Self Portrait. It's not that I meant Sarah Jessica Parker but couldn't be arsed to include the J.
Their dresses are pure perfection. Now yes they are a treat dress. You're not going to be swanning around on the school run in one of these (well... I'm not anyway but each to their own and all that).
But when an occasion calls for a dress - Self Portrait has come up trumps in the last couple of years. They're not cheap, that is very true. However when it comes to designer dresses, they really are not what one would expect to pay for top end dresses. They are a fraction of the cost, for example, to their counterparts on the 3rd floor at Selfridges.
And the quality is exceptional. Dare I say though, for me, the best bit is that they go in the washing machine. Yes, you heard that correctly - you can chuck them in the washer.
Why are they so useful? I find they strike the perfect balance between super dressy and "the need to be slightly dressed up". So I've worn mine to black tie occasions, I've also worn them out for lunch with the girls. Not to mention just out for dinner.
The one slight fly in the ointment is that they have become slightly ubiquitous. So what have they done? Well, they've upped the ante and have come up with a new style of lace, in new colourways. I have two and I'm not sure I can justify another one (obviously I'm going to give it a darn good go) but this is the number currently heading my wishlist.
Blue, black and peacock. See? Pure perfection.
Self Portrait Prairie Floral Midi Dress £300
Would you call this more or less versatile than the one above? Either way, it would cover so many "dress issues" that you may have in your wardrobe. Those occasions when you need a dress but you don't want to look like you're going to a wedding - you want something with a bit more (tries desperately not to think of a poncey fashion word and fails) sass? These dresses honestly fit the bill.
Self Portrait Fleur Lace Panel Dress £300
But there's a new brand I've found which alas, isn't that much cheaper but is definitely up there with being different. Unique to the point that you're not going to run into anyone else wearing one of these.
Perhaps slightly more demure than the original SP designs but that's not to say with the right pair of shoes - these couldn't be wardrobe favourites.
Navy Stripe Victoriana Midi Dress from Perseverance £285
Or a black short sleeved dress - Black Cable Lace Midi Dress from Perseverance £330
However fear not - the high street have come up trumps. And none do it better, for the money, than Warehouse. Cream at first thoughts, is a punchy colour for Autumn but in fact, I think it's a lovely change. The perfect neutral.
Lace Shirt Dress from Warehouse £99
Or in the light blue £99 I have to say, at first, I wasn't sure about this at all but then I remembered that pale blue and black is gorgeous. It's also lovely with navy. Unusual and both colours will happily see you all year round.
I like my dresses mostly with sleeves these days - primarily as I'm lazy as sin when it comes to applying fake tan and the less flesh there is in show, the better. But seeing as I wouldn't have to do my leg tannage here, this could easily work. Gorgeous, gorgeous dress.
Multi Lace Midi Dress from Warehouse £115
Midi again at Phase Eight. Now I know it's not somewhere I'd usually shop but I have to say, this dress is pretty special.
Phase Eight Anna Placement Lace Dress in Black £130
Clearly I cannot get enough of the midi love - more at John Lewis.
Somerset by Alice Temperley Lace and Spot Dress in Black £160
I know not everyone is a midi fan so fear not, there are shorter dresses around as well. And whilst I tend not to wear too many shorter dresses these days, with the cooler days around the corner - bring back the opaques. Or the good old skin colour tights. They are fabulous these days, I promise.
Long Sleeved at Boden £129 in the ivory
But also in a navy.
And speaking of navy - this is possibly my favourite from Next.
Navy Black Lace Detail Dress £75
The gems at Next don't stop there - this completely belies its price tag. The up close detailing is amazing.
Cream/Mustard Lace Dress from Next £70
And then there are the lace blouses...
Self Portrait Lace Detail Guipure Top £220
And in the cream.. again £220
Floral lace top also in ivory at Boden £89.50
And again, in super popular navy. Team with a black leather midi skirt or leather peg leg trousers or culottes.
However if you're looking for something a bit different, there's always green at Next. Adore this shade.
Green Lace Top from Next £34
Or the Ecru with a black edging to the collar. This for me, really gives it an edge.
However the bargain of the day is the one that I have from Warehouse. And now in the sale. Exceptional quality. It also comes up large.
Panelled Lace Top from Warehouse was £69 now £45
So is anyone else a Self Portrait fan? Or do you feel that it's overdone and you've moved onto something else. For me - as an early adopter, I am still very much loving mine and could easily buy the first one. Not to mention the blouses... oh the blouses... how useful?
Couple of pics from the last couple of days.
Feather tee - hush
Side stripe trousers - Me+Em
Leopard Print Coat - Fenn Wright and Manson
Red Soho Disco Bag - Gucci
Copeland trainers - Air & Grace
And for rugby on Sunday - all the exhausted.
Black vest - Zara
Khaki harems - hush
Safari jacket - hush
Black Flame slip ons - Seven Boot Lane
And then I managed to get changed yesterday as we had a late BBQ with friends after taking the children swimming.
Claudia dress - hush
Hat - Zara Men
Superstar sneakers - Golden Goose
Black Haworth bag - Village England
Smile beach bag - The Jacksons
Today all the sunshine. Whoop.
Silk dress - Sportmax Code
Black gladiator sandals - Forever 21
Black Haworth Bag - Village England
So tomorrow - seeing as it's going to be 31 degrees here, I've obviously got something fabulously Autumnal planned. Oops. But it's the one everyone's been waiting for... jumpers for skirts and culottes.