I have recently been asked to look for a dress for a wedding in South Africa in January, on a wine estate near Cape Town. This means that its likely to be blindingly hot, with temperatures as high as 40 degrees Celsius. Unfortunately this request has come a couple of weeks into the summer sales, so suddenly this task is not quite as easy as it would have been a month ago. Most of the high summer frocks have been sold, or there are only a few odd sizes left in the sale.
Nevertheless, I have done some searching and here are a few of the items I would consider wearing to a wedding or a dress-up occassion, taking extreme temperatures into consideration.
Sale items – buy them quickly
My favourite item which ticked all the boxes in terms of style, colour and cool elegance was the Valerie Seline Bloom dress by Ghost. It is in the sale and I wanted to weep when I found out that it is sold out online, apart from an XXS on Ghost’s website. I did find a few odd sizes in John Lewis in Oxford Street. If you’re lucky to be the right size for the meagre stock supplies left (or tenacious enough to keep searching), then this dress is the perfect choice for a hot summer’s wedding.
Also at Ghost in the sale, with a better size range in stock, is a gorgeous floral dress, slightly more boho, but perfect for hot weather. The dress is borderline short for a maxi dress, so I would consider the Sophie Dress, Gemma Bloom if you can get away with some flat dressy sandals for your special occasion. It is on sale for £67.50 on the Ghost website, but also available at John Lewis (at a slightly higher price, last time I checked!)
New season stock
I am a little bit in love with Whistles’ Lavene Sunflower Silk Jumpsuit (£229). It is a lightweight silk and very elegant. OK, so admittedly, it’s not actually a dress, but it is pretty gorgeous.
Desert Blush Tassel Earrings (7.50)
Another favourite for me is Biba’s Pleated Maxi Dress at House of Fraser. It’s light, floaty and very summery. And the colour makes me happy.
Biba Leopard Clutch (£71.20)
At Ted Baker I found the Kyoto Gardens Maxi dress (£249), which feels elegant and a little grand. This is definitely one for higher heels and an extra touch of sophisticated elegance. The red insert is pleated, swishy and will add a flair of glamour on the dance floor. If you can dance. Unlike me, who just stomps, flapping a bingo wing in the air, grinning manically (too many proseccos and probably a dash of sunstroke too. Or so I tell myself). But I can feel the moment. I am Ginger Rogers. Just without the footwork.
Boden Jocelyn Mid Heels (£70)
Red Tassel Earrings (£5.03)
Miss KG Tess Clutch (£50)
If you are looking for something with a sleeve, the closest match I could find in current season stock to the Ghost Valerie dress is a dress from Monsoon. It’s not a maxi. And it’s not cobalt blue, but it has short sleeves.
I would wear the Monsoon Alicia Print dress (£89) with a vintage looking clutch and shoes. Accessorise with a stack of pearl bracelets to add a little old school glamour to this dress which has a slightly 40’s feel about it.
I loved these when I tried them on, as seen on Instagram