How to master the dress code for any occasion this season
Do you have a calendar full of invites this season? If it’s already filling up with weddings, parties, and events galore, you’ll be wondering what to wear. Allow us to help curate your occasionwear closet — dresses are a forever classic, but they’re not the only option, and never underestimate the power of a great accessory. Here, we guide you through being the best dressed guest for every event this season and beyond.
Photographed by Ben Parks.
Whether you’re attending countryside or beachside nuptials, you’ll want to look chic and dress code appropriate. Practicality is important too (ceremonies can start at 1pm while dancing continues past midnight), so comfortable heels are essential. Avoid white, obviously, but ignore what anyone says about eschewing black — if that’s what makes you feel good, then go with it. Choose dresses that spark joie de vivre in painterly patterns and voluminous silhouettes. Or seek a modern pant suit with barely-there heels and a slick of red lipstick for a nonchalant yet impactful look.
THE BIG BIRTHDAY
A birthday celebration is a great excuse to dress up without the limitations of traditional occasionwear. It’s an opportunity to experiment and embrace dramatic glamour — the color pink is big this season, as are metallic looks that shine extra bright. Both have style milage that will extend beyond the summer too, so consider any purchases as investments. And to complete the look? Go big on embellished bags — pearls, bows, sequins and feathers are a clear sign that fun is ahead.
Dress, Dolce & Gabbana. Bag, Vanina.
THE WORK EVENT
Dressing for work events calls for semi-formal attire, but you still want to capture your style personality. Often, time is not on your side, especially if you’re dashing from your desk to the venue, so consider how you can elevate your workwear. A statement skirt will instantly dress up 9-5 shirting — opt for classic midi silhouettes in primary or pastel colors. Button-downs with interesting details are a demure yet directional choice — seek out puffed sleeves or embroidered finishes. JOSEPH, Iris & Ink and Zimmermann all offer sleek separates with longevity.
Al fresco summer feasting calls for a relaxed yet polished outfit. Jumpsuits are always a good idea, whether casual dungarees layered over a cool T-shirt or a tailored all-in-one with a denim jacket — Valentino, Hervé Léger, Marchesa Notte have plenty of coveted options. Choose laidback, loose-fitting shapes and comfortable footwear unless it’s a more formal occasion, in which case it’s all about classic, fitted styles in breathable fabrics such as linen or silk.
THE GARDEN PARTY
As relaxed as the occasion may seem, a full day outside requires sartorial planning. It might be brilliant sunshine now, but you’ll want to consider every eventuality which means accessories and smart layers. A chic hat and cat-eye sunglasses is the perfect mix of practical and cool. For more formal outdoor events, suiting is your saviour thanks to its layering potential in changeable weather conditions.
Senior Art Director: Liz Muller-Lee / Senior Content Editor: Ella Alexander / Fashion Editor: Joey Ebbutt / Senior Video Creative: Teilo Vellacott / Senior Fashion Assistant: Angel Cordova Todd / Styling Assistant: Martina Vargiu / Producer: Jo Cullis / Floral Styling by: Sophie Kim @ Roseur London / Hair by: Tomi Roppongi / Make-up by: Kristina Ralph-Andrews / Models: Danielle Lashley @ Next Model Management and Els Wright @ Milk Model Management