Monday, 29 May 2017

The Perfect Wedding Guest or Garden Party Dress, Over 40 #iwillwearwhatilike

Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style

It's that time of year when many of us have to (want to...) buy a new dress for a special occasion: How many of you have a wedding, garden party, regatta or another summer event to dress for? Well, I think I may have found the perfect wedding guest dress!

I've been dying to wear (IRL and on the blog) this gorgeous - and very unusual - floral midi dress from Marks & Spencer I bought just recently. I've had my eye on it for a while and hoped it wouldn't look strange on me, after all it's an unusual tunic fit with a midi length.

Potentially unflattering? Yes.

Potentially stunning? Also yes.

More on the dress in a minute, first of all...

What's with the crazy hot UK weather?!

Happy Bank Holiday Monday to those of you who get a day off today! Sadly Monday is my busiest blogging day so no rest for the wicked over here. We've had some truly glorious hot and sunny weather over the last few days (today, however, is noticeably greyer and milder) and I've loved it. As some of you may have seen on my Instagram Stories I spent a few days in London for a very special day at the Chelsea Flower Show with the Over40Collective... There'll be more on that on the blog soon, but in the meantime here's the new dress as I wore it on Saturday to brunch with the girls - wouldn't it make a great wedding guest dress or garden party dress?

Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
SHOP THE LOOK:


If I were actually going to a wedding or garden party I'd definitely switch up the big bag for a clutch - after brunch I was then travelling home on the train so needed a carry-everything bag.

What a few retailers are doing at the moment (I assume to boost sales) is to allow a few key pieces from next season's collection available early, as Marks & Spencer have done with this midi dress from their 'Next Season Now' preview. I didn't order it because I wanted to be ahead season-wise, I just loved the dress.

MIDI LENGTH + A-LINE COULD BE A DISASTER WAITING TO HAPPEN, SO I DID THE HUSBAND TEST: TRY IT ON AND SHOW HIM, AND SEE WHAT HIS IMMEDIATE REACTION IS.

The Husband Test and styling the dress

It was one of those dresses that made me gasp - it's quite an unusual shape and the asymmetric pattern and the soft colours made my heart leap. However midi length + A-line could be a disaster waiting to happen, so I did the Husband Test: Try it on and show him, and see what his immediate reaction is.

If he gives me a "Wow" immediately then I know the outfit is a winner. If he hesitates then I know something isn't working. (Luckily he's always honest without being unkind.) Often it's just down to my confidence I think... I think I sashayed downstairs feeling good in it, so my confidence shone through.

That's what I tell myself, anyway...!

Thankfully I got a "Wow" straight away, so it was a green light for this floral beauty.

The finishing touches made all the difference here. The dress is a statement all in itself so it didn't need much, but nude crossover mules are hideously comfy (probably the comfiest heels out there, these are similar) and I love the funky pearl effect sunglasses. The blue, cream and yellow-ochre colours are gorgeous shades you can pick out with your accessories.

And nails: I went for bright red. I needed a strong contrast somewhere and this was it.

If you're thinking of buying the dress...

Here's my review of this dress: The neck is a little high, so if you don't like high necks this isn't for you. Also the V-back is pretty low: Annoyingly it stops just below bra strap-level so I'd recommend a bra with a low back.

Or do as I did: I wore my normal bra with low back bra converter strap set. It worked a treat.

However, you could probably eat as much as you damn well like and NO ONE would know. No visible food babies, no tight waistbands. The sleeves are a joy to behold. It hides tummies, upper arms, bums and thighs - most of the areas we generally don't like. I get that it's not a shape everyone will like - I tend to be a die-hard fit and flare girl - but I like to break out of my comfort-zone now and then (and into another)!

Basically it's a stunner of a dress. It's one of those dresses where you feel like you're really making an entrance: I walked into Paddington station dressed exactly like this (we took the photos near the station when I arrived home) pulling my case behind me and I have to admit I felt a million dollars. Although I didn't actually wear this to the Chelsea Flower Show, it would have been perfect for it.

Next time, perhaps...?!


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Add your outfits to this week's link up - and if you've added a link to here or my button to your post you may be featured next week!

HAVE YOU BOUGHT ANY NEW DRESSES THIS YEAR FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS, AND IF SO FROM WHERE? DO TELL US IN THE COMMENTS, OR TAKE IT TO TWITTER @NOTLAMB!

Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Dress: Marks & Spencer worn with...
Low back bra converter straps: Marks & Spencer
Heels: Daniel Footwear (size 38 only - these are similar)
Bag: Marks & Spencer (similar)
Hat: Village Hats
Sunglasses: ASOS
Bracelet: Lizzy O c/o
Nails: Leighton Denny c/o

OTHER FLORAL DRESSES TO TRY:



OTHER NUDE MULES TO TRY:



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The #iwillwearwhatilike link up with Not Dressed As Lamb
Thank you for joining the #iwillwearwhatilike link up! This started as a campaign on Instagram in August 2015 where women over 30 wore everything on a journalist's list of "inappropriate" items for 30+ women (including leopard print, short dresses and oversized sunglasses. Yes, really). It was so popular that I decided to carry it on weekly where women of all ages link up their fabulous style, never mind what anyone tells them not to wear!

The link up goes live every Monday at 3pm UK time and will stay open for a week. Whilst the original article was of course aimed at the 30+, you can be ANY age to link up. The only criteria is that you're wearing whatever you damn well like!



Linking up etiquette...

CLICK HERE to read the rules of linking up (and to grab the #iwillwearwhatilike button). Basically it's just good manners to link back to here - to leave a comment is even nicer!

Featured favourites

Fashion bloggers who believe in #iwillwearwhatilike - Style Nudge | Lady of Style | Coco et La Vie en Rose
My favourite outfits from last week's link up (all stripey!):

To get yourself featured next week, make sure you've included a link back to Not Dressed As Lamb or my button in your post/sidebar!

DO SHARE THE LOVE AND VISIT AS MANY LINKS AS YOU CAN (YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT OTHER LOVELY LIKE-MINDED LADIES YOU MIGHT MEET) - THE ORIGINAL INSTAGRAM CAMPAIGN FORGED SOME WONDERFUL NEW FRIENDSHIPS SO DON'T MISS OUT!


Catherine

P.S. DO CHECK OUT MY PINTEREST BOARD WITH ALL THE BEST OF THE #IWILLWEARWHATILIKE LINK UPS - HAVE YOU BEEN PINNED...?

Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellVisible MondayTurning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog PostsFun Fashion FridayPassion for Fashion FridaySaturday Share Link Up
Wedding guest or garden party outfit: Marks & Spencer floral midi dress with flared sleeves \ nude cage heel mules \ pearl sunglasses | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
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30 comments

  1. Beautiful dress! The flared sleeves and deep V with the tie at the back are lovely details.

    Emma xxx
    www.style-splash.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello Catherine, such a lovely floral dress. Who doesn´t love flowers, and so delicate.
    Happy Monday
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  3. I do the husband test too!!
    And I figure that I don't always have to have a "flattering" fit--because the print or other details can be the fun factor!!
    Jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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  4. The dress really looks lovely on you Catherine. On me, however, it's a definite no, I'm afraid. I just know the sleeves and the length wouldn't suit me at all. I'm loving the sunglasses though!
    Suzy xx
    www.suzyturner.com

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  5. That's a beautiful dress, Catherine! I love the unusual details. And, yes, I do the husband (and recently kid) test, too.

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  6. Fantastic print on that dress! A real show stopper. Gail

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  7. Beautiful dress. I'm a sucker for blue flowers on white ground ;-) The sleeves are perfect for getting a bit of breeze inside whilst the dress remains chic & stylish =p

    Alex - Funky Jungle

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  8. It's a wonderful dress to wear as a wedding guest :)

    www.memoriesofthepacific.com

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  9. you look so pretty and chic
    thank you so much for hosting the link up
    Irene
    www.thedailylace.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. The colours and the print are exquisite, Catherine, I can see why you fell head over heels :) and I can also see why that hemline could prove challenging. At my 5ft stature (or lack thereof), I'd probably have given this a miss but it's working really prettily on you xo

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  11. I bought the most beautiful blue shoes yesterday to go with a dress like that!

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  12. The dress is stunning! I don't think I could pull it off, but it looks lovely on you!

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  13. The style and patterns of this dress are pretty. It's fun to try new looks, isn't it?
    Debbie@debbiethisandthat.com

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  14. Gorgeous dress and so perfect for spring/summer fancy. I too have found that husband test is an important factor in accessing an outfit but there times it needs to be ignored as well cuz I'll wear what I what!

    Rena
    http://www.finewhateverblog.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is a tricky length Catherine, but you wear it well. It's perfect for a summer do - that's if summer decides to appear! My husband is always honest and I do like to sound him out if I'm in doubt about what I'm wearing. They do have their uses these guys, don't they?

    Have a lovely week x
    Anna

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  16. Your new floral frock is a STUNNER, dearest Catherine!! It just goes to show that we really do need to keep experimenting with different silhouettes...just because a particular style didn't "work" in the past doesn't mean that it won't ever work; this midi-length A-line couldn't be prettier on you!! I love the amazing sleeves and the oversized flower graphic...and that back detail?? Wow!! Never mind "wedding guest"...I could see a bride in this!! XOXO

    www.StyleIsMyPudding.com

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  17. Oh Wow! Yes to that dress! I can see it be worn to many occasions!Peace!
    Cheryl Tucker
    http://www.northwestmountainliving.com

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  18. This dress looks so pretty on you :) I think thi dress looks great for summer events.

    Beauty by Miss L

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  19. This is such a lovely dress Catherine. Need to check it out right away :) Thank you for hosting and have a lovely week! xo Sabina

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  20. It's a beautiful dress. Love the sleeves

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  21. I would totally have been sold on the print by itself! But the shape is actually quite flattering. The sleeves are gorgeous. And I love how the tie hangs down the back. Absolutely stunning!

    Shelbee
    www.shelbeeontheedge.com

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  22. Wow, that is such a gorgeous dress, Catherine. I love your dress choice for the wedding or garden party. And you look so elegant.
    xoxo
    Liza
    Liza Corner | Instagram | Facebook

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  23. I totally get what you mean about this dress being bad on paper. As such I probably wouldn't have even tried it on for the reasons you give as well as how drab it looks on the M&S site.
    But hello Catherine look at the dress on you woman! A.maze.ing!Now this is the perfect example of the woman wearing the dress & not the other way around, sensational styling, first class xxx

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  24. A summery celebration dress - you can't beat it. I see how great you feel in this. It's so liberating to step out of our zones sometimes. Thanks for the linkup.

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  25. Wow! Love the pattern and the low v-back. Very pretty! - Amy
    http://stylingrannymama.com/

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  26. That dress could not look more perfect on you! You're rocking it!

    Much love from Napa Valley!

    Paulina | Shenska

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  27. What a fabulous dress on you Catherine, it looks so comfy too - room for a food baby in there! I went to a wedding last week and wore a boned dress, which while looking fabulous, did make eating a meal slightly uncomfortable. Hope you're having a good week x

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  28. You look fabulous in this dress. I love it all!

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  29. This outfit is perfection. Perfect for a wedding and ideal for somewhere like the Cannes Film Festival. V A list! You are sooo gorgeous xx

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  30. Stunning!!! Has an Asian influence to me!!!

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