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  • Issue No. 280
  • Icons Guide

The Ultimate Guide To Mastering Modern Event Dressing

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Edited By
The Versatile Co-Ord
Versatility is a key component when it comes to forever pieces, and a co-ord is one of the most versatile pieces you can invest in. A 3-in-1, mix-and-match saviour that offers multiple outfits from just two pieces. Choose the right one and it could see you through all your special occasions this season. Whether you opt for bold and printed or minimalist and plain, the key is to find the silhouette that works for you, be it a shirt-and-trousers combo or strapless top-and-skirt pairing (check out our occasion-wear trend report for more co-ord inspiration).
The Minimalist Dress
Dresses are often a default option when it comes to event season, so it makes sense to invest in one really good, simple style that can be easily adapted to suit a plethora of occasions. Earthy tones are a key trend this summer, but work equally as well in the colder months, too, so opting for a rich chocolate brown or deep burgundy red is a great option. Accessories really come into play here – pair with flat sandals and a minimal bag for low-key garden parties, or boost with statement colour-pop heels and bold gold jewellery for dressier dates.
The Max-Impact Maxi
The maxi is well and truly back. After years of the midi-length, the return to floor-skimming hemlines can add a welcome spin to your occasion-wear wardrobe. The longline silhouette is dramatic and impactful, so keep the rest of your look pared-back and simple. Try on a number of styles before you invest, so you get the best shape for you, and stick to a block colour for maximum wearability. We love the sophisticated vibe a simple black maxi skirt paired with a crisp, oversized white shirt can bring to any occasion – very Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy.
The New Suit
For those who don’t do dresses, a suit is a stylish option for special events. Luckily, the tailoring on offer has never been better or more plentiful, making now the perfect time to invest in a two or three-piece suit that will see you through years of events. Waistcoats are big news right now, too, and add an extra element to a traditional two-piece. The key? Opt for a fit that’s looser, oversized and feels more relaxed – that way you’re investing in pieces that can also become part of your everyday wardrobe. For summer events, we’d suggest steering clear of dark colours, as these can feel too wintry, and opting for pale neutrals, soft yellows or earthy hues, like burnt orange.
The Dress Shirt
An essential piece in every wardrobe, a shirt adds an air of nonchalance to any event outfit. For a dressier, seasonal feel, go for versions in fabrics like silk or linen and those with a bold print (you can’t go wrong with a floral or botanical print, or a simple coloured stripe) with added statement elements, like voluminous balloon sleeves. Pair with a simple but structured bottom half to balance out the softness of the shirt, like a chic pencil skirt or tailored trousers.
The Statement Top
Though dresses are often our go-to for events, the power of a statement top should never be underestimated. One that’s embellished or beautifully structured can transform even the simplest skirt or pair of trousers, instantly elevating them to occasion-ready status. Look for luxe fabrics like satin, organza and linen and opt for a neutral colour that can be easily paired with any colour or print bottom for optimum versatility and wear.