Friday, 31 July 2015

17 Last Minute Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas (Without Spending a Fortune)

17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas
Although it'll be August tomorrow, we're still in wedding season. And if, like me, you've had a last minute wedding invitation, you may find you get a bit stressed about what to wear. I find that with plenty of notice I tend to build up to the big day - I know it's not my wedding but I still get excited about what I'm going to wear - and like to plan ahead. However, a last minute invite is enough to make even the most hardened wedding-goer resort to panic mode.

I've put together 17 outfits (I could have done more to be honest!) that are all from my outfit archives that I think are great last minute wedding guest outfit ideas. It's not so much about copying the outfits exactly (though of course you can recreate them if you wish), but this post is really providing some clever ideas on how to make things that you already own work for you.

I always maintain you should borrow accessories or shoes if you can, rather than buy new, or else buy things - but only if you know you'll wear it again.

I've also shown the same dresses twice in some of them to show you how you can wear the same dress you bought to wear to that wedding in June to another wedding in September... it's all in the accessorising!

Let me know if you find these tips useful - and if you still have a wedding to go to this year, what are you planning to wear? Let me know!

17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas
1. Accessorise a solid-colour dress
Original posts, L-R: 1, 2, 3

I know that my dresses are pretty much an identical style but two different colours, but this works for any one-colour dress: Dress it up with really bold accessories. Take a plain dress you already own and either borrow a bold belt, clutch or shoes from your sister, friend, etc. or simply go sale shopping and grab yourself a bargain.

You don't have to spend a fortune to get great-looking accessories. My top picks of retailers that sell reasonably priced accessories are Yosa, Asos, New Look, River Island and Forever 21.

Shop great clutches (all under £40):




17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas
2. Choose a basic skirt and top and add great accessories
Original posts, L-R: 123

This is probably the easiest wedding guest outfit to put together at the last minute: Take one skirt and one top, add shoes, a clutch and a fabulous necklace or hairpiece/hat - and you're done.

Although the middle outfit is actually a dress, it shows that a really pretty top with a skirt that has some interesting detailing to it - in this case a ruffle - works beautifully as a wedding guest outfit. Depending on the weather you may or may not want to add patterned tights. A plain top dressed up with a statement necklace will always look fabulous, and don't be afraid to create the illusion of a dress by wearing a top and skirt in similar colours.

It's the same principle as wearing a solid colour dress but it saves you buying something new.

Shop great necklaces (all £20 or less):




17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas
3. Let an all over bold print dress do all the talking
Original posts, L-R: 1, 2, 3, 4

This is an easy choice (and probably the most popular) for a wedding: A bold all-over print dress. There's not much you need to do to dress it up, but here are a few ideas.

Add a statement necklace and wear your hair in a fancy up-do or braid instead of wearing a hat. A statement necklace always adds some glamour.
DIY some plain shoes to make them co-ordinate with the colour of your dress better.
Depending on the weather, add a shrug (fur if it's winter), patterned tights, and/or DIY a hairpiece or fascinator.
Add a contrasting bag to a neutral-coloured dress (this yellow one is a bit too big for a wedding but you get the idea).

Shop great hair accessories and fascinators:




17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas
4. Creative evening reception outfit options
Original posts, L-R: 1, 2, 3, 4

Evening receptions are a little easier to dress for. You're not going to church or a town hall - you're basically there for the party, so dress accordingly. Skip the hat and wear something that you can dance all night in.

The maxi skirt/cardigan outfit on the left is one I actually wore to an evening reception a few years ago and it was thrown together at the last minute. If you're going for a skirt and top combo add lots of interesting textures and details with contrasting fabrics and accessories.

In two of these outfits I've worn a dress layered over trousers - a big no-no for an invite to the whole day but I think it's perfectly acceptable for an evening-only invite. If you're not keen on showing your knees but your friend has the perfect short dress you can borrow, layer it with a pair of smart trousers (cropped ones work best). Add heels and a necklace and you're done.

Shop great heels:




17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas
5. Wear vintage to avoid wearing the same as someone else
Original posts, L-R: 1, 2, 3

The great thing about wearing vintage to a wedding is that there's no chance of you turning up in the same dress as someone else. I've styled my fruit-patterned midi with brightly-coloured accessories - including some flower corsages in my hair (instead of a hat) - and then with a simple belt and fabulous chandelier earrings.

The black poppy-print dress was originally a maxi but I cut it to a midi length. Unless you've bought an Ossie Clark, don't be afraid to alter vintage clothing to suit you. I usually scour eBay for vintage dresses (read my tips on how to shop for vintage on eBay) and I love The House of Pandora and Beyond Retro for curated pieces.

Shop great belts:




17 Last minute wedding guest outfit ideas - beach wedding
6. Go maxi with a floppy hat for a casual or beach wedding
Original posts: L, R

Instead of wearing the same dress twice you can always wear the same hat twice - and a big floppy sun hat is perfect for a beach or casual summer wedding. Wearing your simple maxi dress and a big hat is always stylish and the addition of accessories such as bold belts or bags always add a little extra something.

Shop great floppy hats:




Hope these outfits have given you some ideas - let me know what you think in the comments!
Catherine
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P.S. Some of these outfits are "missing" bags but that's because they weren't worn for a wedding at the time. I'd always add a fabulous clutch for both practical and style reasons.
P.P.S. Like this post? You might also enjoy my Wedding Guest Outfit series I did a little while back!

Linking up to: Visible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle Sessions, Turning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Dressing Out of Your Comfort Zone | Blue Marl Marks & Spencer Tunic Dress

M&S blue tunic dress with suede lace up cuff sandals, colour block tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
I'm having a real Marks & Spencer moment, guys...! After working on a video campaign the other week with the brand up in London (details on the blog next week), I got to see just about everything in their current collection in the Marble Arch store. And for the M&S sceptics out there, I tell you - they really have got some gorgeous, gorgeous pieces. As part of the day we were kindly gifted some items of our choice from the store, and I chose this blue tunic dress and these suede lace-up sandals (first seen last week with my black maxi).

The thing is, this dress is totally unlike my go-to favourite style dress - the fit-and-flare. As part of the film we were asked what our best style tip was, and although I have a few, I went with "Always take an extra item into the changing room (or add to your online basket) that you like, but wouldn't dream of wearing. You never know - it may look amazing on you and force you out of your style comfort zone".

This dress was exactly that - a piece I loved but thought would look awful on me, so I took it into the changing room anyway. For once I actually took my own advice, and it worked! My thoughts went from hmm not bad to I think I love it...! It's definitely nice to have a more casual dress for the summer (that'll work over long sleeved tops and leggings in the colder months as well); fit-and-flare dresses tend to make you look very dressed up. That's no bad thing at all, but sometimes you want something easy and comfortable to wear that's also a 'throw-it-on-add-shoes-and-you're-ready' addition to your wardrobe. Top marks, M&S.

How often do you step out of your style comfort zone? Do you often try things that are totally "not you"- but then love them? Do share in the comments!

M&S blue tunic dress, colour block tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
M&S blue tunic dress, colour block tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
M&S blue tunic dress | Not Dressed As Lamb
M&S blue tunic dress with suede lace up cuff sandals, colour block tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
M&S blue tunic dress with suede lace up cuff sandals, colour block tote | Not Dressed As Lamb
Dress: c/o Marks & Spencer | Sandals: c/o Marks & Spencer | Bag: Debenhams (if you like colour-blocked bags you might like this one) | Sunglasses: French Connection (similar) | Necklaces: Asos | Bracelets: Asos | Watch: River Island (similar) | Nails: Barry M Gelly Nails Lychee | Toenails: Chanel Blue Boy

Shop the look:


Catherine
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P.S. You might like to see my new YouTube channel trailer - I've finally got round all the technical problems I was having so it's ready at last! Now I can get on and edit the Q&A vlog :)

Linking up to: Visible MondayLet It ShineMonday MingleStyle Sessions, Turning Heads TuesdayTrend Spin Link-UpWhat I Wore WednesdayBrilliant Blog PostsThrowback ThursdayPassion for Fashion FridayFriday's Fab Favourites

Monday, 27 July 2015

I Will Wear What I Like | Join Me on Instagram for #iwillwearwhatilike

August 2015 #iwillwearwhatilike @notlamb
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a "Coming soon - #iwillwearwhatilike" teaser - it's a fun thing I'm doing for the month of August and I'd love for you to take part!

It started with this post on Facebook where I linked to a preposterous article entitled "24 Things Should Stop Wearing After Age 30", and, quite rightly, it started a discussion between women of all ages who said they will (and do) wear whatever they like, thank you very much. The things that were vilified in the article went from the sublime (leopard print) to the ridiculous (booty shorts) and everything in between (hooped earrings, furry anything, old sneakers).

I thought it would be fun to add a few things to that list to make it up to 31 [days in August] for us to post on Instagram using the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike. (Though if Facebook or Twitter suit you better then you can post them there instead, or as well.) I've added 7 things that regularly come up on lists of things you're not "supposed" to wear as you get older (leather trousers, distressed denim, etc.) to make up a crazy list of things I want you to wear / feature / regram - and post for each day in August.

(A little like @fatmumslim's #FMSphotoaday, if you've ever seen that series.)

The rules

There aren't any rules, really! Here's some helpful guidelines instead:

  • No one has to make sure they post on every single day. Do all of them, do some of them, do just one of them. It's up to you.
  • No one has to use the theme on the right day - the list below is simply to be used as a guideline and as inspiration - and most of all for you to have fun. This is about showing that we can, we do and we WILL wear whatever we like, no matter what our age.
  • If you miss a day it doesn't matter. If you post the theme from day 3 on the 4th - or the 5th, or the 6th - it doesn't matter. Just make sure you add the hashtag #iwillwearwhatilike and encourage others to join in.
  • You can post a new picture of yourself wearing the item on the list and post it. You can post an old picture of you wearing it. You can find some inspiration of someone else wearing it (please make sure you credit/tag them) and post that. 
  • The photo doesn't have to be serious. Make it as silly or as cool and sophisticated as you like.
  • Whilst you don't have to, it would be nice if you posted the image below on Instagram between now and 31st July (or any time in August) it will let others know what's going on and what the themes each day are. (And if you tag me in @notlamb I'd be super grateful!)
  • You can post as many individual pictures as you like on one theme, or put them in a composite image. It's entirely up to you.
  • If you don't use Instagram then post it on Facebook or Twitter, just don't forget the hashtag.
  • Find others using the hashtag and leave some lovely comments. Hopefully we'll all find some great new accounts to follow too.

So these are the things (below) that were included in the "24 Things..." article - plus a few of my own to make it up to 31. Please don't blame me for how silly some of them are!

The idea of this is to show the author (and anyone that agrees with her) that, You know what? We can wear crop tops and glitter eyeshadow at whatever age we damn well please.

August 2015 #iwillwearwhatilike @notlamb

A quick breakdown of each day:

1. OVERSIZED SUNGLASSES
Really?!! How many women over 30 don't wear oversized sunglasses? I think everyone can get in on the act with this one.

2.  GRAPHIC TEES
Another one that baffles me why it's on this list. Band t-shirts, slogans, they all count. Find your "Frankie Says" t-shirt if you've still got one somewhere and flaunt it for us all to see. Or show off your age with a date of birth tee.

3.  CANDY PINK
The article actually described the colour as "Victoria's Secret pink", but that's just a long-winded way of saying candy pink. Any bright pink counts, to be honest.

4.  BEDAZZLED ANYTHING
Got anything that you love with a bit of bling on it? Put it on and photograph that.

5.  BLUE EYESHADOW
Do many of us ever wear blue eyeshadow anyway?! Do it with blue eyeliner, blue mascara, whatever you like - it can look quite incredible if you get the right blue for your face and skin tone.

6.  LEOPARD PRINT
I think nearly everyone will be joining in with this one - the author made a big mistake with leopard print. Huge. I have to go shopping now...

7.  SPARKLY PANTS
Interpret as you wish. If you want to interpret it the British way, i.e. sparkly pants meaning sparkly underwear, go for it.

8. NON-MATCHING SOCKS
Do this just for fun. Unless you're a four-year-old who's been left to dress themselves, I'm not sure anyone does this anyway.

9. HOOP EARRINGS
Because if Jennifer Lopez can't get away with it (apparently), we shouldn't be able to, either. Let's dispel that myth: We're as cool as J-Lo, aren't we?

10. ANYTHING SLEEVELESS*
Older women are always being told to cover up their arms, so let them be free.

11. FURRY BOOTS
Unless you're in the southern hemisphere, you may want to post a picture from a more wintry time. Or just wear your furry boots in July, regardless of the heat.

12. SHORT DRESSES
Another one I'm sure plenty of us can get on board with. Rock those short hemlines, ladies - even layered with trousers or jeans.

13. DISTRESSED DENIM*
Because ripped jeans are only for the young, right? Wrong.

14. TUBE TOPS
There are lots of maxi dresses in the shops this summer with tube tops (or "boob tubes" as they're called in the UK); as part of a dress or on its own, wear yours with pride.

15. MAXIMUM 3 COLOURS*
I'm forever reading that in order to be a "classic" dresser you must restrict your outfit to three colours maximum. The number of times I've broken that rule...! Plus, who says we all want to be classic dressers?

16. ABERCROMBIE & FITCH
Probably the most insulting of all the suggestions, the author of the article asked "can anyone over 30 actually fit in [Abercrombie & Fitch] clothes" - what the?! If you don't own anything by A&F, borrow something from your daughter (or son!) and photograph yourself in that. I'm borrowing something A&F from my niece even though I have no idea what it'll be yet.

17. OVERALLS/DUNGAREES
A favourite of mine. Overalls dresses count as well.

18. MINI SKIRTS
If the skirt shows your knees, it's a mini. Great if you missed the short dresses on day 12.

19. PONYTAILS*
Because ponytails are for schoolgirls, aren't they...? Not any more.

20. CROP TOPS
This one is always coming up. Because even if you have abs of steel but you've just celebrated your 30th birthday, you shouldn't be wearing crop tops apparently. Got abs of steel? Celebrate them and show them off! Don't have abs of steel? Wear one anyway!

21. RAINBOW HAIR*
If you've got pink, blue, green or any other unconventional rainbow hair colour this is your time to shine. Or wear a pink wig instead.

22. FURRY ANYTHING
I have faux fur coats, bags, gilets, gloves... I won't have any trouble finding a picture of me wearing something furry. Also good if you missed furry boots on day 11.

23. AMERICAN EAGLE
I don't own anything by Abercrombie & Fitch or American Eagle. Again, interpret however you wish. Dress up as Sam the American Eagle from the Muppets if you wish. The author didn't say it had to be the American Eagle brand.

24. BOOTY SHORTS
Very, very few of us - of any age - have the confidence to wear short shorts. But hey, if it's only on Instagram, it's not like it's in public, is it?!! Wear them over your leggings or pyjama bottoms if you'd rather. We're just going to defy the author of the article in any way we can.

25. OLD SNEAKERS
I have a nearly-20-year-old pair of Adidas Superstar Originals and countless scuffed tennis shoes. This one's easy.

26. CHEAP BRAS
Whether you're hiding it under a top or showing it for all the world to see (good for you if you do!), this is again up to you. Photograph it flatlay-style if you'd prefer. I'm just convinced that every woman over the age of 25 has at least one bra that didn't cost upwards of £50.

27. GLITTER EYESHADOW
Whether full-on glitter for fun or beautiful and subtle glittering eyeshadow, let's see your sparkly lids.

28. PLATFORM FLIP-FLOPS
This was a bizarre choice because they're not exactly a common item in women's wardrobes - but if you wear them and rock them, show us!

29. LONG HAIR*
We've all heard this one: The antiquated theory that all older women must cut their hair short. If you have long hair, let it loose and show it off.

30. SCRUNCHIES
Having seen a bit of a resurrection in recent years (Carrie Bradshaw would be horrified - or maybe not...?) you could borrow one from your daughter. Or niece. Or younger sister. Or just wear the one you still have from 1994 and be proud.

31. LEATHER TROUSERS*
I think along with crop tops, they are always topping the "What Older Women Should Not Wear" lists. Personally, I think leather trousers look better the older you are.

*my additions to the list

So that's it! I hope you have fun with this. As I said no rules - interpret all the themes however you want. Let me know if you're going to partake, won't you? Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to see what I post!
Catherine
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P.S. If you love what I'm wearing in the lead image you can still buy the pink shoes and the floral clutch (in a slightly different colourway)!

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