How to dress for an autumn-winter occasion or event | frock | Styling You

How to dress for an autumn-winter occasion or event

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, How to 7 Comments

How’s your social calendar looking? I just took a peek at mine and took a long, deep breath.

The run up to my Festival of 50 is looking fun and … well … festive, starting next week with my Hello Me Escapes hosted trip to Melbourne and high tea event.

I’m in full Outfit Planning Mode for the trip south and a number of other social and work events over the next couple of months. There have been plenty of questions from you too – in our Everyday Style and Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe Facebook groups.

So, if you’re looking for ideas on how to dress for an autumn-winter occasion or event then this post is for you.

You may have a wedding to attend, a girlfriend’s birthday, a high-tea event, a race day or a celebratory dinner out. Whatever the occasion or event, a little bit of planning and preparation will go a long way to making you feel comfortable and confident on the day.

These general tips for planning an event outfit will help you and I’ve included three outfit suggestions that would work for different types of events.

10 tips for planning your next event outfit

1. As soon as you have an invitation or a save-the-date, start thinking about what you’d like to wear. Visualising an idea in your head really does help.

2. Research the average day and night-time temperatures where the event is being held. 

3. Don’t shop under pressure – use the time that you have in advance to try on a lot of outfits.

4. Take note of any specified dress codes. A formal event usually indicates full-length gowns. A cocktail wedding usually indicates shorter dress styles, a jumpsuit or pants outfit. If unsure, ask others attending what length of gown they plan to wear.

5. Think about winter coats and accessories that are on the dressy side if you know that you’ll be outside in the elements and need to keep warm. Most venues will be heated so you may just need a coat that will work to and from the venue.

6. If buying a new outfit, look for a dress or pant outfit that you know you’ll be able to wear again for a different occasion. 

7. Ask girlfriends and family members if they have occasion-wear pieces and accessories they’d be willing to lend you. I have one sequinned cocktail frock that’s been to two weddings this year – without me in it!

8. Consider hiring a frock. You get all the glitz and glam without the budget bam. 

9. Wear something from the vault. Do you have an occasion piece that just sits forlorn in your wardrobe, sad that it has not been out to a party for a while? Get it out, try it on and think of how you can make it work with new accessories.

10. If beauty logistics are in your favour, book in to have your hair/makeup done on the day of the event. On the day of an event or occasion, I employ this tactic as it takes away much of the time stress of getting ready. All you need to do afterwards is pop on your frock, shoes and accessories and hop into your car/taxi/Uber. If you planning a spray tan, get this done two days before the event so it has some to develop – and not rub off on to the clothes you’re wearing.

3 ways to dress for an autumn-winter occasion

The below outfits are suggestions for you to work off to create an outfit that is going to be just right for you and the occasion you’re dressing up for.

How to dress for an autumn-winter occasion or event | jeans | Styling You


1. Bohemian Traders jeans $139 @ The Styling You Shop | 2. Witchery tank $179.95 | 3. Bohemian Traders blazer $189 @ the Styling You Shop | 4. Stitch and Hide clutch $139.95 @ Birdsnest | 5. Witchery choker $29.95 @ David Jones | 6. FRANKiE4 Footwear boots $299.95

A date night, an evening out with girlfriends, a less formal birthday celebration … these are all occasions and events where a favourite pair of jeans might be the perfect foundation of your outfit. By adding sequins and a tailored blazer to a jeans outfit, you’ll lift it from casual to party in two easy steps. Work the look back with comfortable boots as you never know when a night like this might lead to a little boogie-ing. 

How to dress for an autumn-winter occasion or event | Styling You


1. Bohemian Traders dress $159 @ The Styling You Shop | 2. Gregory Ladner clutch $39.97 @ David Jones | 3.  Mollini heels $169.95 @ Styletread | 4. Lovisa earrings $15.99 | 5. Phase Eight jacket $255 @ David Jones

I’m a big fan of the frock at the best of times but when you find the perfect frock and you harness her power for an occasion, your outfit is an instant winner. Look for a dress that will work perfectly for the event it’s planned for but then fit seamlessly into your everyday wardrobe with a switch out of different accessories and shoes. This is a great wedding, high tea or occasion lunch or dinner outfit. Add hosiery and a hat or headpiece to this outfit and you could take the above outfit to the races.

How to dress for an autumn-winter occasion | skirt and top | Styling You


1. Seed blouse $169.95 | 2. Bird Keepers by Design skirt $89.95 @ Birdsnest | 3. Mimco pouch $149 @ David Jones | 4. Nine West heels $149.95 @ David Jones | 5. Lovisa cuff $19.99 | 6. The Two Mrs Grenvilles earrings $39.95 @ David Jones

Play with proportions and silhouettes by opting for a skirt and top outfit that includes head-turning details. Lace, tulip sleeves, fish-tail hems … these all work to create interest. Contrast lace with winter textures like this suedette for a luxe look. Accessories add to the texture and overall appeal of the outfit. This look work for a wedding, a high tea, a birthday celebration or race day (with the addition of headwear).

So tell me, do you have an event or an occasion coming up? What are you planning to wear?

* This post contains some affiliate links. If you buy something via one of these links I may receive a small commission. Full disclosure policy here.

Join our online style program

Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe AW17 | Styling YouIf you’ve been sitting on the fence, wondering whether the Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe online style program is for you. I say, take a leap and join us today.

We will show you how to create an autumn-winter wardrobe that works FOR you and takes the stress out of the daily “what to wear?” question?

The six- week program started this week. The sooner you join, the more you’ll get out of the challenge and the more you’ll get to know others in our exclusive Facebook group.

Registration closed on Thursday, April 20.

In a nutshell, the autumn-winter 2017, six-week online style program is based on a 30-piece capsule wardrobe that can be adapted for any lifestyle, budget, shape, size or age. I’ll show you how.

You are helped to “shop” your wardrobe for alternatives to my suggestions and I have links to buy for those wanting to mindfully update their wardrobes with a solid plan.

I’m also hands-on in the dedicated Ultimate Capsule Wardrobe Facebook group supporting this program, taking you through each day’s outfit suggestions and being there to personally answer your specific style questions. It’s like having your own personalist stylist on speed dial. 

Here’s what some of this season’s “Capsulers” are saying about the program:

I just joined as I need new ideas and a fresh way to look at my clothes. I have a bulging wardrobe I want to declutter and throw out the stuff that doesn’t “go”. I know it would save lots of time and angst with a more coordinated effort. I see I have a few pieces that fit the capsule and am already amazed with some tweaks and a few purchases it would look so much better – looking forward to it. I love all the posts here – lots of inspiration. – Rosanna

I spent this morning shopping for the capsule (bliss!). Having such a prescriptive list made me much more efficient. I was also more confident to try on things I normally wouldn’t, more confident to not just settle for something because it fit and more confident to go into shops I normally wouldn’t go into. Thank you Nikki. I’ll be out of my jeans and black t-shirt “uniform” in no time! – Elizabeth

JOIN HERE. If you have any questions about the program, please email us: [email protected]

Comments 7

  1. I love the skirt outfit – the blue lace top is fabulous. The cuff is so stylish and such a bargain price.

  2. bit confused as to what to wear to a high tea. Would a dress be ok with heels? The weather in Melbourne will be cool but not freezing so don’t think boots are a necessity unless the weather turns nasty…..what do you think? Nice black pants and stylish shirt and heels is what I was thinking.

    1. Post
  3. Hi Nikki,
    Love this Post – a great Blue Print for different types of occasions! I’m wondering about a High Tea outfit (for the Melbourne event) – isn’t it traditional to wear a girly frock? I’ve shopped my wardrobe and have found two outfits. One a patterned faux-wrap dress, I’d wear it with a black blazer – would look appropriate and elegant. And the other a young, fun swing dress, quite short – I’d wear a bright red blazer with it. Seeing I’m not a spring chicken, should I go elegant or young/fun? Your thoughts? Cheers, K (SuperKombi) xxoö

    1. Hi Kutira … you know I don’t let anyone put an age limit on their style choices! Both outfits sound great. Try both on on the day and see which one you feel more fabulous in! Can’t wait to meet you.

  4. Hi Nikki – this is my favourite type of post! I love the tank from witchery and all of the clutches….and lots of the pieces actually. My calendar is looking full for the next couple of months with a few big events coming up. I always struggle the most with fancy work events. But I have just bought this frock from Sacha Drake for our annual awards dinner; and am thinking now about an event at Government House next month.
    Enjoy Melbourne next week – say hi to the Bali girls from me. Cheers

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.