Staying smart and keeping casual
One of my golden rules is to wear something that makes you happy, that you always feel right in. Jeans and a t-shirt make me happy, but to upgrade this everyday uniform and pull everything together, I like to throw on a lightweight jacket. When I met the fabulous French model/author/muse Ines de la Fressange - OK, I was hanging around at her book signing – she was wearing a floral patterned blazer, jeans and low-heeled pumps. An outfit that screamed effortless chic and sassy, and this is the look I aspire to.
A brightly coloured or printed frock is always a safe bet. Take a leaf out of Michelle Obama’s book and add a contrasting cropped jacket and low-heeled pumps. Make sure that shoes are comfy enough to stand around in, or that your bag is big enough for a pair of embellished flats. Neutral shades and summer metallics make an elegant alternative to block colour and bold prints.
I find Cannes film festival inspirational, but I’d always rather look at what the stars are wearing during the day. I much prefer the chic go-anywhere dresses to the full-on evening gowns. Try channeling the look with a tuxedo jacket, a pair of printed palazzo pants and eye-catching slingbacks. There’s no need to go all matchy-matchy with the accessories, it’s much more modern to mix things up, to add an unexpected twist.This kind of outfit works at the races and other posh summer events, as well as for business meetings. Multi-tasking fashion, it’s the sensible, grown-up way.
Garden party shoes
If you're spending the day on your feet, or dealing with any uneven or potentially muddy ground, keep shoes flat, or opt for low or wedge heels to avoid that ‘Cinderella on the Lawn’ moment. Then crank up the glamour factor with a glitzy top or some high end accessories.
The hat question
Personally, I’ve never worn a hat to a wedding – and as rules are becoming more informal, the chances of me rocking up in a fascinator are even more remote. But as always, it’s down to the individual. Try out a fabulous feathered number if you dare. Alternatively, large brimmed, seventies-inspired hats can look chic and with a simple shift or maxi dress. Alternatively, a neat trilby looks fab with a tailored suit and heels.
Break it up
For more relaxed occasions - like a house party or summer barbecue – it’s all about Casual Glamour. Start with easy-to-wear, effortlessly chic separates: a pair of bright khakis or printed fancy pants, a colourful pencil skirt, and finish off with a neatly tailored jacket. The good news is you’ll probably have a lot of this stuff already. Some fashion types call this shopping your wardrobe - I call it wearing your own clothes.
Choose the shade that suits you best from zesty orange through to rich red tones.
Find the most flattering figure fixers for the beach and beyond.
Try relaxed utility dressing and tribal-inspired and luxe animal prints for this effortlessly glamorous look.