Black Tie Dresses

What should ladies wear to a black tie event?

Gorgeous fishtail satin peacock gown a great dress which adheres to that all important black tie event dress code!

Gorgeous fishtail satin peacock gown a great dress which adheres to that all important black tie event dress code!

From now to December the social calendar is awash with black tie events, and many of our first time customers come to us having just received a black tie invitation and are in a panic as to what to wear.  The black tie dress code has been modernized over time, but one thing has stayed the same:  black tie events are gorgeously sumptuous, important social events!  So, before you dip into your wardrobe, just make sure that you are aware that black tie means formal event and you will be expected to dress appropriatelyHowever, don’t feel daunted by this concept; instead, see it as your big opportunity to show yourself off in a stunning gown and some statement pieces of jewellery.

Compared to men, women have to go through a much more complicated process when choosing their black tie outfits, but the staff at Walk in Wardrobe are here to help.  Outlined below are a few tips and tricks to help you shine at your black tie event.

Can I wear a cocktail dress to a black tie event?

Black tie events usually mean that you will need to wear a full length gown, but as time has gone on, there has been some relaxation to this rule and some women prefer to opt for a knee length dress.  However, caution must be exercised if you decide to go for a short black tie dress as cocktail dresses can be considered semiformal and you may feel underdressed in a short dress.  If you do go for a short dress, make sure it’s as glitzy and glamorous as possible, and do not go for a minidress.  Do remember though that it’s not every day you get to wear a floor length gown – so if I were you, I would take full advantage!

Do I have to dress conservatively for a black tie event?

Do not limit yourself to a conservative dress, try to keep modern and sexy whilst maintaining a touch of class.  A plunging neckline or a backless dress can definitely be styles which are appropriate, but try to steer clear of anything too revealing, e.g. a backless dress with a plunging neckline and a thigh high slit, remember, it’s all about looking classy!

What colour dress can I wear to a black tie event?

There are no limitations for colour when it comes to choosing your black tie dress, so you can be pretty daring when it comes to the colour you pick, so be confident and play with colour, bold colours can be really attention grabbing!

What accessories should I wear to a black tie event?

At black tie events you can really show off your jewellery, but it’s really important not to go overboard and to accessorise well.  Choose a necklace and a pair of earrings which go with the outfit or a complimentary colour.  If you are unable to find a good match, go for a nice neutral colour for your jewellery, for example, clear sparkles or silver or gold jewellery.  Choose a clutch bag which matches any embellishments your dress may have or matches your jewellery, but try to stay away from an exact match to the dress as it can blend in too much with your outfit.  A stole to go around your shoulders works fantastically for a winter event, giving you that touch of Hollywood glamour whilst keeping you warm.

Our team at Walk in Wardrobe are very well versed in what to wear for a black tie event, if you have any other questions just leave it in the comments box below!

What to wear for New Year’s Eve 2014

Blue New Years


The boutique has been positively bursting at the seams with customers who are busily organising themselves for their Christmas and New Year’s Eve parties, and we’ve had great fun helping them choose their accessories and dresses for their events.  This blissful little collection is perfect for a New Year’s Eve party and will have you looking classy and sophisticated as you twinkle and dance your way into 2014!

Long sleeved dresses at Walk in Wardrobe

The long sleeved dress has become a real fashion essential of late, and you only have to glance at the red carpet to see top celebrities such as Anne Hathaway and Angelina Jolie looking like they are at the height of sophistication in long sleeved gowns.  Long sleeved dresses are brilliant to have in your wardrobe for a couple of reasons, firstly because they keep the chill off of you in this unpredictable British weather, and secondly these dresses can provide excellent coverage for ladies who are concerned about a bit of an arm wobble when they wave!  At the boutique we are frequently visited by ladies who want to look show stoppingly glamorous for their special event, but are finding it hard to find a nice dress with long sleeves.  Please feel rest assured that wearing a long sleeved dress does not automatically mean that you will look ‘dowdy’ or ‘old fashioned’ as we have sourced for you some absolutely stunning dresses with long full sleeves, chiffon sleeves, tulle sleeves and lace sleeves.

Long dresses with sleeves

Long sleeved black full length sequin dress

Long sleeved black full length sequin dress


Full length dress with full sleeve

Stunning long black dress with chiffon sleeves

Stunning long black dress with chiffon sleeves

I hope that you will agree with me that this black full sequin dress on the left is testimony to the fact that long sleeved dresses are not dowdy!  This gorgeous dress is the absolute epitome of red carpet glamour with it’s mermaid style cut and sexy-but-classy feature open back.  This particular type of sleeve is fabulous for ladies who are particularly under confident with their arms as it provides full coverage whilst maintaining that full on, glamorous, red carpet look.

Sheer sleeves

A sheer sleeve can give you a highly sophisticated look whilst still providing you with a fair bit of coverage and gives you a stunning silhouette.  If you want a more see through, sheer sleeved dress try our gorgeous, show stopping long black dress with chiffon sleeves (to the right).  This easy going, carefree style dress offers you effortless glamour and sophistication and gives you that floaty, whimsical look whilst still making sure that your arms are covered!




Knee length dresses with sleeves

Lace sleeved knee length designer pencil dress

Lace sleeved knee length designer pencil dress

Lace long sleeves

3/4 length sleeve peplum pencil dress

3/4 length sleeve peplum pencil dress

The long sleeve in lace is a huge fashion trend which I can only attribute to Kate Middleton’s Alexandra McQueen wedding dress.  The moment she emerged from the limousine we had ladies at the boutique desiring this dreamy, classic style.  This gorgeous designer knee-skimming corset pencil dress on the left incorporates the lace sleeve to ensure that you get a perfect blend of whimsical, sexy and just the right amount of sophistication to be able to be worn out to a classic semi-formal black tie event.  It’s the perfect dress for a daytime function, but is eye catching and glamorous enough to take you seamlessly through to an evening event.

3/4 length sleeves

This fabulous desk to dinner dress pictured on the right is brilliant if you want to hide your upper arms but still want to remain cool in the summery months.  Dress this gorgeous peplum dress up with sparkly accessories and you are ready to go straight out for the evening from work.





Mini dresses with sleeves

Chiffon batwing mini dress with sleeves

Chiffon batwing mini dress with sleeves

If you are lucky enough to be the proud owner of a great pair of pins, a sleeved mini dress is a great way to show off your best assets whilst covering up the arms.  This gorgeous dress on the right offers you that sexy mini dress look alongside a vague hint of that Wuthering Heights couture with it’s chiffon batwings.  This dress looks fabulous when teamed up with a pair of our sparkly high heels and some glitzy drop earrings.

These are just some of the long sleeved dresses we have in stock at the moment, please check our website here for more styles:

The latest summer fashion trend for 2013 – Monochrome

Black and white monochrome bodycon dress with frills by Forever Unique

Black and white monochrome bodycon dress with frills by Forever Unique

Unfortunately there is little we can change about the horrible weather in the UK by moaning about it, but we can cheer ourselves up by looking fabulous!  I can feel a bit silly wondering about in this murky grey in a summer floral dress, but I can look just as summery and stylish in one of the hottest summer fashion trends – colour blocking monochrome.  Indeed, the spring and summer catwalks 2013 have been dominated by a bold glare of black and white monochrome prints incorporating stripes, zebra print, polka dots and big blocks of black and white.  This is a timeless trend with roots harking back to the 1960’s mod era; the trend has now undergone a modern twist and has been endorsed by celebrities such as Beyonce Knowles, Rhianna, Kim Kardashian and Kate Middleton but to name a few.

There are so many reasons why I love monochrome, mainly because there is something very clean and simple about a black and white ensemble, giving the impression of modern, powerful self-assuredness, whilst still remaining elegant, sophisticated and not too overbearing.  Monochrome is also such an easy trend to wear, so it is no problem finding it in shops in all seasons, and it will never go out of fashion (and believe me, fashion waits for no-one, so it’s brilliant to be able to have a good solid staple style in the wardrobe!).  It’s also great for plus size ladies, as the black minimizes the areas you want to hide, and the white enhances the areas you wish to show off.  Another big tick in the monochrome style box is that it transcends seasons, so it is a great transitional trend which will take us seamlessly from summer into autumn and beyond.

Stunning black tie monochrome summer silk floaty maxi dress

Stunning black tie monochrome summer silk floaty maxi dress

So how do I wear monochrome?

Monochrome can be a single coloured black or white dress and you can contrast the black or white with the opposing colour for your accessories.  Alternatively, you get the best of both worlds and combine both colours together in one dress with a gorgeous print or with dazzling, bold blocks of colour.

How do I accessorize monochrome?

The key is that if you are going for a monochrome look, stick to monochrome only.  Adding an extra colour with your accessories can lessen the whole effect.  Instead, stick with black or white accessories and shoes.  If you are going for a one colour, completely black or white dress, go for the opposing colour for your accessories to break it up a bit.  If you go for the same colour for the accessories you can be in danger of your outfit looking too black or too white.  Likewise, go for an opposing colour bag so it doesn’t blend in too much with the outfit, and it will give a nice little colour break to your ensemble.  Another look I love if you are going for a plain black or white dress is to add zebra print, stripes or polka dot accessories into the mix.  Again, try to make sure that these accessories are predominantly in the opposing colour.

If your dress has both black and white, match the accessory colour to the colour which is least reflected in the dress.  Another piece of advice when it comes to accessories is not to mix the colours of the accessories too much (e.g. a white necklace and black earrings), particularly if you have a dress with both colours as it can be a bit too much for the eye and can look a bit messy.

Monochrome black and white disc fascinator - perfect for Ladies Day at the Races!

Monochrome black and white disc fascinator – perfect for Ladies Day at the Races!

If you are going to the races, don’t forget to complete your monochrome look with a daring and sophisticated hat or fascinator for a real Audrey Hepburn kind of look.

How should I wear my makeup with a monochrome outfit?

I believe that as black and white gives a very clean, bold effect, bold makeup looks fabulous with it.  Dash a nice, thick black line with some liquid eyeliner on the upper eyelid with a flick at the corners of the eyes and use an eye pencil for the inner rim of your lower eyelid.  Being a fan of false eyelashes, I recommend a pair of these also for a dramatic look.  I also love red or pink lipstick to finish off a monochrome outfit, remember, the look is bold, so don’t be shy when it comes to the lip colour!

Reasons why hiring dresses has become such a big fashion trend

Stunning low back sequinned hire dress, perfect for a black tie event

Stunning low back sequinned hire dress, perfect for a black tie event and prom!

For us ladies, idealistic fashion can be a difficult thing to obtain, especially if you have to work within your monthly budget.  Unfortunately we ladies can be left in the position where we have spent lots of money on a designer dress, but we don’t want to be seen in the same dress twice.  This happens especially if you are lucky enough to have a close circle of friends with whom you go to the same events with.  If this sounds like you, then I’m sure you are no stranger to the sad feeling when you open the wardrobe to see an expensive dress hanging there which you will probably never wear again.  As this is an issue which affects many women, there has been an increasing trend of renting dresses for black tie events, weddings and proms, and we are proud to be one of the first companies on the South Coast to offer a professional hiring service.  Here are just some of the benefits of hiring a dress:

Fashion is ever changing

The world of fashion has always been a bit fickle.  What is in vogue one day may not be a week later.  As we strive to stay on the ‘what’s in fashion’ pulse, so our rental dresses are always in style, so you can feel rest assured that you are always stylish and that you are not letting thousands of pounds go to waste from purchasing dresses!  Going on from this, as fashion is so fast and styles can fall out of fashion favour, the more you wear a dress, the more the value of the garment could deplete, rendering the thousands of pounds you spend on dresses worthless.

No problem with storage

Not everyone has a special occasion to go to on a regular basis and so, if you are buying many dresses for different events, you will be surprised at how cluttered your wardrobe can get!  Gone are the days when wedding dresses are handed down from mother to daughter, daughters now tend to prefer to choose their own dress, and if you opt for a flamboyant, large wedding dress, it is unlikely that you will wear it again, so storing the dress can become a problem.

The designer look for a fraction of the cost

Gorgeous wedding dress with lace back, available to rent

Gorgeous wedding dress with lace back, available to rent

For formal events or Ladies Day, you really don’t want to sacrifice quality and purchase on the high street.  Due to the fact that designer dresses have a superior quality to high street dresses, the price naturally goes up, so it can get quite expensive!  We offer fabulous designer dresses which are from top quality brands such as Catwalk Collection, Forever Unique, Dynasty and Hybrid, but to name a few.  We also hire out the majority of our wedding dresses.  Renting your wedding dress will be far cheaper than purchasing it, which means that you utilise the extra cash for that extra special honeymoon!

You can try before you buy

At our boutique we also sell our dresses as well as hire them out.  If you have hired a dress from us and fall in love with it on the night (this situation seems to occur on many occasions!), you can buy the dress after your rental and we will take the rental fee off of the purchase fee.

You don’t have to worry about the cleaning

Cleaning delicate dresses can be a bit of a chore, but if you hire a dress from us, the cleaning costs are included in the hire price, so that’s another thing off your mind!

Hire a dress from anywhere in the UK

We do not limit our customers by location and offer an online hiring service.  Please visit our website for more information about how to hire a dress from us here.

Mermaid fishtail prom dresses at Walk in Wardrobe.


The silver fishtail mermaid prom dress just minutes after it arrived at the boutique!

I was in awe when I opened the delivery box the other day and found an absolutely gorgeous, shimmering silver fishtail dress.  There has been a growing demand from prom girls for mermaid dresses, and it’s easy to understand why.

The mermaid gown typically has a fitted bodice, waist and hip to emphasize that gorgeous, dramatic flare at the bottom, coming out from either the lower thigh or knee.  In return, the flare offers an undeniable emphasis to the nipped in waist, allowing you to show off your curves on prom night.

To me, mermaid dresses are the epitome of Hollywood glamour, are timeless classics and are exquisitely feminine.  Here are just some of the reasons why I love them so much:

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Head turning strapless fishtail prom dress

Mermaid dresses are suitable for all body shapes

If you are a curvy lady, the cut of these dresses emphasizes your curves and draws attention to the smallest part of your body – your waist.  This is definitely one of the best dress styles for you if you have an hourglass figure.

If you are petite with a straighter figure, the bottom flare of these dresses appear to give a bit more shape and can give the illusion of a curvy-er figure and appears to elongate.

Fishtail dresses are undeniably glamorous

This style of dress has been adorned many times on the red carpet by celebrities, and they are timeless classics which will never go out of style.  They give the most glamorous couture-style silhouette which is both sexy and classy.

There are so many different styles of the fishtail dress, we believe that it would be impossible not to be able to find one that you fall in love with……

Exclusive Club 15 Event at Walk in Wardrobe!

We at Walk in Wardrobe opened our doors once again to host an exclusive 15 Club event on the 7th December.  We had a superb evening filled with bubbles, snacks, cakes and of course, sensational, show stopping dresses!  The 15 Club is a group of business women in Brighton and Hove, committed to a sharing of ideas, networking and support for one another, pioneered by Sam Foster who arrived at the boutique looking glam with darling little twinkly diamantes around her eye.  Guests were asked to choose a dress from the boutique and to participate in a fun fashion show competition, with glitzy hair candy and tasty prizes up for grabs!  The lucky winner was Justine, who wowed the judges with her fun, flirty catwalk.  Please see the slideshow for our pictures!

Thank you to all who turned up and for providing such a wonderful atmosphere, we had a great time and hope you did too!  Thank you also to Stuart Butcher ( for agreeing to be our photographer for the evening and to the very dashing Dave at La Cave a Fromage (, our favorite luxury cheese shop at 34-35 Western Road, Hove for providing the most gorgeously delicious cheese macaroons as a fashion show prize (I know the concept of a cheese macaroon sounds strange, but believe me, it really works!)


The 15 Club members present:

Sam Foster of Miss Fit –

Karen Hamer of Purely Pilates –

Mags Ousby, Acupuncturist –

Faye McDonald of Wet Paint Productions –

Natalie Foster, Graphic Designer –

Gaynor Williams of the Big Beach Hut, Video Producer –

Louise Eaton of Tranquility in the City –

Jenny Barrett of Babyblack –

Justine Wortsman of  Madame Peaches –