Gemma tries it on: What I wore for my friends' weddings
When I started this column, I swore that I didn't want to talk about anything as dull as what to wear to a wedding. But a month down the line, I find myself in the predicament of having to choose wedding-wear.
I'm at that age where all my friends are getting hitched. The wedding tally for this year has been four. The first nuptials were in fashionably cool Ibiza. I chose to wear an old Olivia Rubin printed, strapless dress and added a black Hakaan blazer when the sun went in. Big mistake. The dress was too tight and the boning in the top half pinched my torso when I tried to tuck in to my fillet-steak dinner.
Ravello in southern Italy was next on the list and I picked up a cute little white dress from Sandro for this one. It had short crocheted sleeves which thankfully weren't too clingy in the 40C heat and it went well with my glittery gold Miu Miu sunglasses. I liked this outfit, but still spent most of the day worrying that it was too tight around my bottom.
The next port of call was sunny Corfu. Which turned out not to be so sunny. Not only did I wear a beautiful, bright-pink dress from Raoul, I also wore a plastic mac that I bought from a local store for the bargain price of €5.
As I write this I'm faced with the final wedding of the year – destination Devon. The invite helpfully states that the village church has neither heating nor loo, so I'll need to be prepared, and wrap up warm.
By chance, I just happened to be working on a party-dress shoot, so I've put some possibilities through their paces. It would have been rude not to, wouldn't it?
The first thing to catch my eye was a bronze peplum dress from Whistles (£225, whistles.co.uk). I love the metallic finish, but I can't see myself in a peplum dress; it's possibly a bit TOWIE, which is risky territory when you're from Southend-on-Sea. Then my friend said she saw it on someone else, which put me right off.
A full-length black sequinned dress from Whistles was next on (£350) but it's a bit of a Christmas ball kind of outfit. Another possibility is a modern-looking black and red dress with leather sleeves from Zara (above, £69.99, zara.com). It's the same kind of complementary colour blocking as last season's Stella McCartney body-con dress, but I'm still undecided.
So, I'm delving deep into my wardrobe for something from years past – not for the first time. The only certainty is that my calf-length, green silk puffer jacket from Lanvin is getting its first outing after serving four years' hard time in a garment bag – so at least I'll be warm and looking outwardly fashionable, whatever the weather.
Gemma Hayward is Fashion Editor of 'The Independent'
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