Spring weddings have started. The spring racing season has too. And the traditional party season is almost upon us.
Ladies, do not be alarmed. Be alert.
Because the last thing you want to be is stressed about what you’re going to wear to any spring-summer special occasion that might be on the horizon.
Stress is not your friend. Panic purchasing days out from a special event will (mostly) end in buyers’ regret and you settling for something that is (almost) right but doesn’t make you feel fabulous.
I know I’m about the fabulous feeling clothes should give you every day but that fabulous feeling needs to go up about 10 notches when it comes to special occasion wear.
You want to feel super confident and that confidence will come if you consciously plan and mindfully shop for event pieces.
Try these 13 tips on for size.
How to plan your spring-summer special occasion wardrobe
1. Get out your calendar and highlight key event dates. It doesn’t matter if the calendar is on your phone or old-school on the fridge, pinpoint those key events that are already been booked in.
2. Make a list of those events in date order. This is your working list and the foundation of your event wardrobe planning modus operandi. You can do this electronically or in a notebook or journal – whatever works easiest for you.
3. Beside each event on your list make a note of any specified dress code. If no dress code is noted then ask friends or family attending the same event what type of clothes they’re wearing. Dress codes are so damn ambiguous sometimes. I wrote this post to help decipher the formal vs cocktail code.
4. Beside each event on your list make a note of the location or venue. A beachside occasion will be more relaxed than a fancy CBD restaurant and you’ll feel comfortable dressing accordingly. If you’re travelling away from home do keep an eye on the weather forecast via the weather app on your phone. This will give you a pretty good forecast a week or so out, so you’ll know whether you have to adapt your outfit because it’s hotter or cooler than expected.
5. Beside each event on your list make a note of the time of day of the event. A lunch-time event is most likely to be less dressy than evening but depending on the occasion or the location, it will still probably mean frocking up.
6. Look inside your wardrobe. Now that you’ve got your head around the type of event and the possible dress code, it’s time to “shop” at home. Occasion pieces don’t get to come out to play as often as our everyday clothes so before you shop for something new, check what you already have hanging in your wardrobe. It could be a favourite from a previous spring-summer that you’d forgotten about. If you bought it for a specific occasion, take it out again for a different type of occasion, with perhaps different guests from that first one. Honestly though, I don’t think that anyone but us keeps tally of what we wore when and where. If you want to give the frock or outfit a fresh look, do that with a new pair of shoes or a clutch.
7. “Shop” your girlfriend’s wardrobe. Whether it’s for a dress, a top, a clutch or an accessory, the perfect piece could be waiting in someone else’s wardrobe, ready to come out and party.
8. Don’t head to the shops without a clear idea of the type of outfit you’re looking for. Create a shopping wishlist so you stay on track and make the most of your shopping time. Browsing online (I call this research) before you head in store is also a great way to save time and get clear on what you’re looking for.
9. Consider whether buying one new occasion outfit for the season could work across a number of events. You could have a family wedding to attend and then back that outfit up at your office Christmas party. If you think beyond the new outfit’s first wear then you are ticking the fashion budget box – big time.
10. Start with the frock – or main garment piece – when styling an outfit. Yes, you may come across THE MOST FABULOUS pair of shoes and decide they must be the centrepiece of your outfit but, trust me, this is a more challenging way to go about it. If you start with the frock then you can work to find the coordinating accessories. This is very important when putting together a race-day outfit. Not a frock kind of girl? Silk pants can be dressed up beautifully for a day-time or evening event.
11. Look for frocks or separates that can be dressed up or dressed down. This way you’ll have more cost-per-wear for your purchase more quickly.
12. Buy shoes that suit the occasion. Killer heels are just that if you’re at an event where you’re standing on your feet all evening. Look for a heel height below 9cm or opt instead for a wedge. A block heel is a winner for this season – on trend and comfortable. Love flats? Team them with a maxi frock and no-one will be the wiser.
13. Don’t buy it unless you love it. I don’t have many rules but, when it comes to your personal style, I’ll tell you something for nothing: if that garment doesn’t bring a sparkle to your eye in the change room, it certainly won’t when you get it home. Never settle for a a clothing piece – an event piece in particular. You want to feel THE BUSINESS at that event and that feeling starts with a garment or outfit that makes you feel that way from the moment you first try it on.
Here are some you just might love …
10 frocks for spring special occasions
1. Bohemian Traders maxi dress $179
2. Sheike dress $159.95
3. Sacha Drake dress $349 (also available in knee-length and waisted, a-line off-the-shoulder)
4. Country Road dress $149.95 (on sale)
5. Surafina dress $129.95
6. Boho Bird maxi $109.95 @ Birdsnest
7. Katies dress $79.95
8. Belle Bird dress $159 @ Birdsnest
9. Witchery dress $169.95
10. Dannii Minogue for Target dress $59
So tell me, seen anything you like here? Got any special occasions coming up? What’s the dress code? What are you planning on wearing?
* This post contains affiliate links. If you buy something via one of these links I may receive a small commission. Full disclosure policy here.