What to pack for a UK trip this May
This is proving to be a major month of celebration for the UK. Not only is Charles III being crowned in London on 6 May, but Liverpool hosts the Eurovision Song Contest the following weekend. There’s never been a better excuse to dress up. Feeling overwhelmed by choice? Fashion journalist Victoria Moss has selected the pieces to see you through any themed event
The velvet slipper
For an elegant approach to evening wear, gentlemen can elevate their footwear with a velvet slipper. Prince William is a fan of the style and often spices up his black suits with a pair. Where to go? It has to be Crockett & Jones, the Northampton based shoemaker founded in 1879, which has shod everyone from Ernest Shackleton to James Bond.
The sequinned jumpsuit
No Eurovision-inspired look should be lacking in glitter – the stars of the show have long held serious sparkle as a default aesthetic. Last year’s runner up, British singer Sam Ryder, performed in a custom spangled onesie. Channel his chutzpah in this divine Halpern jumpsuit, which channels Studio 54 disco glam.
The posh brolly
No British fashion look is complete without the Isles’ number one accessory, the umbrella, whether you’re a member of the royal family or a mere well-wisher. If one thing is guaranteed, the weather is unpredictable. For a chic answer to an unseasonal downpour, pick up a brolly from London Undercover, the British label that brings a chic modern spin to its beautiful handcrafted pieces.
The traditional costume
Last year’s winners were Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra, yet due to security and safety issues given the ongoing war in Ukraine, this year’s ceremony is being hosted in Liverpool. Why not show your support for the country’s burgeoning design talent by wearing a traditional embroidered and beaded ‘Tasya’ linen blouse by Vita Kin (and add a hat by cult milliner Ruslan Baginskiy).
The spangly jacket
The Irish twin act Jedward have made consecutive mesmerising appearances at the competition – in 2011 and 2012. You may not recall the musical numbers, but you can’t possibly forget the way they looked. Find your doppelganger and don Dolce & Gabbana’s red sequinned jacket to emulate their striking on stage style.
The Ascot hat
Buckingham Palace balcony moments, Trooping the Colour, Ascot – royal events are nothing without striking millinery. If you’re stepping into this sartorial world, a striking chapeau is a no-brainer. London-based Jane Taylor has topped many of the heads of the royal Millennials. This twisted boater number is crying out for the Royal Enclosure.
The tweed jacket
Every royal worth their HRH knows how to dress in the British countryside, and you can’t go wrong with a classic Harris tweed jacket. For the ultimate luxury rural look, storied outfitter Cordings is the perfect place to indulge (with great styles for women, too). Established in 1839, its iconic store still sits on the corner of Piccadilly in the heart of London.
The burlesque outfit
Back in 2009, German duo Alex Swings Oscar Sings! enlisted burlesque dance star Dita Von Teese to spice up their routine as the consummate backing dancer. Ms Teese appeared in a black corset accessorised with a veiled headpiece. Turn up the heat at your Euro-bash with Agent Provocateur’s Mercy corset (and Emily London’s Zellova pillbox hat).
The polka-dot frock
A polka-dot dress was a frequent go-to for Princess Diana in the 1980s. More recently, the new Princess of Wales has adopted the trope as something of a style signature, mirroring her late mother-in-law. This pretty green maxi shirt dress with chic trimmed collar and cuffs, from British brand Me+Em, is the perfect solution for any classy event. It even has pockets.
The white shirt/black tie vibe
What’s more Eurovision aesthetic than a renegade styling mix? Eastern European funk group InCulto brought fashion fame to Lithuania with its onstage looks in 2010. The five-piece male line-up appeared in white shirts and black ties, but paired with silver sequin hotpants. The group’s style was clearly prophetic. Valentino’s recent women’s show was framed around black ties. This one by Thomas Pink will do the trick.
The classic Barbour
No visit to one’s Scottish estate is sartorially complete without an iconic wax Barbour jacket. It has been worn by everyone from the late Queen Elizabeth II to Princess Diana, and paired with everything from plaid skirts to plus fours and jeans. The classic Beaufort style with its tartan inner lining is a quintessential choice. Go for the sludgy green over navy for true regal style.
The babydoll mini dress
An early icon fashion moment came from 1967 British entry Sandie Shaw, who won with her memorable rendition of ‘Puppet on a String’. Shaw wore a quintessentially 1960s babydoll pink dress complete with intricate pearl and beading detail, which is now housed in the V&A collection. Emulate the singer with Self Portrait’s pretty pink mini and don’t forget to remove your shoes – Shaw famously sang barefoot.
The timeless handbag
What the Queen carried in her ever-present Launer handbag was the subject of much speculation over her lifetime (as it turned out, Paddington Bear discovered the answer: marmalade sandwiches!). But all royal women are fond of a small, smart bag for appearances. Catherine, Princess of Wales, has stepped out with her timelessly chic Aspinal of London Midi Mayfair bag several times.
The sporty crew neck
Still haven’t made your mind up what to wear? May I give you Bucks Fizz’s colour-popping 1981 look! While the women in the group whipped off their skirts mid-chorus, the men eschewed early 80s casual cool in sporty striped crew necks and pristine white jeans. This ‘Crescendo’ sweater by Wales Bonner is made from a merino wool-blend with mohair threads and fits the bill nicely.