Best dressed guest

Best dressed guest

Best dressed guest

First published in Lifestyle

Forget the bikini season panic. There's nothing like a summer event dress code to put you in a fashion spin.

It's that tricky balance between looking elegant and relaxed enough to match the season. Formal, but not stuffy. Statement, but not attention-seeking (this especially applies in the presence of brides).

Solve your what-to-wear conundrums with our style guide to bag the award for Most Glamorous Guest.

OUTFIT APPERITIF

Dress code doesn't have to automatically mean 'dress'. This season, there are smart matching separates or two-piece tailoring options if you're tired of sticking to the same silhouette.

"Think about the style of the occasion before you plan your outfit," advises Jenny Packham, red carpet and Debenhams designer.

"Research the venue and location before outfit shopping, as it helps set the mood and style focus: a traditional wedding in the countryside offers a different set of sartorial rules to a tropical, beach vibe, for instance."

Make sure your outfit ties together with one common thread. Try picking out one accent colour from your dress or suit to base your accessories on.

MAIN EVENT

Whether you're beach, city or countryside-bound, always vow to say 'I don't' to white at weddings.

"Black and white is a great, chic alternative," suggests Packham. "Dress up a simple, block colour look with statement accessories. But if the outfit is bold, keep the extras simple, and vice versa."

Don't sabotage your Dancing Queen skills by hobbling on to the dance floor and ruining your look. Give your footwear a trial run around the house before wearing on the big day.

Packham says: "It's going to be a long day, so make sure your heels are both stylish and comfortable. My tip is to pack flats in your bag if you're planning on hitting the dance floor."

CLOSING PARTY

Temperature is all-important when selecting your event ensemble. If it's an outdoorsy do, remember that temperatures will drop at night.

"Unless you're wearing a suit, it's often difficult to find a suitable cover-up for a summer dress," says Packham. "A light cashmere cardigan or matching wrap is a great solution."

If your dress is plain, bling things up for evening with an intricate beaded jacket that will supercharge your look from day guest to evening glamazon.

"Ensure you have a bold lipstick in your handbag for the simplest way to take your outfit from day to night," suggests Packham.

HAT'S THAT

Considering a head-to-toe statement? A hat can instantly give your outfit the wow factor. Stephen Jones, milliner and designer of Top Hat at Debenhams reveals his tips for getting a-head for event season:

:: Try on a variety of hat styles until you find one that works for you. Take a hand mirror with you so you can see what the back looks like.

:: Ensure the fit is correct - my hats in the Debenhams collection come on bands so you can easily position them correctly on your head.

:: Get a hat to suit your face, as opposed to your clothes. If it suits your face, you'll feel comfortable and it will go with your outfit.

:: You need something a bit more substantial than a fascinator to balance out a tailored shoulder. Fascinators are great for evening with a cocktail dress - so glamorous.

:: For smart post-work events, put a tiny fascinator in your handbag that you can put on to smarten up and feel completely different.

GET THE LOOK

Michelle Keegan gives a masterclass in how to make leather summer-appropriate; switch black for pastel pink. Her exact River Island Light Pink Leather Pencil Skirt is £95, available now (www.riverisland.com).

BUY IT NOW

You don't have to shop on Saturdays to bag Rochelle Humes' new collection. The Saturdays singer and sometime This Morning host has teamed up with Very.co.uk to become the latest celeb designer on the books. The first drop is available now, priced from £25, with a second phase set for July 17 (www.very.co.uk).

FASHION FLASH

:: CHARITY CHEATS

One in 10 Brits admit to upselling second hand items bought from charity shops for a profit. Almost two thirds of the charity bargain hunters felt morally wrong doing so, according to the poll by VoucherCodesPro.co.uk. It's a concept dubbed 'reverse chugging', a trend on the increase, according to the website.

:: RECESSIONISTA ALERT

Embrace the beautiful game with a beautiful ball. To celebrate the World Cup, White Stuff are giving away an exclusive mini football when you spend £75 in shops or online. The colourful special is inspired by prints from their summer holiday collections. Offer available on England match days only (June 14, 19 and 24).

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