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:

An Off The Shoulder Dress

Every year I love to add at least one new dress to my ever growing collection. When I purchase each dress I like to know that I’ll pull it out of the wardrobe and it’ll go with the majority of my accessories. I want to be able to wear the dress to any occasion, day or night, without having to think too much about how I’m going to style it.  My style is mainly floaty and floral, and I very often stick to what I feel comfortable in. Yet there’s nothing wrong with trying something different once in a while, is there?

When I think of an off the shoulder dress, I imagine days at the beach and holiday destinations. I see women wearing them all the time, women who are confident and know exactly how to pull them off. I’ve always needed the security of at least a spaghetti strap to make sure I’m held firmly in place. I’ll always remember when I was on holiday in my late teens and wearing a brightly coloured bikini in the sea, a huge wave rolled up and dragged the bikini top down and, well, all I can say is I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life.

So you see, I do expect miracles from one summer dress.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

In a moment of extreme braveness I came across this white Off The Shoulder Dress* on the Tobi website and thought, hey, why not give it a try. Not only did I choose off the shoulder but decided on a mini length as well, I would normally have gone for a maxi dress but oh no, I stepped well and truly out of that comfort zone.

There was something about this particular dress that I felt drawn to, maybe the delicate polka dot print made a welcome change from floral or maybe it was the fit and flare skirt that I knew I’d feel more comfortable in rather than a tightly fitting design.

When the dress arrived I couldn’t wait to try it on. It fitted beautifully in all the right places, not too tight or so loose it would fall down. The elasticated part across the chest enhanced my womanly shape, one I didn’t know was there before. It wasn’t low cut so I didn’t feel exposed and wanting to pull it up all the time. The website describes the dress as a skater style, measuring 72.4 cm length, I’m nearly 5 foot 8 inches and on me it reached to about my mid thigh. The skirt section has a sheer top layer and a soft satiny lining underneath. If white isn’t your thing, don’t worry, this dress also comes in red and black.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

I love the extra detail around the neckline and the arms, the delicate frill gives a real girly feel to the dress. The tiny polka dot print gave the dress a simple, classic feel rather than being bold and in your face. The material was so soft and not in the least bit scratchy, the dress feels such good quality and looks well made, it could easily have come from a high end store. I felt absolutely amazing while wearing this off the shoulder dress, I felt a strong, confident woman while retaining my femininity. It suited both my shape and style without looking like I’d tried too hard.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

I’d set myself a little challenge. I knew I could easily pop on a pair of pretty summer sandals and add a straw bag for a casual day look which would be ideal for a day at the seaside, but would it still look as good styled up for an evening event.

Accessories are a great way to completely change the look of an outfit, from shoes to bags, even jewellery can make a difference. A pair of brightly coloured tassel earrings would bring an element of fun for a day look, however I prefer to wear delicate gold or silver jewellery. With my neckline on show, I chose this beautiful gold layered necklace* to add a hint of glamour to a simple day dress. The smaller chain is in a choker style and the longer chain includes a disc pendent which sits perfectly just below the collar bone. I think it’s one of the prettiest necklaces I have ever seen.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

For my shoes and bag I’ve chosen two items I’d picked up from Amazon. For months I’d been searching for a dupe of the Chloe Nile Bracelet bag. I love that this one is practically identical, although it’s not made of leather and definitely doesn’t come with the hefty price tag. I was surprised at how well made it was, it has good quality stitching and doesn’t look or feel cheap. The bag can be worn cross body using the adjustable shoulder strap or as a grab bag using the circle ring handle. It’s the ideal size for an evening out, there’s a slot for a card holder, along with a larger section for a mobile and a few makeup essentials.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

My shoes were another amazing find from a brand called Rock On Styles and are a very similar design to the Valentino Rockstud pumps, but for a fraction of the price. The heel height is roughly 3 inches, so not too high if your’re going to be on your feet all evening. They’d also look absolutely beautiful worn for a prom or with a bridesmaids outfit. They are made of good quality faux leather, with studs along the straps and the front of the shoe.

To complete my look is a blush pink and rose gold watch from Anne Klein, which was a birthday gift from Adrian, he knows me so well as I simply adore these colours (it also comes in Chestnut or Navy). I slipped on an off white blazer from Anastasia (Similar), sadly mine’s out of stock but there are loads around like this one from Tobi.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

I may have been going out for the evening but I wanted to keep my makeup looking quite natural and fresh. First I applied No7 Aqua Perfect Cushion Foundation, which is your base, concealer and powder all in. It’s also a handy size compact to pop in your bag. For my eyes I’ve used my trusty Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and Better Than Sex Mascara. To finish off the look I’ve used Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in the shade Insatiable Ivory and Essie Nail Polish in colour Bare With Me.

All I needed was a glass of Prosecco in my hand.

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Summer Off The Shoulder Dress

Dress: Tobi*

Necklace: Tobi*

Bag: Amazon

Shoes: Rock On Styles

Watch: Anne Klein

*These items were kindly gifted to me by the PR team at Tobi

Follow: