Getting ahead of the game

This was me on Friday in Selfridges.  Well, trying to...... But of course, foiled.  Foiled foiled foiled, just as I had found the most exciting brand I've come across in eons. 

A dress brand that I've seen on Instagram and tracked down finally instore.  Gob. Smacked.   I'm talking the rather wonderful Self-Portrait.

Now I struggle with finding dresses that I both love and that fit.  I know that sounds ridiculous but honestly, it's true.  And I'm massively jumping the gun even contemplating buying a dress for my son's First Holy Communion in June but from bitter disappointment (slight exaggeration for sure) in the past, I have learnt that you have to buy these things when you see them.  Otherwise they sell out. 

Funny I should mention that as, well what do you know?  They've sold out.  GAH. 

Now I'm chuntering on and I haven't even let you in on my new secret. 

First off - these are not going to be for everyone.  "Hmm ever so slightly Alice in Wonderland....." was my friend's not entirely enthusiastic response when I pounced on them instore squealing in glee.  Judging by their exceptionally on trend styling on the website, I'm not entirely sure 40+ is their target market but this season, I think most of their dresses are eminently wearable.

Although I sort of see where she's coming from (I type grudgingly) with regards to Alice, I utterly love them.  The quality is amazing - truly truly amazing.  If you'd said they were four figures, I would have believed you.  And I wouldn't have bothered trying them on but thankfully they're not.  They're really well priced.  

Don't get me wrong, they're not cheap cheap but compared to the higher end of the High Street, they are definitely comparable and for a designer dress which is where they're pitched in Selfridges, they are a veritable bargain.  

They also come up small. 

Self-Portrait Lucille geometric trim mesh dress £250



And here I am - yes it looks like it fits but the back tells a different story.  This is the 8 and it didn't nearly do up. 

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This one was in my size (a 12) but I really really want the midi length. 

Lucille geometric trim mesh dress £250



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Liliana Embroidered dress £320  This is the main one that elicited the "where's the White Rabbit?" comment.




It doesn't go with the leopard print boots but I pretty much love it.

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I'm going to email them tomorrow to see if there is any way I can get hold of the Lucille dress in a 12.  


There are though some others that I think may also be worth considering.  Not sure this one is what I'm looking for thinking of the Summer but I wish I'd seen it at the beginning of the Winter (even though it's actually Spring stock...) 

Fireflies metallic dress £225



Or this one - Ava Embroidered Midi dress £260 - again NOT IN MY SIZE! 


Look how amazing it can look.  Sold out pigging everywhere...



Looking at their new season which you can pre order, this is the one that I've got my eye on.  I think with a pair of black gladiator heeled sandals, this could be the perfect go to Summer Dress.  I am utterly in love with it and I may even curb my NY spending with this in mind (*may* being the operative word....) 

Lila Midi Dress £260 (I'm ignoring the shoes)




This has made me think, I'm on a midi roll.  Tis the season to be Catholic this June and we've got a host of First Holy Communion parties to go to as well as the usual round of parties which hopefully there'll be.  I've also got two 50th parties (clearly I have MUCH older friends........!) and so there will be the usual need for dresses.  June is notoriously a difficult time to dress for in my experience, it can be downright chilly.  I have now got to grips with my fake tan issues that I've had in the past but there is still nothing more unattractive than a goose bump frenzy. 

Midi dresses are hard to wear for lots of people but I do think the key is the right size heel for the proportions of the dress.  Personally, as I've said, I don't like them so much with the flat heel above.  I think go high.  I also think go properly midi - not just below the knee which isn't so much midi as mumsy.  Be bold with the length and your heel and I promise you it will work.

These are some that I think it will be worth considering. 

ASOS Floral Mesh Midi insert fit and flare dress £58  This one doesn't seem too long - personally I'd want it more mid calf midi than just below the knee, politician's wife style...... So I'd say this would work better if you're not super tall. 


Totally off piste but I LOVE this.  Absolutely love love love it - Jalouse boots and Spring lunch outfit sorted.  All rather Marant at a fraction of the cost.  This will not be around by mid Feb I can guarantee.

Glamorous Off the shoulder Midi dress £30


Thinking ridiculously ahead, I know that one of the 50th parties is going to have an Ibiza theme going on - I'm thinking this could be perfect..... Huge gold earrings, fine gold chains, gladiator heels again....

Kiss The Sky Tie Dye Midi dress with coin necklace £45


This I fear may be too short on me.... I'm looking for longer, but it is a Tall so it could be worth a go.  I love the fact it's a blank canvas.

ASOS Tall High neck textured midi dress with short sleeves £45


On a roll with the Tall dresses - this is by the same brand as the white off the shoulder one.  I can't help singing Cher's Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves when I look at this which probably means it's a no - certainly the shoes are not helping in the slightest.  However I reckon it could be worth a go.  

Glamorous Tall Flippy off the shoulder dress £30



Another black dress - clearly I have a lace thing going on.... This one I think will be too wintery looking for Spring but would be ideal for the next couple of months.  

ASOS Lace Pleat Midi dress £48


All the Wiggle dresses at ASOS are fantastic - there are a whole host of them in different fabric and prints - but the one thing they all have in common is that a) they remind me of Ted Baker dresses and b) they're about a quarter of the price of them.  Result.

I love these colours.  ASOS Midi Wiggle Dress in paisley print £48


So you could buy an All Saints dress... OR you could try the ASOS Wrap Dress for £48!  In Scarlet...


Or in grey.... This to be is pure elegance (even lined).  For £48.



So I could go on and on - this is a subject I need to explore in more detail but The Husband is off to Chicago in the morning so we're going to have a lovely meal (cooked by him - bliss) before we go.   

I also need to start packing.... Might have had a slight disaster on the weather front.  It looks like there may be a little (optimistic code for "a lot") of snow in New York over the next couple of days.  However I won't let this get me down, I am layering within an inch of my life.  I have ordered my new blanket scarf from ASOS as a happy birthday to me tiny gift and I'm packing thermals.  Problem everyone says it that as soon as you go inside a building, the temperature becomes sauna-esque.  A lovely problem to have, I appreciate and to be totally honest, snow on or around my birthday is not remotely a surprise to me.  42 years on and I have had more birthday plans be rearranged due to copious amounts of the White Stuff than I can remember.  Can let it get you down or you can just drink and shop through.  Oh well, go on then...... 

Finishing though with outfits from the last couple of days.  Slight dilemma as to what to wear on Friday - panic posting on Instagram - thank you all for your kind comments.  It was actually the print Sandro dress that was most popular but I'd already thrown this on with the leopard print wedges and my long black knitted cardigan coat (coming to NY with me as it's ideal to strip off and perfect for layering).  Was most pleased with my outfit.  And an amazing day was had with my lovely lovely friends at the Chiltern Firehouse (via Burger King on the way home obviously...)

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Yesterday I had lunch out with my 10yr old before I go away.  We're the only ones in the family who love Thai so we went to our local new Thai restaurant for a quick girlie lunch.  I'm going to miss her so so so so much. 

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Champagne cashmere off duty jumper - Boden (a lovely gift from them which I am OVER the moon with)
Khaki skinny jeans - By Malene Birger
Camel wrap coat - Zara
Mushroom suede boots - Zara
Whiskey Medium Marcie satchel - Chloe

And last night, out for a friend's birthday party.  Vodka jellies and Champagne.  Suffice to say, I actually appreciated the fresh air at rugby this morning. 

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Cobalt silky blouse - Zara
Indigo Baxter jeans - Topshop
Midnight boucle jacket - Zara
Midnight satin shoe boots - Dorothy Perkins
Dynamite necklace - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Tan De Manta clutch - Alexander McQueen

I have everything crossed that I can get hold of one of those Self-Portrait dresses.  Or maybe they'll be able to let me know if there are any stockists in NY.  Although that's all a bit arse about face isn't it?  I should also be putting a shopping list together.  

So what would you have on yours - what should I be buying in the US?  The Husband's suggestion is "NOTHING!"  Oh how we laughed.....


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73 comentarios:

  1. I have a massive thing about off the shoulder dresses right now and that white was has been on my Asos app all week now I might actually have to buy it before it sells out based on this post!

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    1. I am still obsessing about the Reiss top & in fact have an 80s fancy dress party coming up in May.... I may just have to do an Olivia Newton John...... Do let me know what the dress is like doll. x

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  2. My mum is in Boston now and has phoned to say 2 - 3ft of snow is forecast tomorrow!!!!.
    Absolutely love that first dress, you must find it.
    Have a great time, just keep you thermal knickers on xx

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    1. Let's not talk about the weather. My poor friend is stuck in that 3ft of snow!

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  3. WOW so many epic dresses
    You look amazing in the cream

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    1. The first one? It's actually pale grey (although could be anything...) I think randomly flattering considering i'm the colour of stilton at the moment.

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  4. Love love love the Self Portrait dresses and I also have a First Holy Communion (my daughters) in May - have you tried Shopbop.com?

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    1. Happens to the best of us! (I've also got one next year as well!) Tried Shopbob but they were £450 odd!!

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  5. Absolutely love those Self-Portrait dresses! So wish I had a special occasion this Summer!

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    1. They are a tad too special to wear to the pub!

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  6. I have to be honest & say I wasn't keen on the first dresses....until seeing them on! I love the first midi version on you, it looks amazing. The green wiggle dress is gorgeous, I love it. X

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    1. Oh they do look so so so much better on and randomly I think are made for the straight up and down unlike so many dresses which suit curves!

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  7. Love Self Portrait and also looking at one for a communion. They are on line on Brown Thomas website with some
    Size 12 if you have an Irish address you can ship to.

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    1. OMG I DO I DO I DO!!!!! Thank you xxxx

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    2. Your welcome. 😊 ASOS also stock the brand but those styles must be sold out.

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    3. Going to hedge my bets till I get back from NY - if it's meant to be, it will happen...... in the lap of the fashion gods

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  8. OMG those Dresses look amazing on you! track one down!!!!! Perfect for your summer Occassions. the American brands are always a good deal if you are a fan, but jeans are the best buy J Brand at a fraction of the price here. X

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    1. They're fab aren't they? And JBrand jeans are RUBBISH on me. GAH!

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  9. Great tip and going to pop in and try them on as so hard to find stylish non mumsy dresses

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  10. Kat have a fabulous time in NYC! So jealous. Hoping to get there later this year. Marie x

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    1. Well hopefully I'll get there eventually... SOB!

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  11. The self portrait dresses look amazing on you. The only negative is that the pale blue, in the photos at least, almost like a communion dress. I'd prefer the grey.

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    1. It's grey in real life! It's definitely a pale grey - I promise it's not at all Communiony!

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  12. Kat, Lanecrawford.com have the Lucille in size 10 and 12 as of 2240 this evening!

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    1. Thank you! i'm going to hold off until I get back from NY!

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  13. Gypsies tramps and theves absolutely in the off the shoulder dresses. It reminds me that I have told my partner NEVER to let me buy those low slung trousers (cack your pants pants) when on holiday - even if every slim 20 yr old French student girl looks amazing in them - that dress is the same, a good idea but wrong. Love the black ASOS one though and the SP dresses look lovely. have agreat time in NY. We will be there late July for a week so shopping tips appreciated.

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    1. hmmm thanks for your wise words there deb. I've got a couple of off-the-shoulder dresses, so which am I do you think... gypsie, tramp or thief???
      And as for low slung jeans... it's prob a blessing you don't wear them as your words will be muffled... since you clearly talk out your bum!!!
      -Vickie

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    2. Whoops, sorry if offended anyone, just talking for myself and what I would wear. The trousers I was referring to are the ones with a crotch at the knees. Its a Cher song that Kat quoted in her post, not using the words as a description of anyone, would not do that.....

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    3. Actually, Deb, I thought your comments were completely inoffensive and understood the reference to the song, and to your own preferences. I thought the Anonymous /Vickie reply to you was really rather rude and crude.

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    4. Thanks, have been feeling upset all day....

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    5. oh Deb, I SO SO know you didn't mean anything offensively by that at all - it was ME who mentioned it and it was merely in regard to the whole flippy style of the dress not off the shoulder dresses or tops in particular - heaven's knows , I've said many times I love them, including the white one above! There was just something about the black one that was a tad Cher in my book. But absolutely no offence meant on my part or, I'm sure, on Deb's xxxx

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    6. Thanks, lets draw a line then xx

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    7. Ok deb, if you've genuinely been feeling bad all day then I'm sorry to hear that. My knowledge of Cher is not that comprehensive. So sorry about that.

      And michele, thanks, but I think deb can handle it herself and doesnt need you to start picking fights with me :-)

      -Vickie

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  14. Equipment shirts and Frame denim would be on my shopping list if I were heading stateside right now.

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    1. ooh good idea thank you (when I get there.....!)

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  15. The grey lucilke dress suits your colouring the best. You look fab in them. Will be most interested to see what you pick as I have a communion myself next year. May have to take a trip to Brown Thomas to try on those lucille dresses myself!! Enjoy NY. I was there a few years ago with loads if snow. And they do clear the pavements. Apart from the cold you'll not notice it!!

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    1. Alas the weather has beaten me but hopefully I'll be there on Friday x

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  16. I love all the Self-Potrait dresses, the details are aplenty and gorgeous. If you don't have Madewell in the UK, I'd shop there. I've heard Steven Alan boutiques are pretty amazing. Any and all of US made premium denim brands. I'd imagine J.Crew will be a lot cheaper here too. But if Juno is as bad as they say, I'd park myself in a big department store and just work my way through all the floors and enjoy a lovely lunch there too.

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    1. Yes definitely going to check out Madewell and of course JCrew which is offensively cheap compared to here. Juno has passed. ROBBING me of two days. GAH!

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  17. Sometimes OCD is a good thing, especially when it comes to tracking down those Self Portrait dresses, they are amazing on you, (as are your other outfits over the weekend). Have an amazing time in NYC, Audrey ;-)

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    1. Thank you and I'll get there eventually...!

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  18. Wow, those dresses look fab on you, hope you manage to get the Lucille dress in a 12. I have my eldest son's First Holly Communion in May but want to lose about 10 lbs before I go dress shopping- starting my 2nd 5 day soup n juice cleanse of the year today. I'll have to get his outfit sorted first, which, for the vainest 8 year old boy in history will not be easy! Hope you have a fab time in NYC, whatever the weather it will be amazing- its my favourite city but alas, with 3 young boys it will be a long time before I'm back! Love the outfit you wore to the Chiltern Firehouse, very appropriate. I always get envious when I see your Chloe bag, I got one in the same colour off the hubby for Christmas last year but I stupidly chose the mini Marcie cross body- its lovely but it fits feck all in it!

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    1. oh good luck good luck good luck with the diet. And I thought 8yr old girls were hard to dress.!

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  19. I've got the self-portrait-lucille-geometric-trim-mesh-dress in a 12. I bought it for my Christmas Do, a masked ball! You are welcome to borrow it? It is amazing. PM me on pam@kennelfarm.com, I'm in Warlingham and I think you're Sevenoaks way??

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    1. Oh you are SO kind, thank you and I will also respond to your email xxx

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  20. Kat, have you seen the weather here? When do you leave? It has already started snowing in New Jersey and NYC is getting ready for one of the biggest storms in the last century. Hope you leave Wednesday or later!!! Bring snow boots!!

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  21. Re: Self Portrait dresses:not so much Alice in Wonderland but Sound of Music On Acid. I'm probably the only one who doesn't like them and at those prices! The problem with rather specific dress is that you can only wear them a couple of times before you become The Woman in The Dress, if you know what I mean. I love the white one you wore on Friday and you spotted really lovely ones at Asos yet again. Happy birthday and have a lovely time in NY!

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    1. This is a very good point. You can also wear it in the winter though I reckon.....

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  22. The Self Portrait dresses are stunning. I actually prefer the second one on you as I think the colour suits you better. It really looks amazing on you!

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    1. thank you! It does look better at the moment as I am super super SUPER pale but I think with a bit of colour it might look a tad meh......

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  23. Love the detail on the dresses - but my fave is the ASOS midi paisley wiggle dress. Fab colour. Good luck with the packing - you'll def. need the thermals. I was in Connecticut a couple of years ago and they're predicting 24 inches of snow there with 4 inches per hour until tues. evening. Lots of flights cancelled. Sure you'll be fine. Have fun. Lots of pics please

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    1. Yes. Lots of flights cancelled... But hopefully I'll get there on Thursday now. x And yes there will be loads of pics over on Instagram!

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  24. Kat I know you love the one you tried on in size 8 but I think it washes you out. The shorter one looks amazing on you - colour suits you so much better!

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    1. Totally agree when I'm lily white but I think with a smidge of colour, the pale grey will be much more wearable!

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  25. The self portrait dresses look fantastic on you. I suggest one of each. If finances are stretched, sell a child.

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    1. This is an excellent suggestion x

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  26. Ha! Just looked at the sizing for the self portrait dresses and XXL is a size 16! Think that's a hint to me that I shouldn't be looking

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  27. They have your self portrait dress on sflacedress.com. Free shipping and discounted too.

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    1. ah now I saw them but I wondered if they were the real deal? It's a Chinese website... that only take Visa.. I'm slightly dubious!

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  28. My husband is off to the us in feb and he's bringing back a Canada Goose Kensington parka and some Lululemon gear - both cheaper over there and things I'm going to keep for a long time.

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    1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2544075/Revealed-Chilling-cruelty-unspeakable-suffering-corporate-denial-Is-TRUE-cost-seasons-Canada-Goose-coat.html

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    2. Personally I'm wary about anything the Daily Mail report on. But everyone has to make their own decisions x

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  29. Not sure that the self portrait dress is appropriate for a first holy communion. Beautiful dresses for a party though!!!!

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    1. I think it's fine with a little blazer over the top!

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    2. Didn't realise you were going to be wearing a blazer over it.....hope it's not a hot day!

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  30. Oh I wonder if you will even sea this plea! You look tiny - a size 12?
    Pfft, I'm usually and 8 to 10, 8 if the fabric stretches, do you with your magic 8 ball, think I'd need the 12? Size 26/27 waist.

    Ta!

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  31. Hi! I am thinking of getting the Self Portrait Liliana dress, I have a small frame but bust 85 cms, am afraid it will be tight on the chest part. What size are you? do they run super small?

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    1. yes it runs small...size up. I have that dress also. Good luck!

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