And purely by chance. The other day I got out a dress to wear. And I thought - I should do this much much more often.
Doesn't sound like rocket science does it? But I never do it. I always always reach for trousers, jeans or joggers. Even a skirt constitutes more effort than I am usually prepared to expend.
But a quick defuzz of the lower legs and a slap on of the old fake tan (no tricky bits like ankles to contend with as I knew I was wearing boots) and five minutes later - I donned the dress.
And I LOVED IT. We only went to the cinema and shopping but it was so lovely to wear something completely out of my comfort zone - yet still feel comfortable in it.. aha and that was the real revelation. The world didn't fall of its axis, no one stared, I was really only wearing normal clothes that lots of other people wear that feel alien to me (during the day in the Spring that is...)
I have a couple of others from last Summer that (as soon as is stops BLOODY RAINING) I will be definitely sporting on a regular basis.
I've also noticed that there are lots more around than there were even a month ago. Today we are going mid range - not top end. These are dresses that you can just slip into your wardrobe to give them a Spring lift. Ones that you can wear immediately either with a jacket or a jumper over. And will be able to wear later into the season with sandals. Swap for knee high boots and a layer as appropriate and there's no reason why lots of these won't see you into the Autumn too.
And starting with one that I found at La Redoute which you need to have your retro head on to appreciate. I'm often asked by people for things for those of a more diminutive height - well, lots of these dresses are for you as they would be the wrong length on those of us who are ridiculously tall. They'd sit at just below the knee whereas the properly cool place for them to sit (in my humble opinion) is mid calf. This is where they look expensive and "this season". Team with ankle boots or strappy sandals - I'm also planning on wearing mine with gladiator sandals - for some reason I think they work better with lacing up the ankle but that could be because - like I mentioned - I struggle to get ones that are long enough so the higher up the leg the shoe goes, the longer the dress looks (I promise you it works!)
I've also seen these teamed with sneakers and a leather jacket (so long as the dress is long enough) and well - simply too cool.
Floral Print Midi Dress by Laura Clement from La Redoute £45 - code for 25% off is Springweb For me - these aren't quite the right shoes. They need to be more errr, kick ass basically. Otherwise it can look like a "mum dress". There's nothing wrong with a mum dress - I'm a mum and I wear a dress but there's the sort of mum dress that no one aspires to wear. Know the sort I mean?
Although having said that, they look much better in this pic. I may take it all back.. (about the shoes that is).
Printed Midi Shirt Dress £45 The review (the one review) is that the split at the front is very high which again, is perfect if you're shorter. For someone of my height.. well - let's just say, fandango flashing isn't in fashion.
Another shirt dress which will definitely be the perfect midi dress on most.
Bruton Fine Art Print Shirt Dress from Finery £75 (don't forget the code Paypal20 for 20% off).
Similar again at Warehouse and these are pretty much the versions that I have (although mine is from H&M and now sold out. I managed to hunt it down at Oxford Circus a month or so ago).
Floral Bird Empire Midi £59 from Warehouse
Oriental Floral Midi Dress in the sale now at Warehouse was £59 now £44.25 I've tried this on and it's gorgeous. I would say size up if you are the larger end of a size.
My favourite of the day hands down. This with a close fitting crew neck over the top - yes I would wear this with my merino crew neck for sure - and a loose, flowing trench (I have these coming up shortly) with heels, sneakers or ballet flats would look amazing. I started this blog in the smug knowledge that I had these dresses covered. I now officially Need this one. Need. NEEEEED.
Lace dress Brigitte Bardot for La Redoute £69 pre discount
Another long sleeved blank canvas at French Connection. This could easily be worn for work - I'm thinking Mary Jane or loafer style heels... (I keep seeing these and keep thinking hmmmm - heeled Mary Janes that is). But sandals would work equally as well. The perfect plain dress for off duty days with white Stans and a biker jacket.
Wonder Jersey Maxi Dress from FCUK £80
Slightly different at Warehouse and much more Margaret Howell than High Street if you ask me. I have more linen options to bring you another day - putting the research together now...
Linen Midi Dress from Warehouse £55 Looks amazing with a sturdy sandal but would look just as good with a sneaker.
Sleeveless options now. This can easily be dressed up or down. Wear now with a snug fitting crew neck or again a how about a chunkier roll neck (yes it is still that cold). I love with ankle boots or sneakers and with sandals in the Summer. For heels - wear like this.
Colour Block Pleat Dress from Oasis £60
And a jersey version which would be great for the school run or for throwing over a swimsuit - also from Oasis £38
Leopard Stripe Dress by Boutique at Topshop £85 Layer, layer and layer now.
Bandana Print Ring Slip Dress from Topshop £38 Now I know this isn't going to be a goer now unless you're on your hols, but in the meantime, I would happily wear a jumper over this - perfect.
Similar at Oasis with the V&S Maxi Dress £95
Sleeveless again at Warehouse - you could easily team this with a baby blue jumper and chunky ankle or chelsea boots for now.
Leaf Print Midi Dress £45
Now of course the perfect solution to getting a dress the right length is to get one altered. I did this last year with an ancient Reiss maxi dress that I had cut off to a midi. And I ended up wearing it more in one season than I had in the previous five years.
Especially worth doing when the original dress doesn't cost the earth. It also means you end up getting one that's totally original (well - in length, anyway).
Lime Animal Maxi Dress from Dorothy Perkins £38 - this cut off to midi with gladiator sandals could be amazing. Alternatively if you like shorter dresses, but find them just simply too short - have this one cropped to an inch or two above the knee.
Another bargain which would be great for holiday if you don't like getting all of your legs out but would prefer your ankles on show as opposed to full length Demi Roussos.... This - midi length with wedge espadrilles would be the ideal holiday outfit.
Black lace maxi dress from Dorothy Perkins £18
Ditto with the khaki wrap max dress £18
And almost my favourite (lace La Redoute one beats it) - would also be ideal for work in a midi length - the stripe maxi shirt dress £40 also Dorothy Perkins
And here was the outfit that made me think - we should be wearing these more... I love it. Plus I get to make use of two exceptionally old pieces in my wardrobe - the jacket and shoes which makes me very happy.
Anyone else a regular dress wearer or do you have to make a special effort like me, at this time of year?
Floral midi dress - H&M
Chocolate leather jacket - All Saints
Suede bag - Coccinelle
Cognac Saxon peep toe boots - Kurt Geiger
Today - well. Not even worth talking about. Managed to leave the house for a walk this morning and got beyond wet. Then the idea was a Harry Potter Marathon. Film one done with very little arguing. Film Two was like The Simpsons do GoggleBox. Dear. God. Then I realised my Chanel sunglasses have cracked (not whilst watching the film by the way - when escaping to the kitchen on the pretence of making a coffee whilst actually going for a weep and to swear into the larder). Totally my own fault as I drop them all the time and clearly it was one time too many. The lens has fallen out (I cracked the rim of the lens bit) so they are about as useful now as a chocolate teapot.
Suffice to say, I now have wine, we are finishing film two and I am rather looking forward to them all going to bed... This holiday has not been the most successful, I'm not going to lie. You know some work seamlessly and everyone gets on. And others - they all just wind each other up? We've struck gold with the latter this time - oh lucky lucky us.
Still a lot more days to get through. But on the upside, we've got a change of scenery in half term as I've booked for us to go away to our beloved Suffolk. Everything is always easier at the beach! Hope everyone else is surviving...