So it’s your big day soon! And we all know the second biggest day of your life is coming up – your engagement party, and the eternal question lingers on your mind, “What ever shall I wear?” Luckily we have come to your rescue by sorting and sifting through all the engagement party dresses our collection has to offer. We are delighted to inform you we have found “the one” for this Autumn’s engagement parties – well at least a couple for you to take your final pick. Whether it’s a small garden day party or you want to make it a huge glam-filled event, we’re sure there’s something for you to feel pampered and special on your day.
This time, we’ve gone back to the fifties to get our fashion inspiration. There are two main things we think of when someone says fifties fashion. Normally we think of the wasp waist with a full billowing skirt but no need to worry, we are not going for the fifties housewife look! Take it from me, styles from the “Golden Era” can be real classy and chic and we have chosen the best of the best for inspiration – The Original Style icons Grace Kelly (yes, she was a real-life princess and screen goddess!), Jackie-O of the Kennedy family and the iconic Audrey Hepburn who was voted the most beautiful woman of all time. Their styles are modern even today and their timeless fashion can be adapted into any girl’s look book. So Mrs-to-be, let’s take tips out of their fashion books and plan an amazing engagement party (outfit)!
Glamour all the way
Style Icon: Grace Kelly
Grace Kelly is forever and always the Queen of Glamour in our hearts, although her actual title became Princess of Monaco in 1956. Her icy blonde curls won over our hearts and the Prince of Monaco, and although she actually retired from acting at the age of 26, she remains the most enduring film and fashion icon of all time.
These days “fashion icon” is thrown about loosely, every Kim, Chloe and Kylie is leading the fashion trends that are “it right now”. But we know glamour never takes a day off, and it’s a state of mind. Grace Kelly was someone who radiates this and influenced the designers themselves. I mean the classic Hermès Kelly bag was named after her! She stood the test of time and makes it first on our list of inspiration for engagement party dresses.
Many of the photos from her era are black and white, but we can still notice Grace Kelly wore a considerable amount of white, most likely as it went well with her porcelain skin and blonde hair. To embrace the Grace Kelly vibe for engagement party dresses this Autumn, wear an all-white dress and accessorise with pearls or large earrings and bling it up. With make-up, make sure it is clean and not too heavy – no smokey or winged eyes. Finish with vintage curls or a sweet up-do for hair. To add even more glamour throw on a white fur jacket or wrap like the Nord Cape by Unreal Fur.
Our top picks for a glamorous engagement party:
Colourful & bright
Style Icon: Jackie-O
Oh our favourite prim and proper, absolutely gorgeous First Lady – who could forget all her smart and colourful outfits, especially the iconic Strawberry Pink Bouclé Chanel Suit accompanied by her trademark pillbox hat. Unfortunately the outfit may sometimes be a historic reminder of that fateful day of JFK’s assassination, but one can’t deny that Jackie was the epitome of style, grace and beauty on every occasion.
The number one rule in Jackie’s style book, is colour, colour and more colour. Jackie’s bright personality radiates in all her colourful fifties outfits. Why don’t you try and inject a bit of bold colour into your engagement party this Autumn by adding bright pink, green or yellow to your outfit. Who says you only have to wear white to an engagement party? There will be plenty of opportunity to wear white on your wedding day so don’t be afraid to be bold and stand out at your engagement party.
Whether you have a night engagement party or a day event, you can wear as much colour as you like. We just love how Jackie uses colour so well, there’s so much to learn from this style icon. If you want to be bold like her, go for block colours and make it super bright. If it’s pink, go all out and make it head to toe pink. If it’s yellow, wear all yellow. Make sure you match your dress with the same coloured clutch and shoes for a grand entrance!
If you want a more subtle approach, go for a floral dress or break up the colour with some white or go for a dress that has hints of colour. Accessorise with some flashy jewellery if only going for a small amount of colour as you still want to stand out at your own engagement party! Pearls were all the rage in the fifties, so all our style icons are seen adorning them around their neck or wrist. You could go for this look by investing in some pearls yourself or get the classy look a more affordable way by wearing lace or dress gloves. How adorable!
Our top picks for a colourful engagement party:
Casual day engagement party dresses
Style Icon: Audrey Hepburn
Oh how we love the screen diva Audrey Hepburn. I don’t think there is any event, whether it’s a casual day party or a black tie event, where I don’t think “What would Audrey do?” Normally we remember her for the extravagant Givenchy dresses from My Fair Lady and the iconic Little Black Dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Her doe eyes, perfectly drawn winged eyeliner (see below for a tutorial) and her impeccably-shaped eyebrows are the things we absolutely love about this iconic film star, but we also love her sense of style even to this day.
Apart from all the glam and glitz, Audrey has a casual and playful side to her too. I love her casual daywear starring little cardigans paired with pedal-pusher pants, and just think Roman Holiday – a white shirt with a midi dress and top it off with a scarf tied around the neck. Bellissimo!
So if you’re having a daytime engagement party, opt for a more casual dress to harness this playful look from our starlet from the fifties. You can still make it comfortable, flirty and fun with engagement party dresses this Autumn by going for a shorter hemline or a dress with embroidery or crochet more suited to day events, rather than delicate lace. I am in love with this black and white By Johnny Confetti Gather Mini Dress, as it reminds me vaguely of the floral polka dot dress above, but with a playful modern twist.
Our top picks for a fun day engagement party:
To complete the look make sure you draw your eyebrows in and concentrate on drawing a thick winged eye line. Don’t forget lots and lots of mascara, or get some long stick on lashes for extra oomph. If you’re a mega fan of Audrey, try a Audrey Hepburn Makeup tutorial to look just like her.