What should mothers of the bride/groom know about successful occasion wear layering?
Dress as best you can for the time of year and the venue as well as what you feel comfortable in. Be prepared with an elegant coat and umbrella or even a beautiful fan. The last thing you will want to do is throw on an old raincoat in a clashing colour. Many women like to cover their arms and I design my occasionwear with this in mind. Three quarter length sleeves are perfect for wedding all year round, but those preferring to layer so they can add or remove when necessary I have designed outfits with removable jackets, stoles, and chiffon coats. These pieces are designed to complement the dress. When buying from one of our authorised retailers they will be happy to advise on what works. My advice would be to try not to match fabrics and patterns exactly, sometimes a secondary colour can work best, and you can match this with accents in a hat or shoes.
Talk us through the options–jackets, boleros, cardigans, dress coats, separates etc?
Where I include a jacket as part of an outfit these tend to be my more tailored and structured looks, for example 991466 below. With the jacket you can really make an entrance and look formal in the photos, and I’ve carried on some of the structured detailing from the jacket onto the dress to take the look from day-to-night for dancing.
For a softer look there is 991467, which brings in another colour to the look with the jacket.
Another option here shown in 991481 is to add a bolero. This gives your look structure and elegance and covers the shoulders to protect from the chill or the sun.
Long chiffon coats can complete a look and should always be in one block colour. These are great for covering arms, shoulders or strapless dresses and should always be the length of the gown. Style shown below 991484S.
I wouldn’t recommend adding knitwear such as a cardigan to your occasionwear outfit as it is unlikely the materials will work together.
Lastly you could add a matching stole or wrap which complements your outfit and can be versatile to use on your shoulders in a chill or as an accessory draped over your arms as show with style 29404.
What would you consider to be a good base?
A strong base would be something simple and not too fussy in crepe or chiffon. Delicate pattern is fine but big prints are hard to layer and are best off a one-piece. Anything too structured such as Mikado is also best as a standalone piece.
What if the venue is exposed to the elements, what would you suggest a woman wear?
You can’t go wrong with some quality hosiery and under garments to help you in the cold. Fabrics that don’t let the cold air through will help and well as those with sleeves. Look for a quality outfit that is lined too!
What if it’s a winter wedding?
As above, or why not try a trouser suit such as this one which comes with a jacket – style 29406.
Does layering also apply to a summer/destination wedding?
Absolutely yes! You will want to keep your shoulders covered and it can get breezy down on the coast. Our matching hates available from our retailers will be sure to keep the sun off your face too.
How might layering affect your choice of accessories? And hat/headpiece?
As long as there aren’t too many layers and too many colours you can still go bold with large statement earrings and a hat. Take 991470 as an example which we photographers with simple kitten heals, statement earrings and a matching almond coloured handbag and hat.
How can layering ensure mothers stand out from the rest of the guests?
I think this is all about statement and structured, which are my most popular designs. You can really see the quality in the tailoring of the collars, piping, belts etc. and this is what stands out.
How does body shape affect which kinds of layers/separates look best?
A structured look and jacket will really help larger ladies. Pattern and embellishment can draw attention to areas of the body you are happy with. A-line gowns are very flattering for pear shaped ladies and chiffon coats are great for covering arms.
How can mothers use layering to their advantage when it comes to switching up the look throughout the day/night?
As before, removing a jacket can really transition a look from the formalities to the evening.
Does layering have any extra advantages to offer – for example, post-wedding wearability?
Yes definitely, some of my range would suit other less formal occasions without the matching layers. 991480 is a great example of this.
Are there any designers that are particularly strong in terms of layering that women should be aware of?
Elie Saab do some lovely jackets and scarves and I love seeing what the top brands come up with on the catwalk.
So there you have it ladies, from the infamous designer herself, how to layer and keep yourself warm this season. For more top tips, news and stories please visit our blog.