Dressing for the occasion: finding the perfect outfit for a special event

Have you got a special do coming up? Perhaps you’ve just finished university and want to find a stunning outfit that’s both classy and fun. Or maybe you’re attending a friend’s wedding and want to exude elegance. Whatever the celebration, here’s our guide to putting together occasion-wear that suits the event and has you feeling confident and comfortable.

Finding the perfect graduation outfit

Graduation is a time for partying! All that hard work has finally paid off and you’re ready to step into the big wide world. As such, you’ll probably want something you can celebrate and dance in after you get your award. But it’s also worth noting that graduation does involve a formal ceremony so it’s best to go for a smart outfit.

Your cap and gown might cover most of your outfit during the ceremony but that doesn’t mean you can’t still make an effort. Why not go for something vibrant that will stand out against your black gown? 

A cocktail dress is ideal for the ladies, while a snappy suit will look great on the lads. This Sadie Bodycon Dress from Ted Baker has a light colour and floral pattern that will contrast beautifully against your graduation accoutrements, and the bardot shoulders add a stylish touch. 

Meanwhile, a light pink shirt makes a refreshing change to the classic white, and can be paired with black, grey or navy trousers. Depending on your university’s dress code guidelines, you could even go for a shirt with a quirky print, like this bold Floral Print Shirt from Guide London.

Accessories are a great way to bring your ensemble together. Why not look for a statement necklace or belt to create a refined focal point?

On-trend wedding guest outfits

Who doesn’t love a good wedding? If you’ve been invited to a loved one’s special day, it’s always best to check whether they have a particular dress code. Some couples may go for a theme, for example. 

However, many weddings simply ask for elegant occasionwear and within that pretty much anything goes! When choosing a wedding guest outfit, make sure you consider the time of year. Will the wedding be in the summer? Or is it an autumnal celebration with a high chance of rain. 

In the summer, you might like to explore pastel shades and delicate patterns. A cute tea dress in pale blue is a good shout for a wedding, as is a stylish shirt, tie, and tailored trousers combo. Men can’t go wrong with a Smart Cotton Shirt in white but if you fancy something a little more quirky, you could look for a shirt with an all-over print. Ted Baker’s attention to detail and impeccable cuts make garments like this Dandelion Print Shirt sure-fire winners. 

And what about an autumn or winter wedding? You could look for deeper colours — perhaps jewel tones. The Tulipi Midi Dress from Ted Baker has a flattering cut and luscious purple colour. You might also want to consider layering up. When it comes to women’s occasionwear, there are plenty of ways to stay on-trend without getting too cold! Look for a complimentary cardigan, jacket or shawl. 

Men can add warmth to their outfits with a trendy suit jacket. Guide London’s Flocked Paisley design is a subtle and sophisticated way to elevate a plain shirt with a pattern.

Top tip: planning to dance the night away? Your statement heels may be perfect for the wedding ceremony and photos but remember to pack a pair of comfy flats for the dance floor!

Stylish stag do combos

Perhaps it’s not quite time for the wedding celebrations yet but you’re looking for the perfect outfit for your mate’s stag weekend. Why not keep it classy yet casual with a polo shirt and dark jeans combo? It’s the perfect ensemble for a night out. Alternatively, if your stag do involves an active element, swap your trousers for some sporty shorts. Comfy, easy to move in, and effortlessly on-trend — you’ll be ready for a great time!

Hen party dresses for a girl’s night out

The perfect hen party outfit really depends on the sort of do the bride is after. But if you’re going for a traditional evening of a meal and cocktails — and perhaps a bit of a boogie — you can’t go wrong with a chic dress. This V-neck Pleated Dress from Closet London strikes the perfect balance of elegance and flirty fun. 

And if it’s a weekend of celebrations ahead, make sure you pack some nice pyjamas and a swimsuit for the spa!

Glamorous ensembles for Jubilee celebrations

2022 brings a never-before-seen national holiday: the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. What better way to spend the double bank holiday in June than with a wholesome street party? Whether the whole neighbourhood is gathering or you’re hosting a little get-together at home, it’s a fantastic excuse to dress up.

Think: glamorous garden party. You might want to hark back to the Queen's heyday with retro-inspired tea dresses and suits with traditional pocket squares. Alternatively, if you want to keep the look a little more contemporary, take a look at this year’s key summer trends — a metallic jumpsuit could be ideal for reflecting this ‘platinum’ celebration!

Dressing for the races

Fancy your chances at York or Ascot? While most racecourses don’t have hard and fast rules on dress code, you’ll generally be expected to sport a smart outfit. Most women tend to go for short, formal dresses — tailored shirt dresses and cocktail dresses are a stylish choice — and men usually wear lighter coloured suits. Some racecourses will allow smart shorts and neat jeans but double-check with the venue. Trainers are usually regarded as a bit of a no-no.

As you’ll spend a lot of time on grass, it’s usually more practical to choose flat shoes over heels. Why not look for some elegant sandals or ballet pumps

Don’t forget your accessories! A day at the races is a lovely opportunity to dress up so why not go all out? A big hat will keep the sun off and make a statement, while a fascinator brings a bit of fun to the outfit.

Occasion-wear for every event

No matter what you’re celebrating, you can find plenty of fashionable outfits at Robert Goddard. From smart-casual separates to formal dresses that will turn heads, take a look at our designer menswear and womenswear collections.