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?
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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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
Bracelet: Lizzy O c/o
Nails: Leighton Denny c/o
OTHER FLORAL DRESSES TO TRY:
OTHER NUDE MULES TO TRY:
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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!
My favourite outfits from last week’s link up (all stripey!):
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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!