OOTD: Dressing Down A Dressy Skirt (Pink Lace, A Mini Suitcase & A Splash Of Gingham)

One of my biggest downfalls when it comes to shopping for fashion, is that I’m always drawn to the fancy dresses and occasion pieces – but often have nowhere or no reason to wear them! How many times have you bought a pretty dress, a wedding-esque skirt but then realised there are no parties, occasions or wedding invites to be seen? Although it doesn’t seem appropriate to put on a party frock just to sit working in Starbucks all day, at any given opportunity I’m always in favour of dressing up or styling a piece that may traditionally be a bit fancy. My motto is that you can never be overdressed, and that jeans are for days when you can’t bare to be anything other than comfy, so here’s how I dressed down the dressiest of skirts (that was bought for an occasion that didn’t exist!) and didn’t regret a moment.


Lace screams elegance and effortless style, so it’s no surprise it’s a material I’m always drawn to. It requires little else to make an outfit, as the intricacies and detail of the material do all the talking for you. This delightful dusty pink number is from M&S (my go-to at the moment for summertime fashion that’s comfy, stylish and keeps my bits covered) and is actually part of a two-piece set; if you want to jazz it up or make it instantly into wedding guest attire, all you need do is add the matching top. I adore the midi length and the flattering cut, as well as the little zip detail on the reverse, but what makes it for me is the ‘loose’ edge on the bottom of the lace; the scalloping and lack of hem instantly keep it fresh and expensive looking, even though it’s only £55.00. Considering I wore this on an unexpectedly hot day, it kept me really cool and didn’t become a challenge to lug around either.


One of my favourite ways to dress down an otherwise dressy skirt is to stick it with an understated and totally casual tee; whether that’s a slogan or band t-shirt, a brightly coloured comfy number or classic plain white, it keeps everything casual while ensuring the focus is on your statement piece. This tee is from Oasis and is one of the tops I love the most; it’s made of a really lightweight and cool fabric that hangs effortlessly, with the added detail of a silky collar to up the ante just a little bit. It washes beautifully and looks as good as new even though it’s been worn to death over the last year, so in my opinion it’s well worth upgrading your Primark tees if you can afford to. 


What is it about gingham that has us going weak at the knees right now? Maybe it’s the bold pattern, the simple colours that remind us of childhood, or the fact it’s the ultimate in universal dressing; there’s nothing that doesn’t look great either in gingham or teamed with a touch of gingham. This oversized trench coat is part of the Preen collection for Debenhams and I’d originally seen it during the springtime; I couldn’t stop thinking about it (and how it would instantly update everything else in my wardrobe,) so I was delighted to go back a few weeks later and find it half price in the sale! It’s the perfect summer cover-up and looks just as good with jeans as it does with a dressier outfit, so a wise investment was made when I took it to the till point. If you’re thinking about doing the same then it’s worth nothing that it’s designed to be incredibly oversized; I’m usually a S16 but opted for a S10 to get a closer fit, so it’s worth trying it on or ordering a couple of sizes down.


Usually I’m one for oversized bags that can fit as much of my rubbish in as possible, but sometimes you have to downsize in the name of bag porn. Possibly one of the most iconic Aspinal Of London bags they’ve ever made, this Mini Trunk Clutch is dreamy in more ways than one: not only does it open up with a proper suitcase fastening and include cloth pockets not dissimilar to the classic interiors we know so well, but it features both a handle and a longer strap so you can dress it up or down. I adore the grey shade and subtle animal print design of this one, which works so well with the gingham and dusty pink; the lightness is suited just as well to spring and summer as it is autumn and winter, so there’s no doubting it’s a suitcase for all seasons. If this shade doesn’t take your fancy though, then Aspinal have a huge selection available and are always updating their collection with new colourways and patterns. 


Certain fashions pass me by as I cringe with reminiscence of wearing them the first time around; that’s a sign of age and the passing of time too fast if ever there was one. Bodysuits, scrunchies, cycling shorts and high-top trainers are things I can’t possibly get on-board with for a second time, and I thought mules would suffer the same fate. I spent my teenage years wearing the chunky and rather unflattering style, so when I saw them making a comeback I resigned myself to never embracing them again – that was, until I saw these suede cross-over mules in Office. Although they tick the right boxes of midi heel, understated tone and chunky design, they’re way more flattering than a huge panel of material that gives even the slimmest of legs a cankle. The cross-over detailing ensures the eye pans down, that ankles are slimmed and that they effortlessly update any look; they’re also pretty comfy and the suede material keeps them elegant. Available in this grey shade alongside blue, pink and black, I’m tempted to get them in other colours…!

PS – When these photos were taken I was wearing my fake engagement ring, so that’s why it’s different to what you’ve previously seen! Thankfully mine has been replaced, so you’ll be seeing it back in its rightful place in future posts.

Marks & Spencer Cotton Blend A-Line Skirt | £55.00 | LINK

Oasis White Tee | £14.00 | LINK

Office Cross Strap Marny Mules | £36.00 | LINK

Studio By Preen Gingham Oversized Trench | £49.50 | LINK

Aspinal Of London Mini Trunk Clutch Bag | £450.00 | LINK

Pandora Rose Gold Bracelet | £65.00 | LINK

Alex Benlo Watch | Price Upon Request | LINK

Quay Retro Sunglasses  | £15.00 | LINK


Thanks to Kirsty from Fashion For Lunch for the photos!

 Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. last year's girl
    June 27, 2017 / 8:43 am

    YESSSS! Party skirts erry damn day! x

    • Hayley Carr
      June 27, 2017 / 1:29 pm

      That should be my mantra!

  2. Kirsty Merrett
    June 27, 2017 / 3:54 pm

    yes!!!! this watch! that bag! loving this look and love the lace!

    • Hayley Carr
      June 28, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      Thank you gorgeous x

  3. Vivian Yuen
    June 28, 2017 / 8:12 am

    You look so chic! I love the skirt and mules~Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVEIG | @VIVIYUNN_~

    • Hayley Carr
      June 28, 2017 / 8:07 pm

      Thanks Vivian! They're so comfy too…

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