What to wear to high-society events!

Summer is upon us, and with it, a slew of high-society events that demand our utmost attention. There’s nothing like finding that perfect outfit, but it can be tricky, as each event has written and unwritten rules on what to wear and what not to wear. But, there’s no need to panic, as there’s plenty of time and more than enough styles and designer brands to go around! Whether it’s Royal Ascot, Henley Regatta, Goodwood, Glyndebourne, or Wimbledon, we’ve got you covered with this list of essential guidelines and tips that will ensure you look the part.

Racing off at Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot has recently updated its dress code, so it’s important to be aware of any changes if you’ve been to this event in recent years. Ascot chief executive Charles Barnett stated that Royal Ascot wants to promote ‘modern and stylish dress,’ as long as it is ‘within the parameters of formal wear.’ So, what are these parameters, then?

Well, ladies are required to wear skirts that fall beneath the knee or lower and a hat or a ‘headpiece which has a base of 4 inches or more in diameter’ (their words, not mine). Strappy or off-the-shoulder tops and dresses are a no-no but you can wear sleeveless. It’s best to start with a dress you like, and then pick a hat, jacket (depending on the weather) and shoes to match. We don’t think you can go wrong with our Eucalyptus dresses, which range from sumptuously summery Rose colours, to navy floral designs, all equally stylish and unequivocally classy. From there, it’s just a matter of finding the perfect jacket or coat and you’re ready to go!

Out of Xile Silk Habotai Top and linen skirt in rose pink available from colmershill.com
Out of Xile Silk Habotai Top and linen skirt in rose pink from colmershill.com

Centre Court at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is a tricky one, but we welcome the challenge, don’t we ladies? You’ll need something trendy and sleek, but also comfortable. As a general rule of thumb, it’s probably best not to go too short or tight – think billowing, stylish, and classy. Plus, you want to make sure you’re feeling comfortable, as you’ll no doubt be sitting down for quite a large part of the day.

If the weather’s good (fingers crossed!), then you’ll need some trendy sunglasses to protect you from the sun. As stylish as they may be, it’s a tad frowned upon to wear big hats to Wimbledon, as it can obscure the view for the person sitting behind you. These stylish Powder Sunglasses come in a variety of styles and will keep your eyes protected from the sun.

Powder tortoiseshell sunglasses from www.colmershill.com
Powder tortoiseshell sunglasses from http://www.colmershill.com

Looking Good at Goodwood

At Goodwood, like with many of these events, the dress code varies depending on which enclosure you’ve chosen. Make sure you’re aware of the differences before you start composing your outfit!

Eucalyptus Lily May Dress from colmershill.com

Unlike Wimbledon, hats are more than welcome and will give your outfit that extra sparkle. Plus, they are great in combination with retro dresses, which provides that incredibly sought-after vintage look. The Eucalyptus Lily May dress is perfect for this, as the red and white floral patterns can be effortlessly combined with a light cardigan and a stylish hat.  Retuned also have a great selection of classy summery dresses which would be perfect for Goodwood. Make sure to check out the Retuned Emily Red Floral Dress, which is both subtle and intricate at the same time.

P.S. The organisers explicitly mention on the website that they don’t advise stiletto heels, as the terrain can be a bit up and down, so make sure to keep this in mind when you’re putting your outfit together!

Retuned Red Floral smocked dress £69 available on colmershill.com
Retuned Red Floral smocked dress £69
Retuned retro styled lemon and navy print dress available at colmershill.com
Retuned retro styled lemon and navy print dress

Time to shine at Glyndebourne

If you’re going to Glyndebourne and you love full evening dress, then you’re in luck! If I had to pick one brand that stuck out from the rest for this occasion it would be Out of Xile, as they pretty much have everything you need to look as classy as is womanly possible! They’ve got a simply beautiful collection of bubble skirts and gorgeous Bell Dresses from their Ribbon Stripe Collection, which all come paired with their own elegant and unique design elements.

If you’re looking for a coat to combine this with, check out this gorgeous Out of Xile Linen Coat – the perfect addition to any classy outfit. It features intricate floral details on the collar and the back, providing just a little more intrigue, without compromising on the subtle nature that is so characteristic of the Out of Xile look.

Out of Xile bubble hem dress (or skirt) with Andrea Top available from colmershill.com
Out of Xile bubble hem dress (or skirt) with Andrea Top

Going Traditional at Henley Regatta

When it comes to the dress codes, we’ve saved the strictest for last. Henly Regatta is known for its strict guidelines so it’s important to get it right.

The dress code is meant to emulate that of a traditional English Garden Party, so think traditional clothes with a real vintage look. Trousers are a big no-no, so it’s time to get out your traditional Edwardian-styled dresses. For coats think of something along the lines of the Out of Xile Crinkle Collection Coat, a luxuriously ornate design with knotted details on the front and back, resembling rose buds. Perfect for the summer season!

Colmers Hill Fashion are here to help!

At Colmers Hill, we don’t do mediocre service. We guarantee one on one style advice and can help you prepare for any events, whether it’s the British High Society events or not. In short, we help you compose flattering outfits that truly mirror your unique personality. So, please don’t be shy, as you can always contact us for any style advice or questions about our clothes.

Credits: Images from Simon Emmett Photography, Fiona Baker Millinery for providing the fabulous hats and Jane Briggs-Harrison @janelymehair for the hair styling

We won!! Colmers Hill Fashion named UK online boutique of the year

Colmers Hill Fashion wins Best UK Online Boutique for its website www.colmershill.com
The badge of honour!

You could have knocked us over with a feather when the phone call came in saying that  www.colmershill.com had won Best UK Online Boutique category of The Boutique Awards, hosted by The Boutique Hub.  Surprised, shocked, proud, happy – yes, all of those.

 

The team (especially Penny because she does most of the work) hasn’t stopped smiling ever since. When Penny set up the business two years ago, she only had £5,000 to invest. All the money went on stock and she had to do everything herself – even really horrible things like SEO. She  built the current website and worked hard to find low cost ways to get Colmers Hill on the map. 

 

What makes this a special achievement is also the economic climate. Apparently,  according to the experts, we’re in the midst of a ‘Retail Apocalypse’, which sounds really nasty. And it is, if you’re a big high street brand. On the up-side, it’s the small businesses like ours which are bucking the trend. You – our lovely customers are making this happen by buying local and choosing independent boutiques. Thank you so much! Please can you carry on?  

 

You can be reassured that this fame hasn’t gone to our heads. We almost forgot to write a blog about it because we’ve been unpacking, pricing and uploading gorgeous new Autumn stock from our faves Myrine, Luella and Out of Xile but also new labels Cotton Brothers, Soaked in Luxury and Ralston.

 

If you haven’t shopped online with us before, you’ll find the same friendly personal service and attention to detail that you’d get if you were shopping with us in person.

 

Next up, our Autumn round-up of what’s hot this month!

 

 

 

 

Get your perfect holiday clothes here!

What to wear on the plane, on the beach, in the evening?? How to fit it all in the suitcase? How to mix and match? It’s all here with our Colmers Hill Fashion holiday edit!

Be inspired by gorgeous, colourful outfits to make you feel like a million dollars without spending it. Dream of relaxing on sun-drenched terraces in head-turning outfits that will make you look and feel great. And coming down to earth for a minute, imagine actually being able to close your suitcase and stay within the boring baggage allowance.

Which holiday clothes are winners

Planning what you’re going to take on holiday is time very well spent. Frequent travellers and fashionistas make a two week, mix and match wardrobe look like an art form. The difficult part is deciding what to take and being ruthless about the rest. The clothes you’ll wear are usually lightweight and don’t crease. They need to work hard for their place in your bag, so they must look great, be useful, mix with other things and be appropriate for the location!

Elsewhere crossover tunic gives a cool look for the summer and is light and easy to pack
Elsewhere crossover tunic gives a cool look for the summer and is light and easy to pack and doesn’t crease easily.

The golden rule of holiday packing: however much I love it, I won’t take it unless I really think I’ll wear it.

For ease, let’s assume we’re all going somewhere sunny and beachy with opportunities for a bit of glamour in the evening.

Our Colmers Hill hot picks are a) fashionable b) individual, c) comfortable and d) versatile

What to wear on the plane

Go for comfort all the way. If you are delayed (which is NOT going to happen) you need to be able to relax. And that goes for the flight too. You may have forgotten how small an economy seat is. Our best travel companions are layers and stretch. Think trousers, leggings or maxi skirts. Avoid wearing white, unless you love doing laundry on the first day of your holiday. Layering allows you to can strip off when you hit the heat at your destination and vice versa when you return to Old Blighty.

The aptly named A Postcard from Brighton range fits the bill perfectly. Check out the Fifi stripe maxi skirt with Farrah striped top and a cheeky Sammy lace trimmed vest underneath.

A Postcard From Brighton available at Colmers Hill Fashion is made from best quality jersey that doesn't bag and washes perfectly
A Postcard From Brighton is made from best quality jersey that doesn’t bag and washes perfectly

Myrine’s Emil lace trimmed trousers are made from fabulous, lightweight stretch material. Don’t be put off if you’re not sure about lace: the trim can be turned down or up for a more casual/dressy look. Wear with Bohemia’s tunic in either grey and white scribble design or plain blue. These outfits will also look great in the evening with statement jewellery such as this chunky cuff bracelet and Owen Barry metallic clutch bag.

Myrine Emil Trousers from Colmers Hill Fashion
Myrine Emil Trousers come in a variety of colours and are made of a comfort stretch fabric. The lace trim can give you a lovely evening flourish but can be hidden by turning down the cuff if you don’t want it to show during the daytime.

What to wear during the day

Cool dresses are your best friends, in cotton or linen. Myrine’s Pearl daisy print dress is swingy and pretty and can be dressed up in the evening with pretty sandals and maybe the Emil trousers.

Myrine Pearl Dress sold by Colmers Hill Fashion
Myrine Pearl Dress with a daisy print. A soft jersey dress, perfect for hot weather as recently tested by Britain’s latest heat wave!

Deck’s new linen dresses are proving really popular – be quick and snap one up while you can. Choose from navy, silver or hot pink in various designs. These are great for day or evening wear.

DECK Linen dresses at Colmers Hill Fashion
DECK linen dresses are available in-store at Colmers Hill Fashion in a range of colours and styles. This is an embellished dress, but there are plain dresses with cap sleeves available too

What to wear in the evening

This is when we get to indulge ourselves and make the most of all those lovely print dresses and separates. If you’ve got a tan, you can really go for it with stronger colours and a bit more bling. If you like black, take some as you will always feel great in it.

Myrine’s gorgeous strappy Amele maxi dress is very classy on its own or with the Joy sheer cardi in either ivory or mauve for a bit more coverage. Alternatively your statement dress could be the Eucalyptus Lily May dress a classic retro dress with oodles of English charm. If you want to show off your figure, this Friday on my Mind black mesh heart dress is a proper head-turner.

Myrine Amele Maxi Dress available at Colmers Hill Fashion with a pretty floral print and crossover straps on the back
Myrine Amele Maxi Dress with a pretty floral print and crossover straps on the back

Darling’s Aiofe floral skirt is incredibly versatile and will look great with any number of coloured tops, for example their Quinn coral top or the Dion ivory pearl trimmed layer top

Trousers-wise, you can’t do better than a pair of Deck super-slimming trousers in white or black. They look great with either flats or heels. Team with a Pour Moi cobalt blue top or a cute Collectif 50s inspired top.

DECK white trousers with a Pour Moi cobalt blue top available at Colmers Hill Fashion
DECK white trousers with a Pour Moi cobalt blue top

If you think you might want a little more warmth, either a Luella cashmere mix poncho (choice of colours available) or a stripe sweater in pink or blue is just the ticket – especially on the flight home.

Lastly, if you’re coming to Dorset on holiday, do pop in and say hello. You’ll find lots more gorgeous jewellery, watches, scarves and accessories in the shop. They make great souvenirs. Just saying.

Wherever you go, have a wonderful time!

 

Aagh!! What’s the dress code for Wimbledon, Ascot, Glyndebourne..?

If you are going to any of the big society events such as Glyndebourne, Wimbledon, Ascot, Henley etc and you need help, do not worry. Desist from stress. We have rifled the Colmers Hill Fashion rails so you don’t have to. You can look fashionable, whatever the occasion, whatever the weather. There’s no need to sacrifice your comfort by freezing, boiling or being uncomfortable all day.

In short, whatever the ‘appropriate attire’ or dress code, ladies, we can work it to our advantage!

And she’s off! Outfit ideas for Royal Ascot

Royal Ascot is a fashion event. Forget about the horses. The enclosure you go to dictates how much you should dress up. Warning: this is not dressing up in a humorous way. The website clearly states ‘fancy dress and replica sports shirts are not permitted’.  Oh right, we’re not going then …

Smart, fashionable trousers are ideal for the turf. Steer clear of linens that turn you into a crumpled paper bag by lunchtime. Our deck trousers can be worn capri style with pretty flats or full length with a heel, depending on your height. The stretch keeps you comfortable and holds its shape all day. The cut is very flattering madam. Choose from lovely summery colours – aqua, hot pink or dusky pink or play it cool with black. Wear with a Darling top, for example the Dion pearl trimmed top or Dottie jacket with its beautiful embellished buttons.

Darling Dion Top in ivory available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The pretty Darling Dion Top with pearls detailing on its tiered hemline
Darling Dottie Jacket in white worn with the Darling Marion Dress in Navy available at Colmers Hill Fashion
Darling Dottie Jacket worn with the Darling Marion Dress available at Colmers Hill Fashion

If you need to wear a hat, a dress and jacket are a good team. Our Eucalyptus tea dresses such as the Rosa navy floral are gorgeous prints in styles that flatter all ages. Team with heels or flats, with a pretty Out of Xile vintage tulle edge cardi. They are great for any formal occasion and happily dress down with a denim jacket on another day. Our favourite milliner Fiona Baker makes headpieces to order which will slip into a small bag if the weather turns iffy.

The Rosa is floaty chiffon tea dress by Eucalyptus with pretty cap sleeves and a contrasting tie belt available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The Rosa is floaty chiffon tea dress by Eucalyptus with pretty cap sleeves and a contrasting tie belt

It’s your advantage: what to wear at Wimbledon

Wimbledon is more smart casual but it’s a challenge for spectators, not just the players. When you’re seated for long stretches, swivelling your head from side to side, you need to be comfortable. And if you plan to be on the Centre Court, or TV, you need to look good.

Spectators are sitting ducks if it gets really hot or cold, so a longer skirt or a print culotte such as our Darling Hilda culottes are practical. Wear with flat ballerinas or a heeled sandal.  Layer your top half to give you options if the weather changes: the simple ivory Darling Quinn top and a cute Friday on My Mind honeycombe cardi will be perfect. Take a big statement tote to keep your day’s clobber in. Alternatively, check out Myrine’s Anna floral tunic or Amele maxi dress – super comfortable and sooo pretty!

Myrine Amele Ankle Dress with pretty floral print available at Colmers Hill Fashion
Myrine Amele Ankle Dress with pretty floral print
The pretty cotton Myrine Beth Dress with its crossover straps on the back available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The pretty cotton Myrine Beth Dress with its crossover straps on the back

Fortissimo belissimo: look gorgeous at Glyndebourne

If you’re going to the festival at Glyndebourne, full evening dress is The Thing. Enter stage right Out of Xile. Their lovely dress and coat combinations will really make you look and feel the part.

Out of Xile Reversible Dress in Marine Blue from Colmers Hill Fashion
This is a clever reversible Out of Xile dress so you can have a totally different look for two different occasions.

Out of Xile’s outfits are superbly cut and the fabrics have a beautiful evening-y subtle sheen. A dress and coat in their uniquely dyed fabrics are the most versatile combination and will keep you warm. There’s no need to spoil the whole effect with a massive puffa – take a Luella cashmere wrap/poncho instead. Great jewellery and an Owen Barry metallic clutch will finish off the outfit perfectly.

Va va voom: glorious Goodwood style

Go faster with our range of retro dresses which are perfect for Goodwood. Polka dots, florals, geometric designs: take your pick. Our new Collectif dresses in black or red spot or red cherries are real show-stoppers. The Eucalyptus Gillian dress is a beautiful modern vintage design in a subtle shade of blue or make a statement with the stunning Lily May dress in red and white floral. Alternatively, if you want to channel your inner Avenger, Desigual’s Hello dress is the bomb.

The retro style Eucalyptus Lily May Winter Rose Dress available at Colmers Hill Fashion
The retro styled Eucalyptus Lily May Winter Rose Dress

 

To keep your look authentic, make sure to choose retro style accessories such as a pretty Josephine hat in natural and blue linen with silk roses.

If you are going to any society events, we hope you have a great time. If we can be of any more help do email usfind us on Facebook or call 01308 426517.

One to one service and styling advice come as standard, for all our customers at Colmers Hill 🙂

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