Avoid stilettos unless you want to ruin your shoes and become one with the grass. A block heel or a wedge is the perfect answer to that sinking feeling. And don’t forget to break in new shoes at home beforehand, or take a pair of ballet flats with you.
Bounce the flounce
Avoid too much extra material. If your dress is all frills and ruffles, tone it down with a pair of simple heels and an understated clutch.
Comedy headwear is not funny. Choose something tasteful with the odd feather rather than planting a whole bird/nest motif on your noggin. A trilby or Panama hat is a refreshing change to a horizon of feathered heads.
With hats and dresses, know what styles and cuts look good on you and ignore those that don’t. If you’re not sure, take an honest friend and a thick skin to the mall with you.
Something cheap that fits well is a far better option for the big day than an expensive dress that doesn’t fit you properly. If you are on a budget, or just don’t fancy forking out a one-off frock, you could consider asking a tailor to re-invent an old frock that is sitting in the wardrobe at home.
A shift dress is an elegant base for marvellous accessories. Neutrals are a safe and classic option if you are unsure of colour. If you’re feeling bold, however, you could try adding a flash of neon for a modern take.
Bags of style
When it comes to bags, don’t over-stuff a tiny clutch. Instead opt for an oh-so-now oversized version.
Keep your make-up palette fresh looking. As this is mostly a day event, you should probably leave the heavy shadows at home.
If you're not wearing a hat, go for a stylish up-do and maybe add a flower or a feather to create a more dramatic effect. Don't go overboard though, there's always the risk you'll end up looking like the bird the plume was plucked from. Less is more, ladies.
There's nothing worse than a pair of pasty pins poking out from beneath a summer frock, especially at a day event, so get tanning if you haven't got a natural glow. That said, you're never going to win best-dressed if your hue's more Valentino than vivacious, so take it easy and opt for the lighter shade.
Run of the milliners
Whether it be a full-brimmed sensation, feathery fascinator or jaunty trilby, you can easily pick up a low-cost option at a high-street store such as Accessorize, Marks and Spencer, Top Shop or Oasis. But if you want to stand out from the crowd with a one-off stunner, check out these little beauties.
If it’s an eccentric piece full of colour you’re after then get down to Boom & Mellow (Mall of the Emirates, 04 341 3993) for vibrant hues and pretty, tropical garden motifs.
Ladies who are looking for elegance with French flair should look no further than Julie Anne Lucas Millinery at Candella Boutique, The Village Mall (04 342 1961).
Every colour in the crayon box is represented among milliner Kim Fletcher’s wares currently on display at the Mercato Mall (04 437 0771). Those in the market for a snazzy lid will be spoilt for choice at the BurJuman millinery exhibition, which features the work of five top designers including Louise Macdonald, Bailey Tomlin and Yuki Saito.
To pick up a stylish piece – and support a locally based artisan – you can’t beat a feathery creation from Louise Harrison Couture at Souk Madinat Jumeirah (050 274 8581).