26 In Style

Occasion wear for Summer, with JD Williams

Red JD Williams Occasion Dress

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.

Red Occasion City Dress

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.

Red J D Williams dress

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 thisΒ 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.Β  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

JD Williams Occasion Wear Red Maxi DressRed Drape Shoulder Maxi Dress

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.


linking to: stylesplash, fakefabulous, notdeadyetstyle, notdressedaslamb

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  • Reply
    June 1, 2019 at 5:15 PM

    Thanks for posting the Oscar Wilde quote. I have a girlfriend in Austin, TX, who always says I’m too overdressed for Austin, but I don’t care. I’m dressing for me. Besides, if I dressed like my Austin age group, many of them are aging hippies who don’t shave under their arms and dressing up is a pair of Birkenstock sandals and a colored t-shirt. xoxox, Brenda

    • Reply
      June 1, 2019 at 5:21 PM

      Ha!! Indeed Brenda. I never take being overdressed as an insult. I think of it as compensation for those times I run errands in my workout clothes before gym. Swings and roundabouts, my lady. xx

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 12:52 PM

    Waaahhhh! Omg I adore these photos of you Lisa! The Super Hero shot is incredible Woman!
    Isn’t it wonderful to know affordable brands like JDW can still be ethical despite the general consensus that sustainability is expensive? Thanks so much for pointing this out my friend. I’ll add this brand to my affordable sustainable brands post coming soon πŸ˜‰

    • Reply
      June 2, 2019 at 3:10 PM

      Oh thank you MT!!! I like the Super Hero shot too πŸ™‚

      There really is NO excuse for other brands to continue with bad business practices; it CERTAINLY isn’t about cost, it is about choice. JD Williams shows how possible it is, and hopefully others will follow their lead. xxx

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 2:56 PM

    You look stunning Lisa. I’m sure M had a VERRRRY happy birthday having the pleasure of looking at you all day! I love this dress. You look stunning. And as you already know, I’m a huge fan of JD Williams for exactly the same reasons that you are. Gorgeous from top (your mind), to your Aspiga clad toes xxx

    • Reply
      June 2, 2019 at 3:14 PM

      Thank you so much, Liz! I like being able to get lots of wear out of an ‘occasion dress.’ What a pity to only wheel this comfortable little number out for a wedding or the races when you could wear it to a lunch just as easily. You see allll the details πŸ™‚ xx

  • Reply
    June 2, 2019 at 3:26 PM

    Happy 50th to your husband! Super dress, just the right amount of glam to mark a midcentury birthday. I adore your toes in those sandals too. (That sounds creepy. Not intended that way!) Also, the shot of you reclining on the bench is edgy, as a TOP UK FASHION BLOGGER does need to push the boundaries n’est ce pas? Keep it up!

    • Reply
      June 2, 2019 at 3:39 PM

      Thank you MITHRA! I’ll pass along your birthday wishes. Yeah, I’m pretty crazy about the dress. Matthias wanted me to wear the yellow lace one I linked to at the bottom, but I felt the occasion called for something a little more dramatic.

      Aren’t the beaded sandals super? I was lucky I had a turquoise pedicure a few weeks before they came into my life.

      Ha! I’m glad you liked the shots on the bench. There was no one there but me and a drunk guy sleeping on another bench just out of shot He didn’t seem to care about any fashion blogger nonsense! xxx

  • Reply
    Susan B
    June 2, 2019 at 6:56 PM

    You look stunning! What a great dress!

    • Reply
      June 2, 2019 at 7:35 PM

      Thanks so much, Susan! It is such a comfortable dress too, which is rare in ‘occasion wear.’ xx

  • Reply
    Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb
    June 2, 2019 at 9:03 PM

    AAAAAARGH woman you’re killing me – this dress on you is a knockout combination!! Just absolutely beautiful. Then the perfect pairing with the bag and sandals… love it. Love JDW’s ethics too, it’s good to hear that a brand that sells reasonably priced clothes CAN be sustainable (are you listening, H&M)??!!!!!!

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      June 3, 2019 at 8:50 AM

      Thank you Catherine, I’m so pleased you like it too! I love this dress, it is comfortable enough to accommodate a food baby, but elegant enough to distract away from it, haha!

      JDW shows that it is possible to be ethical and still not crazy expensive. Win win. xx

  • Reply
    June 3, 2019 at 7:29 AM

    Red is created for you! Very very elegant! I had the pleasure of getting to know JDW clothing! Very nice brand.

    • Reply
      June 3, 2019 at 8:47 AM

      Thank you, Nancy! They really are an impressive brand; not many are doing things this ethically at their price point… it is unusual, although it shouldn’t be. xx

  • Reply
    June 3, 2019 at 4:50 PM


    • Reply
      June 3, 2019 at 5:42 PM

      Thank you, Elizabeth! πŸ™‚

      I’m sad they did such a poor job re-doing the restaurant when it was SOOO magnificent before. You would have loved its previous colour scheme. xx

  • Reply
    Kirstjen Lorenz
    June 3, 2019 at 5:18 PM

    Beautiful. I also really love the shoes and bag. Can you tell me where they are from?

  • Reply
    Suzy Turner
    June 4, 2019 at 4:11 PM

    Lisa, you look absolutely stunning in that red dress. I’m delighted to see you wearing it with flats too – as someone who recently had to get rid of almost all of my heels and must now try and wear flats all the time. It’s nice to see how gorgeous they can look in a dressy way.
    Suzy xxx

    • Reply
      June 4, 2019 at 8:45 PM

      Thank you Suzy! Yes, I try to only buy things now that work with either flats (or a very low heel) and with heels. You just get SO much more mileage out of them that way, and there is NO need to give up gorgeousness just because you have to wear flats. They can be just as full of impact as a heel. xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    June 4, 2019 at 7:37 PM

    Honestly I have made this comment at least three times. Stupid iPhone won’t connect with my WordPress or Google account.
    Anyway, I think that not many women can wear such a dress. Of course you can. You have the attitude my darling, to wear a red evening gown as “just another outfit”. As it is very clingy a lot of women shouldn’t wear it either. Applause to JD Williams to come up with such an exciting dress.

    • Reply
      June 4, 2019 at 8:51 PM

      Ahhhh, my old phone used to do that. I got used to ONLY commenting using my laptop because my phone was so glitchy.
      Thank you, Greetje. I wore a ball gown to my son’s swim lesson once when he was 4. I think that was probably my most devil-may-care-let-them-stare fashion moment. I had come straight from doing photos and didn’t have time to change. JD Williams has some great stuff, they just have A LOT of stuff, so you have to be a patient user of keywords to search for what you need. xx

  • Reply
    June 9, 2019 at 12:10 PM

    Such a stunning little red dress! I like the colourful accessories with it! πŸ™‚

    Hope that you are having a great weekend! We had our son’s birthday party yesterday, it was loud but fun πŸ™‚


    • Reply
      June 9, 2019 at 9:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Mica! I love the accessories with it too πŸ™‚

      I hope you had a lovely party. xx

  • Reply
    June 9, 2019 at 4:42 PM

    I absolutely LOVE this dress Lisa! You look stunning! Red is my favourite colour, and the style of the dress is right up my street. It’s refreshing to hear that JD Williams has such good policies on sustainability and ethical supply chains. My mum always gets her occasion dresses from them. Thanks for linking up!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      June 9, 2019 at 8:57 PM

      Thank you so much, Emma! I love the style of this dress, so pleased you like it as well. If JD Williams is able to do this at their price point, there is no excuse for the other brands. xx

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