I'm Mixing Up My Neutral Party Wardrobe This Summer—These Pieces Are Inspiring Me

As summer approaches, my calendar is quickly filling up with an array of exciting events: black-tie weddings, garden parties, al fresco birthday celebrations… if it's a warm-weather event, my friends are throwing it. I've always adored dressing up for these summer soirées and this year, I'm seizing the opportunity to break free from my usual style. Normally, my event wardrobe is made up of timeless classics—think LBDs for formal affairs and pastel sundresses for outdoor gatherings. I still love these forever classics, but a recent browse through Harvey Nichols' varied event collection has made me reconsider pieces I'd usually overlook.

Harvey Nichols Event Dressing

(Image credit: Harvey Nichols)

Harvey Nichols has always been one of my top shopping destinations thanks to its impeccably curated edits of both established brands and emerging contemporary-luxury names. As a fan of neutral tones, I usually stick to minimalist, monochromatic looks, so for black-tie events, I'd typically reach for a sleek black dress with understated jewellery. At garden parties, you'd find me in a flowy beige number paired with classic espadrilles.

However, I've since discovered vibrant and unique dresses by brands such as Zimmermann and 16Arlington and summer shoes from the likes of Toteme that have me excited to experiment a little. From floral prints to feathered trims, these pieces are just what I need to elevate any summer event wardrobe, and I'm ready to embrace the bold new me.

Harvey Nichols Event Dressing

(Image credit: Harvey Nichols)

What I love most about this curation is that there are plenty of the classics as well as some cult-level pieces. Take for example Loewe's Dusty Blue Bracelet Pleated Leather Clutch (£1100)—sure, you can carry it with the top strap, but those in the know will tell you that you can also wrap the strap around your wrist (hence its name). When it comes to ready-to-wear, 16Arlington always hits the mark with cocktail-party attire for cool girls. Be it the '60s-inspired minidresses with XL collars or signature feather trims, or the choice of deep, moody hues, the brand is always a go-to for any editor attending a society sporting event like Wimbledon or Ascot.

For jewellery, you can't go wrong with a classic gold piece, but if you're looking to make a statement, might I point you in the direction of Alighieri? I've been eyeing up The Medusa Medallion 24kt Gold-Plated Necklace for a while now. These pieces would make excellent additions to any wardrobe, but their timelessness means they'll work year after year—a bonus, but an important one.

So, whether it's a dress, a pair of shoes or a clutch bag that you have on your radar, below, I've curated a selection of my favourites from the Harvey Nichols event edit. Keep scrolling for the pieces that won me over in an instant.

Shop Harvey Nichols' Chicest Summer Event Pieces:

1. Dresses

2. Shoes

3. Bags

4. Jewellery

Junior Branded Content Editor

Humaa is the Junior Branded Content Editor at Who What Wear UK, where her expertise lies in paid for and affiliate stories for beauty and fashion brands. Humaa has a BA Hons degree in English literature and previously held editor roles at British Vogue and Marie Claire US. Most recently she moved over from the Who What Wear US Branded Content team to join the UK title to help build out the team on home ground. She is a September baby and though does not believe in astrology, cannot deny that she is a Virgo through and through. When she's not trying to poke a hole through her credit card on a daily basis, because of her job writing many, many shopping stories, you can find her making her way through her Kindle Unlimited TBR list–spoiler: it's a long one. Follow her on Instagram at @Humaa.Hussain