So it is almost that time of year, ‘Occasion Dressing’ season. There are weddings. There are social events. And before you know it, Spring’s fallen petals will have disappeared and Summer will bring with it even more occasions, like races and regattas and anniversary parties… and some more weddings. For all of these gatherings and celebrations marking special occasions, I want to be dressed appropriately. You’ll know from reading this blog that I am definitely a ‘More Is More and Less Is a Bore’ kind of gal. However, there are times that even I realise I have to tone it down a little. I don’t want to show up at a wedding in the countryside looking like Liberace. Equally, I don’t want to look like I’ve just left my deeply dull corporate job just in time to make it to a reception. I want something in the middle, something just right. Like a sartorial Goldilocks, nothing too flashy, nor too boring… And ideally, something that I can wear again and again. I don’t like one hit wonders in my closet. There’s no room, and it is such a waste of money having clothes that don’t take you lots of places or that can’t be styled in lots of ways.
For the solution, I submit to you the matching dress-and-coat combination. Not a dress and a blazer (too corporate). Not a cocktail dress (too limiting). Nothing trendy that you’ll only wear for one or two occasions before it looks completely passé (jumpsuit, culottes, I’m looking at you). A dress and a coat is perfect, especially in a bold colour. You can dress it up with jewellery and accessories for evening or keep it simple for daytime. You can get extra mileage out of it by wearing it year-round out to dinner. This particular one could even be worn at Christmas and not look out of place. I especially love that it is a statement colour. Sure, black is timeless and elegant, but it is hardly a celebratory colour, and for occasion dressing you need an element of fun.
When I was working in finance, I wore a lot of matching dress-and-coat ensembles (and by coat, I mean one in the same fabric as the dress so it can be worn indoors, not a heavy winter one). There is a gracious, old-school, ladylike, elegance about a coat with a dress that you don’t get with a typical short blazer. It has an air of Mad Men about it, especially this one with its 3/4 length sleeves. My personal preference is that the dress should ALWAYS be shorter than the coat so that it looks neat and sharp from all angles. I don’t like to see any dress hemline sticking out below the coat. I didn’t have time to have this one shortened before the cherry blossoms disappeared (I might have flapped and shrieked “WE MUST GET THE BLOG PHOTOS BEFORE THE CHERRY BLOSSOMS DISAPPEAR! Otherwise, I will be forced to tape each petal back onto the tree just for the pictures!”). The hem issue isn’t noticeable in the photo just below, but you’ll see what I mean in the last two photos.
Can we talk about this fabric now? This particular dress and coat is from Winser London (who else! I promise after this post to write about some other brands; they’re not my go-to brand for nothing). I love the Valentino signature colour mixed with the Chanel-like tweed fabric. Up close, it looks like deeply elegant confetti. I adore tweed (and bouclé) because the fabric wears so well. It doesn’t get shiny after several trips to the dry cleaners (a big pet peeve of mine) so you can wear it for years and it still looks fresh and chic.
Since I’m wearing this on a very dull grey day, I wore my suede Roger Vivier Prismick bag to brighten things up (I adore this patchwork bag; it goes with absolutely everything and I love the style… like Chanel on acid), black suede shoes, and some beaded tassel earrings. It would work beautifully with some sparkly shoes and a sparkly clutch for evening. For another way to style it, I’d like to go properly vintage and wear it with my hair up and a heap of pearl jewellery, like Holly Golightly might if she were CEO of a company.
Do you have any upcoming events you’re looking forward to? What are you going to wear?
This week, linking up to: notdeadyetstyle, style nudge, notdressedaslamb, fizzandfrosting, lifeofmeg, birthofafashionblogger, elegantlydressedandstylish, whyidodeclaire, reasonstodress, thewardrobestylist, sydneyfashionhunter, cappuccinoandfashion, colorandgrace, pumpsanddpushups, classyyettrendy, honestmum, eleganceandmommyhood, highlatitudestyle, alabouroflife, happinessatmidlife, rachelthehat