THOSE gorgeous gowns in the Oscars earlier this week got me thinking. If I had a lovely dress (obviously nowhere near Oscar standard) where would I wear it? Maybe the odd charity ball that comes up once in a blue moon or perhaps a wedding or the races. Isn’t that a shame? Why don’t we dress up any more? Unless you’re a teen or twentysomething going clubbing, there’s no actual reason to dress up. Even if you’re lucky enough to go to a really swanky restaurant, the other diners are so under-dressed that you’d feel like a freak if you wore a frou-frou frock.

I think it’s wonderful that people in London can feel so comfortable with themselves that they don’t feel the need to doll themselves up too much, but surely wearing jeans and an average sweater out to a posh dinner – whether in a restaurant or to a friend’s house – is disrespectful. After all, the chef has made an effort cooking the food and the very least we can do is make an effort to rise to the occasion and look good eating it.

There were lots of genuine smiles and a real sense of excitement at the Oscars, and win or lose, it was clearly a sugar rush moment to step onto that red carpet. But would any of those celebs, or the spectators round the world watching, have felt that tingle if they’d arrived in a nice pair of jeans and a little top? I don’t think so. Just like putting candles and flowers on a table for dinner, dressing up to go out for the evening or a good lunch adds excitement and gives you that quiver of anticipation. It makes you feel good, not to mention the reaction you’ll get. So come on girls, let’s make our nights out more eventful. There are lots of great dresses around this spring – LK Bennett has a great selection, fabulous florals, silky nude numbers or knock ‘em dead chic red. Wear them and enjoy them. There’s no reason that every night shouldn’t be a red carpet night.

Sara Hollamby is a business image consultant at