Monday, 28 April 2014

Bags for the Big Day

I spent last Friday at a gorgeous wedding in Gloucestershire and thought it was probably a good idea to wear one of my many dresses that still had the tag on as I can only use the excuse 'it's not right for tonight' so many times. It was a dark navy AX Paris dress and I went with some simple black New Look heels that I knew wouldn't let me down when I made it through to the night's events.

I took a choice of two bags, both black but one slightly larger than the other, as I'm never sure how many essentials I'll want with me. I used my smaller Dorothy Perkins monochrome bag to go with the light and dark shades on my dress and it did the job perfectly. The handy wrist strap meant I had the option to let go when I needed to grab a new glass of champagne from the waiter before he disappeared again and even though there's only a tiny pocket inside it held all the usual essentials for a long day including my mini brush, mirror, eye liner, purse and of course my phone.

So with the wedding season fast approaching (yey!), I've found a few of the best affordable bags online at the moment, and some outfits to go with them. Lets face it, I know we want to look our best but when its a friend of a friend you don't always want to break the bank on a bag you may use for one day, so I've chosen some that can be mixed with outfits for other occasions too.

Firstly, this Miss Selfridge clutch is a subtle but summery pop of colour for £35.

It comes with an optional chain strap for when you're champagne is in your right hand and nibbles are in the left, and even though there's only a small pocket inside, having tried and tested this size last week, I think it will still hold what you need just fine. This would be great being paired with a simple black dress but I think it would look great with this pair of black, white and yellow shoes also from Miss Selfridge (£49), and a monochrome dress from Topshop (£36) to tie in the colours and geometric patterns but still keep some contrast to stand out.

My second option would be this gorgeous embellished clutch from River Island for just £20.

This too comes with a detachable chain strap and glams up an otherwise plain outfit with the bright colour and twinkles. I think it's one of those bags that would look great at whatever occasion, whether just some cocktails with the girls or an anniversary dinner by just altering the outfit you wear it with. For a wedding, pairing the coral with a nude or taupe colour dress will look classy yet current. Here, I've chosen a nude high neck dress from Missguided as we all know you can't wear white to a wedding unless you're the bride (£24.99), and matched some nude shoes from New Look (£24.99) which complement both the dress and bag with the embellished front. I'm quite often chilly whether its July or January, so throwing on a coral blazer like this one from New Look (£24.99, trend here!) will look perfect but is practical at the same time. We can all admit defeat when it comes to weather in England!

I love the excuse a wedding gives you to wear a bright, uplifting outfit, come rain or shine, and this is no exception. This solid pink clutch by French Connection from ASOS is again great to go with a guest's outfit or for just a night out on the town, so for £65 I'll allow you to spend a little more.

It's made from a leather look fabric with a matte finish, has a small pocket inside, a clasp close, a removable chain strap again, and even though it's fairly thin, it looks big enough to hold your bits and pieces snugly (maybe after a game of handbag Tetris but we're all good at that when we need to be!). This outfit is perfect for ladies without 'abs like slabs' as the busy pattern will take the attention away from the muffin-tops that appear from nowhere after the third course. The dress is from AX Paris and comes in 7 different patterns to suit everyone and it's just £30. These shoes are from Faith at Debenhams, which are £45, but any plain pink shoes would work well.

Obviously there are thousands of gorgeous clutches out there, but for a spring or summer wedding I'd definitely recommend choosing a brighter colour; embellished clutches are a must have right now. And trust me, you don't want to buy a bag that you look at next month and think it would look best at a wedding - buy one you'll use for other occasions or you'll be in all the photos at your family and friends' weddings with the same bag!

Enjoy matching your outfits, and as I said earlier, if a wedding isn't a good excuse to wear bright colours then where is?! Happy shopping!


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