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Getting Ready

Getting Ready

Summer is all about where you’re going, who you’re going with and, most importantly, what you’re wearing. While some events are dress code-free, others have some serious style stipulations. So whether you’re heading to Ascot, a summer wedding, a barbecue with friends or Wilderness Festival, we’ve got your every style eventuality covered.


All About The Gown

Best for: Black tie weddings, summer balls, gala dinners

Formal summer events call for a head-turning gown. From a summer ball, black-tie wedding or a gala dinner, this is the time to make a statement. Look to diaphanous numbers from Valentino, Roland Mouret and Jenny Packham for infinite evening allure, topping off your look with dazzling jewellery.

  • "This is not the time to be subtle - gown dramas are expected."
    Harrods By Appointment team

After Hours

Best for: Cocktail parties, V&A Summer Party, Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition Party

Looking the part for evening needn’t necessarily mean going high-octane. It’s all in the detail, so go for cocktail dresses with interesting touches: embellishment, pleats, embroidery, cut-outs or ruffles will add a whole new dimension to your look – just add a clutch and look-at-me shoes. And as it’s summer, opt for a dose of colour to make an after-dark impression, whether head-to-toe or via some clever colour-blocking. 

Social Butterflies After Hours

Summer Days

Best for: Royal Ascot, Henley Royal Regatta

If you’re heading to Ascot, make sure to read up on the dress code before you invest: skirt lengths of just-above-the-knee length and longer; straps no less than one inch wide; hats are a must; midriffs must be covered – these are just some of the guidelines you’ll need to follow. For a seasonal wedding, however, experiment with all manner of cuts and silhouettes, making sure you make the most of SS17’s popping colourways.

  • "Don’t let the dress code feel like a burden, embrace it."
    Harrods By Appointment team

Delicately Done

Best for: Daytime wedding, Christening, garden party

Pare it right back for day with whispers of lace and embroidery in soft, chic hues. Light fabrics and easy, feminine silhouettes will make dressing for christenings, garden parties and sun-soaked nuptials a breeze. Emilia Wickstead, The Row and Victoria Beckham will be your go-tos for a dress-up-by-day wardrobe, and if you want to add colour, a bold clutch teamed with a punchy lipstick will go a long way.

Social Butterflies Delicately Done

Go High-Low

Best for: Wimbledon, festivals, summer picnics and barbecues

Versatility is your golden ticket to casual summer style. Pair adventurously: jumpers atop floaty dresses, relaxed jackets over lace and tulle, plain tees and culottes or tailored shirting with printed midi skirts – the combinations are endless, meaning you can go from day-to-night at festivals, barbecues and leisurely picnics with your wardrobe boxes ticked.

  • Social Butterflies Go High-Low
  • Social Butterflies Go High-Low
  • "Casual summer events don’t often have rules, so sometimes are trickier to dress for."
    Harrods By Appointment team

The Wind Down

The new riffs on denim – patchwork, embroidery – make for oh-so wearable options this summer; double up or mix with lighter-than-air knits, shirting or your favourite skirt for easy ensembles. Cross body bags will help keep things practical, while SS17’s covetable flat sandals will punctuate your outfit to a T.

Social Butterflies The Wind Down

The Beauty of Summer

Make-up artist Celia Burton reveals how to achieve that ever-elusive summer evening glow: “To achieve this look, skin needs to reflect lots of light. I used a shimmering skin perfector all over the face, and applied concealer only where it was needed - I skipped the foundation. My tip is to apply a lip balm on your eyelids for a modern approach to eyeshadow. Elizabeth Arden’s Eight Hour Cream is perfect, or you could use lipgloss for a hint of colour."

  • "Apply lip balm on your eyelids for a modern approach to eyeshadow."
    Celia Burton, make-up artist