How to do special occasion dressing with panache

The British summer season is off the starting blocks. It kicked off with Chelsea Flower Show in May and continues with Royal Ascot and Wimbledon in June followed by Henley Regatta and Polo in July before coming to a close with Cowes Week in August.

Wherever you live you will no doubt have some special occasion to attend during the coming months. Perhaps a weddings, a summer party or a special celebration. If the event demands formal attire it is best to plan early to avoid a last-minute panic.

In the UK some of these events still have a strict dress code, such as women must wear skirts or dresses below the knee (no trousers).  At Royal Ascot trousers suits are now permitted providing the fabric for the trousers and jacket match however the crown of the head still needs must covered, so no fascinators.

Even if there is no specific dress code we still want to look chic, elegant and appropriately dressed for a special occasion. It is a form of courtesy to our host or hostess.

A dress and jacket or dress and coat are always a wise investment. I have done a considerable amount of research in this area over the last few weeks as we have two very special occasions in our diary. Firstly we have been invited to Royal Ascot at the end of June. Then in August my son is getting married so I will be fulfilling the role of  mother of the Groom.

Personally I find that the simplest shapes work best for these occasions.  This is not a moment to experiment with the latest trends.


Below is an appropriate “Ascot look” I have put together to inspire you should you have your own “special occasion” to attend this summer.


Special occasion dressing


Bring on the champagne,  Pimms, strawberries and cream. Let’s party!

To follow ideas for what to wear at Wimbledon and Henley.

Do you find it challenging putting together a special occasion outfit?


  1. WendyB
    3rd June 2014 / 17:09

    I dread having to dress for a special occasion and I’ve never managed to get it quite right; I look back on past outfits with a shudder – either I look too casual or too formal or the various components don’t go together quite as well as I’d have liked. I tend to leave it to the last possible moment to decide what to wear (no doubt hoping that the occasion will be cancelled) and then just try and put something together from what I already own on the grounds of not wanting to spend lots of money on something I’m not going to wear very often. I’d have done better to hire something or buy something I love and keep wearing it every time I have to go anywhere special.

    • 3rd June 2014 / 17:57

      I agree Wendy it is tricky. I have just bought a lovely jacket which I think I will get lots of wear after the event. Still searching for a dress.

  2. 3rd June 2014 / 19:12

    The colors of your ensemble are much the same combination worn by the cast in the Ascot number in the My Fair Lady production I was in 1999 in California – Dusty lavender, black and taupe. You’ll look great.

I love to hear from you please leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign up for new posts

And don’t worry, you can unsubscribe at anytime.

Disclaimer: Products featured on Chicatanyage sometimes (but not always) include affiliate links. This means that a small referral commission may be paid to the retailer (at no extra cost to you). This contributes to the cost of maintaining this blog including Hosting fees etc. Chicatanyage could not exist without these small payments so thank you for your contribution.