Thursday, 17 June 2010

Summer Party Style

What with Friday Frocks, I'm doing a lot of analysis of real people's looks lately - but I think that's no bad thing.  Part of the point of Swelegant Style Shopping is that people see what will work for them: not an eighteen year old with a figure my father used to describe as 'racing snake'.

On Saturday, I went to a birthday party (which of course didn't really get going until after the England match...).  The birthday girl is known as a bit of a style icon, and her guests really rose to the occasion too. This is birthday girl Lesley, looking the picture of relaxed elegance in a much-less-expensive-than-it-looks intricately knotted ribbon shift dress from H&M. The photo doesn't do this dress justice, sadly - it really was fabulously textural and the pale tone suit's Lesley's colouring in a really flattering way.  Those sandals are pared back elegance too - striking the right note between 'garden' and 'party'.

Also elegant, in a gorgeous midnight blue satin dress with fabulously feminine but structural waterfall-style shoulder detail, was this lady.  The dress was all grown up eveningwear, but the choice of accessories here subtly changes the message to something a little more fun. The feather hair clip is from Accessorise, and all those fabulous bird-of-paradise colours are picked up in the glass ring.  It's an injection of colour appropriate for the occasion but not taken too far.

More casual, but fabulously put together, Fay's longline Topshop jumper is so flattering to her petite frame.  For knitwear, this too is really structural and almost space-aged, and the necklace is the perfect length and solidity to draw the eye down from that otherwise quite severe neckline.

A masterpiece of colour coordination next, from the wonderful Hattie.  All the colours in that scarf are gorgeous jewel tones that flatter her complexion - and she's chosen the jade-turquoise shade to create the backdrop against which to show the scarf off.  Wearing a patterned scarf in this way adds interest, and by having one end trailing down there is a lengthening, slimming vertical line created.  Such a scarf though really needs the plain backdrop Hattie has provided.  The accessorising here is faultless too: those glasses in a mock tortoiseshell of exactly the same shade of greeny blue. The colour of glasses frames can really help an outfit look cohesive - but be aware that the colour probably needs to be subtle, as here, if it is to flatter your complexion.

More coordination here.  This gorgeous royal purple and pale gold silk dress is dressed down perfectly with the well-fitted indigo denim jacket.  Again, the effect is 'party-dress-but-informal-too'.  The jacket also helps break up the purple, allowing the lovely patchwork leather bag (which I think this lady said was by Marni) and the purple cocktail ring to add to the cohesive nature of this look, without being to overwhelmingly 'matchy'.

See those lovely shoes in the background?  Guess whose?

You've seen both these items before (dress and shoes) but I was quite pleased with this outfit so I wanted to share.  Indulge me.  The dress, by the way is by Collectif, who I mentioned on Wednesday.  Although that fabulous peacock fabric is sadly no more, the dress itself is the 'stella doll' style which is still available in lots of fabrics and is also essentially the same cut as their sailor frock.  I've repositioned the halterneck to make shoulder straps, is all.  Flattering, no? Of course unlike everyone else, I totally failed to get the balance between dressy and casual.  I always tend to err on the side of glam...


  1. wow I LOVE your dress hun! Not that the others arent nice but WOOOOOW!

  2. Thanks - it's a really special fabric, isn't it?

  3. Gorgeous dress on you - and the shoes are amazing too x


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