How to wear summer sparkle

Christopher Kane, Simone Rocha and Chanel (images from

If you have been shopping over the last few weeks, you can’t fail to have noticed there is something of a occasion wear invasion going on. What was once previously reserved for partywear or special occasions such as Christmas, is now being presented as perfectly acceptable to wearing during the day, and God forbid, even the office!

Personally, I blame TOWIE, as the super glam girls from Essex seem to think full on sparkly, shimmering and sheer evening dresses – think drag queens at Madame JoJo’s – are suitable attire for a trip to Tescos. Not that they are ever seen doing anything as remotely ordinary as supermarket shopping, but you get my drift.

Shimer, sparkle, sequins, lace and metallics are ‘hot’ for spring/summer and as ever, we feel compelled to help you understand how to wear this somewhat tricky trend, as there is a very real danger of looking more Stricly Ballroom than Simone Rocha!

Marc Jacobs, Jenni Kayne and Christopher Kayne

As usual they are rules –  so listen carefully and you can be confident in your ability to pull off this ‘desk to dinner’ look with elegance and style.

  • Choose your fabrics carefully, there are lots of hideous nylon interprtations out there and ones wants to be able to light a match and avoid electric shocks. This means steering clear of Primark and possibly spending a little more than you had planned.
  • Do not however spend a whole months salary on a holographic, shimmery top from Christopher Kane – even if you have been invited Met Ball as Anna Wintour’s special guest, this is a passing trend and should be treated as such. Next summer you will look back in horror – trust me on this one!
  • If COS are doing sparkle then this is where to go. Otherwise try Top Shop but proceed with caution.
  • Wear only ONE piece of sparkle at a time, this is key. Understated glamour is the look we are going for, somewhere between Barbara Cartland and Jean Muir is the aim.
  • Co-ordinate a sparkle top with casual bottoms, skinny jeans or maybe a coloured trouser and wear lace or shimmery dresses with brogues or flat sandals. You could even add a 1950’s style cardigan casually thrown over your shoulders. Think Grace Kelly on a summers evening in Capri.
  • This may seem a little harsh, but it might be wise to steer clear of anything sheer, unless it’s a sleeve. Some of us are under the misapprehension that sheer fabric covers things up. Well I have news for you people, we can still see everything! If you wouldn’t usually go out wearing a strappy vest top, then don’t wear one with something sheer over the top of it. I am not usually one to discourage bravery in fashion, but in this case, modesty has to prevail.
  • It has to be said this can be a difficult look for the over 40’s as one really doesn’t want to look like an expat at a cocktail party in Marbella, so perhaps the best way to try this look is through clever accessorising. Adding a gold shoe, a sequin sandal, a shimmery bag or a metallic nail, says ‘hello trend, I acknowledge you, but I don’t have to live you. I get it, but I am no slave to fashion’. And isn’t that the fashion holy grail for our generation?


Try Top Shop for the most affordable and wearable metallic footwear and some great nail colours.


  • Jude says:

    …..expat at a cocktail party in Marbella – hilarious!
    I’m not going to embrace this shiny glittery thing, its just not me. But 30 yrs ago the 20 yr old me would deffo have had a go with the brojazzle!

  • Anna says:

    You scared me with the eyebrows !! Good advice, thank you. I have always loved a sparkly shoe in the summer months. x

  • steffi says:

    Unglamorous but totally timeless with lots of style potential (in my book ;-) are the Birkenstock’s that I have just received in the post…. this year’s order: Gizeh (as always)… but in SILVER. Fab with dark blue toenails, and a tan obvs. What’s your verdict?

  • jane says:

    gorgeous Steffi, classic with a touch of sparkle – perfect J x

  • steffi says:

    Oh I know, Amanda!!! #musttryharder But am, was and always will be very much HERE. Your forever faithful. X

  • Amanda says:

    Steffi! where’ve ya been? #missedyou Ax

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