Oh dear lord, maybe this is a sign of getting old.......?
I remember when I was growing up, my mum had a wardrobe full of dresses. That was pretty much what she wore all the time. A frock. She had rafts of them - in fact that's all she ever used to sport now I think about it really - not pretty much all the time. Definitely all of the time. With Scholls.
And clearly I have come of a certain age as I think - hell that's a good idea (not the Scholls. I repeat, not the Scholls. Even when they were trendy a while ago, I looked like a German Coach Tourist in them. The cool bit definitely evaded me)
No, the grab a dress and go bit. They tend to go with a host of shoes, there's nothing else to go with them that you need to spend huge brain time on (which in the morning is in scant supply chez moi) and they can offer huge versatility to be dressed up or down.
Now that I've discovered the world doesn't fall of its axis if I bare my legs to the public, I am rather obsessed with dresses. If I could wear my long & Other Stories shirt dresses every single day, I honestly would. I've been rationing my wear of them but I've still been wearing my other shorter dresses in my wardrobe.
I have been practising my old "don't keep it for special" adage and it's working a treat.
So I thought I'd put one of my favourite dresses on today where I have accomplished the sum total of fanny adams. My children though, have had a ball with three children over for a playdate, two of whom are staying for a sleepover. The restaurant has now SHUT at our house (why do I always neglect to remember I need to feed other people's children when they come. Lunch and dinner and midnight snacks. You think after all these years, it would twig that it doesn't take 5 mins to prepare all this. And they're not happy with a bag of crisps and a drink of squash. DARN these healthy children. Mine included. Proper spoilt they are.) And I am still to load the dishwasher (for the nth time today)
In between running the cafe and having a meeting with the 8yr old's Special Needs worker who came to see us for a visit (love her), I have spent the rest of the day trying to order a football kit and football astro trainer thingies for the 6yr old's birthday. Which is next week. The day we get back from holiday. Which I sought of neglected to remember (my brain is an official sieve).
Who knew how mentally exhausting it is trying to buy football kit that fits with matching shorts. Because why would you bother selling them as a set at age 7. Under age 7 - oh yes, they sell shirt, shorts and socks. But apparently at age 7, it's the name of the game to sell everything separately. Whilst charging double the amount.
And god forbid you should want a name on the back. Oh and his name on the boots ("Mum I want the Nike F50 Solars in green"....WHAT? He's SIX!) Clearly I'm a cretin and should have thought about this a couple of weeks ago. It's all new to me as the Aspie, bless him, hasn't worried about any sort of detail with regards to kit and has happily played for the past three years in various country kits that we get from Dunnes at 8euro for shirt and shorts (seriously - the best value ever.)
At the same time I have been trying to find dresses. And I've failed pretty miserably. I have a meagre selection and I've been scraping the barrel with that.
The idea was to do (yet another) midi dress blog as if you trawl the likes of My Theresa, Net a Porter and Matches (who are full of new season gems whilst the High Street is still trying to tempt us with their poxy Summer tat. WE ARE OVER IT HIGH STREET) they are chocked to the rafters with gorgeous midi numbers. Which generally cost north of £500.
They're not that gorgeous.
But I do think it's a sign that there will be rails and rails of these everywhere come September but we have a paltry selection right now from which to choose from. So I have learnt during a pretty depressing search today.
I have done the best I can - this is especially for two of my lovely friends who both covet the &Other Stories shirt dresses but didn't manage to nab them. And have asked me to hunt out some alternatives.
Starting with this from Whistles which I love. And it looks as gorgeous in the flesh as well. Both of my friends were looking for dresses they could wear to work but also have for more casual occasions too and this would fit the bill perfectly. It's polyester so I'd fling in the machine.
Whistles Marisa Loop Print Drape Dress £170
A sales number from Whistles which would be great for the last couple of weeks of Summer (sorry if I'm being pessimistic - of course it's going to be weeks and weeks and weeks...) but it would also be fantastic with a little black blazer over for when you need a cover up.
Whistles Hayley Stripe Midi Dress was £160 now £112
Another sleeveless version at Finery. Perfect for cooler days with a blazer for a smarter look or a biker jacket and sneakers or ankle boots for dress down days. For holiday, throw on gladiator sandals (and undo a couple of buttons)
Abbot Linear Scrawl Placket DRess £49
Plain now at ASOS White Denim Tencel Zip Detail Dress £55 Oh how I love this. I know it's like a denim sack but I love the ease of being able to throw this on with either ankle boots and a little blazer for every day casual chic. I also think it would look great with heels. I adore a midi dress with heels. (dare I mention a biker jacket again...??)
More plain at Me+Em in the sale. This, I think lends itself to a pair of really interesting shoes. I love the idea of this with a biker jacket (which I don't actually own. It's on the list of "keep trying things that never quite pan out..." Maybe this season.... As you can see I've suddenly worked out it's the must have jacket for all these dresses that shall be adoring my wardrobe). Perfect work dress too but I also like the idea of dressing it down with sneakers for off duty.
Midi Pleat Dress in navy was £165 now £82.50 and it goes perfectly in the washing machine. Also available online in red and cobalt.
Plain again at Whistles - a summery colour that would actually take you through into Autumn too easily. Super flattering for an hourglass figure this one. Could easily be worn for a smart occasion but it still goes in the washing machine so fling on with a denim jacket (or a biker jacket... I'll stop now) and gladiators for the school run. Personally though, my favourite accessory for this would be leopard print. Love it with burnt orange.
Whistles Marisa Draped Dress £150
However we can also start to think about opaques - I know, I know, wishing my seasons away but I'm only going to mention them if they can also be worn now with bare legs, come October with nude tights and with opaques come the depths of Winter when freshly plucked chicken skin takes over and a tan is a distant memory (those months when even fake tan fails to touch the edges and just doesn't work. Does anyone else find this?)
Plus I ran out of midi dresses and frankly was losing the will to live. These were a ray of sunshine in a quagmire of dire dresses.
Silk Print Border Dress from Warehouse £90 Lord, the more I look at this, the more I absolutely adore it. And if you see what I'm wearing today (which was double the price of this for polyester....) you'll see why it's so up my street. The colours in this are stunning stunning stunning. My one gripe (oh guess where I'm going with this one) is that it will be hooker length on me. And whilst I said on my last blog that age is just a number, there is just too short. It's more gravity than age related. And wine. Apparently wine gives you cellulite. Life is just not fair.
Another print dress at Warehouse - again perfect with bare legs now, nude tights come the cooler months but would look amazing with opaques and boots in the A/W.
Nouveau Print Shirt Dress £42 The Law of Sod says that this one is a) cheaper and b) longer but of course I much prefer the one above. I am genuinely drawn to it like a moth to a flame. A moth who has no standards about flashing her pants and lumpy thighs to the world, clearly.
Longer again at ASOS and I have a similar one like this from M&S which I haven't yet worn. It was bargain cheap so I bought it and had it altered as I thought I could change it from Granny frumpy to Granny Chic. Alas, that didn't quite pan out and I look like I'm going to court in it. So it's not really similar to this at all in fact - I wish it was a tenth as cool as this.
ASOS Textile Federation Shirt Dress with Zip Detail £45
Also found a bargain Whistles dress at ASOS - I don't think I've even ever seen this one before. Great with white sandals now but would look just as good with tan, navy and black come the Autumn. Or mix it up with orange or pink shoes?
Whistles Shirt Mosaic Dress was £110 now £60.50
I've made no secret about how highly I rate Me+Em but really their products are so so good. I may have just put in a sneaky order pre hols actually which was "necessary" as part of my classic capsule wardrobe selection (obviously). They're not cheap but they will last. And they wash incredibly well and they hang incredibly well. And if we're taking into consideration gravity again, this is no bad thing, the older we get. The better the cut, the more flattering the garment.
Cocoon Dress - Me+Em £165. Yes that does seem a lot but this dress will take you from the school run in sneakers or ankle boots, out to lunch with over the knee boots or heels. In the evening for dinner - you could even wear this to a wedding.
Finishing with a totally random item as I've just ordered this. So here goes. I had tried to order another certain bag from another certain retailer who at the weekend I had received an email with a 15% offer from if I filled in a survey. After spending an HOUR earlier trying to get the Apple TV to work in another room so that the boys could watch Elf in one room (don't ask - it's been a completely surreal sort of day and this just didn't seem weird at all) and the girls could watch some other probably highly inappropriate film (by 7pm having accomplished NOTHING all day, I was past caring) in another room.
Technology and I aren't friends and the result of an hour of me screaming at the WIFI was Appletv/Bt WIFI 1 - Me 0.
That was the straw that broke the camel's back and a new bag was to be MINE. So I completed the survey only to be informed that my discount code would be sent to me in a couple of days. ie just in time for me to miss having it delivered before holidays.
Dear Shopping Gods. What have I done to deserve this? (and yes, I appreciate letting a 10yr old and an 11yr old watch Meet the Fockers probably constitutes a massive parenting fail.)
So this is winging my way instead. Which I think is a pretty good bag to have. (ignoring the fact I wanted black....)
Leather Fringed Across Body bag from M&S £49.50 but with 20% off with the code JUL15EM
Finishing on a positive note and two pics from Saturday night and today.
My party outfit! What you can't see from this dress is that neck is a rope halterneck and it's backless (well, the rope bit goes down the middle of the back as well - super explanation there.....) Oh and this was a maxi dress till at 5pm, my sister in law and I decided we would butcher it and make it into a midi. Like I said, not that I'm obsessed with them, or anything.....