Occasion Wear Try On | Phase Eight

I'm asked all the time about occasion wear but I'm at a stage in my life where I don't really go to that many weddings anymore. However, I have one next week which seems to have crept up on me - how on earth is is July in 2 days time?! I was in full on panic mode when I got an email from Cara, the manager in Phase Eight in Victoria Square with an invite to come in and take advantage of their personal shopping service. Epic timing. So today I spent my last few hours of freedom ahead of 9 weeks of school holidays to try on about 20 dresses. Exhausting but the air con in Phase Eight is observation I don't think I've ever had to make before this week.

I'm not going to say too much about each dress - instead let you see them on me and link to them. I will tell you the size I'm wearing though, mainly because I didn't find the sizing to be consistent and you might want to size up or down in certain dresses.
Just to also say that about half of what I tried on is in the sale now so sizes are limited. However, if you are in the shop, the girls will do their best to source you one from another store - a further benefit of going in to try before you buy.

I'll kick off with a colour theme that ran throughout the This was a fab jersey print dress that could work well on lots of occasions and I also think it's a workwear option for some people...depends on your office I know but I'd happily wear this if I still worked in my old (proper) job.
Berdina Printed Dress | Carmine (Size 10 - neat but stretchy)
and I tried on a LOT of green too. This loose swing style dress comes in a gorgeous warm shade called cactus. Perfect for autumn colour palates.
I really wanted this one to work as it's got a black trim and therefore can be easily accessorised but the 8 was too small and the 12 too big. I'd have ordered in a 10 but then I found one I loved more...
Just the one jumpsuit - this is from new stock coming in and it's an absolutely stunning fit. Felt a bit warm for a summer wedding though. But one to remember for a winter occasion.
Cressida Roll Neck Jumpsuit | Carmine (size 10 - true to size)
This next dress was a surprising hit - it's got a very flattering arm design, a tie waist detail and pockets...what's not to love? The colour in my photos is a more accurate representation of what it is in real life - it's not as turquoise as the website shows.
On the hanger the next dress was not talking to me but when I put it on, I was blown away. It's such flattering fit and very wedding appropriate.
Paloma Floral Print Dress | Ivory (Size 10 - true to size)
Next it's more green and I loved the nod to tropical print on this dress. Again, another great one with sleeves and with a bit of black in the print, which always makes the dress easier to accessorise
This dress looks blue in the photo but it's actually a purple shade. Lovely midi length with little splits around the hem.
(I would have needed a 10)
Told you there was a lot of green - this has all the flattering tick marks - floaty sleeves, frill hem, nipped in at the waist. Along with lots of colours to tie in with your outfit. 
Hailey Floral Dress | Jade (Size 12 - size up)
A slightly more formal option here - very mother of the bride appropriate with some beautiful pinks and plums that can be lifted in your shoes/bag etc.
Have you noticed how dishevelled my hair is getting as the photos go on... anyway, another cream based floral option with tie detail at the sleeve. This was a final contender
until this next red one was  tried amazing body con option for anyone who wants to show off their curves. It's the most stunning fit and you can't see on the photo but it's got a rose gold zip down the entire back of the dress. 
Dorothea Dress | Red (out of stock online)
Size 10 - true to size - neat but with a stretch
A floral maxi dress next - this would be great worn casually too so would be a better price per wear option
Candelia Print Maxi Dress | Ivory/Multi (size 10 - true to size)
Back to green and I really loved the simplicity of this wrap dress with frill collar. It fitted me perfectly and can be accessorised with so much - including leopard!
Allegra Wrap Dress | Emerald (size 12 - size up)
A less flattering one for me next but I'm sharing it because it's a brilliant option for an apple figure as it's nicely fitted around the shoulders and arms but then flares out to skim over hips and tummy. Even better if you're tall with legs to show off!
Suriaiya Swing Dress | Coral (this is a 12 - definitely size down)
This next green dress was a real showstopper for me - exactly the right fit and so classy though if you look on the link, you'll see it has a bare back which scares me a little! 
Daley Drape Dress | Bright Green (size 10 - true to size)
This red lacy dress with white embroidered daisies on it wasn't one that I was drawn to initially but it was fabulous on - such a comfortable option and one that I think could be dressed down with sandals and a denim jacket too
A final red dress and this is quite a versatile one as I could see it working as a night out kind of dress and it would be amazing for a Christmas party (sorry for using the C word in July but it's really well reduced so you less thing to worry about?)
Martina Dress | Scarlet (size 12 was generous so I'd say it's true to size)
 and finishing with a new stock dress that's just hit the shops. Adore this mix of peacock blue and salmon pink:
Dianah Floral Dress | Peacock (size 10 - true to size)
 There's also a matching fascinator - instant outfit sorted!
and here's the massive rail of dresses that I tried on - some are doubled up here as I tried a couple of sizes but it's amazing what you can achieve with a couple of hours of focussed shopping!
At the end of the session, Cara, the Manager offered me a dress of my choice from the selection I tried on and after much deliberation, I picked one for next week's wedding...and I'm mulling over setting another one aside. Which one did I pick I hear you ask? Well you'll have to wait until next Saturday to see on Instagram....I can't reveal before then. Though if you're going to Lucy's wedding too and wearing any of the above, do drop me a private message 😬.

Finishing with my outfit today....another 29 degree day in Belfast.....phew!
Top - H&M (this year's version on the link - mine is past season)
Skirt - M&S (current - wearing a size 12)
Sandals - Topshop (past season - similar here & here)

Thank you to Cara & Jamie at Phase Eight for welcoming me to the shop and for gifting me with a dress of my choice. Lots of you contacted me via Instagram to say how useful you found it and to report that you've bought some of the dresses featured so I hope seeing them all on the blog is helpful to refer back to. 

Back soon,

Disclaimer - I was gifted one of the dresses to thank me for me coming in to do this session at Phase Eight Victoria Square. I wasn't paid to come in or to write this blog post. My links are affiliate links which means if you click through to the Phase Eight website, the company know you came from my blog and they may pay me a small commission if you buy and keep any of the dresses. This doesn't change the price of the item for you and the modest income I make via these links helps to cover some of the costs of running this thank you! 



  1. Avril, where are you lovely peep toe shoes from?? Gorgeous!!!!

  2. Aw I’m so silly - they’re Phase Eight too! I should have linked them. Current stock and very comfortable. I’m wearing the size 6 here x


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