Monday, 23 April 2018

Spirit of NI Awards | What I Wore

A quick post as I had so many lovely comments and messages about Friday night. And ALL the questions about my outfit, where I bought it, size information etc etc. So it made more sense to do a blog post that answers all the queries in one go.
By way of introduction, the Spirit of NI awards honour Northern Ireland's unsung heroes, whether they have overcome adversity or gone beyond the call of duty in education or sport. There are 10 categories - including awards for Charity Champion, 999 Hero, Spirit of Health, Spirit of Education, Spirit of Youth and Spirit of Sport. This year's guest judges included Game of Thrones and Derry Girls actor Ian McElhinney, golfer Darren Clarke and Niall Horan.

I was attending as a guest of Power NI, with whom I've been doing a little bit of work over the past week, sharing information about their Perks shopping/leisure discount programme (which is free to all their customers) and making people aware of their new community funding programme - Brighter Communities, open now for applications from local voluntary groups who need funding for specific activities/equipment etc.

To demonstrate the Perks website to local readers of the blog, Power NI invited me to create a £150 outfit to wear to the ceremony, using the discounts they offer on the site. I should say here that they kindly paid for this outfit and I achieved an overall 9% discount off the cost using Perks.

The dress code was cocktail - always a tricky one and  I decided to go for a jumpsuit. I wanted to get something that I'd wear a few times again so I opted for a black one, knowing I'd wear it at choir concerts as well as potentially on a regular night out as being black, it's just not as memorable as a coloured or printed one.

I found it on the Topshop website though it's not a Topshop label - it's called Club L. It was just £45 and is made from a stretchy opaque material that's very flattering to wear. I sized up to a 12 and needed every bit of it so I'd say it comes up small. It's pretty much sold out now on the Topshop site but the second link below the picture is for another online shop that sells the brand also.

To brighten up the black, I went for another classic piece, a cream blazer, this time from Mango but I bought it via the Debenhams website to secure the 9% perks discount. It's a beautiful fit - I got the S and I'd say it's a true 10. I can't wait to wear this with jeans and over dresses this summer. 
Then I added some colour, inspired by these green sandals that I got from Topshop. 

Then its was over to New Look where I found this flamingo bag which brought the cream, black and green together perfectly. Flamingos are HUGE this SS18 (not literally...just in a fashion way!) so this is a subtle way to introduce the trend to your wardrobe.
Massive green tassel earrings finished off the look

 and after placing all the orders online, I sat back and crossed my fingers that it would all work. And thankfully it did - here's the finished look!
I dithered over keeping the sandals as they weren't high enough for the length of the jumpsuit but in the end, I sewed a small hem and made the jumpsuit a bit shorter and they worked a treat. They were very comfortable thanks to the ankle strap and the not too high heel. I am really looking forward to wearing these again - next time with distressed jeans I think.

In terms of practicalities, I didn't need to wear a bra as the jumpsuit was quite supportive up top so that was a bonus. I did wear some spanx to avoid vpl et al....so visits to the facilities were altogether fun and the less said about it, the better. Luckily I wasn't drinking - I could imagine it would be a challenge if you were!! 

The earrings I thought would be a problem as I'm not a big earring fan and the felt like they would be heavy and sore but I completely forgot they were in and I had no reaction to the metal in them.

I had my hair and makeup done locally. Chantele in Metro Stranmillis did a bouncy blow dry for me on the Friday morning and then Alicia in Bliss Beauty on the Lisburn Road did my make up and nails. I have a few lovely friends who do beauty stuff and I do try to spread my business around them all but I have to say when it comes to make up, Alicia is my go-to....she does an amazing job. It's the one time I feel happy taking a selfie.
So outfit goals were reached but do you know something, once I was at the event listening to the stories of the winners, what I was wearing became irrelevant. I was blown away by the people who won awards....people with full time jobs who fundraise and help their community, children facing adversity who have channelled their trauma into helping others, teams of professionals who are actively helping some of the most vulnerable people in our society. There were tears, reality checks but mostly, lots of cheering and laughter and a real sense of joy that these awards exist to recognise the people who won them. A truly inspirational night.

Ax
Disclaimer - I was a guest of Power NI at this event and my outfit was paid for. I paid for my make up and hair myself. I was not required or paid to write this blog post. Thanks for supporting the brands that support this blog. Some of my links are affiliate links which means that the brand knows you came to them from here and they may pay me a small commission if you buy and keep the item. This does not change the price of the item for you and the modest income I make from these links helps cover the running costs of my website.

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