No excuses, now. This is the season for turning up the glam factor. Stephanie Smith has advice on dressing like a sophisticate this summer.
The whole world has suddenly gone rather glam.
At least, that’s how it feels. Perhaps it’s because we have long since had enough of all things grey and drab after the long, hard winter. Anway, dressing up very much is in vogue – and grunge very much is not.
Truth be known, this slide towards self-consciously groomed and sophisticated looks has been happening for quite some time, and extremely hard work it can be, too. I blame the so-called reality shows, especially Made in Chelsea, where everyone is impossibly beautiful, with half of Harvey Nichols’ latest collections in their wardrobe and little to do but have everything “done” – hair, nails, brows, make-up, the whole works – simply for dinner at Binky’s or drinks at JuJu’s. And when it comes to an actual party ... well, preparing for one of those is a full-time job.
Meanwhile the rest of us mere mortals have to keep up as best we can. And pity the poor prom queens – how they can concentrate on GCSEs when there is vital dress research to be done, not to mention tans to be booked, is anyone’s guess.
Fortunately, there is a rather wonderful variety of ultra-glamorous evening attire to choose from on the High Street and online. Shapes can be sleek and fitted, with body con dresses and pencil skirts, and also vintage inspired, with bias-cut, long and languid styles evoking the decadence of a bygone era. Or, they can show volume and drape, as with cascading tunic dresses and maxis, although these are always controlled in their flow – there is nothing hippy about this smart summer evening look.
Fabrics are luxurious, whether that means metallics, sequins and beading or rich bright colour or exotic pattern. Embellishment is statement-like – a chunky gold yoke necklace, a lusciously large cluster of coloured beads and pearls, maybe even a headdress, as worn by Sarah Jessica Parker at the recent Met Ball in New York, magnificent, like an uptown Boudicca.
So, get groomed, get glammed and get out there. It’s party time.