Fashion: Let’s do lunch

Flattering and suitably statement-like, orange print dress, �180, Essentiel at Lynx Womenswear of Harrogate.
Flattering and suitably statement-like, orange print dress, �180, Essentiel at Lynx Womenswear of Harrogate.
  • Posh lunch dining is all the rage but your outfit needs to match your elevated environment. Stephanie Smith seeks out the perfect choices.
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Forget about dressing for dinner; these days, it’s all about the lunch.

Not that this makes our personal styling prep (we’re all stylists now, you know) any easier because lunch in 2015 has become very smart indeed, as anyone who has made the mistake of rocking up at Harvey Nichols In Leeds or perhaps Restaurant Bar and Grill in Harrogate, on the off chance, sporting what, in all honesty, really ought to be termed “lounge attire” (ie, leggings, a T-shirt and big cardi) will already be well aware (to your shame).

Yasmin Le Bon (left) and Amber Le Bon put ont he perfect mother and daughter display in silk blouses

Yasmin Le Bon (left) and Amber Le Bon put ont he perfect mother and daughter display in silk blouses

Not that there are enforced rules about such dressing miscalculations. It’s just that it doesn’t feel right, sitting about in pieces from your sofa-surfing capsule wardrobe when all about you are fabulous looking people, impressively coiffed and totally made up, wearing smart designer dresses plus obligatory statement accessories.

Sunday lunch is the special one, the social highpoint of the week. It’s highly fashionable to go out to a restaurant or favoured dining establishment to meet friends and family in a stylish and convivial environment. So much better than trying to cram 12 people around a dining table for six with a desk stuck on the bottom end for the kids, plus it means the hosts don’t have to flap about carrying steaming dishes of sprouts and sadly overdone beef.

Jersey and ponte make the the best lunchtime dining fabrics, allowing for ease of movement while sitting down, with minimal creasing, unlike silk skirts, and none of that hot and itchy feeling that woollen fabrics tend to bring in a warm and enclosed environment. Look for sophisticated print, if print is your thing, and preferably ruching about the tummy area or possibly a flattering wrap style, but do make sure it’s roomy enough because it will gape at the bust if it is even slightly on the small side. It’s a good idea to go up a size with wrap dresses, as long as the shoulders don’t look oversized.

A smart tunic or short dress will always look wonderful, especially with fierce ankle boots. If going for separates, a beautiful silk blouse is perfect - classic white, dove grey or royal blue for this season.

Animal print coat, �299, by James Lakeland at Snooty Frox..

Animal print coat, �299, by James Lakeland at Snooty Frox..

Jewellery is important when dining as sitting down at table is the perfect place to showcase any pieces you are proud of. Nails, meanwhile, give you the opportunity to show off your fashion savviness, ideal when you don’t want to splash out on a new outfit. For this autumn/winter, metallics and monochrome colour block nails are hot but get them done professionally if you go for colour blocking. No one will be impressed by wobbly lines.

McDonald's limited editon Julien Macdonald designed Signature Collection burger box

WIN: McDonald's Signature Collection showcase tickets and limited edition burger box