Black Tie Outfit: A Stunning Blue Cocktail Dress


I love getting dressed up and although I have a busy social life with a lot of smart casual events, it’s been some time since I went to a formal event; one where I could wear a “black tie outfit.”

As I said in my previous post, I was in London over the weekend for 100% Optical, the largest optical event in the UK, which brought together more than 8000 professionals to learn, network and discover. Throughout Saturday and Sunday, we saw exhibitions, innovations and catwalk shows.  In equal measure, these were insightful, exctiting and informative. The highlight of the weekend though was the black tie event which took place at ExCel at The Royal Victoria Dock, on Sunday evening. It was the AOP Awards, an industry awards ceremony and I was a member of the judging panel. This is in association with the monthly column I write for our professional journal, Optometry Today. It was the first such event that Ian I have attended together, so it was very special.

Black Tie Outfit: Blue Cocktail Dress


As soon as I spotted this dress, I fell in love. The colour, the high-low gossamer skirt over the shorter stretchy pencil skirt. The beautiful shade of blue, the belt. Everything. It was a Cinderella moment because there was just one left and it was in my size. I tried it on and bought it in less than ten minutes. (It’s from Coast and I got in the sale just before Christmas).

It’s tricky taking photographs when it’s dark, especially when it’s windy, but Ian was his usual patient self and we persevered! Unlike the red carpet photographs, these ones don’t show off the gorgeous hue to its full potential but it shows the movement and shape of the skirt.

what lizzy loves black tie outfit coast sofia dress



Black Tie Outfit: Accessories

My shoes are three years old from Boden.  I love the combination of black with blue and the fact that the bow is a bit like a bow-tie.


The *black and blue beaded clutch brings together the blue from my dress and the black from my shoes. It has an optional handle, but I wore it as a clutch.



I added a *midnight blue beaded stretch bracelet.  I have one in red too which I wore over Christmas with my red pleated velvet skirt. These bracelets are eyecatching and add vibrant sparkle and are comfortable to wear because they’re stretchy.



Shop my outfit

Maybelline Go Colossal Mascara, Leather Black
Rouge Dior Zinnia, 743
Blue beaded clutch
Coast Sofia Dress
Blue bracelet
Maybelline Go Colossal Mascara, Leather Black
Rouge Dior Zinnia, 743
Blue beaded clutch
Coast Sofia Dress
Blue bracelet
Maybelline Go Colossal Mascara, Leather Black
Rouge Dior Zinnia, 743
Blue beaded clutch
Coast Sofia Dress
Blue bracelet

The AOP Awards

After walking the red carpet, there was a champagne drinks reception, followed by dinner.



The room and table looked great and dinner was lovely.

what-lizzy-loves-AOP-awards- dinner-wineglasses





Dr Phil Hammond, (Trust Me, I’m a Doctor), gave an excellent after-dinner speech and presented the awards.



It was a brilliant evening and one we’ll remember for a long time. A lot of fun and a lot of dancing.

In my next post, I’ll write more about the exhibition itself including some candid shots of me doing some filming for the Optometry Today website!

*Disclosure: This isn't a sponsored post. The blue bracelet was a gift from Olivia Divine and the beaded clutch was a gift from Aspiga. Entry is free to 100% Optical. Ian and I were guests of the AOP for the awards ceremony because of my role as a category judge. All opinions are honest and all content is my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that support my blog. This post links up to I will Wear What I Like, The Saturday Share and Brilliant Blog Posts.


  1. February 2, 2018 / 10:22 am

    What a wonderful dress, you look really spectacular, beautiful and very elegant! I love the fabric and this design.

    • elizabeth
      February 3, 2018 / 8:33 am

      Thank you Josep-Maria. That’s so kind of you to say. Yes, it was the fabric that caught my eye, the shimmering skirt and the sheen. Have a lovely weekend xxx

    • elizabeth
      February 3, 2018 / 8:30 am

      Oh thank you so much. I loved wearing the dress and felt very special in it. I love how the skirt swishes out! xxx

  2. notdressedaslamb
    February 2, 2018 / 6:26 pm

    Liz I am SQUEALING with excitement for you over this post – the event, the photos, the Instagram husband (what a keeper!) and the DRESS, OMG what a dress!!!!!! Ian has done himself proud with these amazing photos – honestly they are some of your most spectacular (night time/red carpet photos are sooooooo difficult). But to to be fair, he has a great model… you could rock up in a potato sack and blow everyone away!!

    So happy for you that you’re becoming a force to be reckoned with in both the blogosphere and the optometry industry. You’re such an inspiration for a woman of ANY age, let alone us over 40s…! Love ya 😀

    Catherine x

    • elizabeth
      February 3, 2018 / 8:41 am

      Oh Catherine!!!!! Thank you so much. Wow, what a lovely comment. Well yes. Ian is definitely a keeper. He’s wonderful and is the best Instagram Husband!! So patient and willing to help and support. It was very tricky trying to get photos because I don’t like using flash but he never ever complains or gets fed up. And he looks amazing in a dinner suit too!!!
      I’ve been adding more about Optometry to my blog for a while now but it was after reading your blog post about media kits that I realised I needed to alter my tag line to reflect this. It is a USP and I have you to thank for making me realise! Thank you for all of your support and of course friendship xxxx

  3. Hayley
    February 2, 2018 / 7:34 pm

    You look at home on the red carpet, Lizzy! Very nice dress!

    • elizabeth
      February 3, 2018 / 8:27 am

      Thank you so much Hayley. Yes, I really rather enjoyed walking down it!!! xxxx

    • elizabeth
      February 3, 2018 / 9:30 am

      Thank you very much. Yes, these type of events are the best type of work aren’t they? I love meeting new people and love getting dressed up (of course!). The accessories are lovely aren’t they. Both bracelet and bag are from small businesses run by women. I enjoyed wearing both and feel privileged to be able to have such lovely accessories xxx

  4. February 3, 2018 / 12:17 pm

    Beautiful dress Lizzy and love the bag and shoes with it!

    • elizabeth
      February 3, 2018 / 5:58 pm

      Thank you Gail. The accessories are gorgeous aren’t they and make all the difference xxx

  5. Suzy Turner
    February 5, 2018 / 12:43 pm

    Lizzy, you look absolutely stunning in that blue dress – like a million dollars! That shade of blue is one of my favourites, it’s so rich and lush-looking. It certainly looked like a fabulous event. Glad to hear you had such a wonderful time!
    Ian looked very handsome in his suit too. What a gorgeous couple you are.
    Suzy xx

    • elizabeth
      February 8, 2018 / 9:40 am

      Oh Suzy, thank you. I felt a million dollars in it. I’m equal measures this was because of the dress and be because I was with Ian. And yes, the blue is a stunning shade xxxx

  6. April 28, 2018 / 5:47 am

    Wow Lizzy!! You have nailed it. That beauty on Red Carpet is not less than any Celebrity. Awesome design and color. Will be buying such soon. Thank you so much for sharing it.

    • elizabeth
      April 28, 2018 / 10:23 am

      Oh thank you so much Sarah! That’s so kind of you xxxx

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