Last Sunday evening I was browsing the internet, looking at dresses. Something I tend to do when I’m sad, happy or just a bit bored. I saw this one that I’ve been coveting from ME + EM was on sale. I texted my friend Arlene to ask her what she thought. She sent one back that she liked. We bought them online at the same time, just because… No, I didn’t need it. No, I couldn’t really afford it. but for 5 minutes it felt like we were shopping together again and I liked it. (note: I ended up sending it back at it made me look like a Victorian Ghost, you can’t win them all). The last time we went shopping together was on March 4th. It’s now nearly June FFS!
Even though I’m definitely not a girly girl, and I’m more at home in jeans than heels, I really really do love a good dress. I have more dresses in my wardrobe than any other item of clothing. It might not been very practical to be flouncing around in nice dresses recently, but as lockdown continues, I am wearing them more often and it makes me feel good. Especially with the weather getting better. I’ve also noticed a lot of ladies on my daily walk around the back fields wearing their dresses now too. A dress in the sun makes you feel a bit like normal, free life. It would feel even better if you were wearing it in a pub garden drinking a nice cold beer though, but you can’t have it all. Yet.
This past week I’ve also been involved in the virtual Daily Dress Edit Pop Up. An initiative started by Isabel Spearman to showcase small independant brands. it included some of my favourites including Dilli Grey, Justine Tabak and Daydress. I got to present Pink City Prints (I’m wearing the Isabel dress above), which was a label new to me, but they have amazing cotton printed dress. Check out the Daily Dress Edit website for details on all the brands involved.
Here’s my pick of the best dresses around right now. I’ve tried to cater for all tastes and budgets, but mainly just to look at pretty dresses and to dream of long summer evenings in the garden, or maybe elsewhere. we can dream. I’ve just optimistically rebooked the holiday to Northumberland that we were supposed to be on this coming week for the middle of August. It may not be far flung, but I hear it’s a stunning place so I’m really hoping we get to go by then.
Florals for Spring?… Groundbreaking. But, let’s be honest, nothing says ‘Let’s go outside and waft through a meadow’ more than a good floral dress. Obviously I would choose one that is non restrictive at the waist and nice loose and breezy. Annoyingly this one from Mango was my top choice and I was about to take it out of my virtual basket and into my real wardrobe but it’s only gone and sold out. But in better news, these Arizona Love Sandals are 40% in the SALE at Far Fetch. At the time of writing they still had most sizes. Be sure to size UP if you decide to go for them.
As any long term readers will know (hi, to the OGs) I tend to shy away from anything sleeveless due to my upper arms still showing the evidence of a stint working at a Heavy Metal Record Company back in the mid 90’s. Yes, I got carried away, I wanted to be like the guys in Machine Head or Sepultura, wanted to fit in backstage at Donnington. Consequently I have 2 large tribal style tattoos on my upper arms. I don’t hate them, and they do remind me of some excellent times backstage at Donnington (What happens on the tour bus, stays on the tour bus and I’m telling you there are things I witnesses that I will NEVER be able to unsee), but I think the time might have come to think about getting them removed. I often forget they are there and wonder why I get some strange looks poolside at that nice B&B in Tuscany.
But, as we can’t go anywhere right now, I’m happy to sit in the garden in my summer sundress, or let’s be honest, more likely just my vest and pants. I still love tattoos though. I’ll definitely be getting another one soon .This time I will be taking my time in deciding on the design and where it will go. Not going to a tattoo parlour on a whim, pointing to the board and saying ‘I’ll have that one”…
Another style of dress that I will be embracing more this summer. Especially since I’ve been doing so many bloody squat jumps over the last 9 weeks or so. I feel pretty good about my legs these days. Now, if anyone knows an exercise that can get rid of a double chin and a turkey neck, please sent it over.
But, there’s a big hole in my wardrobe where shorter summer dresses should be. I also know that a lot of you are of smaller stature and find shorter dresses much easier to get on with that big old maxi dresses that can swamp anyone under 5’5. So I’ve had a look around and found a few good ones. My favourite being this one from And/Or at John Lewis. Not too short, good shape. Unnecessary balls on the end of those tassels though. Would have to snip them off…
Moving seamlessly onto opposite end of the dress spectrum. The maxi dress. Perfect for taller ladies and for anyone who can’t be bothered either to shave or tan their legs. Maxi dresses can be tricky. Too long and you’re in danger of tripping yourself up every 5 minutes. I always used to rely on my local alteration lady who would lop off a bit at the bottom for a tenner. Not sure when she might be open again, but it was a very useful service.
Saving my favourite until last. I do love a good midi dress in the summer, well, all year round to be honest. I good short sleeved cotton one is my go to for summer and these two are my favourites. This shirred bust polka dot one from Pink City Prints is on my wishlist, and this black Broderie number from Monsoon is the same style as a gingham one I bought from there are few years ago that is seriously THE most flattering dress. Also (unless I am much mistaken) both of them have POCKETS. In my opinion, all dresses should have pockets where at all possible. Especially in these times when handbags have almost become redundant for anyone still working from home. All I need now is a debit card and a phone. I miss my handbags. Shallow, but true.
1. Pink City Prints Indigo Polka Dot Lolita Dress
2. Alexis Amour Valentine Sunglasses
3. Monsoon Dolly Broderie Midi Dress
4. John Lewis & Partners Felicity Leather Trainers
5. Grenson Lennox Leather Buckle Sandals
Not sure on next weeks post just yet. I’m thinking maybe ‘Sandals That Are Actually Comfortable’, as I know a lot of people struggle to find them?
P.S. I realised almost as soon as I finished writing this blog, that I had completely forgotten to include any dresses from Free People. How very remiss of me as they do great dresses for summer.
P.P.S Also do check out Kemi Telford, a great independent brand that also make excellent dresses!