Finally. I have found something new, something different and something that I am ridiculously chuffed with. The Midi dress. Ok so I'm sort of cheating as I did have the Self Portrait one which I have worn twice and have earmarked for another couple of occasions this year so the Midi isn't a new new new concept. (by any stretch of the imagination)
But I had yet to include in my day to day wardrobe. And here in lies the genius for me. If I look back to a couple of years ago, my uniform was very much skinny jean based. In the Summer I would wear a maxi dress occasionally (but the length/tripping over/right heel height was always an issue) and in the last two years I have embraced shorts, short dresses and A line skirts with bare legs (this was a Big Deal for me)
I then began another denim love affair with the boyfriend jean and rediscovered my straight leg jeans turned up that I have worn on and off for the past 10 years (Earl you were the best jeans designer ever. I thank you).
This year I branched out further into the "love 'em or hate 'em" dungarees. And the jumpsuit. So the repertoire is certainly growing.
But the issue was one of either long or short. There was no middle (midi???) ground.
I have tried (boring us all to death simultaneously) skirts. I have tried (and not bored you all as I was boring myself adequately and didn't feel the need to share the pain) culottes. Too high cut, too saggy on the derriere, too short, too long. Just too darn difficult to team the right top with them.
However the story has a happy ending. I have solved the problem. I have solved the insolvable and found a solution.
The Every Day Midi Dress. Thanks to a tipsy foray into & Other Stories last Friday.
Admittedly these had all been on my wish list for a while and I kept thinking "this week I'll make it into London". But permanently dodgy children and a new puppy, plus the final push on finishing the house stopped play.
This is the dress I thought would solve all my problems. It's a very similar (nay identical) shape to my Self Portrait one.
How wrong could it be on me?
& Other Stories Pompom dress £55
Well it appears the answer is very. And this is a size 12. Too short in the body, too tight in the waist. I look like a Mars Bar. This photo, as bad as it is, doesn't really do true justice to how positively rectangular and blobby I looked.
But not to be defeated (ie I'd had a couple of drinks) I persisted with two other dresses I had also picked up. And the difference couldn't have been greater. These were amazing. The size 10 was also a perfect fit. For me, it was the perfect length (see pic at bottom and I shall be wearing the black one this week) and ideal to wear with flats for dressed down, ankle boots for slightly dressier and heels for the evening.
Porcelain Ankle Dress £55
And the black version again £55
Now never one to be content with just two dresses (I honestly want to wear them every day. I love the blue one most but actually I think the black one will be much more useful and less conspicuous.)
So clearly it was only logical that I would spend ages trawling t'internet to see if I could replicate the two new heroes of my wardrobe.
Starting with this one at M&S. Great price for a Best of British Dress, especially with the discount that they've extended.
Best of British Fit and Flare Modal Rich Dress £59 but now £47.20 with 20% off at M&S which is still on.
Now this one holds a very special place in my heart. I had a denim version of this at Uni and it was absolutely my favourite dress ever. Loved it - wore it with ankle boots in the Winter and sandals in the Summer. Out to Ricky's, The Warehouse and Ritzy's as well as the Poly Bop and the Student Union (Harvey Milk bar I believe was one of them....). It was only 20 years ago. (I lie. It was more. Sob)
This is Welcome Pattie Sleeveless Denim Dress in Black from Urban Outfitters was £100 now £70
Or a longsleeved version in blue. Oh how I love this one. And the model is 5ft11 so this should be perfectly midi on most people. Jealous. Much.
This is Welcome Patti Longsleeved denim dress was £110 now £70
Staying with a print, which I am now all over, after falling head over heels with the blue one I bought.
Free People Bonnie midi dress was £138 now £85
Monki Kimono Sleeve Dress £25 This is how I am planning on styling mine - with lace up glads (although my calves are not remotely toned enough not to look like a rolled shoulder of pork.. complete with butcher's twine)
Not that I'm going to any sort of festival at all but this I adore. And it goes in the washing machine and is just deliciously hippy and so un me, I need it. One of my favourite sorts of necklines - slash neck. I also think this would work really well with heels.
ASOS Glam Festival Dress with boho beading £85
Moving onto more summery now.
Pepe Jeans Joelle Midi Dress was £105 now £74
And a ringer here but sneaking in my persistent quest for a decent midi jumpsuit. It's culottes and a jumpsuit so has no real place here but I love the print.
Waverley Linea Scrawl Tie Waist Jumpsuit £69 from Finery
Iris Mixed Print Dress from Finery £69 Another great print.
And that's all folks Ok there are a couple of others out there I'm sure (lots of very clingy vest ones - thank you but no thank you) but my main concern is that on me, they're going to be too short. Think the Pompom dress that I absolutely ruined. (You can't see in the photo but it is actually an exceptionally dodgy "just below the knee/think Sound of Music Nun Length")
However my moments of genius continue (ok so this is the second one but that does make "moments"....) and to get the perfect length, rather than not being able to make something longer, why don't I look at getting a maxi shortened?
There are some bargain maxi dresses out there at the moment in the sales and I'm sure it can't be too much to have it altered by a dressmaker (sewing bod shop - we have a couple of them here... and no I can't do it myself. Not even with wunderweb. May I remind you of the Beavers Badge debacle of last week)
I think I've unearthed some real contenders here - and win win - some great maxi options for those who don't fancy a midi.
I used to have a dress like this but in a different fabric and to just below the knee, 14 years ago. Wore with heeled glad sandals and absolutely adored. This would work just as well. Lopped off.
Little Mistress Printed Maxi Dress was £68 now £45
Liquorish Maxi shirt dress was £52.50 now £28 Another option (also love this a maxi.. although wouldn't be maxi on me!)
Brave Soul Paisley Print Maxi Dress was £30 now £16 Slightly more boho now.
Another bargain monochrome number from Brave Soul - again was £30 now £16
However, call off the dogs, I think I have found the exact same shape as the & Other Stories ones which I love and just works (what did we say yesterday - if it ain't broke...), bargain price and in other colours.
Alternatively, this would make a great maxi dress if you like it long.
Long Shirt Dress from Mango was £44.99 now £29.99
Or with a safari edge in the sand. Love this - absolutely perfect with tan gladiator sandals, be them high or low.
Long Shirt Dress in Sand now £29.99
If we are talking pure Margot Good Life glamour though, this comes top of the list.
Blond Gown from Mango in burnt orange was £80.99 now £59.99
And here is me in my choice. I have to say I absolutely love it. I would even go so far as to say I think I might love it as much as the Self Portrait one. Of course they're very different but the style I am totally and utterly sold on. Be gone all notions of ridiculous high waisted skirts. I'm not even going to bother hunting down culottes anymore (ok famous last words - we all know that's a lie) But I've managed to reinvent my own little wheel and the maxi shirt dress is my find of the high Summer. (and yes, I will add, so far)
Porcelain blue dress - & Other Stories
Cobalt & black sandals - Reiss
Black clutch - Tory Burch
So tomorrow I'm back with a cunning investment. Which is also code as total justification for buying something that I absolutely love but don't remotely need. Again.