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How to dress for every event of the season with Wardrobe ICONS

It’s the summer of celebrations, so now’s the time to get dressed up. Wardrobe ICONS founders Laura Fantacci and Petro Stofberg share how to stylishly master every dress code – from sunny weddings to a day at the races – and which occasionwear essentials to invest in.

27 June 2022

The joy of putting on an extra special outfit is undeniable, however getting back into the swing of occasionwear can feel like a sartorial leap, especially following months of pared-back basics and casual athleisure. But with summer weddings and celebrations firmly back on the social calendar this season, there’s never been a better moment to get your event wardrobe in check. 

Whatever the occasion, versatility is key. Gone are the days when you might wear a dress once before retiring it to the back of the cupboard; the growing importance of sustainability and longevity means recycling outfits is no longer a fashion faux pas. So reach for timeless silhouettes that you know you’ll be able to style with a range of accessories and wear on numerous occasions.

Investing in premium fabrics that will look luxe for years is essential. Check that silks hang well, satins aren’t too shiny and cottons are cut just right. Embellishments such as sequins and ruffles need to be executed perfectly, so it’s worth taking a trip in-store to see craftsmanship up close. Save time by choosing a shopping location with plenty of IRL occasionwear choices, such as Sloane Street. It’s home to the flagship boutiques of global luxury brands, so there is no shortage of clothing with a wow factor.

The number one rule for choosing occasionwear is to gravitate toward what makes you feel good. Invest in pieces that are comfortable and get your heart beating that little bit faster. After all, nothing guarantees a great time more than wearing an outfit you truly love. 

With all of this in mind, read on for the occasionwear pieces to know about and tips for styling almost every dress code of the season.

Summer Weddings

Florals are the obvious choice for summer weddings, but a block-coloured dress is a clever alternative. Not only do solid tones feel modern, they’re easier to transform with accessories, meaning you can respin them for several weddings to come. Emilia Wickstead’s zingy green Gwendaline gown makes a statement (without upstaging the bride). Team with versatile metallic accessories and a timeless dazzle of Chanel diamonds. 

Emilia Wickstead jacquard gown, £4,665
Gucci chain sandals, £785 
Bottega Veneta pouch, £2,380 
Chanel Étoile white gold and diamond earrings, £7,400

Serpentine Summer Party

Artsy garden parties such as the Serpentine Summer Party call for a contemporary look with a hint of drama. Valentino’s yellow evening dress fits the bill, the wearable train giving the classic shirt silhouette a directional twist. Bottega Veneta’s white strappy sandals keep the look modern and allow the dress to be the talking point. Reach for a bag with a long shoulder strap, so that your hands are free for canapés and champagne.

Valentino silk dress, £5,100 
Bottega Veneta mini pouch, £1,470 
Bottega Veneta heels, £905 
Cartier gold and diamond earrings, £3,050 


Dress codes vary depending on the match, but a chic trouser set hits the sweet spot between smart and relaxed. Summer whites will keep you cool pitch-side, while wide-cut trousers can be worn with flats or a wedged heel for half-time divot stomping. The clever thing about a co-ord is that it can be worn as separates and dressed up or down with other event pieces; add a blazer to the trousers for city weddings, and wear the top with an evening skirt for formal dinners.

Emilia Wickstead crepe top, £585 
Emilia Wickstead crepe trousers, £800 
Tiffany & Co. 18 carat gold necklace, £17,200 
Anya Hindmarch brass clutch, £995  

A Day at the Races

The starting point of any race-day outfit is the headwear. Try a statement headband such as Gucci’s petal plume. The neutral colourway will work with myriad outfits. Stylishly cover shoulders and knees in Jonathan Simkhai’s crochet-detailed midi and save yourself sinking into the grass by choosing wedged espadrilles over stilettos.

Gucci leather headband, £1,060 
Jonathan Simkhai crochet dress, £830 
Castaner at Harvey Nichols wedge espadrilles, £140 
Cartier yellow gold Love bracelet, £5,950 


The chicest way to master a tricky smart-casual dress code is by opting for a skirt set. For a sunny day on Centre Court, try for a lightweight cotton style in classic tennis whites. Worn together, Erdem’s coordinating embroidered blouse and midi skirt have the polished ease of a dress and will also look beautiful when styled with complementing separates. Plus, the blouse’s long sleeves will protect your shoulders from the sun. Add a classic black mule and a touch of luxe raffia.

Erdem at Harvey Nichols cotton-blend blouse, £795
Erdemat Harvey Nichols cotton-blend skirt, £895  
Anya Hindmarch raffia clutch, £225 
Bottega Venetta leather mules, £1,150 

Henley Royal Regatta

Unless you’re attending a club with a specific dress code, the sartorial mood of Regatta day is ‘elevated picnic’. Think high-summer silhouettes in luxe fabrics and with playful trims, such as Zimmermann’s floral print shirt and shorts duo. Shoes should be flat and appropriate for walking along the river bank, so we suggest a pair of sleek slides. And Dior’s classic canvas book tote is big enough for a blanket and bottle of fizz.

Zimmermann at Harvey Nichols cotton shirt, £695 
Zimmermann at Harvey Nichols cotton shorts, £475 
Dior slides, £590
Dior canvas tote, £2,600

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