Maybe you've started getting invitations to spring weddings and cocktail parties. This is the dress to save up for and perhaps slim into. Designed by Amanda Wakeley, this beautiful sleevless crepe cocktail dress is available through Kingshill Designer Catalogue and is prefect for such functions. It is made from acetate/viscose and has a simple but effective silk satin banding effect around the bustline which is very flattering. You can easily make your own shawl to go with it from a couple of metres of chiffon organza (about pounds 7 a metre for the synthetic version from John Lewis). Wear with natural coloured sheer tights and this season's sling- backs and sip those cocktails slowly. AB

Amanda Wakeley cocktail dress style code HO3106 in sizes 8-14, pounds 588 from the Kingshill British Designer Catalogue, call 01494 890555 for a copy.


Kate Woods produces an excellent costume jewellery catalogue, which makes buying jewellery nice and easy. These daisy flower heads are silver plated and fixed to coated wire hairpins. They can brighten up an otherwise boring chignon or loose bun, and remind me of the days when girls always wore pretty things in their hair. Woods also makes some wonderful and unusual floral chain-mail hand-coverings which would make a great, and very different, alternative to gloves for a spring bride. All her designs are made in England and you can also get dove hairpins for the same price. AB

Daisy Silver coated hair pins Kate Woods, pounds 10 for a box of six. Call 0171 680 1049 for a catalogue which costs pounds 2.50.