Cocktail Dress Code: A 1970s/80s Vintage Poppy Print Dress #iwillwearwhatilike

I promised that I’d post the outfit in full, so here it is: The vintage 1970s dress that I wore to the Specsavers Awards event the other week.

Some of you may have seen either on my Instagram or my Saturday Share link up post where I was “making a spectacle of myself” (see what I did there) that I attended a big awards night that also raised a huge amount for the anti-bullying charity Kidscape, and I’ve finally been able to show you the outfit I wore in full.

I was lucky enough to meet Twiggy (scroll down for the pictures) and see a whole number of C, D and Z list celebrities, but it was a hugely fun night, and as it was for blogging work (covering on social media) then I’d consider that a great day at the office!


The dress code was “cocktail dress” which can always cause a bit of confusion, namely – do you have to wear a dress? Or are trousers okay? In my usual “I’m into layering” fashion I decided to wear both – and ended up with my go-to combination of a dress over trousers. It turned out plenty of ladies were there in trousers, so I think dress codes these days are very open… Cocktail dress probably now just means “dress up a bit, maybe a bit sparkly but no jeans”.

I first wore this dress for my 40th birthday party so it was nice to have a chance to wear it again, and to style it quite differently. Though it leaves me with a big question: What decade is this dress actually from?

Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style



I’ve never quite decided whether it’s a 1970s or a 1980s dress, though I think I’m going with the former, albeit late 70s. The flared sleeves are my favourite part of the dress, and you may be interested to know that it was originally a maxi (I shortened it myself) – so that for me confirms it’s the 70s.

Of course this dress isn’t available to buy and I couldn’t find anything online near it except for this red floral on black beauty – but why not shop vintage 1970s dresses at Etsy, you may find an absolute beauty…!

Scroll down to 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!


Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Cocktail dress code: A 1970s/80s vintage poppy print dress over flared cropped trousers | Not Dressed As Lamb, over 40 style
Vintage dress (eBay – I love this one and this one) | ASOS trousers (similar) | Aldo shoes (similar) | New Look clutch (I like this one and this one) | ASOS earrings (I like these) | Tommy Hilfiger prescription glasses c/o Specsavers | Leighton Denny ‘REbellious Heart’  nail polish c/o

Specsavers Spectacle Wearer of the Year Awards | Not Dressed As Lamb with Twiggy, Little Magpie and Amena

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#iwillwearwhatilike | 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!

RELATED  Styling My Classic Boho Maxi Dress (Again!) in Cornwall

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!

An InLinkz Link-up

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 fave outfits #iwillwearwhatilike

My favourite outfits from last week’s link up:

(L-R) Style Crone | Mrs. American Made | Une Femme d’un Certain Age | Style is My Pudding | High Latitude Style

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!







Linking up to: iwillwearwhatilikeShoe and TellVisible MondayTurning Heads TuesdayBrilliant Blog Posts, Fun Fashion Friday, Passion for Fashion Friday


  1. 2 November 2016 / 12:54 pm

    I remember that first post where you had altered the length. I am amazed that these (shorter) trousers look so good with this dress. I might just have found a solution to a dress problem. Thank you.

  2. 28 October 2016 / 8:20 pm

    Love the dress over trousers and the sleeves look fab! I have gone back and forth on the decades and decided in was NYE 1979! Haha. It really could be 70s or 80s. Either way, you make it modern! ;o) x

    Kat x

  3. 28 October 2016 / 6:57 pm

    That's a gorgeous dress, I love the shape of the sleeves. Shortening it has made it more modern and versatile, although I'm sure it looked nice long too! I love your quirky bag!

    Emma xxx

  4. 26 October 2016 / 6:29 am

    Catherine, you look absolutely stunning, love everything! I especially love your short hair, it was the best decision ever to do the cut! 🙂

    xxx, Victoria,

    • 26 October 2016 / 9:38 pm

      Aww thanks Victoria – lovely to "see" you again! xoxo

  5. 25 October 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Beautiful proportions, Catherine. You successfully converted a normal albeit colourful dress into something completely stylish and, I might add, avant garde 🙂

    • 26 October 2016 / 9:37 pm

      That's a fantastic description, Sheela – thank you!!

  6. 25 October 2016 / 1:15 pm

    My guess would be the 70's. It is such a gorgeous dress. Love the style and print.

  7. 25 October 2016 / 9:21 am

    Your poppy dress and pants look perfect for cocktails. I too remember that style from the late 70's. Thankyou for hosting.

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:23 am

      Thank you Jill – it's triggered memories for quite a few people here!! x

  8. 25 October 2016 / 7:42 am

    That dress is perfection.
    Glad to join the party, dear Catherine

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:23 am

      Hehe a dress just for you, Sacramento…! thank you hon x

  9. 25 October 2016 / 6:04 am

    Wish I could help you out on dating that fabulous dress, but I don't think you'll need it: so many women here think '70s. Sounds good to me. Your dress/trousers is a fantastic interpretation for cocktail attire.

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:22 am

      Thank you Melanie – yes I think we're all decided on late 70s…!

  10. 25 October 2016 / 3:56 am

    Love the dress over trousers look. And those pumps!!!


  11. 25 October 2016 / 2:47 am

    There you go again, dearest Catherine – totally SLAYING the dress-over-pants trend with this latest cocktail-appropriate combination!! I love your vintage dress's bold floral pattern against that graphic black-and-white background…and your hair and makeup (plus those awesome glasses!) are a perfect complement to the look!! XOXO P.S How absolutely ADORABLE is that cheeky "chocolate money" clutch?? P.P.S. Meeting Twiggy must have been BEYOND cool!! P.P.P.S. Wow!! I can't believe I've made your Featured Favourites roundup once more; if you're not careful, you might end up giving this personal style blogger a swelled head!! ;D

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:22 am

      Hehe I didn't mention the clutch, did I Monika… It was probably the most impractical clutch (due to its shape and size) but I really love it!! thank you sweetie – and you go right ahead with your big head ;)) xx

  12. 25 October 2016 / 2:35 am

    what a fantastic outfit, love the dress

  13. 24 October 2016 / 9:10 pm

    So stylish, you look amazing. Like the dress over trousers – my daughter suggested I do this but I wasn't sure. You've made it look possible. Thanks for hosting. Jacqui

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:21 am

      Just try it, Jacqui, you'll never know till you do!! thanks hon x

  14. 24 October 2016 / 7:27 pm

    This outfit looks fabulous. I hadn't seen your previous post when you just wore the dress but I looked at it today. I love wearing dresses because you can just throw them on but I have to say I love the look with the trousers so much more. Just beautiful.

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:20 am

      Ohh thank you McVan, that's good to hear!! x

  15. 24 October 2016 / 7:20 pm

    Fabulous dress! I guess everyone says 70s, but I would guessed early 80s. I love the dress over the pants and with the fantastic heels! I've been wearing dresses over pants more and more. I feel so much more comfortable, and I love the chance to wear dresses I wouldn't wear otherwise… Oh, and how FABULOUS that you got to meet Twiggy!!!!!!

    Thanks for the link up & have a wonderful week!

    Andrea’s Wellness Notes

  16. 24 October 2016 / 7:17 pm

    This is a statement outfit! The colors pop, the lines are perfect, and I think it looks spectacular on you! Wearing a dress over pants is a style tip I learned from you, Sheila of ephemera and Judith of stylecrone. What appeals about your outfit is the combination of tailored with spunk amd flare.

  17. 24 October 2016 / 7:14 pm

    Love love love this outfit Catherine. And as always the photographs are stunning. I'd say late '70s too a d aren't you clever shortening t yourself?! Thank you for the link-up (as always) Love Liz xxx

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:19 am

      Aww thanks Liz – I actually shortened it on the day of my 40th birthday party… I'd had the dress for months and of course waited till the last minute to do it…!!!!

  18. 24 October 2016 / 6:22 pm

    I love your vintage dress with the flared sleeves. Wearing it with trousers is especially appealing to me. Thank you so much for the "featured favorites." Thrilled and honored!

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:19 am

      I seem to remember you're a fan of layering like that, Judith…? Thank you my lovely x

  19. 24 October 2016 / 6:07 pm


  20. 24 October 2016 / 5:15 pm

    That is a beautiful dress and I love how it looks layered over your slacks!

  21. 24 October 2016 / 5:01 pm

    Sounds like a fun event Catherine! Love the print and bright colors of the dress, creating a modern sillouete with the pants. FAb I also think you look great in glasses, you should wear em all the time!
    Lovely all around!
    jess xx

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:18 am

      Thanks Jess – unfortunately they're only reading glasses, so I can't wear them all the time. I had to keep taking them off at the event every time I needed to walk around, or peer over the top like a school ma'am…!!

  22. 24 October 2016 / 4:45 pm

    Love this dress-over-cropped-pants look! And that print is fabulous.

  23. 24 October 2016 / 3:59 pm

    I LOVE it! YOU look amazing and that dress is such a great vintage find. I do that, too, sometimes – shorten an older dress to make it look more contemporary. I would guess 70's for the dress since the 80's brought us shoulder pads LOL 🙂 Ana
    P.S. Thank you for the featured favourites! Made my day.

    • 25 October 2016 / 11:03 am

      Haha that's true about the shoulder pads, Ana!! thank you sweetie x

  24. 24 October 2016 / 3:23 pm

    Love the vintage piece! Pairing it over the trousers makes it so contemporary.


    • 24 October 2016 / 3:51 pm

      Thanks Suzanne – I wouldn't have thought the midi length would work as well as a mini does over trousers, but I really liked it…!! x

  25. 24 October 2016 / 3:18 pm

    Awesome style and you look fabulous. Thanks for hosting.

  26. 24 October 2016 / 3:03 pm

    70s! I had a simular one with black, purple and red and a big bow at the back! I wished I still had it. Yours is beautiful! I love dresses in all colors and designs!

  27. 24 October 2016 / 3:03 pm

    70s! I had a simular one with black, purple and red and a big bow at the back! I wished I still had it. Yours is beautiful! I love dresses in all colors and designs!

    • 24 October 2016 / 3:50 pm

      Oh Nancy you're like me, wishing I still had certain pieces from decades ago…! thanks sweetie x

  28. 24 October 2016 / 2:47 pm

    70s for sure! In a 1930s deco revival with those sleeves. Probably mid 70s as in the later years of that decade things were already starting to look a bit 80s. Looks great on you, smart choice for cocktails x

    • 24 October 2016 / 3:49 pm

      Well if YOU say it's 70s, Porcelina – then 70s it is!! Thank you my sweet x

  29. 24 October 2016 / 2:16 pm

    I find the idea of wearing a longer dress with flared capris pants very appealing.This look has an Asian vibe for me and I love it. I think your dress more than likely falls into the late 70s. As an added note, I have a Vogue pattern that has a fairly similar look from the late 70s.

    • 24 October 2016 / 2:35 pm

      I'd not thought about the Asian vibe before, Teresa, but you're right!! thanks sweetie x

  30. 24 October 2016 / 2:04 pm

    For the first time I just wore jeans under a dress…and I really liked it. I know the first time I saw a blogger style the combination, I wasn't too sure about it! But in reality, it's very functional!!
    I do love your purse too—what a whimsical piece!!

    • 24 October 2016 / 2:35 pm

      Thanks Jodie – for me it's perfect because I'm not fond of showing off my legs, and this type of layering means I can always wear dresses, no matter how short they are! x

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