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…
No, I’m not getting married, but I’m at that age now where people around me are! And that calls for more dresses (shame) and maybe even a hat.
Now, as delighted as I am about having a bona fide excuse to buy a new dress, dresses for weddings always prove difficult. For a start there are rules, some written, some unwritten. The obvious is that you can’t wear white or cream, not too much of a problem. Some brides don’t like you wearing full length dresses either, that’s kind of ok too. But then to the unwritten. Let’s call them guidelines rather than rules:
- You don’t want to look like you’re going to a prom
- Is all black ever appropriate at a wedding? Genuine question, I am not really sure.
- You don’t want to wear anything too short..
- …or too casual…
- …or too worky.
- You don’t want to end up with the same dress as someone else.
So, the first and second ‘guidelines’ cut out pretty much most dresses on the highstreet. There is, firstly, a destinctly limited range of suitable formal dresses in a lot of highstreet shops – and most, let’s face it, come in black. Argh! The likes of Coast, LK Bennett and others are, sadly, too expensive for me on my little wage (a total bummer as Coast have brought out a replica of a hot vintage monochrome dress (below), as worn by Dannii Minogue last year – but at £175 it’s a little out of my price range.)
The third issue (too short) is even more of a problem for me. At 5’10 even a standard ‘above the knee’ skirt can look indecent on me. Pencil dresses have the bonus of being a bit more demure, but at the same time they can look worky (issue five!)
The added dimension for this wedding is that it is an autumn wedding, which means it will be beautiful with all the changing leaves and a low autumal sunrise to welcome in the day, but also means bye bye chiffon summer frocks, there’s no room for you at this inn.
So my mission is to find frocks of a reasonable price – avoiding all aforementioned pitfalls and looking hot to trot. Go…!