The Wedding Guest Dilemma - How to Look Stylish on a Budget

Who doesn’t love a good wedding? They are a huge part of the British summer culture. Whether you’re the bride or not, chances are if you’ve got the invite you’re already wondering what to wear.

Did you know the average cost of a wedding guest outfit comes in at a whopping £120 – and I’m sure most of us have spent much more. This need to have a brand new outfit for special occasions is just not justified!

It isn’t that you shouldn’t want to look your best, but you should spend accordingly. Most occasion wear outfits are worn only once, perhaps two or three times if you’re lucky.  I’ve seen it a million times when I go into clients’ wardrobes – they’ve got their beloved bold print Coast skirt hanging in a dust bag while they’re buying jeans from the supermarket.

Now wouldn’t it make sense to flip that on it’s head? I firmly believe in spending your money on the clothes you get the most wear of (resulting in a better cost-per-wear), and being frugal with those one hit wonders.

To help you out, I’ve pulled together a few different options for savvy wedding guest outfits. I wanted to keep this simple so I’ve chosen all items from three highstreet shops, that I regularly buy my clothes from – M&S, H&M and ASOS.

It’s important that these items don’t just hang in that dust bag in the not-so-accessible part of your wardrobe, so they are items that can be dressed up or down. And all clothing is under £40 (a few shoes are over, oops)!

 

The Capsule Collection

 

The summer I got married we attended NINE weddings. So on top of the most expensive day (err, weekend) of our lives and the ‘most important’ dress ever, I had to come up with eight other outfits. It was an expensive summer to say the least.

If I had known then what I know now, I’d have planned it much better and pulled together a small capsule wardrobe to mix and match.

If you’ve got five or more weddings this capsule will suit you perfectly.

Take three tops, two skirts and a pair of wide leg trousers. And here you get seven unique outfits. All items that can be worn for not-so-special occasions too. And the total for these SIX items is the same as the average spend on one outfit! 

 Strappy vest, H&M, £12.99

Strappy vest, H&M, £12.99

 Bardot top, H&M, £17.99

Bardot top, H&M, £17.99

 Navy cami, H&M, £17.99

Navy cami, H&M, £17.99

 Midi skirt, H&M, £39.99

Midi skirt, H&M, £39.99

 Wide leg trousers, M&S, £15

Wide leg trousers, M&S, £15

 Cargo skirt, H&M, £19.99

Cargo skirt, H&M, £19.99

I’ve added in shoes (see below) to suit but you could get away with a tan or nude strappy sandal with all the outfits.

 

The key here is choosing wisely. I’ve got one pop of colour (red) and two neutrals, navy and cream/white. This makes mixing and matching possibilities aplenty!

 

Dresses under £40


Another option (if you don’t want a lot of options) is the simple dress. Here are five of my favourites, all under £40...

 A simple stylish wrap dress. ASOS Design, £30

A simple stylish wrap dress. ASOS Design, £30

 Bright, bold and easy to accessorise. ASOS Design, £30 

Bright, bold and easy to accessorise. ASOS Design, £30 

 Make a sheer, scene-stealing statement. ASOS, £38

Make a sheer, scene-stealing statement. ASOS, £38

 Perfect for a garden party. Boohoo, £40

Perfect for a garden party. Boohoo, £40

 Because you know I love leopard print! ASOS Design, £38

Because you know I love leopard print! ASOS Design, £38

 

Show-stopping shoes


Lastly, remember you don’t need to buy a whole new outfit! Pull out something you wore a few years ago and update it with new shoes and accessories. M&S are doing some amazing things in footwear at the moment. These are my most wearable picks…

 Make a statement with a bold colour. M&S, £19.50

Make a statement with a bold colour. M&S, £19.50

 The go-with-everything stiletto. M&S, £49.50

The go-with-everything stiletto. M&S, £49.50

 The stylish (and comfortable) sandal. M&S, £39.50

The stylish (and comfortable) sandal. M&S, £39.50

 The must-have mules. M&S, £35

The must-have mules. M&S, £35

 The fashionista's favourite. M&S, £35

The fashionista's favourite. M&S, £35

And don’t forget to accessorise. Again M&S are doing some amazing accessories at the moment - whether you want a bold statement necklace or simple gold hoops.

Have you got your wedding guest outfit sorted? If you need help building your very own capsule collection or want to find that show-stopper, get in touch

RED-y for Autumn

If you’ve been over to my Instagram lately, you’ll have noticed I have a penchant for red. Heck if you’ve been on any style blog, Instamum page or opened a fashion magazine in the past couple of months you’ll probably already know that red is THE colour to be seen in this season.

I’ve got a slight theory why red is so big this season and it’s similar to the ‘Lipstick Effect’. Basically put, when times are tough, we search for small ways to brighten them up. Roll in shades of fire engine red, juicy orange and even vibrant mustard.

@brittanybathgate

It’s a defense mechanism to keep things rosy whilst we pray that Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un call a truce, house prices stop rising and flexible working finally becomes the norm.  Because while we can’t change the world overnight, we certainly can change our attitude and outlook. And it’s a proven fact (according to Vogue!) that wearing bright colours can brighten your mood.

@thefashionlift

Here are three of the boldest and the brightest jumpers on the high street. Red because we all know Mondays can be hard work; jumpers because well it’s Monday and we all still want to be cosied up in our duvets. These are the next best thing.

Marks & Spencer, £35. I own this one - and I love it! 

& Other Stories, £35. I own this one too (noticing a trend?!) - it's the one I'm wearing in the image at the post of this post. 

& Other Stories, £79. I don't own this one, but I want to. The price puts me off slightly when I have the M&S one which is similar but it is lovely if you're looking for a classic! 

If those don't take your fancy fear not, I've compiled a Pinterest board of many more luscious red jumpers. You'll be sure to find your perfect match. 

 

Lolo’s tips for adding edge to your red jumper:

1) Pair with patterns – my favourite is leopard print!

@thefrugality

2) Go tonal and wear with shades of burgundy. Perfect for those with warm skin tones.

3) Add a statement earring for an instant updater.

4) Red looks great with this season’s heritage tweeds and checks.

 @theyallhateus

@theyallhateus

5) And finally, there IS a shade of red to suit everyone, I promise! If you’re a cool skin tone, go for a blue red; warm skin tones should go for orangey reds.

Five of the Best: Denim Shirts

I often get asked what my essential everyday clothing item is. The answer? My favourite denim shirt. It’s a light-weight chambray style with snap buttons from River Island that I’ve probably had for three or four years now. One of the snaps is broken so I have to cleverly safety pin it (shout if you’re a seamstress who can help with snap – no luck so far!) but I don’t care. I LOVE it. And I feel like it loves me back.

There are very few items of clothing that get better with age. A good denim shirt is one of them (aside from aforementioned missing snap). While you can pick one up at nearly every price point from Primark to Tom Ford, I suggest investing in a middle level one that fits perfect and I promise, you’ll be wearing it for years. 

Here are five of my favourite denim shirts currently available in the shops:

1. The classic, GAP, £34.95
GAP has a huge selection of fits and washes so definitely top of my list to check out. It even has maternity styles for my preggo ladies!

2. The romantic, Topshop, £36
I love the floral embroidery on this one. It would look great with a pair of black jeans or girly girls can go all out and wear it with a tulle skirt.

3. The shacket (ie. Shirt jacket!), River Island, £35
This one is great for plus-sized or big-busted ladies (and everyone else too!). The epaulettes draw attention upwards and the flat front eliminates bulk or bulging.

4. The fashionable one, H&M, £19.99
This is a great update on the classic. The collarless look is fab if you have broad shoulders and the raw hem gives it a modern edge.

5. The universal one, Warehouse, £18 (on sale from £39 so be quick!)
Super simple and fuss-free this one will look great on anyone, and can be worn with anything. The straight-forward style will look fab for seasons to come.

I’ve also pulled together a board for style inspiration over on Pinterest, that will be updated regularly. If you’re a denim-loving fashionista, be sure to follow it!

In the meantime, here are a few of my favourite ways to style a denim shirt:
 

If you need help tracking down the perfect denim shirt for you, get in touch. I offer both personal shopping and online shopping sessions. Not only can I help you find the perfect shirt, I'll show you several ways to wear it with completely styled outfits. 

Spring Saviours: What to Wear Now

It’s the end of April and yesterday I saw snow – true story! This month’s weather patterns are seriously out of whack and stalling any chance of breaking out that spring wardrobe.

It’s a tragedy in both style and retail planning – think of all those skirts and sleeveless shirts that shops just can’t shift. Hopefully it will at least mean some stellar sales for us shopaholics. 

If you’re anything like me, I bet you’re ready for some change in the style stakes and just dying to break out those sandals and put your winter wares away for good. But how can you do this without sacrificing comfort and warmth?

Here’s are five ways to spring into a new season of style while not freezing your bum off…

1) Heat things up with colour

From left: Zara blazer, £39.99; zara mules, £49.99; whistles tie top, £95;  topshop bardot top, £32

Orange and red are the hottest colours of the season – plus psychologically they are associated with warmth. So add a hot hue to your outfit and it will make you instantly appear brighter and pop against that sea of those still playing it safe (and boring) in grey and black.

 

2) Break out the white        

Another clever colour trick for styling into spring without having to sacrifice any layers or warmth.

Just swap your navy or black blazer for a white one. Wearing colour? Add a white accessory. Or even white trainers – which are the fashion darlings footwear du jour.

 

3) Jumper + jacket combo  

Because you really need to put that wool coat away – it’s almost May!

But yeah, wearing a lightweight shirt underneath a jacket is probably not enough when its 3°C. So hang on to your knits and pair them underneath a jacket or blazer. If you really must you can always top it off with a furry gilet or wooly scarf.

 

4) Layer under

This is a trick I always use with clients and they are surprised how good it looks. Women are so used to layering things on top but often don’t think to start off with the heavier layers. Try a long sleeved top or turtleneck underneath a shift dress or shell top. You’ll be surprised how many new outfit combinations you’ll discover with this simple trick!

 

5) Swap out your footwear

Ok you may just have to grin and bare a little bit of cold. But proper boots should not be worn in May!
Try a shoe boot with a peep toe, trendy trainers or patent loafers or simple ballet pumps. Your ankles may be a little chilly but it will add a new lease of life to your outfit.