Is there any occasion more frightening, more butterfly inducing, than a first date? Everything needs to be perfect – the location, the atmosphere, and of course, your outfit. Choose the right thing to wear and you may find yourself in first date heaven. Pick wrongly from your closet, and you hit first date hell.
It has happened to the best of us – me included.
I was once asked to accompany a very cute young man to a wedding reception. He was slightly older than me, as were his friends, and so the main thing I wanted was to look older and more sophisticated. At the time, I was very much influenced by 1960s icons like Marianne Faithfull and Julie Christie, and thought their style would be perfect for me. I was tall, slim, blonde, size 10 – what could possibly go wrong. As I opened the door to my date I soon found out.
I’d chosen a gold, knitted, 1960s style, sleeveless mini dress with a polo neck. It was totally swinging sixties, and just so wrong for a wedding. It clinged in all the wrong places, and the wool had me itching all night. The glances I got were less than admirable, apart from the seriously lecherous father of the bride. The only consolation was that I hadn’t backcombed my hair into a Dusty Springfield beehive that had been my initial plan. (Shudders!) I looked like an extra that had strayed from the Austin Powers film set. Yeah Baby!
I blame that outfit on youth, but if I could go back in time life would’ve so much easier. Need a sophisticated wedding outfit – go to Coast. A beautiful dress, classic heels and a standout, colour pop clutch – what else do you really need?
So, here are my three easy steps to perfection.
1. The Dress – avoid swinging sixties looks unless the wedding states ‘fancy dress’ and instead look to a graceful 1950s silhouette as favoured by Zooey Deschanel and Taylor Swift. The Xanthe dress is so Grace Kelly, elegant and show stopping in its simplicity. Coco Chanel always said that you needed to remove one accessory before you leave your house, but I would just avoid jewellery altogether – why gild the lily?
2. Shoes. Matching perfectly the theme of the dress, black shoes give the look a uniformity which actually screams ‘sophistication’. I love the Tess shoe for one simple reason. When I look at them, I’m fairly sure I could dance the night away with them on my feet, just as long as I avoided Gangnam Style that is…
3. Complete the look with a colour pop clutch. Sophisticated from head to toe, you can afford to add a touch of fun with a colour pop clutch bag. The Harper clutch adds zest to this outfit, the lime shade standing out all the more against the glamorous, gothic black of your dress.
I love this outfit so much, I’m just waiting for an invitation to pop through the letterbox that gives me the perfect excuse to wear it. Because, after all, dressing is all about the occasion…