So, I don’t know why but this week I was reminded of a fab outfit of Keira Knightley’s from last year that I was dying dying dying for.
I searched high and low last year for a beautiful yellow skirt like Keira’s but to no avail. Hers was from Whistles and was an eye-watering £110. Now much as I loves a summery frock, I’m also aware that the colour and fabric of said skirt is not exactly what you’d call trans-seasonal, and Britain is hardly a tropical paradise, so I thought it wasn’t really an investment.
But now, it having entered my consciousness for the second time, I have set myself the challenge of replicating Keira’s look, but finding the whole outfit for the price of the Whistles skirt. Remember fash-maths from earlier posts? Well, it’s back baby.
I decided that I’d leave out the belt, as if you’re like me, through the course of the last year you’ve accumulated more ‘free’ tan belts with items of clothing than you could shake a stick at. And I think I could shake a stick at quite a few.
So, here’s my first attempt.
Skirt – 19.99 New Look; Shirt £16.99 New Look; Sandals £60 Aldo
Fash-maths total: £96.98. Hurrah! This is good, yes, but I think I can do better…
Skirt £45 Oasis; Shirt (tie at the waist) £7.99 H&M; Sandals £19 Dorothy Perkins.
Fash-maths total: £71.99
Aside from me actually salivating at those sandals (errrrr, WANT) that leaves a delightful £38.01 to go and buy yourself a cocktail or two and attempt to attract a bloke like Keira’s.
Sorry, Whistles you just can’t beat fash-maths.
So, after much searching, I finally did that thing that men say women do when shopping and we say that we don’t: I went back to one of the first shops I visited. Sorry womankind, I don’t mean to set a bad example, don’t chuck me out of the sisterhood!
The store was Mango, the dress is ace. What actually happened was that I saw the dress in question a previous trip, but wasn’t in my size. After no success elsewhere, I then insisted on dragging my friend around every Mango we could think of in Central London until I found it in a medium.
So voila, the dress that does it all:
- Doesn’t look like I’m going to a prom
- Avoids black (and white, chill brides!)
- Not too short
- …or too casual…
- …or too worky.
- And I can only hope that no one else gets the same dress.
It also is purse friendly at £44.90, which also made me very happy. When I saw it, I thought it screamed autumn wedding, so here it is:
I’ll be wearing this badboy with these simple courts that I already own – they are called Arnoldoa from Aldo
. I bought them before they went in the sale – they’re now £39.98. (Grrr. Sale envy.) I also will accompany with this wee bag from New Look
– a steal at £12.99. (But frankly they have loads of nice bags at the moment at reasonable prices, so there were a whole host to choose from.)
I also chose a blue pashmina (£6.99 from H&M – sorry it doesn’t seem to be online) to go over my arms in the (likely) event of cold. It exactly matches the blue colour in the pattern on the dress. Kiss my face.
I decided against a hat, and opted for something a bit more practical for a wedding in Northern Ireland…
Attempt 1: With all my rules in mind, the first dress that I found was this beautiful green number called Ronah by Traffic People in concessions at Topshop. This dress is also available from aspirestyle.co.uk at £59. Unfortunately, it’s not made for big friendly giants like me: the waistband fell on my ribcage making me look like a green plank, but would be perfect for more petite girls. That high neckline will also make smaller boobs look bigger and the cap sleeves will broaden shoulders to balance any pear shapes too. I would have put it with metalic shoes and accessories – like these badboys: Skater Su from Dune at £80; or gone for these slightly kookier tribal lovelies to add a few other colours to the outfit: Lindemuth from Aldo at £60.
Attempts 2 and 3: After failing miserably with attempt 1, and a lot of online searching (I loves the research) I hit the streets again, and happened upon Mango. Aside from the wedding search, I dribbled a little on sight of their killer AW drop: there are many new season dresses and tops that I am lusting after! (Repeat after me: credit cards are for emergencies, credit cards are for emergencies!) I tried on this navy slinky cowl neck number for £69.90, and a cute black/nude mesh and lace cocktail dress for £59.90.
The navy jobby (also available in a colour I like to call ‘slutty red’) looks faintly like a replica of that one that Kate Middleton wore when she got engaged! It’s super clingy though, so unless you want to go commando, some Spanx will definitely be in order.
The mesh cocktail dress was also really lovely – plus came with a free belt; excellent. It fitted me perfectly, and was a very beautiful dress – ideal with pearls and nude accessories BUT I thought the sheerness of the fabric would mean I’d have to cover its loveliness up with a cardy. (Did I mention the wedding is in Ireland?) And was also very similar to a skirt/top combo I had worn at a wedding last year.
BUT if I had bought it I may have paired it with these lacy courts from Barratts at £40 (if feeling matchy-matchy); these nude flowery sandals from DP at £40 (if I’d checked the weather forecast) or these classic Keanah bow courts by Ted Baker at Office for £80 (if I was feeling particularly flush.)
The search continues…