Woman in workwear clothing

Are your summer invites stacking up already? Whether you’re attending a wedding or hosting a backyard BBQ, dressing for the sunshine months can be a challenge. To help you work out what to wear to every event, we’ve enlisted celebrity stylist Cher Coulter to share her expert tips on how to dial up the dress code. Having styled stars including Nathalie Emmanuel, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and Kate Bosworth, she’s well-placed to impart her occasionwear insights, from failsafe outfit ideas to how to re-wear your looks for future events.  

Words: Jennifer Matthews 

Fashion: Efe Igbinadolor 

To maximize tailoring for multiple weddings this season, how would you style a suit in different ways? 

“A suit is an amazing investment with real versatility. Accessories are important – add a fun, sparkly shoe and a statement oversized handbag. I also recommend always opting for accessories in eye-catching shades. A suit jacket can also be worn separately over a floral tea dress. To sharpen it further, pair with tonal but not necessarily matching oversized pants and a waistcoat to add some personality to your style.” 

Wedding pictures

What key accessories are worth investing in for future occasions?  

“I love a great sparkle shoe because it livens up any outfit. A mega statement earring is also a worthy investment; I tend to go for long and interesting designs – you could even choose mismatching styles in each ear for instant drama.” 

The midi dress is such a versatile occasionwear staple. **Which brands offer the most enduring styles?  **

“For versatile midi dresses, Chloé is my go-to because the silhouettes exude effortless elegance. A few other favorite designers include Preen by Thornton Bregazzi for its wearable, ultra-feminine luxe looks, and Zimmermann for its super pretty and playful designs.” 

What are your style tips for nailing cocktail party dressing?   

“Find a flattering dress; accentuate the parts you love, whether your shoulders or décolletage. Complement with playful accessories, such as amazing hair clips, bold earrings or a statement belt. To finish, add a great pair of shoes with a heel you can comfortably walk, dance, and stand in whilst socializing with guests – think chunkier heels or strappy sandals.” 

Wedding pictures

How would you transition a maxi dress from casual dos to special events?   

For a casual take, I would wear a maxi dress with a ‘70s-inspired shoe for added edge and comfort. When it comes to special evening events, I’d swap for embellished footwear. Alternatively, I would incorporate a belt in leather for casual occasions and ornate metal designs for dressier celebrations. In terms of bags, go bigger in the day and smaller, brighter in color iterations in the evening

What are your expert recommendations when rewearing gowns for future occasions?   

“First experiment with different accessories. If you’re rewearing a black gown, add crystal-adorned earrings or a chunky necklace to update the look – think glamorous styles by Rosantica. For another occasion, update your go-to gown with different layers, from an oversized tux blazer to a fun brightly colored jacket in a cropped cut to perfectly balance your outfit’s proportions. Finally, change your footwear – opting for understated classics or statement designs depending on your mood or the occasion.”