This article is a paid partnership with JD Williams.

British Summertime means events season. From sporting events such as Royal Ascot and the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, to festivals, glamorous garden parties and weddings, every weekend is an opportunity to get dressed up.

For some people.

Unfortunately, none of these functions feature on my summer calendar. In fact, the next several weekends are a plan-free zone, unless you count the school fete.

If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

All dressed up and no place to go

The lovely team at JD Williams asked me to choose an outfit for a special summer event. Not having any invitations isn’t going to stop me from dressing up and dreaming.

JD Williams make clothes that celebrate women in their 40s and beyond, just like this blog. Sizes range from UK 10 to 32 and are a flattering fit. I’m a size 10, 5 feet 3 inches short (160cm) and everything I’ve tried on fits perfectly. Many of their dresses are made from stretchy fabric and include my favourite feature – the elasticated waist.

Say Yes to the Dresses

I often buy smart skirts and dresses in the hope I’ll have an occasion to wear them. In the meantime, with a bit of planning, I find ways to dress them down for day time. In an effort to reuse everything in my wardrobe, I choose dresses which I can wear for a formal wedding, or adapt for a barbecue with friends. The collection JD Williams sent me will work all year round, with the right layers and accessories.

Layers and accessories

Here are my favourite picks from the Occasionwear category, shown in ‘dressed up’ mode and with an alternative look to prove how easy it is to transition from glamour to daywear, and from one season to another.

Nightingales print jersey maxi dress, £65

 

If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

This is one of those ‘wow’ numbers. It clings and lets go in all the right places and I love the bold colour. Look at the detail on the waistband. This dress is such a statement that it doesn’t need much embellishment. I’ve added black dangly earrings, a subtle pearl around my neck, three strap square heel sandals in metallic blue and black (£30), and a simple black clutch by Dune (£50).

If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

To dress it down, I’ve swapped the sandals for pixie boots and added a denim jacket. A short black biker would also work well and take this outfit into winter.

If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

Floral print long line shirt dress £35

If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

On its own this dress is great for a cool summer’s day. Or dress it up for an event with a tuxedo and black sandals.

These Indra low espadrille wedge sandals in rose gold (£26) are so comfortable.If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

There are so many other great dresses and accessories on the JD Williams website. This patch print stud dress for example is a day dress, which I love for its comfort and adaptability. Add a white jacket and boots for a smarter look.

If, unlike the royals, you wear your clothes more than once, here are some affordable dresses you can wear for a day at the races, or an evening in the pub.

Perhaps reading this, you might see something here that you like for your special occasion and I can live vicariously through you.

Do you have a special occasion coming up? Assuming you don’t buy a new dress for every occasion, how do you reuse what you already own? And what do you think of these outfits? Please let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.

Much love, Vx

[Disclosure: Paid partnership with JD Williams. I use affiliate links.]