If, like me, your diary is packed full of lovely events over the coming bank holidays, you may be standing in front of your wardrobe wondering exactly how you’re going to find something to wear for each. Especially without buying a whole new outfit for each do.
From baby showers to garden parties, there are slight nuances to note when it comes to dress codes. But with the right staples in your style arsenal, it is totally possible to look different for each event without breaking the bank or misunderstanding the event’s fashion assignment.
What you need is a capsule wardrobe; six easy-to-wear staples that can be mixed and matched with each other for every type of occasion, but that ensure you are never over or underdressed for the event. Here’s the six pieces you need to add to your summer event capsule wardrobe.
1. The tailored waistcoat
A light coloured waistcoat is now considered a staple. It’s perhaps one of the most versatile pieces you can buy on the high street this summer as it can be layered over dresses and blouses as well as worn with nothing underneath for an androgynous evening-appropriate top.
2. The low block-heel mules
The ideal shoe silhouette to buy if you want to cover all occasions is a low block-heel sandal. If you pick something with a heel that’s too low, it won’t work with your dressier outfits. If you go for something too high, you won’t be able to walk and dance all night.
These square-toe mules strike exactly the right balance and come in a fresh white hue that will tie in with all manner of other colour combinations.
3. The floral midi dress
Over the last few years, the floral midi dress has proven itself as a modern-day classic. It’s worth investing in a good one – something that you haven’t already seen on everyone else, and that you can dress up for events, or even down with trainers when you want to.
The beauty of this particular style is the bold print and the fact that it looks a little different to all the others on the High Street. Pick out the colours with different accessories on different occasions.
4. The citrus tee
This adds a pop of colour, but in an easy, adaptable silhouette. This bright green colour would look as great with blue jeans as it would layered under a jacket or waistcoat. The slightly boxy fit also makes it look like a more elevated basic.
5. The wide leg trousers
Fun fact: flares will offer anybody a more ‘dressy’ shape than skinny trousers. Tucking in your t-shirts will emphasise your waist, plus they look great with either trainers or heels. The khaki colour of this pair looks smarter than denim would, making the trousers more adaptable for work as well as evening and day events.
6. The pastel blazer
Why choose a pastel jacket over a plain black or neutral blazer? This shade of powder blue adds far more interest to any outfit, plus it’s just as versatile. The slightly oversized cut is also a great choice if you want to buy a piece that will look as effortless with jeans at the pub as it does layered over a dress at a wedding.
How to put together outfits for any event this summer
The baby shower
You will need: the waistcoat, the midi dress, the mules
The occasion calls for something day appropriate, yet special. You might be at a restaurant, or at the mum-to-be’s house, but you can guarantee that all the women in attendance will be dressed up and photo-ready. From your capsule wardrobe, pull out the dress and layer the sharper waistcoat over the top, feeling confident that no one else will be wearing the same.
The hen weekend
You will need the waistcoat, the trousers, the mules
For the big night out with the bride-to-be, it’s time to wear the waistcoat as a top. The sharp cut of the vest will look sleek and polished wherever you end up – whether that’s out for dinner and cocktails, or on the dancefloor with bottomless prosecco.
You will need: the jacket, the tee, the mules, your favourite jeans
The spring and summer seasons are full of garden gatherings. Show that you’ve made a bit of an effort by turning up to the Saturday BBQ with the jacket on over the colour-pop t-shirt. And if you need to kick off the mules to jump barefoot on the picnic blankets, so be it…
The engagement party
You will need: the blazer, the trousers, the mules
It’s your friend’s engagement party – a precursor to the big day. The dress code is not quite as fancy, but still, effort is required. Depending on the venue and type of party you could add the tee, or a silky camisole top underneath the blazer, which in this situation works as your statement piece.
You will need the midi dress, the mules
This is the scenario where you can simply let that dress do all the talking. The mules will carry you comfortably through from arrival Champagne to carriages at midnight, without looking too flat in the photographs. Just add gold jewellery to finish off your outfit.