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

Razzle dazzle them this Christmas

The festive season is upon us and we are revelling in our party wear. Everything we love about winter fabrics is here: velvet, cashmere, lace, sparkle and shine. We’ve done the hard work for you and you’ll find dresses and separates which are individual, pretty and stylish. No need to pound the pavements or stress about what to wear, just browse our new collections and be inspired! If you need guidance and advice, feel free to call us or email us; we’d love to help.

Our style masterclasses with Lindsay Punch have confirmed a common worry about dressing appropriately for our age and not looking like ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ – yucky expression. Such is our dread of being judged that we are almost in danger of going the other way and blending into the background.

We say, if you can’t have fun with fashion at Christmas, when can you?! It doesn’t need to be a comedy jumper; you can look fabulous, festive with quality clothes that express your personality and make you stand out from the crowd.

Have a snoop through our selection box of party outfits. We’ve grouped them in descending order of bling, beginning of course, with the sparkliest!

Full-on glamour

If you want a real showstopper, look no farther than Darling’s Renee dress. This is truly a work of art: beautifully embellished with silver and bronze sequins and embroidery. The style is simple and classic, a mesh bodice and fully lined below with a soft taupe fabric.

Darling Renee sequin dress available on www.colmershill.com priced at £135
Darling Renee Sequin Dress £135

Collectif’s gold star dress is like a beautiful foil-wrapped chocolate: gorgeous on the outside and pure quality on the inside. Its fit and flare style holds you comfortably in all the right places.  Appropriately named Trixie Atomic – you will look and feel like the biggest star in your personal galaxy.

Collectif Atomic Star Dress £59 available on www.colmershill.com
Collectif Atomic Star Dress £59

Midi skirts are still a big trend and Cotton Brothers’ gold pleated skirt has an urban  sophistication and is flattering and easy to wear. Team with a simple black jumper from Darling or a beaded vest top by Myrine.

Cotton Brothers Gold Pleated Skirt £55 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers Gold Pleated Skirt £55

A sprinkle of stars

If full on glamour isn’t for you, take the bling down a level with separates in rich patterns, metallic and a dusting of diamante.

Robell trousers look and feel great and inspire any number of party outfits. We have a gorgeous range of printed trousers new in, such as the silver jacquard print or the black rose print.  Balance the bling with a soft cashmere knit from Luella or Cocoa.

Robell printed trousers available in black or aubergine £75 available on www.colmershill.com
Robell printed trousers available in black or aubergine £75

Alternatively, we have the Darling Ana cigarette trousers which come in a smart, textured patterned fabric. Team this up with a simple ivory top or a thin knit.

Darling Ana Cigarette Trousers £79 available at www.colmershill.com
Darling Ana Cigarette Trousers £79

A sparkly poncho instantly puts you in the party mood. Malissa J trimmed ponchos were a massive hit last year and their new styles are equally tempting. Alternatively, go with   the metallic trend with a Cotton Brothers gold or silver shift top. Wear with plain skirt such as the Cotton Brothers pleather skirt.

MalissaJ Diamante Raining Beaded Poncho £55 available on www.colmershill.com
MalissaJ Diamante Raining Beaded Poncho £55
Cotton Brothers silver top £45 and pleather skirt £45 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers silver top £45 and pleather skirt £45
Cotton Brothers Sequin Stripe Top £45 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers Sequin Stripe Top £45

Understated glamour

If you are looking for low key impact check out Myrine’s beautiful Jupiter spot dress in mulberry or navy. This dress is classically Myrine: combining flattering style with an imaginative spot print with subtle sparkle.

Myrine Jupiter Polka Dot Dress £101.50 available at www.colmershill.com
Myrine Jupiter Polka Dot Dress £101.50

Cotton Brothers black crepe and velvet blouse is beautifully luxurious and very classy. Team with a black or green pleather skirt by Soaked in Luxury, or go for black supersoft faux suede trousers by Robell.

Cotton Brothers Semi Sheer Top with Velvet Neckline £55 available on www.colmershill.com
Cotton Brothers Semi Sheer Top with Velvet Neckline £55

Red is always a winner at Christmas; try this deep cherry Collectif dress, which is so pretty and festive. It will take you everywhere you want to go.

Collectif Delphine Swing Dress £69 available at www.colmershill.com
Collectif Delphine Swing Dress £69

This is just a snapshot of what we have online. In the shop you will also find lots of Envy and Treaty jewellery, Powder accessories, plus quality shoulder and clutch bags to complete your look.

Now, surely it must be time to put something fizzy in the fridge…

Happy shopping!

 

 

Colmers Hill Fashion Named As Finalist in Two National Awards

Colmers Hill Fashion www.colmershill.com is proud to announce that they are finalists in the 2017 UK Boutique Awards. The business, based in Symondsbury Manor Yard near Bridport, Dorset has been nominated in two categories: BEST UK BOUTIQUE and BEST ONLINE BOUTIQUE.

Colmers Hill Fashion named as finalist for two awards: Best UK Boutique and Best UK Online Boutique in the 2017 Boutique Awards
Colmers Hill Fashion named as finalist for two awards: Best UK Boutique and Best Online Boutique

The boutique is one of five finalists in each category, selected from over 4,000 nominations internationally. The winner will be the business which achieves the greatest number of votes. So far, the Boutique Awards have received over 157,000 votes internationally.

We are thrilled to be finalists and so grateful for our customers’ support,” says owner Penny Callaghan. I’d like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has voted for us so far,”

It would be another feather in Dorset’s “golden cap” to win this award, especially as we’re up against some very well-established national names!”

This is the first year of the UK Boutique Awards. Colmers Hill is up against businesses including boutiques based in Brighton, St Albans and Berkhamsted.

Colmers Hill set up at Symondsbury Manor Yard two years ago in August 2015. The shop and website www.colmershill.com specialises in introducing quality fashion brands from the UK and Europe to their customers. The ranges are chosen for their unique and individual style, from casual to smart-casual wear. Customers like it for its relaxed, homely atmosphere and honest advice if wanted.

Why personal fashion style is all about meat and potatoes!

This blog is all about how to create the perfect wardrobe.  How you choose clothes that are useful and also inspire you. How to experiment with fashion and be more individual in your fashion style. How to avoid overdoing it, without playing it too safe?

Designer Michael Kors said: “70% of the clothes you own should be meat and potatoes. 30% should be icing and fluff—that’s color, pattern, shine, accessories.  Too many women get the proportions the other way round, then can’t figure out why they can’t get dressed.”

Erm ok, so let’s take a look at the meat, potatoes icing and fluff. Or maybe a more appealing metaphor is a cupcake: a perfect vanilla sponge topped with your choice of icing and decoration.

Best fashion basics

Two thirds of our wardrobe should be hard-working basics. These will be well-fitting, stylish and versatile.  For us at Colmers Hill, this would be our deck super slimming capris or full length trousers. Alternatively, Myrine Emil trousers.  Your colour palette will certainly include neutrals in both dark and light shades such as navy, petrol blue, black, charcoal, sand, silver, ivory, or white.  Choose shades that are the most useful for you.

D.E.C.K trousers (£59) coupled with the Cocoa 100% Cashmere Boxy Cardigan (£210.00)
D.E.C.K trousers (£59) coupled with the Cocoa 100% Cashmere Boxy Cardigan (£210.00)

Skirt basics include simple cuts and colours with enough detail to keep you interested and give you shape. A pencil skirt from Eucalyptus or a midi skirt from A Postcard from Brighton are also great staples.

Adding colour, pattern and shine

This is the icing and decoration on your cupcake. Detail on clothing is a very personal thing and everyone has their favourites as well as their absolute no-no’s.  Some of us love stripes and hate florals, others love florals but hate sparkle, another wince at a frill but love a pintuck – you get the gist. When it comes to sparkle and shine, some of us are happier with a muted metallic whilst others want the full bling – with extra bling.

When an item of clothing or an accessory appeals to us, it’s an emotional reaction. We don’t think too much about it. Enough to say, it gives us a lift. It’s great to express ourselves with the fun aspects of fashion.  We don’t need to take it too seriously but if you’re worried about overdoing it, stick to either sparkle or pattern but not both on the same garment. Many of us get stuck in a rut, thinking we can never wear florals or geometrics or diamante but keep an open mind and give things a try. We change as we get older and our fashion style needs to keep up!

Darling Quinn top (£35) from Colmers Hill Fashion
Darling Quinn top (£35)

Here are some of our very favourite ‘toppings’

Darling Dion top: lovely ivory crepe tops with pearl trim.

Cocoa pure cashmere jumper: amazing colour with a contrast trim and button back.

Myrine floral tunic top: an unusual wildflower pattern does all the work.

Out of Xile vintage tulle edge cardigan: gorgeous colours and just the right amount of lace.

Darling Fara top in duck egg blue: pleats along the hem and cuffs give this top a lovely swing.

Of course, you can switch things around and have your icing on the bottom eg our metallic print jeans and your cake on top with a simple ivory blouse from Darling.

Floral print stretch mid-rise jeans available at Colmers Hill Fashion £45
Floral print stretch jeans available at Colmers Hill Fashion £45 worn with a simple basic A Postcard From Brighton vest top

 

Since we discovered Michael Kors’s quote, we’ve all been taking a good, hard look into our wardrobes at home and working out how close we are to the 70% rule. Suffice to say, there’s work to be done but at least we’re heading in the right direction!

The next blog will be about Wardrobe Malfunctions. Yup – we’ve all been there.

Colmers Hill Fashion is holding its first Styling Masterclass in the Autumn with top stylist Lindsay Punch. The class will teach you how to put together a “meat & potato” wardrobe from the new Autumn collection at Colmers Hill! For tickets or more information see details on our Facebook Event Page.

Autumn Style Masterclass at Colmers Hill Fashion with stylist Lindsay Punch
Autumn Style Masterclass at Colmers Hill Fashion with stylist Lindsay Punch

Photography courtesy of Simon Emmett Images

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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