Am I finally growing up?

"If I were going to a wedding, that's the sort of dress I'd buy"..... pointing at a "grown up" dress.

Except that's a lie.  I have never bought a sensible dress in my life.  By that, I mean a dress that, if you asked most men, they'd probably say was A Dress.  A form fitting, figure hugging, sensible length, looks like a "woman's dress" dress. 

Clear as mud?

As you may or may not have noticed, I wear a tunic.  I have no boobs and no waist and so I wear as little as possible that will draw attention to my lack of assets.  I'm also tall so the massive issue I have with lots of dresses is that on me, they are a frumperella length.  Anything that hovers around the knee, generally doesn't work.  It needs to be proper midi (mid calf) or a couple of inches above the knee.  

However too short and well, we jog squarely into hooker territory which isn't exactly what I have in mind either. 

So I've stuck to my tried and tested shape of cocoon or a shift tunic.  It works, I'm super comfortable in them, but should I be wearing what I consider to be a more grown up shape?

Journeying very much outside my comfort zone, last week and today I tried on some dresses that normally I wouldn't look at in a million years.  Not because I don't think they look amazing on other people, but I can't get to grips with them on me.

And we have pictorial evidence to see what you think.

Starting with some dresses that I'd seen online (and instore) and loved and to be honest, these were the ones that made me first think, hmmm maybe??!  

From Ted Baker - a brand that I never ever ever look at.  But maybe I should?

Ravina Distinguished Rose Midi Dress £159 but with 30% off at check out 


And on me - I don't hate it.  I actually really like it.  And it's the perfect First Holy Communion Dress.  And I'd wear it for a dinner party.  But other than that?  It would be sat in my wardrobe.  There in lies my issue.  I hate the idea of not getting full wear out of something.  Why?  I don't know - but for just over £100, I'd rather spend double and get something I could wear double out of... (I appreciate the logic to that is flawed.  Duh)

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The same dress in the pale blue shade but without the 30% off... This so reminds me of a D&G silk top I had about 20 years ago.  I remember saving up for it and used to wear it with jeans - heavens knows what happened to it. 




Again - I'm quite taken with this.

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And then it went downhill.  Colour.  Other people love it.  It may not have escaped your attention that I'm not the hugest fan.  Actually that's not entirely true - I can do colour.  And I can do a print.  A bright coloured print?  That's where the wheels fall off for me.  

But I wanted to love it and I do love the fit.  However grown up style, print and super bright colour = me running for the hills.

Anta Linear Jewel Midi Dress £159



But it's such a lovely fit (albeit a shape I feel way too grown up in.  Oh the irony at saying that at 42)

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More up my street colour wise would be this one.  Should go on the list, especially with the discount.

Sancha Jaquard Midi Dress £169 This one also has 30% off for a limited time.



Other dresses I tried not in the sale but still not a bad price but - hmmm, I don't know.  Again, print, shape, colour combined with me results in a very uncomfortable moi.

Cascading Floral Midi Dress £159 from Ted Baker



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And it went from bad to worse.  Oh GOD it got worse.  Phase Eight, I am really sorry to do this to you but your dresses howl on me.  I ruin them.  I truly truly ruin them.  I am going to give you one picture as I'd like to think the selection instore at John Lewis was simply dire, not that they are all truly tragic dresses.  

In my head, this had all sorts of VW draping going on.  In reality - that'll be not so much.  My friend did also point out that the print was very similar to a DVF dress she has.  And there was where the comparison ended.  Alas. 

Phase Eight Ashton Dress £79





Yes, I am guffawing laughing as my friend is trying not to wet herself.  I so wanted this to work.  I so don't think it does.


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Even at Whistles, the misery continued.  Now do remember I was trying ones that were outside my comfort zone.... 

Whistles Bodega Print Eva Dress £140



I had high hopes for this.  I think it's the length that makes it go wrong.  It doesn't look too bad in this pic - in real life it wasn't great. 

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Next, if it were an Amish Holy Communion, in this case I would have struck gold.  Or if I were going to a funeral..... I don't know, just full on black black and the starkness of the dress with all the fabric going on, just seemed on the dour side.  However full marks for the pockets.  And the sleeve detailing which was lovely.  It was also on the short side for me.  I would have wanted it midi I think....

Whistles Tie Waist Dress £150 (size 10)







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However I had snuck two dresses in which I thought would work.  Well clearly it wasn't my day as I managed to wreck a dress  (not literally, purely figuratively) that I had had high hopes for.  It would have been perfect if I was going to work in a Spa.  As a dressy dress?  Heavens to betsy no.

Whistles Bamboo Dress in black and white £140



And also, the creasing?  You can tell I'm "thrilled" by now with the whole experience, can't you?


However I did strike gold.  Next, this is the sort of dress I love, the kind I love buying, the kind I get to wear a lot.  And... it's £59.  It's all sorts of perfect.  And on the hangar (as my friend pointed out, it looks like squat).  But once you put it on, for me, it works on every level.  I would wear this with sneakers or sandals for every day school run summer days.  I would wear it for lunch, I would wear it with a loose tux blazer and heels for a special occasion.  

Kin by John Lewis Brushed Stroke Multi Stroke Tunic Dress £59





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It actually sums up why I did this post.  Yes, there is something to be said for looking outside your comfort zone.  But on reflection, I think there's more to be said for being comfortable.  It doesn't matter how great something looks on you - if you're not happy in it, if the fact it will sit in your wardrobe and only get worn a couple of times irritates you irrationally, then it's not right.  

But that doesn't mean we stop trying.  Dare I mention dungarees......?!!  I'm going to throw it in now in the hope that no one sees it and we can just gloss over it, but I think I might have to buy a blue denim pair too.  No one saw that, did they?

And it doesn't stop my looking at the pics of the first Ted Baker dress and think - oh maybe.......  ARRGGH.

Finishing with my outfit from today - again, I've gone off piste slightly and I can't say I love it, if I'm honest.  Loved the double denim, love the loose top over the kick flares but I think it was slightly too voluminous (a painter's smock from Joseph 8 years ago which I drag out every year).  Meh.  Didn't love it them together with the coat.  I was in a rush is my excuse and I thought I'd try something new and I won't be bothering with it again.  Was a day of learning.


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Chambray Painter's Smock - Joseph
Kick Flare Jessie Jeans - Topshop
Navy knitted military cardigan - Zara 
Navy Newbury boots - Rag & Bone
Whiskey Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe 

I'd love to hear your thoughts on different style dresses.  It is just a comfort zone style thing?  Do I need to grow up and start wearing more mature styles?  Am I deluding myself?!  

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CONVERSATION

46 comentarios:

  1. That lady in her sexy underwear behind you thinks she looks pretty hot !!

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    1. I didn't notice her until now!

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  2. Your right the last dress looks great !!

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    1. I do think it does come down to what you feel comfortable in.

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  3. Some really nice pieces here. I think that pink dress that you say is "too grown up" looks gorgeous on you!! The colour is so vibrant and the shape is stunning. I'm 30-something and I don't think it looks too grown up!! *but now starting to question my taste* xx

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    1. Oh no not at all - like I say I adore them on other people, I just feel a bit of a plum in them!! And I don't feel confident in them, which is weird when I know some of them do look ok. I don't feel like "me"... does that makes sense? (I feel the same about biker jackets!!)

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  4. Oh stop I find myself more and more looking at tops, dresses, blouses etc 'with a bit of a sleeve' definitely a sign of getting older! I'm starting to panic about an auld communion outfit can you do a post on seperates!? Less guilty when the can be used again!!

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    1. I did a post on matching separates recently..... I've worked out that the guilt factor is lessened if I buy a dress I can wear again. Totally blaming it on being Catholic now!

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  5. I love the floral midi dress from ted baker! I am 41 and that is something I would wear! I am more worried about my figure than the age thing, I think you look fabulous in everything

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    1. Oh you're a sweetheart, thank you. And I would normally have to breathe in - being thin doesn't mean I don't have lumps and bumps that shouldn't be there - myself and exercise are not best acquainted..! But the Ted Baker dresses are made from that almost scuba fabric that is very stiff and does a great job of holding it all in!

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  6. Your ideal shape doesn't suit me at all as I am 5' 2 and have a small waist and boobs so the ideal look for me is 50's hourglass not shift - it is good to try things on and have a go though - or we would all be stuck in a time warp with frosted lipstick and eyeshadow and Dexy's jeans (or was that just me?)

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    1. I have my Dexy's dungarees on still......

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  7. I'm not sure what age is right for a grown up dress, I'm 50 and I'm not ready yet! I like a tunic style with a v neck and pockets that I can dress up or down. I know exactly how you feel.

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    1. So maybe it's not so much of an age thing but just a style thing! In my head I think of these dresses as "grown up" but in reality it's just that they're not really my style and I Feel more comfortable in something else!

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  8. Most of these look great, but if they are not your thing then why go there. I am curvy with muscular legs, short loose tunics are one of my worst looks so I go for fitted sheaths to a midi length.

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    1. Well this is a great point. You certainly can't do all of the fashions all of the time and this one I just don't feel comfortable in! I do feel like I'm going to a wedding.....

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  9. The first Ted Baker dress is great, buy it before you regret it. I would even plan a few nights with friends to ensure I got the required wear out of it. (In my head i always think 4 wears a season justifys an exxy dress, where I got 4 from who knows?) I also love the John Lewis brushstroke dress, buy that too, good price and you will get heaps of wear out of it. Hell I am tempted to order it myself! Lucy :)

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    1. Hmmm the problem is, I have a load of dresses I would prefer to wear than this one.... hmmmmmm that's the issue.... but I have to say I think i'm definitely going to get the brushstroke dress - that will cover all of my bases and more.

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  10. Aww you look grand in them all Kat. Buy the Ted Baker one, definitely.
    Were the waist and bust darts in the right place on the fitted dresses? (They're always in wrong place on my 5'11")
    Would have been interesying to see how the dresses fitted on your pal as well!
    Lu xx

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    1. She was laughing too much to try them on and also said - they're not remotely her. As a group of friends, we'd never wear something like this, which is why I sort of struggle with it and would have nowhere to wear it...... I have other dresses I can wear to the Communion that are sat in my wardrobe!!!!

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  11. You do look great in the top two...slightly on the edge mandarin neck though, and yes perfect for communion as zero cleavage opportunity. Very brave flares work well on you, but tough for shorties.Btw, you must pop into Alexandra boutique tw.

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    1. Thank you and talk to me more about Alexandra Boutique... I've tried to google but can't find anything other than it's a designer boutique that opened in TW! Where is it??!

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  12. The LIght blue Ted Baker and the Anta Linear both look amazing on you. The idea of a dress is that it's all you need to wear - it can speak for itself without embellishments, and both of those absolutely do. Buy them both!!

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    1. Hmmm that's a good point.....

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  13. You totally suit this style of dress - it's made for you!
    Who cares that you only get to wear it twice this year - what about next and the next and the next?!

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    1. Ah but you see I wouldn't wear it. I don't love it enough. I have ONE sensible brown silk jersey Whistles dress which is 14 years old that gets dragged out if I need a "sensible" dress.... And a Burberry black one (that I can never find a jacket for though... you know those dresses that you just can't find the right jacket/coat to go with....

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  14. I am in total agreement with you Kat! Feel like you were reading my mind in this blog...I suffer from fear of looking and feeling too "grown-up" also, and as fabulous as all those dresses look, I would say go for the tunic you feel comfy in and will then have a great time in as well...plenty of years left to adopt sensible, elegant style? meg x

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    1. Nail. Head. I'm going with my gut. If it weren't £100 I might reconsider but it's a lot of money I could spend on something else!

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  15. I think you are totally right to go with what you feel comfortable in and as it happens what you are comfortable in always looks stunning!
    Love the brushstroke John Lewis dress-what is the sizing like on it? Going to order but have never had anything from that range before so no idea what the sizing is like. Thanks Kat.

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    1. Oh and one other question-is the brushstroke dress slightly cocoon style and a bit looser around the tummy/hips or is it more of a straight shape shift? Hard to tell from the John Lewis photos.

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    2. I tried on the 10 and I would say it's true to size. Hmm I would say that it's ever so slightly cocoon because of the pockets. It's definitely looser round the middle.

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    3. Excellent, that's what I was hoping you'd say! Slightly cocoon and looser round the middle is what I am after.
      Thank you!

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  16. I love the first two dresses - grown up, definitely, but I would also try to style them in a slightly less formal way once the Holy Communion is done with! Maybe with a denim jacket and wedged sandals/espadrilles....I think this may work with the lighter coloured print - I do think sometimes you should go out of your comfort zone - doesn't mean you have to become a grown up forever though!!! My rule of thumb is - would it be something my mother would wear and look good in? If yes I would try to give it a miss - nothing against my mother, but if it makes her look great it would probably be a bit ageing for me and at 44 I def don't need that!!!

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    1. I totally see how that would work but I still think there are dresses I would prefer to do that with? Don't get me wrong, if someone were to give me one of these, I would ABSOLUTELY wear it - but I'm not sure I can justify the money for something I'm not going to feel that comfortable in! Love your analogy...!!

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  17. Love the pink "grown up dress", I'm 28 and would totally wear it - if I was the right shape for this kind of dress. Being pear shaped I can wear skater dresses and 50s style dresses but no shift dresses. The grass is always greener.... Actually I think you look great in any kind of dress but you should choose one you really feel comfortable in.

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    1. You are so right, the grass is always greener!!

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  18. Kat I am not a big fan of Ted Baker dresses. They are too girly - and their prints - while beautiful - are too obviously Ted Baker, if you know what I mean. I am with you on the need for versatility - plenty of Catholic guilt over here too! I would rather buy something you will definitely wear again. Or wear something you already have - with different shoes, bag and accessories. Think I wore a viscose jersey wrap dress and wedges to my eldest daughter's FHC and a silk shift dress to the second daughter's - it was sweltering (Hong Kong humidity) so no need for a coat or jacket. Both dresses I already had, and both I wore many times. Was thinking about your smock with flares - how about trying the look with an oversize shirt? Saw a fab navy stripe one in H&M today - very long - could almost wear it as a shirt dress.

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    1. I'm thinking of a Burberry dress I have I could wear - I would just need a new jacket. Or I have one which a friend gave me that I coudl alter..... But a jacket I could SO justify and I need to get more wear out of this dress!! Definitely have the shoes and bag already so sorted on that front.

      Yes, I need less volume and I definitely have oversized shirts to wear. Really looking foward to wearing them like that for sure. OOH I'm thinking of that brown and black Chanel style jacket from Mango... (it's so going to be naff in the flesh, isn't it....) That would work also with my black Burberry dress... win win win win win!

      Also problem with something new for the Communion is that EVERYONE I know is going to be there, which means anything else I wear it to, they'll already have seen it! DUH!

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  19. I have just bought the whistles dress brand new on ebay for £60 for a wedding this year in Italy, totally different to what I would normally wear but felt I needed something dressy. What colour shoes and bag would you suggest to make sure I still don't feel too old, 40 this year. Many thanks

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    1. Which one??! The green one or the black and white one? Either way GREAT bargain!

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    2. The green one, was very chuffed don't mind not wearing loads at that price

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  20. Tried the Reiss Germaine dress in which is do out of my comfort zone as its printed but absolutely loved it on! Dithering about whether to get it.

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    1. The high neck one? It's a gorgeous dress, really gorgeous and if it fits you well and you have an occasion to wear it - GO for it!

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  21. I think you look really sexy in the Ted Baker dresses so perfect for making your hubbies jaw drop on a date night particularly as its not your usual style? But maybe you'd feel self conscious in something so bodycon for a Church ( you don't want to splash £100 then keep your jacket on all day!!! I am so impressed by how flattering the Ted Baker dresses are compared to the Whistles ones very useful research! I think why we all like the tunic dresses better as they say I'm dressing for myself and I care about fashion, the bodycon ones say wow look at me I dress to flatter my figure & impress men and I don't care about fashion? I'll shut up pontificating now!!!

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    1. EXCELLENT comment. Food for thought. Love it, thank you. I will ask The Husband what he thinks....!

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  22. I really like the 1st dress on you. The color, print and neckline totally do it for me. But I'm picking up what you're laying down. I go for my comfort zone too, but it was mostly due to my unhappiness with my weight. Hopefully I will branch out now I've finally lost some pounds and my main concern is no longer camouflaging.

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