Style by Claire Lopez

Will I ever wear it again…?

Apologies in advance – this post may be a touch on the self-indulgent side as I was on a mission last week to find a dress I could wear to the evening wedding reception of one of my husband’s clients. Without going into too many details I needed to find a dress that was more on the glam end of the spectrum than I would usually go for and unfortunately would not, by definition, score well on the cost-per-wear test.

There are several retailers I automatically look to for this type of thing: in the past Reiss was my ‘go-to’ and would always come up trumps. So that is where I started my quest. I have worn all my dresses from there on multiple occasions and so despite being fairly expensive, I would confidently say that they have served me well. That is ideally what I wanted to find this time around but I fear the heart overruled the head in this instance, and my sensible shopper head must have momentarily left me, having been blinded by pretty, shiny things!

Their Rosalin lace dress £189 would have been a good bet – versatile, something I could definitely wear again and a bit of a blank canvas that would be easy to accessorize differently with various shoe, bag and jewellery combinations. Lace is always a good option and works well in both summer and winter seasons. Alas it was not in store to try on and I did feel a bit funny about the cream version anyway – although there probably isn’t that don’t-wear-white/cream-to-a-wedding taboo anymore.


If you are a print person then their Onie printed dress £159 is lovely and ticks the season’s florals trend. Layer up with a white blazer for a very modern look and the great thing about this print is that it would afford you the opportunity to choose more or less whatever coloured accessory you desired.


If I was younger then I would have gone for something like the 1971 Telsa Dress £195 but the bandeau combined with the short skater skirt was possibly the wrong side of 30 for me.


Whistles also have a lovely lace dress option – Camilla Lace Dress in navy £136 which you could certainly invest in confident that you would definitely wear on numerous occasions and with varying accessories.


They also have some print options too – Bloomsbury Print Bodycon dress £150. Yellow prints are a bit of a theme this season but be careful of your complexion as they definitely look better with a tan!


Now I have always been a bit funny about Karen Millen and tend not to go in there. Not really sure why. I think I just thought it wasn’t my type of shop. This time I thought I would try some of their dresses on and, to be fair they do have a lot of choice from a colour, print and styling point of view. It is definitely not all body con, so if like me, you have always thought it was a bit mean of the fabric front – more belt than dress – then think again.

One of my favourite styles was this Full Skirted dress with Floral Applique at £235. The embellishment was very pretty and they gave me some fierce heels to go with! This fit and flare styling is good if you are conscious of your lower half as it would skim over hips and thighs and highlight a smaller waist – pears and hourglasses take note as these fit and flare styles are definitely good for you. Also good for slimmer more athletic builds as you could add a belt to cinch you in at the waist and create the illusion of curves.


I did go down the body con route just to have a look but they didn’t have my size and as you can see from the photo the dress is too tight across my hips. Also I have noticed my shoulders looking rather prominent, hope that is just the camera angle or something! Orange stretch ottoman shift dress £170. Panelling down the sides of dresses is a very slimming feature and draws the eye-line inwards so don’t automatically discount a fitted dress as details such as panelling, colour blocking, ruching and waistbands can be very flattering on a lot of shapes.


Before I went out to pound the pavements I did some on-line research to eliminate too much aimless wandering and I ended up liking the two dresses that I came across first on my internet quest. Should have just gone there first but I wanted to double check I hadn’t missed any other gems that hadn’t shouted out to me from the computer. Both of these are from Warehouse and where I had bought my last ‘I am going to a wedding’ dress from. I would say that their dresses do come up on the short side so this is not a place for those of you blessed with height and they can look quite young too – bit more school prom than sophisticated 30 something but here goes…

The first is their Spotlight Embellished Jaquard dress which is actually now £60. The second dress is the Spotlight Sequin Top Shift Dress at £80. Both have a real 60’s feel to them which works for us smaller in stature – clean lines and all styling jazz.[column type=”one-half”]

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So price wise you cannot fault either dress and I had fallen a little bit in love with the gold sequinned shift so that is what I have ended up purchasing. Plus I already had shoes and bag to wear with so no need for further investment (you can hear the mental justifications). I just cannot eat or drink a thing on the night, for fear of staining the immaculate cream satin skirt. Bad, bad choice then given my previous wedding form, when after a couple of Jagerbombs I seem to think I am Baby from Dirty Dancing. The dress is definitely glam and definitely (well fingers crossed at least) right for the wedding I am going to, but when oh when will I ever wear it again?! So ladies if you see me one sunny morning in the next few weeks, wearing this to drop my children off at school, you will know I am trying my damnedest to get that cost-per-wear right down!




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