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.
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
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.
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!