Oh, what to wear for a special occasion?

My hat making and my social life often form a demanding partnership requiring careful planning of my outfits.

Having done extensive research of the S/S 16 catwalk shows, the common themes are, as always, conflicting!  Sequins, ruffles, delicate pastel fabrics or bold, vibrant prints, Boho, Victorian, 1950’s Mediterranean holiday styles. What’s a girl to do?

As always, it’s a case of choosing which look suits you, your personality and the special events you will be attending.

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Chanel suit and quilted bags

The three designers I look at most are Chanel, Armani and Dior…possibly seduced by their exquisite ad campaigns…..luxury locations, brilliant photographers, gorgeous frocks….

I love the elegant lines of the first two designers  (their colours suit my complexion, )  the  pearls, the look that is perfect for more formal occasions.

Dior, I love!  Just so pretty with tulle and chiffon, roses, flowers and scallop shaping to hems and necklines.

Now, like  most women, I won’t (unfortunately)  be taking a taxi to the London, Paris or Milan boutiques 0f these ‘Names’… I’ll be looking in the stores for a dilution of the season’s style, returning, perhaps, to home dressmaking and picking out the features that suit me best…..a tweed jacket with a sparkly thread running though it over a plain tailored dress with a little sequinned clutch bag….very Chanel ….and I can make an approximation of that myself.  Brightly patterned cotton dresses either featuring large flowers or geometrics with a scalloped neckline – not the Prom dress style,  it wouldn’t suit my shape (the classic English pear; )  or scoop neckline with a tulle choker and off centre jewel worn with a lace dress.

And would I wear a hat?  Most certainly but I would need to match millinery style and shape to the outfit and the occasion…a chic little button or classic brimmed hat for the Chanel inspired look, an asymetic fine straw with the cotton dresses ideal for an informal outdoor event, relaxed wedding or arts festival like Festival Number 6 at Portmeirion or an innovative creation worthy of Ascot for the ’50’s lace.

‘A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. ‘  Coco Chanel

‘Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.’  Coco Chanel