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I was never one of those girls who imagined her wedding dress, or dreamed of having all eyes on her as she walked down the aisle (in fact the very thought makes me cringe), but I’ve always LOVED attending other people’s weddings.
I work from home, where comfort is key, so weddings are the perfect excuse for me to break out of ‘school-run-mum’ mode, drag out a dress and dust off those heels. You get all of the glamour, with none of the pressure. Perfect!
When M&S Bank set me the task of find a summer wedding outfit for £125 (the exact amount of the gift card you’ll receive, simply by switching your current account to M&S BANK), I knew this was a challenge I’d relish.
I’m quite particular about dresses; I don’t wear them very often, and when I do they have to tick a lot of boxes before they’re ‘right’. I don’t like tight dresses (after two kids they don’t much like me either), so I look for simple styles that are loosely cut, but perfectly tailored to create a flattering shape.
I’ve always loved timeless silhouettes, like the classic shirt dress. First seen in the 1950s, shirt dresses first featured in Christian Dior’s post-war couture designs with a full crinoline skirt. Since then they’ve been modernised and reinvented by some of my favourite designers, including Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Diane von Furstenberg.
Not only are they endlessly stylish (is there anything that screams ‘Riviera summer’ more than a crisp, linen shirtdress and wedges?), but they can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
Armed with my £125 budget, I headed to my local M&S store. I was first drawn to a pretty floral jacket, but almost immediately I was sidetracked by a £35 black SHIRTDRESS. I know it’s not your typical wedding outfit choice – colour or style-wise – but I could instantly visualise it dressed up with gold accessories and shoes, and brought to life with a brightly coloured bag.
The jewellery basically found me – a simple threaded £15 gold chain drop NECKLACE (see top photo), and the shoes were an easy pick – these £35 metallic gold strappy SANDALS were exactly what I had in mind when I pictured the final outfit (and what a brilliant price too).
Then, as if by fate, I then stumbled across the perfect twist lock BAG – summery and fun, and the perfect foil for my classic black base. How great is the geometric design? And I just adore the gorgeous coral accents. Just £25, this has a long gold chain so you can wear it over the shoulder or across the body (for a more casual look). Alternatively, tuck the chain inside and use it like a clutch.
The shirt dress was quite long, and I’m not the tallest, so I actually took the hem up a few inches to give it more of a cocktail dress length. With the accessories and hair and makeup, it was exactly the look I’d wanted to achieve – simple but stylish (I hope… do you think?!), without trying too hard – understated glamour, with a twist of fun.
The cost for the entire look – just £110; proof you can pick yourself up your entire summer wedding outfit with the gift card you’d receive as part of M&S Bank’s new current account deal AND have some left over to put towards the wedding pressie (check out the full details HERE).
• thanks to M&S Bank for inviting me to collaborate on their summer wedding outfit campaign
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