It's snuck up on us...

..drum roll.. it's occasion time. 

I say that - seriously what on earth does it actually mean?  Posh frock time.  Well.. it doesn't even have to be a frock (hold your horses there tiger, I will be coming back to this tomorrow).  

But for the purposes of today's blog - we're all about the dresses.  And I will hold my hands up and say, this is for the fat of knee amongst us.  However - again, please be patient, I have another article coming up for those lucky buggers whose knees have stood the test of time.  Instead of sort of melting down their leg in a half hearted volcanic fashion like mine have. 

I cover mine up - it's just the easiest way.  And with the plethora of longer dresses that are around these days, it's really not that hard to anymore.  I remember not so long ago when a midi dress was a rare occurrence.  Think hen's teeth.  Ten a penny these days and you don't even have to look at the designer end of the scale. 

Today we're at high street prices.  Most of these are really reasonably priced but even better, you will definitely be able to wear them more than once.  There is nothing I hate more (apart from rats.  And baked beans.  And tinned tomatoes on a fry up) than buying something you can only wear once - yes that is one of the reasons why I absolutely loathe fancy dress.  Can't you divide the world into people who either love or loathe it?  To me, it's the waste of a good outfit opportunity.  Spill the beans, which are you?

Wouldn't you much rather be able to get dressed up properly?  In a dress you actually really like?  And one which you will easily be able to wear again.  Not necessarily wear to dress down but one that isn't just "wedding attire".  One that you would want to wear out for dinner with friends, or a night out with the girls.

So I'm going to start with one that is at the dressier end of the scale, but I saw it at the Summer Press Day and was all over it like a 12yr old over a Kylie Jenner Lip Kit.  The quality of this is amazing.  The colour perhaps isn't going to be for everyone.  I think I would probably wear a yellow sandal actually.  Go matchy matchy and then some.   Or leopard print.  Honestly, is there an occasion when leopard print strappy sandals don't work?  (don't answer that).

This is one of those dresses I think you do need to buy for an occasion and then wear it out for dinner afterwards.  In your wardrobe - this will do for lots of out out occasions in the Summer.

M&S Floral Lace Cap Sleeve Shift Dress in yellow £89  I sized up to a 12 in this but I probably should have tried the 10 on as well as it was probably a tad on the large side. 

Now I would say that the model isn't that tall, as on me at 5ft10 it was just below my knee.  So if you're not as tall as me, I would say this would be perfect.

Yellow again at La Redoute.  Yes it's maxi but hopefully you will see how this could work with heels.  And speaking of heels - I have a heel worm in my head at the moment.  Definitely looking (as I always do) for a statement heel but also for something slightly.. oh god I'm going to say it.. boho.  Kill me now.  I don't mean yo boho but just slightly more 70s inspired?  I'll know it when I see it.

Ruffled Maxi Dress from La Redoute £49 pre 40% discount BIG40   This I would absolutely dress down with trainers or sandals for daytime.

More lace and staying with super bright.

Pink Premium Lace Sleeve Dress from Warehouse £165. They also do this in a lilac.  Again we've moved into dressier territory but this with clashing red and orange would be amazing.

Navy burnout lace from Warehouse £89.  Also available in a yellow.  I blooming love this.  Heels for occasion.  Sandals and denim jacket for holiday or daytime.

Another Summery number from & Other Stories but straight up I will say - this is realistically for the pancake boobs amongst us, as I think you would struggle to wear any sort of practical bra under this. 

Cross Front Dress from & Other Stories £65

Another pink dress - this one is up there with being one of my favourites.  I think it's the vintage vibe to it.  And the fact it's unusual.

Jacquard Knot Front Midi Dress from Topshop £59

Actually I say that's my favourite.  Then there's this one.   

Silk Satin Hanky Hem Dress from Boutique by Topshop £160  So I wouldn't exactly trot off to Waitrose in it but... could you dress it down?  At the very least, if you did have an occasion, this would be amazing to wear.  And then dinner afterwards.  Oooh dare I mention Christmas?  Party dress - done.  

Floral Print Ruffle Detail Maxi Dress from M&S £59  And again, I sized up to a 12.. I think maybe I just am a 12...  To be fair, the 10 did fit but I would have to breath in all day and I also prefer to eat.

Feeling the floral full length love now.
Splice D Ring Midaxi Dress at Topshop £59

Long and floral again at & Other Stories - Glory Bower Print Wrap Dress £65

Printed chiffon at Mango £69.99.  Eat your heart out Margot.

Longsleeved at Mango.

Embroidered Mesh Dress from Mango £99.99

Midi floral at Topshop. 

Ditsy Ink Dress by Boutique at Topshop £95

Some stunning dresses to be had at the new Studio by Preen range at Debenhams. 

Midi love.  I saw this on Helena Christensen when I went to the launch of the Debenhams High Summer collection and she was being interviewed by Emma Willis (amazing experience!).  She looked completely fabulous in it.

Studio by Preen Navy Floral Dress £69 at Debenhams  It also says that there is £10 off a £50 spend on womenswear.  Details on the website.

Midi again at Preen  This could easily be dressed up or down - I am on the look out for a pair of killer red heels or nude heels so bear this dress in mind.  I will also enquire about these boots which are rather special and I can't find them online.  Actually I wonder if it is red socks and red shoes.  I'm on it - leave it with me.

Studio by Preen Navy Stripe Wrap Dress £65 (before your £10 off)

And the Preen maxi version... £75 pre discount at Debenhams

Another option at Warehouse.  This I am absolutely going to try - look no strap marks.

Magnolia Strapless Maxi Dress £89

And then we have the less obviously dressy.  Those dresses that you can change the look of with different shoes.  My absolute favourite sorts of dresses - that you can get multiple use out of.  Whilst the majority of the above are dress up dresses you can dress down, these are ones that with the addition of the right shoes are perfect occasion frocks.  Especially if you're not happy with wearing a more formal looking dress and would like something a bit more folk.

Floral Print Bardot Dress from M&S £49.50

Now this is a 12 and it is marginally too large.  BUT I think it looks better on the more fabric side (on me being tall) than it does above with less fabric and in the right size.  Clear as mud?  The more expensive the dress, usually the more generous the amount of fabric, ergo my reasoning.  I cannot describe to you how completely amazing this dress is.  I'm not going to say it reminds me a lot of a certain See by Chloe dress but suffice to say I am no longer lamenting purchasing the aforementioned frock. 

Bardot again in navy and white star at Topshop. 

Star Ruched Bardot Midi Dress £42

They call this one a kaftan dress and it does look very beachy when teamed with sandals but with a pair of metallic or strappy black sandals (or leopard..?  She says handily already having a pair), this could easily be perfect for a dressier do.  I would also fling on the bling.  Mr T has nothing on me when it comes to layering the necklaces.  Alternatively just a pair of oversized gold earings would be perfection.

Chiffon Kaftan Dress from & Other Stories £69

Again, this is perfect for the beach with sandals but with heels, there is no reason at all why you couldn't turn this into a dressier number. 

Tropical Print Bardot Dress from Warehouse £36

It's a punchy move now but there are occasions when white does work.  And no, that occasion isn't a wedding and I'd probably not wear a plain white dress to a First Holy Communion but to a big party?  40th, 50th?  General Summer bash?  Well this would do perfectly.  

Fringe Dress from & Other Stories £79  I would go so far as to dress down with a pair of studded ankle boots and a biker.  Dress up with strappy heels for an occasion and take on holiday with a pair of sandals.

And exactly the same could be said for a black dress - all the above rules apply.

Silk Dress from & Other Stories £95

But.. and here's the thing, does it actually have to be a posh frock?  Fear not - I have caught the separates bug too and have a whole host of these, including outfit ideas to get the best use out of them.  All coming up tomorrow.

In the meantime - some pics to prove that an occasion dress can easily be worn during the daytime.  These are from the last week when Summer turned up for a couple of days.

Dress - M&S
Cara sandals - Apiedi
Bag - TKMaxx
Hat - Zara

Dress - Somerset by Temperley
Ht - Zara
Trainers - My Fashion Tribu
Bg - TKMaxx

And today - wearing my oversized shirt, inspired by yesterdays' blog.

Shirt - Zara
Leather Leggings - hush
Grey blazer - Me+Em
Shoes - Seven Boot Lane
Soho Disco Bag - Gucci

We've been to see Boss Baby today.  I loved it.  I laughed, I cried, I clearly need to get out more.  Thursday night of Easter week means it's the weekend so the husband has come home early from work and I am cooking my absolute favourite - mushroom risotto.  With wine.  There will definitely be wine...

In the meantime, I would love to hear what your go to occasion outfit is.  And like I said, I have shorter dresses coming, I have blow the budget dresses on the horizon as well as separates tomorrow.  And shoes...  Surely it's all about the shoes at the end of the day?

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20 comentarios:

  1. I absolutely loathe dresses, mainly because I've never really found one that looks good on me! I just feel uncomfortable in them, so I can never relax if I'm wearing one. So occasion wear for me is smart trousers and blazer/tux. I always struggle to find "nice" tops though, so will be looking forward to seeing your separates blog!

    1. And I have some tops coming today! I also have another out out top blog in the offing in the coming weeks although yes, they are HARD to find!

  2. Kat I have to say both of the m&s dresses are so much nicer on you than on the model. Your pic would inspire me to buy whereas the model pic would not. I really want to see Boss Baby but am afraid all the funny bits are in the trailer? Say it ain't so?!

    1. Well thank you xx And I have to say, I actually really liked Boss Baby although on In Instagram it did seem to divide...

  3. The more I look at the floral M&S dress, the more I feel myself wanting to buy it. The fact I'd have very limited opportunity to wear it is beside the point (my summer holiday is taken in 100 degree heat with 90% humidity - the fewer clothes the better) but I'm definitely talking myself into it. I need to scratch the itch!

    1. The maxi frill one? That would look so amazing worn now though with trainers and a denim jacket...

  4. I do like dresses, but I've never really mastered wearing one on an everyday basis, so I tend to stick to skirts which I can more easily dress up and down. I think those red boots look like shoes and socks to me, sorry!
    I have a wedding next year, I do like a bit of notice, although it does mean that I can change my idea of wedding outfit too many times to mention. At the moment I'm all for a navy and cream floral midi skirt with a navy silk top and a short navy/cream jacket with a sporty edge. I also think I have the most perfect pink handbag to add a splash of colour (or a red suede clutch and red shoes, but the pink is winning out in my head).

    1. We do actually have a wedding this year - the only one we've had in years - but I'm off to Ibiza so we can't make it (which is unfortunate as it's in Spain and would have been amazing!)

      That outfit sounds epic!

    2. But the wedding's 18 months off, so it'll probably change many times before the big day! I'm also toying with said skirt and a grey lace top. And a navy lace skirt with something to be decided...

    3. I think you might end up with more than one outfit...!

  5. Just what I needed, something for a Holy Communion that I can wear to work, social work dress code apart from court is a little more relaxed. I have a Communion and Confirmation within three days of one another coming up. This justifies two new dresses surely?! I might find time to pop to Debenhams this morning, not something I ever thought I would be saying! Have a good Easter, Lucy x

    1. Well the shopper in me says yes (especially if you get two that you can wear for different things as well) but you may want to hang fire till the separates blog later today so you could mix and match and outfit? I don't even recognise myself typing this.

  6. The pink TopShop one has got my name all over it :-)

  7. I never like anything that looks like an occasion outfit on me. But if I wear something that doesn't look quite such an occasion outfit I always feel uncomfortably unsuitably dressed. Therefore, every occasion I go to gets a new outfit that I never wear again. Even when I have bought things I have genuinely liked they somehow become tainted as the outfit I wore to such and such's wedding... Or the fabulous expensive coat I bought one year, wore to a funeral and never wore again. Fortunately, we are occasionless this year for the first time ever. Occasion shoes however - I've just bought a pair anyway - red, suede killer heels :D xx

    1. oooh that's a hard one!! But on a much more interesting note- I need to know about these red, suede killer heels.. they sound like they'd turn anything into an occasion outfit!

    2. Don't tell, but they are from New Look and for £35 I couldn't say no!

  8. I have got a wedding to go to later this year and this has inspired me, although at 5'10" I have issues with dresses as the waistline usually sits under my boobs and they end up way to short (although i am prepared to give a midi a chance). I might end up doing separates (I have read you other article so in a quandry now...!

  9. Thank you once again, Kat, for introducing me to a new all-time favourite. I'm talking about the blue and white floral M&S bardot dress. It's incredibly beautiful on and feels so cool and lightweight. And this is a shortie, 5ft 1"er talking! I adore it.

  10. Just ordered the And Other Stories white dress that you have featured Kat. Just back from Madrid and saw a rather elegant lady wearing it with flat tan sandals and that wonderful little basket from Mango - looked amazeballs. It must be mine and now I hunt down the basket. The quest is never ending.......