HOW THREE GENERATIONS CAN BOSS THE FORMAL LOOK ON A BUDGET
Birthdays, bar mitzvahs or baptisms? Let’s be honest, whatever the occasion, getting kitted out as a guest for any slightly formal event can often make your credit card cry. Hard.
Mine tends to have a full-on tantrum! Especially if there aren’t enough invites in the the diary lined up to justify a totally new outfit splurge.
Add to that a full on family invitation and the total cost of outfits alone can mean one almighty AMEX meltdown, innit?!
Aaah! But what if there was a way to boss formal dressing without having to whack up your overdraft?
Well, after recently finding myself in this exact situation, I soon realised that the secret is not to politely decline the invite, nor needlessly shop a haul that will never be worn again soon – but to just buy One. Little. Thing.
Not any old bag, mind. To upgrade any old outfit, this kind of styling magic requires something truly special.
This doesn’t mean it has to be expensive either – it’s all about outfit planning.
So before you go bag shopping, do these three things first…
1: Go through your wardrobe. There’s no need to panic buy an entire new outfit ’cause I bet you’ve got stuff in there already that’s waiting on you to call in that formal fashion favour.
2: Decide if you want to co-ordinate with the rest of your family or are happy for each person to go indie. Remember, there are no rules, no rights or wrongs. It’s all about preference and budget. Pull a few items out for everyone and use neutral colours like white, black, grey and navy to reign in a subtle and tonal we-are-fa-mily effect.
3. Only spend where you have to. Once you can see where the gaps are, only then purchase. Usually this is simply down to little kids getting bigger which is an obvious (and annoying) problemo – but that’s a little sob the plastic will just have to swallow up, innit?!
Once the above check list is ticked, you’re pretty much ready to bag that bag!
And so, with our semi-formal event around the corner, here were three generations of bag addicts ready to go on the loose. With little time too, there really was only one place to go where we could ALL get success – Monsoon & Accessorize.
Here’s what I styled up for myself, my Mum and daughter – and what we shoved in them, too.
Mum’s magenta dress from M&S needed something with a bit of sparkle. The secret to dressing up casual textures like jersey is to bring on the bling! I toyed between a gold version of this and something similar with more glitter and diamantés but it felt too ‘showy’ and considering that Mum would also be wearing a grey bouclé knit coat, the silver version worked perfectly. Cloudy gems plus the brocade-effect beading gives this clutch a much more vintage and decadent finish.
I ended up wearing a lace dress that’s older than my 7-year-old with my trusty navy mid-length coat (that I recently blogged about customising with new buttons) and pink suede shoes that I bagged last year for £11.
Without wanting to overtly match my dolly shoes to my bag, I was ideally looking for a further pop-of-pink to shake up what would have otherwise been quite a neutral looking ensemble.
The lace and 3d floral combination of this cross-body did at first make me ponder whether it ‘was too bridal?’ so in stepped the trusty military midi coat which toughened things up allowing me my affordable dose of D&G floral outfit inspo.
Contents: Ray-Ban Wayfarers | iphone 6 | MAC lipstick in Siss (discontinued – FARK!) | YSL Touche Eclat Blur Perfector | YSL Touche Eclat Concealer & Highlighter | Elizabeth Arden Plump Up Lip Liner in Rustle Red | Keys | Turquoise crystal | Oribe Balmessence Lip Treatment
FOR MY DAUGHTER
And finally, this showstopper of a bag made the 7 year old’s LIFE! Currently obsessed with ponies and horses after a recent ride on a Shetland plus a visit to a donkey (and horse) sanctuary, this bag made the perfect pairing with her simple white embroidered dress plus royal blue ballet pumps (£2.50 from the M&S sale! YASSS!)
Both the dress and shoes probably won’t fit in a few months time, so I was pleased that we managed to squeeze out another wear. PHEW! I’ve blogged about how my daughter loves fancy dress costumes and ‘fashion’ for her is all about imagination and F.U.N. Her other favourite bag is a panda back-pack. Oh, to be seven, innit? I really hope she carries on with this free-spirited fashion mind-set, ’cause between her character bags and my crazy phone cases, we are really something else, ha!
So, what did you think of my three generation game changers then?
Or if you’re stuck on what to wear or not sure how to accessorize an outfit for a formal event you have coming up, then comment below, I’d love to help out…
Thanks for reading and have a Happy Easter.