When the planets align...

... I love it when a plan comes together.  There seem to be two things that I have been asked for again and again to feature on the blog, one of them being oocasion wear.  So when Debenhams asked, as the swimwear blog had been so well received, if I would try their occasion wear, it was perfect timing. 

The requests that I've had have been for more formal occasion wear (ie a backless, cut to the navel leopard print Rixo number isn't perhaps going to work).  First Holy Communions, Ascot, Henley, Baptisms - these are tricky events to frock up for.  The sorts of dresses that are supremely useful for stocking up on, for those occasions when you need to look smart and don't want to have to spend weeks trying to find something.  

I've also found the most perfect sensible but sexy (yes who thought you could ever combine those two things..) pair of nude heels which will go with absolutely any outfit and are perfect for any occasion.

And there's an extra 10% off at Debenhams with the code this weekend - KT42.

Starting with a classic dress - with pockets!  Size wise, I would say this is true to size actually - I tried the 12 on here and it's slightly on the large side.  But not so much that, being tall, I wouldn't want it with that bit of extra fabric.

J By Jasper Conran Ivory Striped Tea Dress was £75 now £60 


Shorter now and this is ideal for the more petite amongst you - or even those who just aren't 5ft10.  This was just on the knee for me (not an entirely flattering length) and was slightly too short in the body.  But other than that, if you're not a giant, this is perfect.  Think LK Bennett quality for a fraction of the price.  And... POCKETS!!   Lovely neck tie detailing at the back which you can't see here (and I v helpfully couldn't get a decent photo of it either - sorry).
J by Jasper Conran Black Pleated Linen Dress was £59 now £47.20


This would double up as an occasion dress and a holiday dress if you do get dressier in the evening, as it's a perfect light, creasefree crepe fabric. 

Principles by Ben de Lisi Navy Leaf Print Crepe Midi Dress was £49 now £39.20 I sized up to a 12 in this and it was ever so slightly on the large side.  I would say it's a very generous 12.  And I'm therefore assuming that the 10 would fit!


Debenhams, can I offer you full marks please for pocket action.  So many dresses, so many pockets - THANK YOU.  

Principle by Ben de Lisi Diamond Print Prom Dress was £65 now £52


Then there are the jumpsuit options.  First up - one to get you noticed in.  And this come up small.  And isn't, alas, for the tall amongst us.  But if you're not an Avatar and are looking for something formal but still statement, this is the jumpsuit for you.  Although I would size up. 

Star by Julien MacDonald Wrap Front Jumpsuit was £65 now £52


Another jumpsuit option that works to dress both up and down.  This is the idea occasionwear if you are someone who doesn't really want to do full on formal.  This is formal with a twist of boho.  Size wise - true to size.  I tried the 12 here and it's slightly large.

Nine by Savanna Miller Printed Culottes Jumpsuit was £59 now £44.25


But this one is superb.  I tried on the 12 here and it's a much better fit if you are taller. 

J by Jasper Conran Navy Wrap Jumpsuit was £59 now £47.20


But my favourite and one that I will be ordering, is from Jasper.  This I hadn't expected to love at all.  I adore it and into the Winter with a biker jacket or trench and knee high boots, this will come into its own as well.  For now - sandals are perfect but for cooler days, I would throw on white trainers and a denim jacket.  For an occasion though - the nude heels are perfect.  Gorgeous heavy fabric which totally belies the price.  

Obviously pockets elevate it to a much more expensive looking bracket as well.  I didn't buy it in store as they only had a 14 and I would definitely want the 12.  I wouldn't size down to a usual 10 as I would want that extra bit of length, being tall.

J by Jasper Conran Dark Red Full Skirt Shirt Dress was £65 now £52


And then moving onto some that I didn't see instore but would be just as useful.

Moving away from the fuller skirts which I am drawn to and a more fitted option.

Star by Julian Macdonald Black Mesh Pencil Dress was £69 now £55.20

Floatier and less structured but just as suitable for a special occasion (and ideal for every day dressing as well which is always handy).

J by Jasper Conran Yellow Circle Print Layered Dress was £59 now £47.20

A classic, easy, flattering and floaty navy number.

The Collection Navy Spotted Dress was £49 now £36.75

And then the shoes... well.  The ones I tried on aren't these but were also from Faith and they definitely had a selection of them instore (Bromley) but I can't find them on line.  These though are identical but without the cut out inner bit (technical lingo there).  Size down as these are perfect.

Faith Light Pink Patent Chloe Shoes were £35 now £26.25

I also have the more out out dresses up my sleeve too.. I do have the perfect one from Debenhams but it's not on the website yet so I'll wait and do another blog (it is To Die For!).  Fear not, as soon as it's available, I'll let you know. 

In the meantime, outfits from the last couple of days.  Speaking of dresses.. 


Floral dress - & Other Stories
Sandals - & Other Stories 
Half Moon Bag - APC 

And yesterday for travelling to hols and out for dinner last night. 


Hat - Penmayne of London

Dress - Zara
Copeland trainers - Air & Grace
Tools bag - Balenciaga

In case anyone was wondering, the other most popular request has been t-shirts.  Coming up.  The plain ones (and I obviously have to mention the new logo ones on the block too...).  I've also got plans in the next couple of days to focus on a couple of companies as they have some great great discount offers on - and choosing my favourite pieces.  A fair few people have mentioned that they're really struggling to find anything decent to wear this season.  And I guess I can see where you're coming from if you're not into midi or maxi dresses.  So what is it you would be looking for that you haven't managed to find for your Summer wardrobe?  I'm on a trouser hunt and like I said - t-shirts are always a winner for me.  But anything else you'd like me to look out for?

Sandals are still on the agenda, as is beauty - got a couple of them up my sleeve. 

On hols though and the wifi here is so slow, it's akin to dial up ten years ago.  So doing any form of research is like pulling teeth.  But there's nothing better than getting up at the crack of dawn and watching the sun come up with a cup of coffee and the perfect sea view, so I will persevere!   

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10 comentarios:

  1. Omg you look so much better in these than any of those models!!!

  2. You look great, love the blog. Am a big fan

  3. These are absolutely amazing for the money!

  4. Great blog post, bought the diamond print dress today for a family wedding. Really flattering and loving the netting under the skirt too. Sarah x

  5. Kat, I usually love your outfits but I find these Debenham dresses a teeny bit dreary and they are just not 'you'. You look SO much better in the pictures at the end of your blog in the Zara and & Other Stories dresses, and I think these would be perfectly acceptable to wear for an 'occasion'.

    1. Totally see what you're saying and yes, they're not the sorts of dresses that I personally would wear for an occasion (although the bottom two aren't really dressy enough either!) BUT I am always being asked about these sorts of dresses and these are what most people do feel comfortable in. I get so many emails from people saying that they love what I wear but they wouldn't have the confidence to wear those sorts of dresses - could I look at some that aren't so "out there"!

      Hopefully this will have given a steer to people who want something more in their comfort zone (although I would definitely definitely wear the wine shirt dress.. with tan heeled shoe boots and a tan or leopard clutch - absolutely!!!)

  6. Kat, I needed a relatively normal (read knee length and not too out there) dress for Henley this year. Having spent a fortune 2 years ago on a dress I have only worn once, I thought I would try one of these. The Ben de Lisi leaf dress fits like a glove, looks amazing with a white jacket that I already have and my blue patent wedges from LKB. An amazing bargain at under £40 - a tenth of the previous outift. Thank you so so much.