Yes it's occasion time. Which is one of my favourite things to think about it but also one which I dread. For a start - it can be expensive. The temptation to buy something ludicrously expensive that you will never wear again is high. As I said yesterday, really high.
But I have a cunning plan. Actually to be fair, it's not that cunning - it's something that I've been doing for a couple of years now and it has really paid off. It's also not rocket science but it can mean just that little bit more research, which I have done for you.
As part of my monthly collaboration series with M&S, as I did at Christmas (another time when the temptation to go big for on outfit that you'll never wear again, is strong) I have come up with options that are perfect for that big occasion but offer total versatility in wearing them again.
So I'm not reinventing the wheel here but in a change of usual format, we're not talking dresses. Shock. Horror. Today I bring you separates. Two things - and not a dress in sight, as I know not everyone finds them as versatile as I do. Tops, bottoms and jackets.
And - as I found out in the changing room when I was working on this article - people were really surprised at how amazing the outfits looked. Oh how I love a bit of changing room banter. The camaraderie of women never fails to brighten my day. I wonder if it's just a British thing or if it does happen elsewhere? The irony - that a country where we ignore each other on the train but will become bessie mates in the changing room, cooing over a skirt, never ceases to amaze me. Apart from if you take your puppy on the train - all bets off. Ginny did London last week and it was like the party carriage. Better than any baby.
But I digress, as I have found some complete gems - and have tried them all on for you so you can see how they can look - especially the separates.
Which are fast becoming my favourite option. So I did mention skirts the other day and I have been and tried them on (the Autograph ones I mentioned). I've also found some out out tops - which I know are the nemesis of many people. I am on a mission to discover more (coming next week) but in the meantime, these few are definitely worth looking at.
So it's not the most summery, but I'm starting with black. Although they do also do this in a nude/blush option although I have to say, when it comes to versatility, I always go black. Call me ridiculously organised but there is no reason why this outfit - as a whole or worn as separates - couldn't also work as a Christmas outfit (and I don't think I've ever mentioned the C word in April)
Cotton Blend Lace Short Sleeved Shell Top £45 Take your usual size.
And to go with it - the matching skirt. Which could easily be worn on its own as I advocated the other day.
Cotton Blend Lace A-line Skirt £55 I sized up as I always always do in skirts due to non waist.
These are the sandals by the way. Ridiculously comfortable.
Leather Block Heel Sandals from Autograph £59
And to see the top untucked and to see how it can look worn casually.
Oh and then one with the skirt. I LOVE this.
On to my favourite blouse. This comes up big. Oh how I love this and oh yes it did come home with me.
Off the Shoulder Sleeveless Blouse £39.50 It is definitely navy although a very dark navy - hence it's called Ink. Duh me.
First up, I teamed with cropped trews.
Limited Edition Button Detail Wide Leg Trousers £35 - now these I would size up in. Usually I take a 10 in M&S but I would have been happier with these in a 12.
And the top can also be worn with a skirt. In fact, it looks amazing amazing with the skirt that I promised I would try on the other day. I sized up to a 12 in all the skirts as I have no waist and prefer, as I always say, for them to sit more on my hips.
The structure of all these skirts is of such great quality - the fabric easily belies their price tag and label.
Autograph Tie Front Wrap A-Line Midi Skirt £45 in navy
I think the model above is actually taller than me as it was definitely just below my knee. If you're shorter, this would be perfect mid calf and I am ALL THE JEALOUS.
Shoes are amazing by the way.
And in the yellow £49.50 although I would say it's definitely more of a chartreuse.
And a quick mention for the navy stack heel shoes.
Wide Fit Stiletto Heel Sandals £35 Personally I wouldn't say they were stiletto and if you're not a wide fit, I just sized down half a size and they were perfect.
But back to the skirts.
Floral Print A-Line Skirt £49.50 In navy.
This would also be an amazing top to go with the above skirt - slightly more casual as it's a jersey as opposed to a silky fabric but that might work for some people (or at the very least, it's a great option to wear with the skirt on other occasions)
Pure Cotton Ruffle Trim T-shirt £12.50
Speaking of things to wear with the skirts that are slightly less formal, how about a knitted top.
Here is the skirt option in black again £49.50
You could add a luxe feel to your look with a cashmere top and this V neck would work perfectly.
Pure Cashmere V Neck Jumper £75
But I found this amazing knit for the bargain price of £12.50. I also found it on the big side - I am only in a 10 here.
Cashmilon Round Neck Short Sleeve Jumper £12.50
Combinations again in gold.
Metallic Pleated A-Line Midi Skirt £35
And another super out out Summer top. This is perfect for flinging in your suitcase for wearing over cut offs for a holiday evening look.
Pleated Shimmer Round Neck Vest Top £25
Now you can wear it untucked..
But I preferred it tucked in.
This top also works perfectly under an off white suit.
Unfortunately the double breasted blazer isn't available online anymore (well I can't find it anyway!) but the trousers are. They're definitely more of a Winter White as opposed to the cream they look in this picture below.
Patch Pocket Wide Leg Trousers £35 These come up big - I'm not sure I'd want to size down as I don't like them super fitted, but I would say it was a generous 10 I had on. These are the Long (obvs!)
You can also wear them with just a top instead of as a suit.
Patch Pocket Jacket £35
So hopefully there are some ideas there of separates to buy that you can wear again. And again and again, in lots of different guises. Would love to know your thoughts - honestly I could have just kept going.
I have my first big party next week - a very good friend's 40th and am still umming and ahhing about what to wear. Am tempted by the See by Chloe style M&S dress from yesterday but think I need a certain style of shoe which I'm not sure I have... and there in lies the blog for tomorrow. Off to start the research.
Hope everyone has had a great Good Friday. They just go so fast, don't they?
Green and navy houndstooth maxi dress - American Vintage from Quattro Rish
Black Onyx jacket - hush
Leopard boots - Tabitha Simmons
Jodie bag - Chloe
Glasses - Chloe from Very Exclusive
Tomorrow we've got friends coming round for a BBQ, tonight, it's movie night with ice cream and then the kids are having an "early" night (seeing as I've been going to sleep before them recently. Seriously? What is that about?!) and the husband is cooking me dinner. I have a glass of wine, Scorch Trials is on the tv and I am now on a shoe hunt. You have been warned...