Hot take: I really, really love getting dressed up. Weddings, black-tie events, post-work drinks—you name it, I love it. They’re all an excellent excuse to put something with a little more *razzle dazzle* on and frankly, I think it’s become a little bit of a lost art. With the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, we saw a definitive rise in athleisure and activewear becoming the order or the day and, quite fairly, most were reluctant to return to the stiff slacks and starch shirts of days gone by full time. While things may be largely back to normal, it certainly set a precedent for more casual outfits in previously formal settings.
I might be totally alone in this and that’s ok. But one thing I do know is that good clothes make me feel good. The power that I feel when wearing a sharply pressed suit is unmatched (which is really saying something as a 5″1 woman) and I felt like a princess when I wore a one-shoulder jumpsuit to my first gala event recently. It doesn’t have to be ballgowns and tiaras, but there’s something incredibly fun and joyous about wearing something more than a T-shirt and jeans (although there is definitely a time and place for that look, too).
Dressing well sets the tone for the day and the occasion. It’s like a suit of armour. And it’s something the designers of the Autumn/Winter 2023 fashion shows didn’t shy away from either. They were awash with classic, polished attire: Valentino was all about the suits and ties, lingerie-inspired evening-wear was all the rage at Dolce & Gabbana, and Chanel’s autumnal, co-ordinated separates were a lovely reminder of how effortlessly put together they look, proving that there’s still some room (and some love) for getting dressed up, no matter how few and far between the occasions might be.
Plus, if. designers and high-street brands such as COS, Arket and H&M are anything to go by, I might not be totally alone in my adoration for it. Here are my picks of the sleekest high-street pieces that make looking put-together a breeze, as well as some casual basics throw in for good measure.
Emma wears a bandeau dress from COS.
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