I never, ever have anything to wear to a Spring or Summer vaguely smart daytime event. Ever.

I can’t stand tea dresses, I don’t like dresses in general, actually. They always feel uptight and wrong on me. My default warm weather uniform is shorts, a t-shirt and a tassel necklace. But what about an event when this default setting will not do? I don’t necessarily mean a wedding, but something like that. I don’t rule out a dress, but it has to be the right dress. Do you know what I mean? Am I just talking to myself here.

What I do not want to wear is anything from Coast, or anything that looks like it might have come from Coast. Don’t get me wrong! Coast is an immensely successful and brilliant shop. But I don’t want to wear its clothes. Or anything similar.

So I am thinking, now, about adding to my wardrobe one single outfit that will do any smart daytime event I may come across. I turned in my moment of crisis, as I often do, to The Spike’s holy trinity of style editors at large (I don’t think they’re aware they play this role) Hannah, Rose and Anna.

There are some people in your life who always seem to be off to a smart daytime event – these are mine. I’m sure they all do a bit of stamping about in the mud in their Asics, too, but in my imagination they’re all off to lunch at the River Cafe, all the time. I am grateful to them for their invaluable input into the outfit suggestions below.

Bear in mind that these are just suggestions. I don’t expect anyone to go out and buy any of these immediately, (I say this knowing what a click-happy credit-friendly bunch of insaniac spendthrifts you are), but sometimes seeing something can set of a germ of an idea that can steer you away from the Coast and back onto the safety of dry land.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 17.51.03

Isnelda dress, Custom Made – about £135. This is from a Danish online store, which has a lot of other lovely things, should you be feeling especially spendthrifty today.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 17.46.14

Sindri Dress – about £400 – from Morgane Le Fey. This is very unaffordable and also the model doesn’t look especially dynamic in it – but look at the draping and the cut-outs on the shoulders, you might see something similar in COS or &OtherStories.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 17.48.19

Cecilia yellow jumpsuit from Whistles £160. This veers towards very smart, but I like it. If only I could wear jumpsuits.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 17.48.52

Lola Dress, Whistles £95. I really like this. With smart sandals and quite a lot of gold jewellery you could go anywhere in this.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 19.41.18

Loli printed cotton tapered trousers, from Etoile Isabel Marant £135. I can see you in this with a sleeveless shell-top on top, gold sandals and your good sunglasses.

I had thought all Isabel Marant stuff was utterly hideous until someone pointed out that I’ve been looking in the wrong place. Etoile Isabel Marant is where it’s at, not plain old Isabel Marant. The latter seems to be the label where she puts all her misshapen unwearable things so that people can buy them and wear them just to prove how rich and thin they really are so that they can literally pull off some nightmarish cacophony of raffia and buckle.

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 19.49.01

Zara “Mid-length dress” £39.99. I like this colour of this, the 70s shape, the broderie anglais material. Of course, like a lot of Zara stuff, it may look utterly hideous on. Will require a spray tan.