Cool Outdoor Glamour

Nothing says summer more than the sound of sizzling barbecues, the chinking of ice in a cool, long glass of Pimms and the sound of music and laughter floating across the garden fence.

Summer in fashion terms can be easier for some in the style stakes but for others achieving a sense of cool, effortless glamour for outdoor events can be a real challenge.

So that you can be chic and stylish this summer season, whether you’re at a family barbecue, a garden party or a summer soirée at the golf club, I’ve put together some key pieces to update your summer wardrobe so that you feel elegant, but not over done.

A maxi dress is generally a go to piece for most girls, however when you are choosing a maxi dress I always advise my clients to look at the dress and identify where the horizontal and vertical details are within the style of the dress. This maxi dress from Little Mistressat Debenhams, has vertical detail which will elongate and lengthen you, thus making you look taller.

Little Mistress by LOOK Evie Dress' £80 at w

It’s a great option for shorter ladies because of it’s ability to make you look taller, and you should also keep the style of your dress neat to your frame as anything too volumous will swamp your frame. My top tip is to avoid any horizontal detailing on maxi dresses as it will widen and shorten you.

If your size concerns you, and you are keen to wear a maxi, look at the size or scale of the print or detail within the design of the dress. Small scale prints will make you appear larger while large bold floral or geometric prints, popular this season, will give you the appearance of being smaller. The ideal would be to wear one block colour as this will be the most flattering, if you feel this is boring you could accessorise the outfit with a statement necklace or wear one bold colour to bring a bit of vavavoom to your look.

To be stylish in the summer doesn’t have to mean maxi dresses, the utility look is a big trend this summer season featuring Shirt Dress‘s which offer a shorter alternative for those confident about their legs.
Styled with wedges, a utility shirt dress can be worn to many differing occasions. Perfect for those with little shape to their hips and waist with a straight body silhouette.

A  Jumpsuit may not be to everyone’s taste, but I swear by them, super easy to wear, comfortable and effortlessly cool they give me the freedom to chase after the kids if the need arises without worrying I’ll trip over the hem of my dress.
black and white graphic floral p laysuit £55 Oasis
Bold floral print is very much on trend, monochrome colouring is easy to wear and the large scale print will make you look smaller.

Cutlottes have made an appearance on the Spring Summer 2015 catwalks, they offer the versatility of looking like a skirt but without the worry that a gust of wind may reveal your dignity. The high street has some really great offerings, I would suggest that you style Culottes with a block heel of medium height to avoid sinking into the lawn.


From Oasis this dress is great for those with some shape to their hips and waist, this is a medium scale print so my advice is that if you are roughly a size 10-14 this will be the right size scale for you. A great choice for a more formal occasion with heels but could be dressed down with flats for a BBQ, increasing your value for money.
Lemon Zest Pencil Dress £55 Oasi s

A chic cover up for when the evening grows cold, Duster Coat‘s were huge earlier in the Spring season and are a more masculine cut alternative to the kimono style jacket. Throw it on with smart jeans or trousers for a warm chic look. This style of jacket is best suited to those with no shaping at all or some shaping to their hips and waist, think straight up and down body shapes or those with a little curve between their hips and waist. If you do have curves ensure the jacket has darts in the back so that it follows the contours of your body rather than covering your lovely shape completely and that it finishes at the lower thigh as this is where your leg becomes more narrow and is more complimentary to your shape.
Warehouse Duster Coat Jul edition

Or if the utility trend was more your thing, this Jacket from Next offers a feminine edge to another butch trend, it would look great with white jeans for a casual event. If you have shape to your hips ensure this jacket finishes at your waist to accentuate it as it will no doubt be the narrowest point of your body.
I hope you all have stylish fun in the sun, let me know any questions you may have regarding anything featured or questions regarding any trends like Culottes/Jumpsuits which can pose a real style challenge for some. You can contact me at

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