Big summer days and nights usually come with a dress code; but fear not! This is your chance to shine! Editor-in-chief at IMAGE magazine Melanie Morris and Village stylist and personal shopper Natalie Svikle are here to offer up their top tips to make sure you're ready for any occasion!
Melanie's top tips...
I love a good day out! Here are my tips on how to make your stylish mark and stay in the mood to celebrate.
1. Choose well-designed clothes made from good fabric. Check for dresses with linings, separates with good zips and buttons, ensure fabric is breathable and (relatively) crease resistant.
2. Get your pieces tailored to fit. Ensure shoulders fit, necklines are in place, sleeves are just-so and hems skim in flattering proportions. Plus, you can nab a bargain that’s a little too big, and end up with a couture piece.
3. Jump for it! These days jumpsuits are just as acceptable as dresses and skirts. Try this new take on occasion wear; the silhouette can be very becoming, especially if teamed with statement strappy sandals and a dainty cross-body bag.
4. Look to home. Irish designers understand occasion wear; it’s a key category for business. Louise Kennedy and Umit Kutluk are highly prolific in terms of design, colour and statement, and they make clothes that flatter bodies of all ages and sizes beautifully.
5. Labels like Ted Baker, Kate Spade and Karen Millen offer eye-catching pieces at brilliant prices.
6. When in doubt, add a pop of colour. Pick a neutral palette, then liven it up with one big statement shade. This summer, tomato red, orange, magenta, and canary yellow are all in.
7. Don’t forget accessories. A hat by Laura Kinsella or Martha Lynn; a clutch by Lulu Guinness or Anya Hindmarch; statement earrings and designer sunnies will bring personality to a plain, tailored (or jersey) dress.
8. People remember the overall look, not the sum of the parts, so whatever you choose, dress for the finished result.
9. Don’t forget great underwear, essential to successful occasion wear.
10. Beauty matters too! Well manicured nails, freshly coloured hair, great make-up and a delicate, even tan will make as much of a statement as the clothes you wear.
And remember, you’re never fully dressed without a smile!
Natalie's top tips...
1. Dress for your figure – don’t get distracted by celebrity style, bloggers or your friends. Choose cuts that suit your proportions and show off your assets while effectively camouflaging the less flattering parts, if you have any.
2. Be clear on what your fit preferences are and don’t settle. While I’m a big fan of experimenting with new styles, it is hard to compensate for the fit that doesn’t feel emotionally comfortable.
3. If you have a few occasions this summer, opt for separates. L.K.Bennett and Louise Kennedy always have some fabulous options.
4. Irish weather can be quite unpredictable so plan for a stylish cover up. Look for a dressy blazer or a summer coat. These can easily be used for a variety of other purposes. Só Collective has a great range of designers that offer stunning layering pieces for dressy occasions.
5. Bold prints and striking colours are always a winner for an occasion dress. Diane von Furstenberg and Versace are the places to go if you are looking for strong pops of colour and a great selection of patterns.
6. The beauty of plain dresses, on the other hand, lies in their versatility. They can serve as a blank canvas and be nothing short of a chameleon. In this case accessorising is a must! Pop down to Swarovski for a great selection of show-stopping jewellery or to Kate Spade for delicate necklaces.
7. The right pair of shoes not only makes the outfit but has the power to single-handedly decide how much (or little) fun you have on the day. Take the time to find the pair that is comfortable! To find your perfect shoes, check out Karen Millen, L.K.Bennett, Diane von Furstenberg, Reiss, Pretty Ballerinas and Kurt Geiger Boutique among others.
8. If fake tan is not part of your glam-up routine, yet you crave smooth legs with a touch of holiday glow, make sure to visit Falke and get a pair of Shelina tights that even out the skin tone while creating the bare-leg look.
9. Long gone are the days of matchy-matchy accessories, so step out of your comfort zone and add a modern vibe to your look by choosing different coloured shoes and bag. If you prefer to stay within the same colour family, choose different textures, for example, patent shoes and suede clutch. Don’t be afraid to invest in an exquisite designer clutch from Mulbery, Anya Hindmarch or Lulu Guinness
10. Invest in a pair of dressy sunglasses! They are just as much part of your look on the special day as the bag and shoes. David Clulow have a fantastic range of classic and contemporary styles, perfect for races and outdoor weddings!
You can discover all of the brands mentioned above at Kildare Village where you'll find your occasion wear staples at up to 60% off the recommended retail price all year round! And keep an eye on out for all the latest offers available from the boutiques for additional savings!
To help you rock your personal style, you can book a complimentary personal shopping session with our team by getting in touch with Natalie at NSvikle@valueretail.com or by calling +353 (0) 87 22 70 109.