My office looks down on Westminster Abbey and let me tell you the preparations are at fever pitch. Now I donâ€™t know about you, but anytime an invite plops on my mat for weddings, christenings, commitment ceremonies I get a sense of dread! An invitation directly translates to an invoice for an outfit for several hundred pounds and in most cases an outfit that will definitely not see the light of day again. These occasions demand a special type of dressing that definitely does not transpose well to the rest of your life. Now if you are the bride you are ok that part is covered, but what about us guests what do we do that doesnâ€™t break the bank and can be worn afterwards.
Dresses can be bought and we know what we like but what turns a normal dress into an outfit that can be worn again but conjure up that wedding and occasion look. The answer my friends is all in the detail or to put it plainly its in the accessories. Now what sort of accessories you might well ask. At what stage do you toe the line at wearing something that can be worn again or consigned to the back of the wardrobe for years and then into a bin bag and where it ends its life on the rack of the local charity shop.
You donâ€™t want to end up mistaken for the wedding lunch looking like mutton dressed as lamb so I would say less is more.
Lets start at the top with the head/hair
Its always a good idea to take the opportunity to don a hat for weddings and races and the like. Hats are great but not the meringue creations that adorn many a head and cost a fortune and take up acres of room on top of the wardrobe. Those creations at best can age you and worse draw unwanted attention from bees, wasps, moths and birds of prey!. My tip this season would be to go for a mega stylish panama hat from the ethically sourced Pachacutie (www.panamas.co.uk) which can also be worn on the beach or out and about to shield the suns rays from the face thus carrying out the dual function of being stylish and chic and warding off the wrinkles, panama hats are a lot cheaper than the frou frou hats and come in around Â£40. Topshop, Next, New Look all have similar versions on the High Street for around Â£15 to Â£20. I even saw some panamas for Â£10 in my local market. Right on trend!
If a hat is just not you and a bit too over the top why not tap into the trend (or why not copy Kate) of decorative headbands and fascinators and these can even be worn afterwards on a night out. I recommend the fabulous range of headbands at www.rockandrose.co.uk prices range from a steal at Â£12 to Â£35. Tres chic!
Now for the ears, neck and throat
If its not a hat sort of wedding then an amazing pair of earrings (Chandeliers are my favourite) and no other jewellery will certainly get you ahead and major points in the fashion stakes. You canâ€™t go wrong with any of the earrings at you guessed it the appropriately names earring boutique. www.earringboutique.com. I could swing from these chandeliers anytime!
If wearing a head piece I would keep the jewellery simple. You canâ€™t go wrong with an oversize pearl necklace which is a nod to the fifties Mad Men look and sets off any outfit. These can be bought everywhere on the High Street. My favourites are this set from Dorothy Perkins for Â£10 very Jackie O.
If you are in a church, synagogue or any other place of worship or just simply feeling a bit cold I recommend a scarf or pashmina from Aspara silk www.asparasilk.com, or one of these Japanese Kimono shrugs that effortlessly turn a plain dress into a showstopper and more importantly can be worn afterwards with jeans, dresses or just about anything. I like this one from Dorothy Perkins which comes in a range of colours, very Madame Butterfly!
The all important bag
Now what about the bag, big bulky totes are out, you only need a clutch or a purse to carry your lipstick and money in and I would go for this vibrant yellow clutch for Â£15 at www.asos.com. There are plenty more colours to choose from just go for something in vivid colour that makes a statement. Donâ€™t forget that old fashion gem – never match your bag to your shoes as it adds about 10 years to your age, so show your individuality and go for it with the contrast.
In truth less is more, so I would go easy on the adornments, if you wear a hat or headpiece tone down the jewels. Always remember either show off the legs or the boobs but never both together. Now just go and have some fun!