What do you get when you take four fashion insiders, eight outstanding outfits and an abundance of Bloom & Wild flowers? A whole lot of occasionwear inspiration, that’s what. As part of our partnership with the master florists, we invited four of our industry favourites to take part in a shoot showcasing our new styles. Think luxurious fabrics and serious attention to detail that will ensure you’re the best-dressed wedding guest wherever you go.
Alice and Hannah of Belle & Bunty
Bloggers and fashion designers Alice Shreeve and Hannah Coniam-Thompson are the brains behind Belle & Bunty, a fashion label known for glamorous occasionwear and romantic bridal gowns.
Where do you start when picking out a special occasion outfit?
Hannah: “I always have set colours that I like to wear; pink and peach, nudes, black and a variety of blues and reds. I stick to what I know and like and then it depends whether I want something midi-length and floaty or a bit more fitted. I think we both like texture as we’re trained fashion designers so fabric is very much our thing. It could be a nice detail, a touch of lace or an intricate piece of crochet. We also enjoy wearing a good, colourful print for a special occasion.”
How do you adapt an outfit with accessories?
How to be the best-dressed guest at a wedding – any tips?
Hannah: “You need to feel comfortable, so don’t go for the highest heels or the tightest dress. An understated outfit will always look better than going over the top.”
Alice: “You’ve got to feel like yourself and be comfortable. It’s got to be your style. If you feel totally out of your comfort zone I think that comes across. If you feel comfortable you’ll feel confident.”
What’s the best way to find a colour that suits?
Hannah: “I think it comes down to trial and error. Try it on and see how it feels. Some shades are trickier to wear than others but you know you’re on to a winner with shades that illuminate and flatter your skin tone.”
What details on the outfits really stood out for you?
Hannah: “The clashing colour combination was my favourite part of the outfit. The orange and pinks work so well together.”
Alice: “I love the jumpsuit. It’s great on its own but you could also add lots of necklaces and gold to really make it your own.”
How would you describe your style?
Hannah: “Effortless. Maybe it’s a London way to dress but I like to look like I’ve made an effort but not too much of an effort, For example, I might team a tight pencil skirt with a casual t-shirt or mix a pair of heels with jeans and an oversized sweater. It’s a laid-back combination where you’re dressing up without looking like you’ve tried too hard.”
What’s your favourite flower?
Hannah: “The Peony. How can you not love a peony? I had them in my wedding bouquet. It’s such a beautiful, floaty flower.”
Alice: “The classic rose. They could be any colour, they all look chic to me.”
Freddie Harrel of She Unleashed
Fashion blogger and founder of style and confidence consultancy She Unleashed, Freddie Harrel knows how to navigate bold colour and statement prints. She also likes to describes herself as a fashion burrito, ‘I just chuck loads of things in and wrap them into one’. We’re stealing that style mantra.
How do you get dressed for special occasions?
“I start by working out how I feel on that day and then I start picking out my outfit. Sometimes I start with the shoes, sometimes I start with the make-up. I might make a bold lipstick the main element of my look and then I find the outfit that matches it. I love really bold pieces. It might be quite simple but has an interesting colour or shape – it has to have some element that will stand out. I love anything that looks original that you can make your own with accessorises. “
What are your fail-safe shapes that always make you feel confident?
“I love a high waist. It’s my go-to. Whatever your body shape a high waist is flattering.“
What are your tips for wearing colour?
“Start with simple prints. I would suggest stripes or polka dots. Begin with one printed piece and match it with something simple. You can then incorporate more prints and even clash them if you’re feeling brave. Don’t be afraid of colour – it can bring lots of happiness to you and your wardrobe and it’s really not as intimidating as people think.”
Is a special event the time to try print?
“I would suggest experimenting with print on a normal day at the office or at the weekend and get comfortable with it before taking it out for a big event. You’ll then feel even more confident about wearing it.”
How would you advise accessorising a bold printed dress?
“Sometimes a statement dress just needs to be left alone to do the talking, so to speak. You don’t want to distract from it too much so I would suggest pairing it with minimal accessories. A great pair of shoes, a smart block-colour handbag and some complementing make-up might be all you need. It’s important to let bold pieces take centre stage.”
What details do you like best about your outfit today?
“When I buy clothes I always look at the print and then the shape and the texture. I love to clash textures. The fluidity of the dress is so beautiful – it highlights your waist while the V-neck is extra flattering.
“The print also gives off a retro-vintage feel. It’s a very versatile piece and would look great with flats or heels.”
What are some good alternatives to a dress for a special occasion?
“A jumpsuit or a trouser suit. A printed suit with a great pair of brogues or heels is a classic look with a tomboy twist. It’s also very comfortable.”
What’s your favourite flower?
“I love lilies – both the smell and the way they look. They’re my absolute favourite.”
Shop our new occasionwear range now, and avoid what-to-wear panics later.
WIN A PIECE OF OCCASIONWEAR
Tell us which Boden dress you’ve got your eye on, plus your favourite flower for the chance to win a new spring wardrobe worth £2000 and a year’s supply of Bloom & Wild deliveries. Enter here. Good luck!