We’re smack in the middle of summer and you need some style advice because it’s quite feasible that you’ll find yourself at a wedding one weekend, at a festival at another and at the Races in between. We’re Renaissance women, aren’t we?
Rachel Davis is a leading stylist who began her career at Grazia, Sunday Times Style and British Glamour. Since then, she has styled Elle McPherson, Daisy Lowe, Kelly Brook and Dannii Minogue and worked alongside top photographers in the industry including Annie Leibovitz, Chloe Mallett, Brian Daly, Simon Songhurst, Paul Farrell and Ken Niven.
Rachel is currently working with TK Maxx on the Me. By Me. project, designed to encourage people to pursue style in an independent way. If anyone knows how to shift fashion gears fast, she does. I asked her to put together a ‘how to’ on dressing for the top events of the season. http://mebyme.tkmaxx.com/en/about Join the conversation at #MebyMe.
1. A summer wedding
What to wear? ‘Understanding your own style is key. Wear something that feels you, so that you feel confident. Dress to highlight your best assets. If you have great legs, for example, don’t hide them away. Secondly, colour can affect mood, and feelings can have an impact on those we meet. Warm, sunny shades such as yellow or orange lift spirits and send signals to people that we’re outgoing and want to communicate – a great choice for summer! Finally, what you wear underneath can make or break a look so work out underwear in advance. You don’t want a last minute panic about revealing bra straps or VPL on the day.
What not to wear? ‘White! Just don’t. There are so many colours to choose from. Avoid materials that crease badly. By the end of the day, you’ll look worn out. You want to be cool and comfortable from chapel to dancefloor so wear light breathable fabrics. Lastly, don’t wear something you don’t feel confident in but is ‘on trend.’ You don’t have to be a slave to fashion to look good.’
Style icon? ‘For me, it has to be Blake Lively and Gwyneth Paltrow; they do ‘groomed’ so well. But style inspiration doesn’t have to be from celebrities! An individual whose style you admire is also a great icon. Style icons can be found everywhere, from someone you spot in the street to a friend or family member.’
2. The Races
What to wear? ‘If you’re a hat girl – rock that hat! If hats make you nervous, try a fascinator. Above all, choose accessories that reflect you. My tip for fascinators is to make sure your hair doesn’t look ‘too done’. If you’re wearing a ‘safe’ dress, give it some edge by pairing it with a statement shoe. Try a colour pop to give the outfit a more effortless look. Stylish sunglasses are a great finishing touch.’
What not to wear? ‘Killer heels. You may love them, but comfort is key at day-long events. If you must wear them, take flats for the evening and choose shoes with an ankle strap for added support.’
Style icon? ‘Victoria Beckham nails the serious grown up look with an edgy elegance.’
What to wear? ‘This is a time to experiment. Mix textures, prints and styles with embellishment. Look to style icons for inspiration, by all means, but add your own twist. Kate Bosworth is great at the boyfriend look. Cut-off jeans, a white vest and a plaid shirt are perfect for an effortless look which I love. And don’t forget sunglasses!’
What not to wear? ‘Really anything goes. There are no no-nos!’
Style icons: ‘Alexa Chung and Kate Bosworth both do festival so well. However, take a look around while you’re there. There’ll be plenty of ‘real’ style icons to inspire you!’