honour – Princess Beatrice 

Princess Beatrice was spotted leaving Ralph & Russo in London earlier this week carrying what looked like a shoe box I like to think it might have inside these gorgeous Empire pink suede and rose gold pumps – they look right up Princess Bea’s street. The York Princesses are known for their lively sense of style – who could forget the infamous pretzel hat Beatrice wore at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! Her style has got more elegant and classic in recent years but still with a quirky edge, like the white tweed boater hat she wore to Easter Sunday service this year or the teal headband for the last royal wedding. If she was picking up R&R accessories then that could be a big clue as to who has designed her Maid of Honour dress…and possibly Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress too. I’d love to see her in something like this divine vision in blush from Ralph & Russo – perhaps a bit glitzy for a Maid of Honour dress but I’m sure they could tone down the sequins a bit so as not to steal the scene from Eugenie too much! I’ve pictured the dress here with R&R accessories, morganite earrings Kiki McDonough and a ceramic rose headband by Fi Graham Millinery.

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The Duchess of Cornwall

As with many of the female royals The Duchess of Cornwall has go to designers for formal events like weddings. She almost always wears Anna Valentine dresses/dress coats and Philip Treacy hats, so I think this will be the combination she will choose at next week’s royal wedding. You can always count on Camilla to wear a proper hat – she wore a fabulous wide brimmed pale pink feather trimmed hat by Treacy for the last royal wedding so I’m hoping he will have designed another spectacular hat for this occasion too! Wide brimmed hats don’t suit everyone but it’s great to see them still worn by those that can carry them off. The Duchess tends to wear pastel colours in formal daywear so I’m imagining her in silvery grey this time. Something similar to this stylish “Michaela” graphite silk dress coat by Lalage Beaumont perhaps, pictured here with a hat by William Chambers, clutch and shoes by Emmy London and vintage jewels by Susan Caplan.

(N.B. since I wrote this post it was confirmed the Duchess of Cornwall is not attending the wedding due to a prior work engagement.)

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The Countess of Wessex

Sophie always rings the changes with the style of her event outfits – at the royal wedding in May she wore separates: an elegant short sleeve ice blue silk top and matching midi skirt by Suzannah, and at Royal Ascot this year she was the first royal to wear a jumpsuit in the royal enclosure. I love how she’s not afraid to take risks and try new things with her clothes. She’s worn dressy shirt dresses in the past and I think the style really suits her so I’d love to see her in something like this burgundy/blush belted midi dress by Luisa Beccaria –  featuring a blush velvet collar, burgundy floral jacquard pattern and flared midi skirt. Elegant and formal but still a bit of a style statement. The Countess always wears hats by Jane Taylor (the one I’ve pictured is by Juliette Botterill and available to hire from The Cotswold Hat Club). Burgundy/blush is a great colour combination for autumn too – holding on to the blush from summer and dipping into some wintery burgundy! Other accessories: antique garnet earrings from The Antique Jewellery Company, velvet burgundy clutch by Jimmy Choo and blush velvet heels from Prada.

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The Duchess of Cambridge

The Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t usually stray from her tried and tested style formula of a fit-and-flare dress coat with matching hat for formal events like weddings, usually from her ‘go to’ designers Alexander McQueen and Catherine Walker. She also usually prefers not to make too much of a style statement at weddings so as not to draw attention away from the bride. So I’m expecting either a repeat wear from Kate or something fairly neutral/classic. I really like this Catherine Walker beige tweed dress coat with peplum detail at the waist. I’ve accessorized it with a beautiful oyster silk pillbox hat by Juliette Botterill, pinky beige clutch by Loefflerr Randall, suede courts from Gianvito Rossi and morganite earrings by Kiki McDonough.

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The Duchess of Sussex

The Duchess of Sussex has shown a preference for neutral colours in her working wardrobe as a member of the royal family. Her last appearance at a royal event in formal daywear was Prince Louis’ christening where she wore a khaki green dress and hat. I think she’d look great in this jewel green pleated silk dress by Gabriela Hearst. I’ve matched it here with an elegant saucer hat by Edwina Ibbotson, her black accessories by Givenchy and Aquazzura and diamond stud earrings from Birks.

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Zara Phillips

Zara wore a teal dress coat by Claire Mischevani at the last royal wedding so I think this sapphire blue colour and cut by the same designer would also look good on her with a matching blue velvet headpiece by Juliette Botterill. Other accessories – heels by Manolo Blank, bag by Amanda Pearl and opal earrings from Annoushka.

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Autumn Phillips

I’ve been studying the fashion form and Autumn tends to favour the fit and flare style of dress, similar to the Duchess of Cambridge. She wore an elegant ice blue coat by Suzannah Fashion with matching hat by Juliette Botterill for Easter Sunday in Windsor this year and for the last royal wedding she wore a beautiful turquoise dress coat by Hen House HQ with matching hat by Juliette Millinery, so she may well repeat this design duo next Friday. She isn’t afraid of wearing bright colours and often contrasts the colour of her hat with her dress so she may not go for a matchy-matchy look. I’ve picked out the Princess dress coat in flag red by Suzannah here and matched it with a silk bow headpiece by Juliette Botterill. Red is sometimes considered a bit of a taboo colour at weddings but I think it’s fine to wear it these days, especially in autumn/winter. The Duchess of Cambridge has worn red a couple of times to weddings. You can always tone down the look by adding nude accessories or a darker shade of red – like I’ve done here. The unwritten rules are that a guest should blend in as much as possible and not wear anything that detracts too much attention from the bride – red is often considered a bit of a scene stealing colour so I think that’s why many people steer clear of it at weddings. But if we’re talking about scene stealing then canary yellow a la Amal will do it just as much! As will any other brights. The only colours that are a no go are black and obviously white!

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The Countess of Snowdon 

The Countess of Snowdon doesn’t get much media coverage at royal events compared to the more senior royals, which is a shame because she’s one of the most stylish. Often opting for chic pill box hats all “Lady Lucan” style! I think Serena would look great in a floral headband like this one from Laura Cathcart Millinert teamed here with a navy Ballerina dress by Suzannah and jazzed up with some gold/navy brocade shoes by Rupert Sanderson.

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The power of a pretty shoe

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If I find a pair of shoes that I like I’m very loyal to them – perhaps too much – I once hung on to a pair of tan flats that I loved for so long, even when they had a crack in the sole and it was a sad day when I had to throw them out. I also have a pair of black brogues whose cost per wear is probably less than a penny by now. I’m not immune to the lure of a new pretty shoe however. I wonder if anyone has done a study on shoe psychology?! It’s the area of the wardrobe that’s easier to buy for as your shoe size doesn’t usually fluctuate as your clothes size can – a good thing in theory but can result in impulse purchases in practice. I bought a pair of pink satin ballet style slippers in Barcelona once (over six years ago) and I’ve never worn them outside as I’m frightened of spoiling them. I wore them once at a dinner party at home and the rest of the time they’re tucked away in their shoes bags. Practical they are not but pretty they most definitely are. I also have a pair of gold T-bar dancing shoes that I bought for a 1920s party (from a dancewear shop – I’m not sure these ones are even meant to be worn outside as they have a really soft leather sole). I never wear them now but I look at them often, like an artwork!

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

I’m still on a quest to own a pair of Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz – the shoe of dreams that must be the most famous pair ever designed and surely begins many ladies love of a pretty shoe. I saw one of the originals at a film costume exhibition at the V&A several years ago (four pairs were made for the original movie). It was quite an exciting moment! One of the original pairs was stolen from a museum in 2005 (it wasn’t me, I promise) and were finally returned just a couple of weeks ago. I remember Harrods selling some Limited edition ruby slippers in 2009, I think it was – they had a ruby slipper pop-up boudoir to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of The Wizard of Oz. I hot-footed it over there on an afternoon off when I was working at Buckingham Palace – alas they had sold out pretty quickly. So the quest continues for my own pair of these pretty and powerful shoes!  “Close your eyes and tap your heels together three times. And think to yourself, there’s no place like home”. 👠

Image: Shutterstock
Image: Shutterstock

Here are some of my favourite statement shoes – not so practical but oh so pretty – if you feel like having a Marilyn/Dorothy moment this weekend! My top pick on a budget would be the Marks & Sparks silver sparkly slingbacks ✨ sure to be a favourite come party season and great if you want to combine comfort with glamour!

L-R from top left:

Annabelle blue velvet, L.K. Bennett; Fern wine velvet; L.K. Bennett; Red satin courts, Carvela Kurt Geiger; Breanna blue jewelled, Dune London; block heeled silver slingback, M&S; Jenna wine heels, Lisa Kay Shoes; Supernova velvet & gold lip, Rupert Sanderson; Stardust Brocade, Rupert Sanderson; Crystal embellished blush suede, Prada; Romy 100 gold glitter, Jimmy Choo.

 

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Summer Holiday – Caribbean Capsule Wardrobe

Summer holiday packing

This post is inspiration for an Instagram follower who is going on holiday to a Caribbean island this summer. If you’re heading off on a summer holiday this month you’ve probably spent some time planning your holiday wardrobe. Packing for a summer trip should be really easy, in theory – summer clothes are much more lightweight than winter ones, so you shouldn’t have to wrestle with a suitcase that is bursting at the seams. But just because the clothing is lightweight that doesn’t mean you should take more! You may feel like adding that one final pair of shoes/shorts/top “just in case”, but it’s really important not to get too carried away; there’s nothing more pointless than travelling with surplus clothing that doesn’t get worn. A bit of pre-holiday planning and styling will ensure that your luggage is kept to a minimum and that you only take things that will actually get used. I try to keep shoes and bags to a minimum and only take neutral colours that will match every outfit. For clothing separates, try to have some sort of colour theme going so that everything can mix and match easily. Or, if you have heavily patterned/multi-coloured separates, make sure you have the right basics to match with them, e.g. black or white tops.

The way you pack will also make you feel more organised on arrival so that you can quickly locate the things you want and head straight to the beach! Keeping the small things organised really makes a difference so that they are not lost amongst larger things in your case. Phone chargers, plug adaptors etc can be kept together in a zip-lock bag – easy to view and find. I always pack underwear in zip laundry bags to keep it together and organised. Mine are from Cath Kidston, and I also have a couple of flat zip canvas bags that came with freebie toiletries on a flight once that I use for packing underwear. Cath Kidston doesn’t have any in their current range and the only similar thing I can find available now are these bags by Ted Baker. I wish more retailers made something like this – how does everyone else pack their underwear?! I can’t imagine packing it loose after packing like this for so long.

If you are travelling with multiple suitcases it is often worth considering having your luggage sent ahead. You may think this is a luxury service but the costs are lower than you may think – often lower than the airline charges for extra baggage. You won’t have the hassle of having to transport your cases from home to the airport, or of waiting for the suitcase at your destination airport, so it’s worth considering if you’re travelling in a large group or for an extended period of time. Sendmybag.com is a popular one that will transport your luggage from door to door and operates within 100 different countries.

Here are my recommendations for a Caribbean capsule wardrobe alongside tips for packing.

Summer hat

Hats are the trickiest thing to pack, so unless you want to carry/wear it en route, it’s best to get a hat that is foldable. The panama hat company sell foldable panama hats and tubes in which to transport the hat to make packing even easier. Remember this is just meant for short periods of time – folding any hat for long periods, or storing the hat in this way, will damage the shape of the hat. Floppy hats, like this one from Marks & Spencer, are also easier to fold and pack.

 

 

Beach bag

I really like the personalised basket bags by Raefeather. I find that when my initials are on something it ties me to it even more! You can also choose the stripe colour. The canvas shopper style would be the easiest style to pack, but I also really like the long leather handle basket, if you have a little more room in your suitcase. For a bag like this that doesn’t fold, you could fill it with smaller items to make the most of the space. Accessorize also have a great budget packable straw tote.

Bags

Streamlining your accessories is the best way to avoid suitcase overload as these are the bulkiest items in a summer wardrobe. For the day time, this round raffia cross body bag from Zara is a great summery staple. This woven embroidered seashell clutch from & Other Stories is a fun bag for summer eves – a neutral base with multicolour embroidery, so it would match many different outfits. Or for a fun addition to the Caribbean capsule wardrobe, how about this watermelon clutch by Sensi Studio.

Shoes

I’m quite ruthless when it comes to packing shoes. The reality is you will probably be wearing your flip flops most of the time, so there isn’t much point in transporting your entire shoe collection around the world with you. A tan sandal for day and a metallic sandal for eve would be the minimum I would pack. I have some tan sandals similar to  the ones pictured here but with a slight embellishment from Dune last year and they’re really comfortable. Anything too strappy I don’t like for daytime as they end up rubbing and causing blisters if you walk a lot. A heeled espadrille is also good, if you want a dressier look.

Clothing

I think you’ll be guaranteed sunshine in the tropical climate of the Caribbean. Mosquitoes are a pain in places like this, so some long and loose clothing is advisable, especially in the evening and if you’re travelling during the rainy season when humidity is high.

I really like off-the-shoulder dresses for climates like this – they look good for day or evening and I like the way you can adjust the sleeves – wear off the shoulder Bardot style, off the arms, bandeau style, on the shoulder for a little cap sleeve coverage, or even one shoulder up, one down for an asymmetric ruffle!

Travelling to the Caribbean is a great excuse to embrace colourful tropical prints – here are some of my favourite tropical inspired pieces available now:

Tropical print maxi dress, Dorothy Perkins.

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Tropical leaf maxi dress, Biba.

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Tropical maxi playsuit, New Look.

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Red bandeau maxi dress, New Look.

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Dusky blue floral trousers, H&M.

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And some tropical print bikinis from H&M:

 

Jewellery

Costume jewellery is a great way to jazz up your holiday wardrobe – I wouldn’t risk travelling with too much expensive jewellery – it’s just one more thing to worry about losing! Some statement earrings will dress up any of these maxi dresses for a summer evening outfit.

Shell earrings, Mango.

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Beaded fringe disc earrings, Accessorise.

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Raffia hoop earrings, Top Shop.

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Shell hoop earrings, Top Shop.

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Happy holidays!

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What to wear – Glyndebourne

With Glyndebourne Opera well underway I thought I’d bring you a selection of my favourite black-tie summer dresses. The annual Glyndebourne Festival Opera takes place from May to August in the grounds of Glyndebourne House, East Sussex. The founder of the Festival, John Christie, started the tradition of wearing evening dress during the Festival as he felt it was one way that the audience could show their respect for the performers. Black-tie dress is customary still. You can get away with a short dress for black tie these days but I prefer long, so that’s what I’ve selected here. As it is an outdoor event it is advisable to go for a block-heeled sandal or a dressy flat rather than spiky stilettos. There is no way of reliably predicting the English weather from May to August, so I would definitely bring some kind of cover-up. A pashmina wrap or cropped dressy jacket are the best options to keep warm and stylish.

For the dress, I like the idea of picking something that fits in with the outdoor setting – spring/summer florals, pale colours and lightweight chiffons, for example, rather than heavy velvets. You want to sashay around the grounds, and blend in with nature like a pre-Raphaelite beauty! And something with a loose skirt, preferable un-creasable, that makes it easy to picnic in style.

Here are some of my top picks available now:

Cassidy maxi dress, Alice & Olivia A pretty billowy ruffled silk-georgette maxi dress with a crochet-knit waistband and lace-trimmed hem from the Pre-fall 18 collection. Inspired by the country setting and costumes in the Academy Award-winning film Atonement.

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Cold shoulder gown, Dundas. An ethereal sunny yellow gown fit for a Grecian Goddess!

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Bouquets of painterly blooms adorn this stunning Malcolm open-back floral-print cloqué gown by Emilia Wickstead. Perfect for posing amongst the peonies!

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Another gorgeous colour for summer in this Alexis V-neck crepe maxi dress by Marni. A simple style with an edge of drama in the wide belt and skirt ruffles.

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La Fleur crepe maxi dress, Free People.

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I love this Whimsical Gown in rose quartz by Needle & Thread. Featuring a pretty ditsy floral pattern, and made of layers of tulle. A really romantic dress perfect for a night at the English opera.

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Floral embroidered mesh maxi dress, Self-Portrait .  A pretty long-sleeved floral mesh bodice with pleated maxi dress in a soft shade of blue.

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Mint green maxi dress with asymmetric shoulder, Ted Baker.

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Phase Eight, Anastacia embroidered dress.

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Adrianna Papell, long beaded dress in rose gold.

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Floral print chiffon maxi dress, Self-Portrait

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I love the fresh aqua hue of this Lace-trimmed Swiss-dot tulle gown by Costarellos. Topped with a leaf lace pattern – perfect for black tie summer soirees.

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What to wear – Cartier Queen’s Cup Polo

The Cartier Queen’s Cup Final, held in Windsor Great Park, is a key event in the English social season, attracting the world’s greatest polo players and a VIP guest list to match.

In terms of dress code, ladies should be thinking smart/casual summer day wear. For the Royal Box and Clubhouse a summery day dress/tea dress, skirt or tailored trousers would be appropriate. Smart/casual is hugely open to interpretation – you don’t want to appear too formal or too casual. I always find that accessories are a key component with this dress code – the right shoes, bag and jewellery will really make a difference, and a great pair of sunglasses won’t hurt either. Wedges or a block-heeled sandal or fancy flat would be the best footwear choice. (See Summer shoes for some ideas.) A cream blazer is a great wardrobe staple for smart summery events – it will work with floral dresses or summer trousers and instantly adds the smart to smart/casual.

A floral tea dress is your saviour for smart summer day events like this – easy to wear, smart but not too formal. Here are a few of my favourites available now:

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Silk Tea Dress Pop Hibiscus Print Yellow, £595, Suzannah Fashion

 

 

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Darcy Dress, £79, Hobbs London.
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Provence midi dress, £58, Oasis.

 

 

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Wrap-effect floral-print silk crepe de chine dress, £126, Madewell

 

 

 

 

 

 

Channel Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman in this summer polka dot number:

 

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Polka dot tie back dress, £46, Top Shop

You can’t go wrong with a little white dress for the summer season – this dress by Y.A.S was recommended to me by an Instagram follower – a great smart and summery wardrobe staple.

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Y.A.S High Neck Lace Midi Dress with Asymmetric Hem, £120, Asos

Or go for a floaty frilly number teamed with a blazer:

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Pink Frilled Asymmetric Dress, £79.99, Zara.

If you’re dressing to be seen amongst the VIP crowd, go for something a bit more special like this floral stretch-silk georgette midi dress with contrasting waistband by Red Valentino:

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Wide leg trousers in summery colours and prints are also a great option – stylish and chic – wear with just a top if the weather allows, or keep a sleek and chic blazer on standby if the sun goes into hiding:

 

Plage Blouse, £276.50, Temperley London

Wide leg trousers, £675, Emilia Wickstead

 

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Linen Blazer, £69.99, Zara

 

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