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The Best Occasion Dresses for Every Summer Event

Feature: Quick Read
Words by Eleanor Hibberd

For those who love an excuse to dress up, we have four words for you: May, June, July and August. As our calendars fill up with weddings, garden parties, sporting events and black-tie galas, ensure your spot on the best-dressed list with our guide to the best occasion gowns and dresses to wear to every event this social season. 

Garden Party Dresses

Heading to an afternoon affair? English-garden florals are always best placed for daytime fixtures such as Christenings, Chelsea Flower Show or cocktails on the lawn, while sporting events like Wimbledon and Henley Regatta invite you to don your ‘tennis whites’ in the form of elegant ivory summer dresses. Block heels or chic flats underfoot will ensure you stay upright on soft and uneven ground, and a hands-free cross-body bag will prove worth its weight in strawberries and cream.

Destination-Wedding Guest Dresses

Aside from the holiday that comes with it, the best part about jetting off for a destination wedding is that your outfit choices won’t be hindered by the Great British weather – nor by traditional guest dress codes. That means slinkier silhouettes, brighter colours and bold prints are all yours for the taking. Silk is your best friend when it comes to keeping cool, and won’t take up too much room in your luggage – though be sure to pack a steamer to keep creasing at bay.

Woman in Orange E.Stott Dress
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Completedworks Gold Vermeil, Pearl and Topaz Eze-Eh Ear Climbers primary image

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Gold Vermeil, Pearl and Topaz Eze-Eh Ear Climbers

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Summer Cocktail Party Dresses

Hot town, summer in the city. Cue cocktails at sunset and a host of unmissable events at which to see and be seen – from the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition preview to the Serpentine Summer Party. Touted as some of the season’s most fashionable occasions, these soirées will require an extra-special outfit in order to make it onto the best-dressed lists. Aim to strike a balance between elegance and glamour, looking to the likes of Maria Lucia Hohan, Erdem and Taller Marmo to get you there.

Women in pink long sleeve dress with yellow flowers
Graff White Gold and Diamond Wild Flower Multi-Diamond Necklace primary image

Graff

White Gold and Diamond Wild Flower Multi-Diamond Necklace

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Black-Tie Ball Gowns

Whether you’re heading to the opera or a black-tie banquet, summer is eveningwear’s true time to shine. With no outer layers to stifle their brilliance, high-octane ball gowns and statuesque sequin dresses come into their own. It’s as much about exuding unapologetic glamour as it is about having fun. After all, it’s not every day that you can wear hot-pink Carolina Herrera. Enjoy it.

Gala Dress
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  • Shot on location atPassalacqua Hotel in partnership with Abercrombie & Kent

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