When you have a capsule wardrobe, one of the challenges is dressing for special occasions. If you know in advance you can plan an outfit into your capsule wardrobe, however, this takes up valuable space in your wardrobe. And what do you do with those last minute invites? I decided not to include special occasion outfits in my capsule wardrobe (read about what I include and don’t include in my capsule wardrobe). Instead, I have a special occasion wardrobe which I keep separate from my capsule wardrobe for those events where I need to get dressed up, such as weddings.
The reason I don’t include these pieces in my capsule wardrobe is because my capsule wardrobe is designed for my everyday life and I don’t go to fancy events that often. However, when you do get invited somewhere I want to have a couple of choices available to me, which I can wear without feeling like I’m cheating. Having this smaller wardrobe available also means I don’t end up panic buying a whole new outfit for every event. And as you all know formal dresses and shoes aren’t cheap!
I have 5 dresses in my special occasion wardrobe as well as a selection of shoes which go with all the dresses (although I could get away with just the nude or black heels if needed). I have a black and a white blazer (not pictured) to wear with the dresses. I use bags from my everyday wardrobe, mostly taking my Whistles chain clutch out with me. My dresses range from a classic little black dress to a pretty floral number, which means I have one for all occasions. These dresses have been brought over time, normally with an event in mind, rather than in one big splurge. If you don’t have any formal dresses in your wardrobe and want to create a special occasion wardrobe, I would suggest starting with a classic little black dress. Mine is from Reiss, and is one of the most versatile dresses I own and I find myself reaching for it whenever I have an event on. Back in September, I wore it to a wedding with the nude heels and white blazer. The other dark dress is a navy shift dress from Reiss with black lace details on the shoulders. The navy makes a nice change from a little black dress but is just as versatile. I picked this dress up in the sale and love the mix of navy and black, which means you can team it with black accessories. I recently wore this to a black-tie charity event.
The other 3 dresses are more summery and all have some sort of floral pattern. If you’re just starting your special occasion wardrobe and have your little black dress, I would suggest the next option should be some sort of floral dress. I think floral dresses are perfect for summer weddings or garden party. A patterned dress is normally easy to dress down (depending on the fabric) so could also be worn to a BBQ or birthday party. My dresses are from ZARA and Oasis.