Best Garden Party Wear

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garden party wear

Best Garden Party Wear

‘How dressed up is too dressed up?’

Now that summer is upon us you are probably finding yourself bombarded with outfit choices for the yearly trip abroad in the sun or for quirky festival wear. But what about those summer events when you don’t know how dressed up is too dressed up, such as a barbecue or a garden party?

Lauren Fitzsimons looks at sophisticated in-betweens– and no matter what the budget or body shape, she has something to ensure comfort as well as style…

JUMPSUITS & PLAYSUITS

(left) River Island Light Pink Bandeau Jump suit - £55; (centre) River Island Floral Smart Jumpsuit - £40; Topshop Structured Palm Playsuit - £42

(left) River Island Light Pink Bandeau Jump suit – £55; (centre) River Island Floral Smart Jumpsuit – £40; Topshop Structured Palm Playsuit – £42

“Sizzling solution”

Jumpsuits and playsuits are perfect for warm weather: think effortless and elegant combined with eye catching bold prints and colours which scream summer from every angle. For the less body confident a jumpsuit is a perfect pick! It keeps the legs covered while looking chic – pair with some plain-coloured wedges or a heel for a glorious garden party combo. The River Island Bandeau Jumpsuit is flattering to the female silhouette as it hugs in the right places; the clinched waist creates a curvy illusion which gives plenty of confidence! It comes in a range of colours but I found this one to be the most suitable and the rose pink is girly and glamorous all at the same time, as well as pretty in pastel for the season.

A playsuit is easily associated with beach wear, and the ‘throw on over your swimsuit’ effect, which is why my choices have a little more structure to them to ensure that smart/casual balance! The monochrome playsuit from River Island has such a sleek finish because of the contrasting black and white; however the Flora l print gives it a more casual feel – a sizzling solution for any barbecue! The Topshop Palm Print playsuit is very daring and bold, great for anyone who does not wish to blend into the background. The cut out effect means a flash of skin; just enough to give that summer feel without feeling too dressed down.

DARING DRESSES

Henry Hunt Rebecca (left to right) Shift Dress Blue - £62; Ted Baker IBERIS Floral Printed Dress - £179; Ted Baker PEARPA Wispy Meadow Print Maxi Dress - £229; River Island White Floral Maxi - £65

Henry Hunt Rebecca (left to right) Shift Dress Blue – £62; Ted Baker IBERIS Floral Printed Dress – £179; Ted Baker PEARPA Wispy Meadow Print Maxi Dress – £229; River Island White Floral Maxi – £65

“Belle of the barbecue”

Show up in style in floral dresses – there is something about a floral printed dress which creates such a lovely summer evening vibe. Not only are they sophisticated, but an answer to relief from the heat while still looking well dressed for the occasion. The British Henry Hunt ‘Rebecca Shift Dress’ is such a subtle print on white linen, lined with white satin which ensures quality and no ‘see through’ situations. The blue print is simple and not too loud which gives a real ladylike edge to it and the colours complement each other perfectly. Team up with gladiators or wedges to dress up or dress down.

This next dress is a definite treat! I am a fan of Ted Baker and this design just shouted garden party right at me. It gives such a graceful feel and looks immaculately elegant in the silhouette it creates. Match up with a pair of heels or sandals and a clutch bag, but I do not think a lot of accessories are necessary as the dress entirely speaks for itself.

Another high end choice was the Ted Baker Maxi, a big spend but again a beautiful piece. This floral maxi from River Island means it is, like the jumpsuit, a life saver in the summer for anyone who does not want their legs on show and it saves on any tanning as well! The light flowing effect means that although well covered, you can stay cool as a cucumber, while looking like the belle of the ball… or barbecue!

FINISHING TOUCHES

Kaleidoscope Block Heel Sandal - £85; River Island Blue Snake Print Sandal - £20; Kaleidoscope Graphic Print Bag - £19; Topshop Plain Clutch - £25

Kaleidoscope Block Heel Sandal – £85; River Island Blue Snake Print Sandal – £20; Kaleidoscope Graphic Print Bag – £19; Topshop Plain Clutch – £25

“All for colour”

The final touches to any outfit are always the shoes you put with it. A wedge or small heel sandal creates a smarter look. Also adds a little height if that is what you are after. A flat sandal or gladiator on the other hand can put the more casual spin onto a smart outfit – perfect for barbecues, and comfort too, of course. The Kaleidoscope heeled sandals are a favourite of mine as I love the prints. They are very out there and the monochrome with bright yellow heel will draw all attention towards your well-dressed feet! They are ideal to piece with a plain jumpsuit such as the Rose Pink one above. As a flat sandal goes, I am all for colour. As much as it is easier to keep it simple, they brighten any outfit. These River Island ones are a great example.

Bags, bags, bags! There are so many shapes and sizes and compartments, which one is a person supposed to take? A small one! Just something that can hold the necessities. Something with a colour or print to liven up an outfit. Take the Kaleidoscope one shown here; or alternatively a fairly plain one if you’re already embracing enough colour for one barbecue or garden party to take! This subtle clutch from Topshop is great – big enough for bits and bats with a handy zip top.

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