Four Ways To Dazzle At A Garden Party

Got a diary full of garden parties this summer? Discover four fail-safe dresses you’re guaranteed to wow in at every outdoor occasion over the upcoming sunny season.

Look Elegant In A Maxi

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Sure, the maxi dress isn’t for everyone – the long, tube-like style does favour a more athletic or boyish figure – but for those that do dare to go full length this summer, be sure to go vibrant with colour and print too.

Make a statement in a maxi dress patterned with colourful stripes (vertical are most flattering), neon geometric designs or zesty tropical flowers. Shoe-wise, the maxi goes best with a flat heel, so we suggest wearing a pair of gladiator sandals or pale-coloured ballet pumps with yours.

Top Tip:

If you’re heading to a party with lots of games and garden sports on the itinerary, don’t wear a maxi dress. Holding up your hem all day so you don’t trip and fall flat on your face is no fun at all. Also, if the ground is at slightly wet (thanks to those trusty summertime showers) your long, ground-grazing dress will end up absorbing most of the downpour!

Ooze Style In An Off-The-Shoulder

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One of summer 2016’s biggest styles is the Bardot dress. Named after the French actress Brigitte Bardot (in case you hadn’t already twigged), the off-the-shoulder cut can be seen not only on dresses but on shirts, crop tops and camisoles too.

The style can be hard to wear when not in a fitted fabric, but the addition of a little elastic and a spaghetti strap (like in our lovely navy number above) means you can show off your shoulders without the worry of your top falling down! The Bardot neckline suits all figures and is a great way to show off the most slim and seductive parts of the body: the neck and collarbone.

Top Tip:

Don’t leave the house without a cardigan, shawl or cover up. In the heat of the sun you may want to cover your shoulders as they can burn easily, and when the sun goes down for the day, you’ll need some warmth around your neck and chest for those cocktails by candlelight.

Keep It Classy In A Jumpsuit

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The ideal outfit for a day of garden croquet, giant Jenga or hide and seek with the kids isn’t just for the long, lean and legs-to-the-ceiling type. If you’re short, turn up the legs of your jumpsuit if they’re too long and team with a pair of cork wedges or espadrilles to add height. For those who are curvy, use a thin belt to cinch in the waist and add definition to your silhouette.

Colour-wise, nothing is off-bounds this summer – the brighter, the better! We’re in love with the navy and white leaf-print jumpsuit above, which has a beautifully embellished neckline too.

Top Tip:

If you’re drinking lots of summer punch, Pimm’s or just plain water (like you should do in the heat of the sun, of course), be sure to head to the loo before you’re too desperate. Why? Because spending a quick penny in a jumpsuit requires undoing everything from the top, so you’ll need to factor in fiddly buttons, ties or zips. Let’s leave the accidents to the little ones, now…

Be The Life And Soul In A Swing Dress

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Cool, comfortable, casual and oh-so chic, summer parties were made for swing dresses. The perfect choice for lounging in the sun, playing lawn games and dancing on the deck, make a statement in these free flowing day dresses by wearing a vibrant colour like green, fuschia, orange or yellow, or a even pretty print.

In terms of footwear, the swing dress is easy: it will partner with pretty much anything. For a casual, daytime party, opt for a jeweled sandal, espadrille or chunky mid-heel mule, and for a more formal, evening party, team your dress with a block heel or sparkly strappy stiletto.

Top Tip:

If it’s a windy day and your dress is light, tape a pound coin onto the inside hem at the front and onto the inside hem at the back to avoid that Marilyn Monroe moment. This way, when a gust sweeps through the garden your dress will be weighted down and you won’t be left red-faced having flashed your knickers to the whole party.