First thing’s first: how is it friggin’ April? How?! And second thing’s second – which is totally not a thing but I’m rollin’ with it – I am totally okay that the dark early months are behind us and that we’re fast approaching all things gloriously springtime! So, to celebrate the official start of British Summertime (although let’s be honest, it’s only just spring in reality) imma bring you a little collab with my fave Irish boutique shop, ya one stop shop for all things occasion wear: Cari’s Closet!
When I was approached a month back by the brand to be kindly gifted a dress, it was one of those ‘I’m saying yes in a heartbeat, in maybe less than a heartbeat’ kind of moments. Taking a scroll through the website, it’s clear that this brand is a little bit of me. Having your back when it comes to occasion wear, the brand sells the most beautiful dresses, from v slinky bodycon pieces that are definitely a bit of somethin’ somethin’, to floaty gorgeousness that’ll have you glowing at every summer wedding and beach getaway- for years to come.
And having complete free reign of the website to pick an item that works with my wardrobe, I was having a Madeleine Mae field day – and yes, that rhymes. It was wonderful. The dress that I’ve kindly been gifted literally speaks to me: it’s holdin’ all my boho dreams.
And I love it.
For someone that practically lives, breathes and wastes her student loan on fashion, I really struggle when it comes to occasion wear. Dressing all caj for the everyday, I can do, and I like to do it in my own quirky way, but when it comes to dressing for a fancypants evening out or a night on the town with my gals? I literally am stumped. I think part of the problemo lies in the fact that a lot of stereotypical clubbing outfits are skimpy n bodycon, which I find waaaay too clingy for my liking (figure huggin’ has me running lol) and also that with occasion wear, so much rides on the one perfect outfit. It stresses me out – hello, first world problem, it’s a shame I’m moaning about you. But it’s true. I really struggle; I don’t always feel my best self whilst dressing up all faaancy.
So, when I laid my eyes on this boho beauty, I knew I needed to tell you guys about it. It’s fancypants occasion wear, yet I feel my best self in it. Holy frickin’ YAS! I know dressing for occasions is a toughie, so I thought I’d discuss some of the issues I encounter when trying to find the perfect occasion-wear outfit, and how to get over the stresses n find the perfect outfit for you!
What if I turn up in the same dress as my pal?
I feel like this is always a major fear. And it’s definitely happened to me once before. When you’re dressing for the everyday, it doesn’t matter sooo much that every gal you pass on the street is wearing the exact same Topshop bakerboy as you (we all wannabe bloggers at heart) but when it comes to that one fancy evening out, you don’t want to make the faux-pas of turning up in the same outfit as the birthday girl, or bridesmaid. Scouring boutique websites like Cari’s Closet, rather than the ‘New In’ section on Asos will mean you can find the perfect dress for you, and only you. No one gets to copy your look this way.
What if bodycon isn’t for me?
I always have this problem when picking out the perfect occasion wear outfit. Websites such as Missguided and Pretty Little Thing may be the go-to brands for a lot of girls, but I next to never find a dress I like on those websites. Everything seems too clingy, too figure-hugging and not like my kinda style. Imma looking for floating beauty, boho vibes n all things ethereal when I’m hunting out my next occasion dress. And so what if you turn up to Beth’s wedding reception not as a bodycon clone of the other gals? Fashion is about embracing your unique traits and working ’em!
It’s paramount that you feel yourself in what you’re wearing. No one wants to spend an evening constantly hoiking down a hem, adjusting a strap n feeling downright awkward. Take a look at your everyday wardrobe: what’s your go-to outfit? What makes you feel good? If it’s jeans and a tee, all day erryday, try a co-ord or a suit for your evening out. If it’s t-shirt dresses and floating bardot tops, go for a boho vibe like this dress!
How can I feel myself dressed up all fancy?
So, your dress is doing all the talking. And you don’t want to chat any more than that, because the OTT loud person is never the person we want to be. Instead, let your dress do the fancypants work and keep your hair and makeup low key. With this look, I wanted my skin to appear dewy and natural, with my hair in loose waves to work with the laidback, boho vibes of the dress. And this dress is deffo where the talking point should be.
With a fancy event, it’s best to work in your comfort zone, so that you’ll definitely feel yourself all night long. Dress for YOU and you alone, stick to what you know is a failsafe style of dress/outfit to make you feel your best, and don’t try anything experimental this time. Your personal style is meant to be an exploration of tiptoeing outside your comfort zone and also knowing when to stick with those key pieces and styles that you know work for you. And occasion wear is one of those comfort zone times. If you’re feelin’ your best, you’ll come across hella confident and hella happy, and that is what ya want! I’m a boho gal at heart, so this dress was a no brainer for lil ol’ me!
Literally how does one go about buying an investment piece which you’ll actually wear again and again?
Having a wee photoshoot in the middle of Bristol city centre on a dreary March morning just does not do this dress justice, yet it’s still clear in the pics just how beautiful this piece is. An investment for the wardrobe, its boho vibes will carry me through many a summer to come. I literally cannot wait when summer comes around to sea salt spray the shizz out of my hair, run around bare foot in the sand and let the sea wind ruffle the beautiful fabric of this dress.
Bohemian styles never go out of fashion. Yes, this is a dress for the warmer seasons, but there’s many a time during those warmer seasons that I’ll be whipping out this beauty. I can dress it up for a summer wedding, and dress it down for a walk on the beach at night. The versatility of a piece is key for its longevity, and this dress has it down to a tee.
Similarly, the quality of the garment is what will keep it in your wardrobe for years to come. It’s worth getting a lil geeky about your garment properties, because you’ll know that what you’re paying for will wash well, and last well. I was concerned before the dress was sent to me that it was going to be one of those see-through fashion faux pas, however the layers of the dress cover me up perfectly. And there’s a frickin’ inbuilt bra system so you don’t have to free the nips if ya don’t want to- boob holders in a dress are a major YAS from me!
I felt like a lil summer fairy gracing dreary Bristol with my own pocket of sunshine in this beauty – and I cannot wait to whip the dress back out for the warmer, summery days to come. Cari’s Closet, you’re a wonderful brand with some beeeautiful dresses, and I hope you lovely readers all trickle away your student loans on the website v v soon, as I’ll be doing just the same.