I know many women struggle with ‘Occasion Wear,’ I’m just not one of them! I love putting on a fabulous frock, especially one that can easily be dressed up or down. The key is to choose an ultra versatile fabric and style, like this red jersey asymmetrical dress from JD Williams. Red is a colour that works for me in any season. The fabric, unlike chiffon or velvet, can be worn all year round. The half cape makes it neither particularly summery nor wintery. And the maxi length means I can comfortably wear it with flat sandals like I am here, or I can use the cropped hemline to showcase a kick-ass pair of heels. The style of the dress is classic enough not to look dated in a few years, but not so classic that it is boring. It works for any occasion from a beach wedding to a Christmas party, and whatever other invites may come my way in between. The wrinkle-free fabric with lots of stretch (which I needed on this day) makes it an ideal dress to tuck in a suitcase. An all-rounder red dress like this is a welcome investment in my closet– appropriate for many occasions while remaining unique and stylish.
The first outing for this dress was my husband’s 50th birthday lunch on Friday. We walked around a lot before and after our big lunch, so I wisely chose to wear flat sandals instead of heels. I took him to No. 50 Cheyne (the former Cheyne Walk Brasserie) because that is where we had our first date AND where we had our wedding reception. I’m a little shocked that they took such a colourful charming place and re-did the interior in every shade of brown imaginable… but new owner, new rules. The new chef’s food is fantastic, but I will forever miss the old decor in my favourite colour scheme of red and soft turquoise.
This might be the nicest smoking section I’ve ever seen
While at the restaurant and walking around the neighbourhood in the bright sunshine, I didn’t feel overdressed at all… I rarely do, to be honest! I live by Oscar Wilde’s quote, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” Also, this was the final day of the Chelsea Flower Show so I was surrounded by women swanning about in floral dresses and hats; it’s hard to be overdressed in that crowd.
Now, a bit of important information on JD Williams for my American readers, or for those in the UK who don’t know them. First, Manchester-based JD Williams’ mission is to champion all women in the 40+ age category. They are refreshingly size, age, and colour inclusive in their ad campaigns. So far, so empowering. Second, their clothes are well-made and very affordable. Most importantly, they do this ethically. JD Williams earns praise from NGO’s for taking the Bangladesh Accord seriously and actively pushing it forward. In fact, they had their own people working on the Accord. The brand is fully committed to supply chain ethics, unlike most brands at this price point. The parent company of JD Williams, N Brown, has taken a strong stance for sustainability and against modern slavery across all of their brands. You can see their policies here. It makes shopping for any occasion so much easier when I don’t have to fret about a company’s business practices.
JD Williams is fairly new to me, but I’ve found some amazing pieces on their website. For instance, I also got this soft lace dress in knockout yellow, and I have my eye on this turquoise cotton and linen skirt for summer. This long red dress, the short yellow dress, and a turquoise maxi skirt, will cover me for all possible summer occasions!
Super hero vibes
Disclosure: AD/Paid partnership. Thank you to JD Williams for sponsoring this post. I am proud to support a brand whose ethics are so aligned with my own.