Ok first up, I apologise as I am bowling up with yet again another dress blog.
But it is a) dress shopping season and b) the season to buy dresses. By that I mean it's foolish not to take advantage of the sales to find that dress.
That elusive frock that we all need in our wardrobes. You may only have one or you may have a couple. These are the dresses that save your occasion bacon. The perfect dress that can rely on so you don't have to panic buy one for that dinner out, that wedding, that party, that "I don't know what to wear but it has to be slightly dressier than jeans" occasion.
And, apart from Christmas, high Summer (I use the term in the calendar sense and not the meteorological one, of course) is that time when these dresses are most needed.
It's also the time of year that is completely chaos. Summer concerts, end of year plays, Sports Days, other Sports tournaments, Summer fair, school trips, swimming galas, end of year assemblies and times that by three children and there is not a lot of spare time to go dress shopping.
So I have taken on the mantle of responsibility and have scoured the net for the perfect Occasion dresses.
And I'm starting at the top end with some investment dresses and a great website that you may or may not thank me for pointing out. Yes, designer prices but great great reductions - better than most of the other expensive sites and some lesser known designers. You can guarantee you won't bump into someone else wearing one of these.
Pink Cotton Lace Patchwork Dress from Cedric Charlier was £755 now £302 at Avenue 32.
Now I KNOW it isn't a big issue when it's an occasion dress, however... however however however, this goes in the washing machine. Which to actually means it takes on a whole new level of versatility. Yes you may have an occasion to wear it to, but there is no reason that after that, why you wouldn't drag this out to wear with a (ubiquitous for me...) biker jacket and trainers for during the day.
Another dress that you'll find nothing remotely similar to on the high street.
Black Ditsy Floral Sleeveless from Philosphy di Lorenzo Serafini was £740 now £296
A label I couldn't even contemplate at full price but in the sale it's (vaguely..) more palatable - the Aussie sisters Zimmerman.
If you have a super special occasion to go to and this is your style, these dresses are, I promise, absolutely amazing.
Black Silk Henna T-Bar was £740 now £370
However after Self Portrait my favourite favourite dream dress designer is Preen by Thornton Bregazzi. And this is sold out in my size (which is handy as I think - that'll be know -I would have had to order it....)
Multi Flower Devore Naja Dress was £1475 now £295 (yes - 80% off!)
Now for another from this brand which I love, this time moving onto Matches, which is still scarily expensive but it *is* 50% off... so if you had something ridiculously special to go to... (interestingly the new season dresses which have just come in are *only* around the mark as opposed to this season when they were over four ouch figures. Which means if you can hang out for the next sales - and then wait for the extra 20% off days - you might be able to bag one at a vaguely more reasonable price. That does of course mean waiting till January though. Doh).
Amber Long sleeved velvet devore dress from Preen By Thornton Bragazzi was £1180 now £590
The dress I have which I had wore on the blog yesterday is in fact Preen Line which is the diffusion (ie cheaper... ) Preen brand. But this S/S, I really don't think the collection was as strong as it has been for the last couple of seasons. To be fair, it doesn't really help when it's styled with shoes like these... Really?? I actually really like the shoes to be fair, but I'm not sure that most people would be teaming with a dress like this? Correct me if I'm wrong... However with a higher, strappier pair of sandals....
Kay Daisy-Print Wrap dress from Preen Line was £492 now £295
One canny idea though which gives you a whole host more versatility is a top and skirt option from Preen Line. This is genius, looks like a dress but you get so many more outfit options with it. The top would look amazing with jeans and a blazer for a night out in the pub. Team with leather peg leg trousers for another smart outfit - not to mention a leather A-line skirt... The skirt, again a fitted white tee, biker and sneakers and you're off on the school run. I would happily wear with ankle boots and a black jumper into the Autumn as well. Now this has given me real food for thought...
Sadie Daisy Print Wrap Skirt from Preen Line was £400 now £200
Nel Daisy Print Sleeveless Top from Preen Line was £246 now £147
But I have found one at Shopbop (and I LOVE this dress but it's too similar to the one I have) which is from last A/W but is a bargain price now (well - bargain for Preen). They only have Small left which I would say is a big 10, small 12.
Preen Line Heidi Dress was £611.04 now £183.31
However my bargain (in the relative sense) of the word has to be from Preen Line with this season's dress at 70% off.
Preen Line Alice Floral Print Dress was £410 now £123
More midi love with print on speed at L'Orla. I absolutely ADORE this and want it for now and for into A/W. The perfect print for all season. And for me - the collar is perfect (I adore a high neck although I appreciate not for everyone..), not to mention the ruching round the middle which is super flattering. Can I squeeze into an 8? Or can anyone find this in a 10 anywhere... I am all ears.
Zazie Printed Crepe Midi Dress from L'Orla at Harvey Nichols was £379 now £189
Navy now at Michael Kors and again, this goes into the machine. The styling is slightly meh here to my mind but I think this could look far chicer than it does here - I'd happily wear this with strappy heeled sandals (to be fair, if you got it taken up to a midi length, I think it would transform it... it is quite hard to dress up at this length - well I find it is anyway). But if you love wearing flats - there is no reason why you couldn't make this dressier with some jewellery and some metallic sandals. Or dress down with a pair of classic leather sandals and a denim jacket.
Navy fil coupe chiffon maxi dress from Michael Michael Kors was £175 now £87
More navy at Iris and Ink. A complete blank canvas.
Leandra Cotton Dress from Irish & Ink £95
Midi and v neck at Maje. This thick stretch knitted fabric is much more flattering than it ought to be.
Maje Regret Embroidered Midi Dress was £290 now £174
Midi and v neck again at By Malene Birger. Now this is at first doesn't look all that, but I think if you put this with leopard print, it would elevate it to another level. The perfect foil for a bit of animal. It's also pretty hard to come across v neck dresses as so many these days are high neck. Which I have to say I personally prefer but if you are blessed with boobage, they're not the easiest to wear.
Mistias Dress from By Malene Birger in marzipan was £355 now £213
Shorter now as I do appreciate some people have amazing legs!
Blue Printed Georgette Dress from Michael Michael Kors was £165 now £82 (and yes, it does go into the machine. This would be the ideal dress to fold up for your suitcase for holiday).
And I kept coming across really lovely dresses from Michael Kors which I have to say I'm not usually a fan of but this one is gorgeous. A fit and flare lace dress in navy that perfectly straddles the fence of dressy without being frumpy.
Flared lace dress in midnight from Michael Michael Kors was £205 now £85.07
I've also come across some short ones which usually wouldn't be a great Summer dress - well. Would have been v grateful for this last night. And also perfect for into the Autumn.
Black Smocked Bib Aurora Dress from L'Orla was £365 now £146
And this from Victoria Beckham which I love. Absolutely adore except that I fear I would be snatch flashing in this. Although would look as amazing in the Autumn/Winter with opaques...
Orange Floral Jacquard Knit Dress from Victoria Beckham was £625 now £312
Super versatile again from Topshop Unique at Net a Porter. This one has my name all over it..
Livonia Dress from Topshop Unique was £225 now £158
And as if by magic here I am in one of said dresses from last night. Out for dinner with the extended family for my mother in law's 70th. Special special night. Where you need a dress like this.
Black dress - Self Portrait
Onyx leather jacket - hush homewear
Black glove shoes - Balenciaga
Leopard print clutch - Tory Burch
Today - for a Father's Day breakfast and then out with the remainder of the family for a long dog walk. Without the Father as his present was a day off with the boys for a curry and a long afternoon spent in the pub.
White tee - Eileen Fisher
Khaki jacket - hush
Camo joggers - Topshop
Red Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Half Moon bag in black - APC
We're now ordering a take away and we have the Scorch Trials to watch. But I'll be back tomorrow with an idea to keep your feet dry.
I am also super aware that these dresses are very much investment occasion dresses but I know that there are also some great options which you needn't sell a kidney for, so I shall be bringing you some of those in the next couple of days.
Hope everyone has had a fabulous Father's Day.