Henley Regatta {What to Wear?}

Author: Lisa Soeno

This week Rich and I have been invited to a work ‘do’ at Henley Regatta with his colleagues. I’m extremely excited – this is as close as I get these days to going OUT out – but at the same time stressed, ‘cos I’m suffering from Nothing to Wear syndrome. I’m hoping writing this post will solve this affliction, and maybe allow you to indulge in some #dirtyenabling at the same time, if you too have a dressy event this summer.

What on earth does one wear to Henley? I’ve been once before but it was a very relaxed affair: wine and sarnies on the banks of the river, and ending up at a marquee nightclub before watching the fireworks. This year, we’re going to be on a boat and the dress code is ‘Smart casual. For ladies, anything summery’. (If you ask me, this is most unhelpful. I don’t think it would go down too well if I rocked up in my H&M denim shorts and Havaianas).

Here are my options…

Henley Outfit Number 1

For the last couple of weeks I have had in mind the & Other Stories dress that I blogged about back in May. However you can imagine my consternation pre Love Island last night when Rich commented that I might want to wear something more ‘flowy’. What does that even MEAN? Is the Stories dress not flowy enough? Am I going to sink in the grass if I wear my favourite Aldo stilletos, or do I need a pair of wedges or block heels?

  • Topshop Mules £29
  • & Other Stories Dress £49
  • Accessorise Earrings £10

Henley Outfit Number 2

After trawling through hundreds of dresses online, mid Love Island, this Topshop dress is my current favourite contender. Again, questions abound (answers on a postcard please). Am I going to die of heat if I wear it on Thursday? (It’s made of viscose). Why is it called a backless dress when it clearly has a back in the pics? Am I going to order it, only to have to return it for fear of flashing too much flesh?

  • Topshop Tote £30
  • Topshop Maxi £150
  • Office Espadrilles £65

Henley Outfit Number 3

Now this Stories dress would be a contender if I could guarantee that it would turn up in time. It looks so light and floaty and summery and ethereal. If I was feeling brave I’d clash it with these leopard print sandals, or if I was playing it safe, I’d pair with colour-match heels or nude flats. Either way, I’d add a black bag to downplay the cutesiness of the cherries.

  • & Other Stories Midi £59
  • Topshop Bag £27
  • Topshop Sandals £46

Let me know which of the outfits you would go for, or if you’ve seen any other fabulous frocks suitable for Henley. Have you got any weddings, summer parties or posh events coming up and what will you be wearing?

Author: Lisa Soeno
Lisa is obsessed with all things interior design. And Cadbury buttons.
Follow Lisa on instagram @lisa.soeno
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27 thoughts on “Henley Regatta {What to Wear?}

  1. Both the Stories dresses look lovely. I have bought a few pieces from Stories over the years and I love the fact that it is still a relatively unknown brand and that people almost always comment on the fun and uniqueness of my outfit whenever I’m wearing them. If you can get it on time then I say go for the cherry print dress.
    Another label I can’t get enough of just now is Hush. There sale is still on just now and I picked up their Tia dress for almost half price, I think it would be perfect for an event like Henley. Whatever you wear I’m sure you will look fantastic, have an awesome time!

    1. Leona that’s how I feel about & Other Stories! The last time I wore the tropical dress a girl asked where it was from and had never heard of Stories. Just wish they had more stores (but then they wouldn’t be so unique 🙉). Love the look of the Tia too!

    1. I’ve heard such good things about Silk Fred but am yet to buy from there. That material is gorgeous x

  2. I love my &other stories dress (no 1) and have had so many compliments on it! It’s light enough and swishy enough for this week and with some bright accessories I think it would look fab for Henley – and also would be something different to all the floral dresses you’ll see!
    I say go for it 👍🏻

    1. I’m thinking it would also be good all year round – can wear with ankle boots and a biker when it’s a bit cooler x

  3. I’m going to vote for the Office wedges. I have the lower version and they are the most comfortable shoes ever!

    1. I’ve got the higher ones Suzy and they’re super comfy too, even though they’ve got serious height to them!

  4. Number 1 def, and it’s cotton. Stay well away from man made materials like viscose unless you want to melt the day away. Enjoy

    1. Thanks Siobhan 😊 yes I’m living in cotton at the moment. SO HOT (but definitely not complaining)!

    2. Interesting my wedding dress designer told me that viscose was quite misunderstood because, while it takes a lot of processing to get to the finished state, it’s actually made from a natural product so is quite breathable and light. I hate polyester because I find it very sweaty but don’t have the same issue with viscose. A negative with viscose though is that it clings to all lumps and bumps – was happy to wear it when I was 22 but not so much now! 😂

  5. Definitely wear block heels or wedges if you’re going on a boat. Many won’t allow you to wear stilettos or high heels on board or give you plastic clips to put over them if you turn up wearing them as they damage the deck. Charlotte’s dirty enabling on the Office ‘Holiday ‘ wedges would be my pick, so comfy despite the height!
    As for the dresses & Other stories all the way, the tropical one looks just the right combination of swishy and comfy with a lovely different print than most would be sporting. Although the cherry print dress does give you more options with the button front in terms of length (and equally gorgeous and flowy). Whatever you decide you’re bound to look stunning!

    1. What a lovely thing to say Hayley, thank you.
      And I did not know this about boats?! Good thing I blogged about it! X

  6. Love the first outfit with the colourful accessories. It’s been so dry so sinking in grass may not be a hazard? If you are picnicking then dress no.2 to hide grass / earth stains. Unlikely on a work do though! I imagine you have access to some delightful and civilised catered area. Preen Lisa! 💃🏻

    1. Yup I don’t usually wear brights but it’s so nice to in this weather. And anything that disguises grass/earth/wine stains is always a winner 🙂 x

  7. I love outfit 2 – outfit 3 is my second favourite. I think 1 looks just a bit too casual. When something says smart causal I tend to lean on the smarter side – I would rather be a bit overdressed than under dressed. Henley sounds like a fab day out. Hope you have a great time!

  8. Outfit one for sure, it’s so unusual. Just not a fan of black and floral together, it feels a bit dated?

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