The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

I love shopping for summer occasion wear, it’s probably my most favourite time of year to pick up a new outfit for a wedding or garden party. Finding the right pieces can be a bit tricky though, especially if the event is abroad or in the middle of a heatwave if you’re in the UK. I want to be comfortable and don’t want the material to cling too much, I also want to look feminine.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on your occasion wear as there are some little gems on the high street and a floaty dress would be the perfect option for any summer wedding, picnic or BBQ. I tend to go for a pink or pastel printed dresses, white would definitely be out of the question for a wedding as I wouldn’t want to upstage the bride.

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

A floaty dress is an effortless way to look great and this pink, floral and bird printed dress from River Island ticks all the right boxes for me. The woven fabric is lightweight and flowy, which hangs beautifully, I love that it’s a loose floaty fit, you can eat as much as you want it will skim over a bloated tummy and you’ll still feel comfortable. I absolutely adore the print,  the birds just make it slightly different compared to a plain floral dress, this one just screams out summer and would look amazing for any Summer event. It’s the kind of dress you can just throw on with minimal effort, it has a wrap over style at both the back and front, and a tie waist and at the back of the back line, meaning it’s super flattering. The loose cap sleeves and split frill hem line make it ultra feminine and adds a touch of class, and for modesty’s sake there a mini skirt underlay so you’re not showing too much thigh. It does have quiet a deep v neckline at the front, so I’ve chosen to wear a lace camisole underneath, but hey, if you’ve got it, flaunt it.

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

It looks and feels very premium, yet it cost less than £60 and considering how much wear I’ll get out of this dress I think that’s an absolute bargain for occasion wear. Sometimes clothes from more affordable brands don’t always fit that well but this one fits beautifully and would make a lovely addition to your occasion wear wardrobe.

The material of the dress doesn’t crease, so you can easily slip it into your suitcase to take away with you. It would also make the perfect summer outfit for a day exploring the city while you’re on holiday and there are so many different ways to wear it. I know I’m going to be wearing this dress time and time again over the coming months, I adore the colour, the print, the design and that it’s easy to wear yet still makes me feel fabulous. I recieved so many complements on the day I wore this dress, which obviously gave my confidence a boost.

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

Accessories are a great way to completely change the look of an outfit, from shoes to bags, even jewellery can make a difference. This white embellished cross body bag adds a touch of elegance to any summer occasion outfit. The long strap is adjustable and can be taken off so you can carry the bag using the shorter handle or hung in the crook of your arm.

It’s the ideal size for a summer wedding, garden party or a day at the races. Inside there are two larger compartments with enough room to hold your mobile and makeup essentials. There’s also two smaller pockets which are perfect for securely storing your card holder, money and tickets. The magnetic fastening also shuts securely so the bag won’t pop open when you least expect it to.

This bag feels really good quality and definitely has designer vibes, the boucle and pearl embellishment across the front flap look absolutely beautiful and certainly adds a touch of class to any summer occasion outfit. I think it would look stunning with an evening outfit anytime of the year.

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

I wore this outfit for a garden party to celebrate my cousin’s birthday so I chose these white scallop block heeled sandals, I think they work perfectly together with the dress and bag. I opted for this style as they are pretty and feminine, and they’d look amazing with other outfits in my wardrobe. They’d completely change the look of a simple dress for something less formal. These sandals are so comfortable to wear all day and easy to pop on for a day out in town or exploring the city.

Swapping my accessories will give this dress a whole new look. For an evening out I slip on a pair of pointed heels and a grab a clutch bag, or for a more casual feel I’d add a pair of flat mules and put all my daily essentials in a straw tote bag. When the weather starts to cool down I can slip on a denim jacket or faux leather biker jacket.

This type of outfit would look amazing for whatever occasion you had coming up.

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

The Perfect Summer Occasion Outfit

Dress: River Island* (sold out)

Availiable in yellow or blue)

Bag: River Island*

Shoes: River Island

White Sunglasses: River Island

*These items were very kindly sent to me by River Island for the purpose of a review. The photos were taken by my husband, Adrian, at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire. All opinions are my own.

Follow:

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

A couple of months ago I was out in town with my husband and he happened to take a few “snaps” on my mobile phone, when I checked through them I absolutely loved them. They were never meant to be for a blog post but everything felt right and I felt more confident than I had done for a while prior to taking them. They seemed such natural photo’s rather than posed, so before changing my mind I quickly typed up a post on How I Style A Pleated Midi Skirt. It’s now one of my favourite posts this year.

Considering I had always been a fairly confident person, I had always felt comforable in front of the camera, but last year a few things happened that really knocked my confidence. I stopped writing fashion posts and concentrated on Beauty and other kinds of posts. I desperately wanted to get back to sharing my outfits, which was one of the reasons I started my blog almost 3 years ago.

Slowly but surely my confidence has started to come back. Now I’m no expert when it comes to what you should or shouldn’t do in your photos. I only know what’s worked for me, so I thought I’d share a few things that have helped me when I’m in front of the camera.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

What You Are Wearing

You’re outfit should never make you feel uncomfortable, you need to feel fabulous in what clothes you’re wearing. If it’s not your normal style then you won’t feel good about yourself and that will come across in any photos you take, we’re after confidence here. I made the mistake once of wearing an outfit just because everyone else was and it was “on trend”, I felt awkward all the way through having my photos taken and when I looked back at them I hated every single one. Pull items out of your wardrobe and try on every single piece of clothing you own, stand in front of the mirror, take a snap on your mobile and look back through them. If you feel 100% amazing in each outfit then those are the items you’ll feel good wearing for a photo session.

Know you best features and focus on them. Do you have amazing legs or do you love your beautiful cleavage? If you’re like me, then you’ll find it so much easier to point out areas of your body that you dislike.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Stand in front of a mirror, and practice different poses, yes you may feel strange at first, but believe me it works. Move about, find which angle you like best, we all have a side of our body that we feel more confident with. Practice with your mobile and take photos from different angles. Next time you’re in front of the camera you’ll start to feel much more confident, it’ll come naturally and you’ll just feel as though you’re taking a selfie.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Be Inspired

Scroll through Pinterest and Instagram and check out some poses you’d like to try. I don’t mean the ones of models on magazine shoots, I’m talking about bloggers or maybe you have a super confident friend who always knows just how to stand in front of the camera. experiment in front of the mirror first until you find one that’s naturally you and makes you feel really confident. Create a board on Pinterest especially for poses you like, so it’s always there for inspiration if your mind goes blank.

The Location

I’d think nothing of having that family snap taken on a day out or busy town on holiday, yet as soon as I thought about an outfit photo my confidence just fizzled away. Find somewhere quite for your first few sessions, even your back garden if you have one. These photos were taken on a quiet afternoon at Broadway Gardens in Letchworth Garden City, so there was hardly anyone about to watch what I was doing and put to put me off having my photo taken.

For me, I need to not only think about the location itself, but also there needs to be somewhere for me to sit as well, such as a bench, wall or a place to lay a rug. I honestly don’t feel confident in photos where I’m sitting in my wheelchair and thankfully I have a husband who is able to assist me out of my wheelchair onto something else.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

What About Those Hands?

I never knew quite what to do with my hands and very often ended up looking like I was trying swat a fly. I always had a laugh afterwards but they weren’t quite the look I was going for. I found holding some sort of prop made it much easier. Use whatever you’ve got, a bag, sunglasses, book, magazine, flowers, a coffee cup and even holding the loose folds of a skirt or casually placing your hands in the pockets of a pair of jeans will stop those arms flapping about all over the place.

Know Your Photographer

You wouldn’t have a photographer turn up on the morning of your wedding without getting to know them first. Research their work, scroll through the gallery of their website and meet up with them a few time to discuss what sort of photos you’re after. If it’s a friend, your mum, sister or partner who will be taking the photos explain to them what kind of photos you’d like. Maybe show them your Pinterest board and those angles you took of yourself on your mobile. Explain whether you’d like close ups of your bag or shoes and do you want to include more of the background in some of the photos. Most of all, trust them. They may take a few photos at angles you’d not thought of simply because you’re moving around naturally as they are snapping away. You might even come across some photos they’ve taken which you absolutely love and will want to share with the world.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Get Moving

Don’t be afraid to move about, turn around, move your head up, look over your shoulder towards the camera, walk about. Let the photographer take as many shots as they want with you moving around naturally, even if you end up deleting most of them, there’s bound to be some amazing shots in there and ones that you’ll look super confident in.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Have Fun

Some of my most favourite photos are ones where I’m doing something daft and it’s obvious I was having a great time, like this one below. There are photos on my blog where I’ve got the fit of giggles and Adrian’s taken a photo at that precise moment, it shows that I was really enjoying myself. If I get tired or start to feel uncomfortable, then I’ll have a break, go for lunch and a coffee and try again later.

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Don’t Worry About Anyone Else

It’s so easy to think about what other people might be saying when you’re in public having your photo taken. You might feel like someone will judge you, even after you’ve posted the photos on your Instagram, Facebook or Blog. It’s easier said than done but wipe all those thoughts out of your mind. If you’re in a town or busy area having your photos taken, most people are just getting on with their own business. So what if couple of people stop to look, it’s only because you look absolutely amazing in your outfit, looking super confident and having the time of your life. Ignore and delete the odd negative comment you may get on social media and completely forget about it. Concentrate on the positive feedback people leave you so that the next time won’t be half as scary.
Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

Finding The Confidence To Pose For Outfit Photos

And remember, even if you end up with 10 photos after the photographer has taken 500, those are the ones you’ll look at and feel great about yourself. There may be some hilarious photos were the camera has gone click when you’re mid sentence or faffing around (his words) making sure everything is in place. I’ve kept some on my computer where I’m telling Adrian something and the expression on my face is priceless, it makes me laugh every time I see it. I won’t delete it, but I definitely won’t be sharing it either.

Do you have any tips on taking outfit photos? Are you super confident or a little on the shy side when it comes to having your photo taken?

Dress: River Island

Shoes: Topshop (Similar)

Bag: Amazon

Sunglasses: Coconut Lane

Umbrella: Free with a magazine many years ago

Follow:

Things To Do This Summer

I know the feeling well. You’re scrolling through social media looking at what seems like everyone’s holiday photos, yet you’re going nowhere that requires a passport. I’ve often had to drag my weary butt away from the screen and do something that will stop me feeling sorry for myself, plus it gives me the motivation to carry on with the dreaded to-do list when I come back.

You don’t need to spend a fortune just to have fun, grab a couple of friends or choose something you’re happy to do by yourself. Doesn’t matter if you’re single or in a relationship, there’s something here for everyone. Even your Granny will want to tag along.

Things To Do This Summer

  • Picnic In The Park – put together some of your favourite nibbles, make a flask of tea or cold juice, grab a blanket and your favourite book
  • Visit a museum or art gallery – great for inspiration
  • Go on a bike ride
  • Be a tourist in your own town – it’s amazing what little treasures you can find and you never knew they existed
  • Visit an animal shelter – both of my dogs, Sandy and Cassie, were rescue dogs  and I’ve made crochet blankets for Wood Green animal shelter to help with their fundrasing.

Things To Do This Summer

  • Go swimming at your local outdoor pool  and lounge on the sun lounger with a cold smoothie afterwards
  • Visit the nearest Lavender Farm – great for photos and picking up a treat in the gift shop
  • Visit the seaside for the day – collect shells from the beach, walk along the pier, have cake in a quaint tea shop, run away from the tide and laugh like you’ve never laughed before.
  • Plan a girls night out – drinks in the local or a trip to the cinema followed by pizza.
  • Start a new hobby – knitting, crocheting, baking, start a scrapbook, painting, you know you can do it if you put your mind to it

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Have a garden party – text friends and family, invite them round, get them to bring a different item of food or drink with them, it saves you doing the shopping as well!
  • Take a walk by the river or canal – if you go with someone, get them to take a few photos for your Instagram or outfit of the day
  • If you enjoy gardening, get outside and see to those forgotten plants, or pop to a garden centre to buy some new ones
  • Put up a parasol in the garden and get outside, listen to new podcast, read a book or play a summer playlist
  • Dig out a recipe book and try making a summer salad, just in time for your garden party

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Be a tourist for the day and take yourself off to the nearest city, check out all the places of interest, it would be London for me so I’d have to visit all the Royal Palaces, Tower Bridge and take a stroll down Oxford Street and Regent Street.
  • Take your Mum, Aunt or Nan to see a show at the Theatre and then for a meal afterwards, see how much they would appreciate that
  • Start an evening class – photography, writing, painting or learning a new language (just in case you need that passport next year!)
  • Have a pyjama party either by yourself or with a friend, catch up on the latest box set, enjoy a few pampering treats like an at home facial, and open that bottle of wine you’ve been saving for a special occasion
  • Have a room makeover – paint the walls a different colour, buy some cute cushions, trinkets and prints for the walls.

Fun Things To Do This Summer

  • Visit a theme park – try those rides you’ve been too scared to go on and scream the place down, believe me, you’ll have so much fun
  • Start a new exercise  – at home or the gym, yoga, pilates, Spin session, whatever suits you best
  • Start a photo a day challenge – with all the exploring you’ll be doing, it should be a total breeze

Whatever you decide to do, have FUN and stop worrying about what other people are doing. You can bet you’re bottom dollar that they’re not worrying about you.

Fun Things To Do This Summer

Bag: Guess

Dress: Debenhams

Bracelet: Lilia Rose

Necklace: Etsy

Shoes: New Look

White Sunglasses: River Island

Tortoiseshell Sunglasses: Boots

Follow:

Tring Reservoir

It was one of the hottest weekends so far this summer and Adrian and I decided to take a short drive over to Tring. I’m so lucky to have such a beautiful place practically on my doorstep, it’s a wonder I haven’t been here more often. The walk by the canal at Tring Reservoir is a great place to visit for anyone, families, dog lovers, photographers and fisherman and it’s situated right on the boarder of Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. The path itself is also ideal for pushchairs and wheelchair users.

We parked the car right near Bluebells Tea Room at the start of this particular walk and all I could smell was delicious food, I wasn’t hungry yet somehow I just wanted to sample a large piece of carrot cake.

Tring Reservoir

It was actually quite busy, yet it seemed so peaceful,  a really lovely place to visit and feel almost as though you’re on holiday. It reminded me of the time I went on my neighbours canal boat for a champagne boat naming ceremony, the boat was christened Blue Moon. I would love to have gone on one today, but still I appreciated the calming, relaxing stroll by the canal instead. Even the swans came over to see what we were up to.

We made sure we stopped to take loads of photos, I think you’ll agree it’s such a beautiful place, especially if you live or work in a busy area during the week.

Tring Reservoir

Tring Reservoir

Tring Reservoir

Tring Reservoir

We carried on up the canal towpath, taking in the stunning scenery, wild life and of course the barges which were prettily decorated with flowers and some had such lovely names. Thankful I wore one of my many hats as it was an extremely hot, sunny day. The dress I chose was an off the shoulder, flowing maxi wrap dress. The material is lovely and soft, feeling cool against my skin. I thought my straw cross body bag went perfectly with the floral design on the dress.

Tring Reservoir

We’d taken a mini picnic and a huge flask of tea, it wasn’t anything fancy as it was literally a last minute decision to go. We’d stopped off at the supermarket on the way and bought a cold pasta salad, fruit salad and a pack of chocolate chip cookies, perfect for dunking in our tea, haha.

Tring Reservoir

I honestly didn’t want to go home, it was lovely to just sit and watch the world go by, I was so relaxed I could quite easily have closed my eyes and gone to sleep. Everyone who went passed us was extremely friendly, saying hello or stopping to have a chat. They were complete strangers, and that’s something you don’t normally get in a big town or city.

We continued walking past the pub at Bulbourne and on for another 3 miles, before deciding it was time to turn around and come home. I’m sure it won’t be too long before we return for another walk by the canal.

Tring Reservoir

I couldn’t end this post without sharing these two excellent shots of a Grey Heron taken by my husband, who is a keen wildlife photographer. I’m sure he won’t mind.

 

Follow:

Summer Slip Dress

When I find an item of clothing I love I’ll wear it time and time again, especially when it’s as easy to style as a simple Summer Slip Dress. I own quite in a few with various prints but there’s something very classic about a striped design.

It was a boiling hot afternoon and I had been stuck indoors for a few hours. Needing to get out for some fresh air I threw on this striped slip dress, which seemed ideal for a walk by the river. It’s not the best material in the world, it’s like a soft jersey, but I didn’t want anything that was too restrictive and was going to keep me cool.

This style of dress can be worn very casual, as I have done, or smartened up with a jacket and heels. I think even a pair of trainers and denim jacket would look great with this. This style of dress is one of the most versatile dresses I own. This particular dress is from Amazon, You may have seen on my Instagram stories that I’ve also invested in this one from Nobody’s Child, which was slightly more expensive and more of a cotton material. It’s in the sale for £15 at the moment and there are a few sizes left.

Summer Slip Dress

Straw Bag

Summer Slip Dress

straw bag

A straw bag is bang on trend right now and makes the perfect accessory to to accompany a summer slip dress. I’ve had a few in my wardrobe over the years and picked this one up from a charity shop for about £3. It’s just the right size to fit my mobile, card holder and a few beauty essentials. Topshop have some amazing straw bags is you’re looking for one for your holidays or just to go with any pretty outfit.

I’ve added one of my favourite straw hats and a pair of wedged espadrilles to complete my look. I did have to add this photo, not sure what I was doing but I most definitely had fun messing about by the river.

Summer Slip Dress

What’s your go-to outfit for a hot summer’s afternoon?

Follow: