It’s not often I get invited to a fancy do, but when I have an occasion, I love to dress up. And if I need an outfit for such a do, my first port of call is always Coast.Since 1996, Coast has been the place to go for occasion dresses and wedding-guest-wear, as there really isn’t any other retailer like it. Beautiful designs in luxe fabrics that can’t fail to make you feel like a million dollars – and right on the high street. In the past I often popped in to try on dresses for an upcoming event then suddenly broken out into a cold sweat, worrying that someone else may turn up to the same event in the exact same outfit. This was a very real possibility; although it never happened to me, I have seen ladies frantically trying to avoid each other at parties because they were both wearing an identical Coast dress. Like I said, there really isn’t any other high street store like it.
Coast’s range has really blossomed in the last couple of years. Alongside the classically beautiful tailored dresses in satin and chiffon, they started to introduce stunning embellished tops and the iconic high-low full skirts – now available in a range of colours and prints - meaning you can create your own look, and lessening the chance of outfit twinning with your second-cousin at the family wedding – WIN! And now we have Olivia Palermo modelling the brand’s Autumn/Winter ’16 collection, basically making me want everything.
Coast have very recently opened a brand new store at IntuMetrocentre and I went along to take a peek before it officially opened it's doors. Whilst nibbling on yummy pastries (and sipping Prosecco, obvs) provided by the good folk from Carluccio’s, I had an opportunity to browse around the store. The ‘old’ Coast IntuMetrocentre store was teeny, and you could easily have walked past without even noticing it was there. This new store, though, is bright and inviting, packed with stunning pieces and the dressing rooms – well! If I could design my dream dressing room, it would be this. Plush carpet (I was so tempted to lie down on it), soft, flattering lighting, plenty of mirrors for checking out every angle of your dream dress, and comfortable seats for when you just need to take a minute to consider your outfit options. Oh, and ipads, so you can sit and shop even more Coast gorgeousness while you’re there. Perfect!
Alongside racks of dresses, fur jackets and sequins are shoes, bags, jewellery and even candles. Everything you need to get party ready!
Some pieces in store are exclusive to Coast Metro, too, so even less chance of twinnage. I was immediately drawn to a beautiful merlot (my current favourite Winter shade) high-low skirt in the most sumptuous satin. The fitted waist and full style of these skirts is amazingly flattering for all body shapes – when I tried it on I couldn’t believe how much it drew my waist in, and made me appear taller. I paired it with a sequin cropped top in the same colour, which again somehow magically accentuated my waist. The whole outfit made me feel super glam and I admit to a bit of swishing around the dressing room. I defy anyone who wears one of these skirts to not swish. I absolutely adored this whole outfit and although my frivolous side was shouting ‘Buy it! BUY IT!’, my – usually silenced – sensible side by reminding me that I am actually going to ZERO parties or events this winter, and would therefore most likely not have occasion to wear it. Boo!
One area I think Coast have really got it spot on this season is knitwear. I want to feel glam whilst sipping mulled wine at the Christmas market, but I also want to be warm. I want to feel dressed up while sitting round the fire in the pub, but still wear jeans and boots for walking home in the snow. Cosy, soft knits with beautiful lace and embellishments that can be dressed up or down are the answer – and Coast has a gorgeous selection. I made a beeline for a fluffy cream turtleneck with sparkles to the neckline and cuffs – as seen on Olivia P. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if it’s good enough for her, it’s good enough for me. Once I tried this on, and felt how soft and snuggly it was, I knew I had to have it.
Then I spotted the most gorgeous black turtleneck knit with jewel-encrusted cut out detail to the shoulders. This could be paired with one of Coast's beautiful skirts for a winter-wonderland-glam feel, or worn with leather skinnies for an edgier party look. A few of the other blogger ladies had the same idea and chose this top so we obviously all have exquisite taste!
I decided to go for both knits as I knew I'd get lots of wear from them both. I've already had lots of compliments on both when I've worn them, so I know they were the perfect choice.
I could have spent the entire day ooh-ing and aah-ing over the beautiful new store, but sadly we had to go and let everyone else enjoy it. We were all handed Coast goodie bags on the way out which contained the cutest 'Party' box clutch - I'd spotted it as soon as I'd arrived and loved it, so was super excited to receive this!
So, I don't need to tell you this - you know where to head for your Christmas party threads, right? And if you live close to IntuMetrocentre then definitely check out the new store (and lie down on the carpet in the dressing room, obvs).
*thank you to Coast for inviting me to the new store opening event and gifting my items. I absolutely love them!