The SP effect

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.

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17 comentarios:

  1. Think I'm the only one on the planet not enamoured by SP, they're a teensy bit on the twee side for me, a bit Holly Willoughby. Nice enough on the right person of course.

    1. Totally get what you mean - for me though, as someone who doesn't wear something normally girly, I love the chance it indulge in a dress that happens to be super flattering!

  2. Love Self Portrait and I too have the panelled top from Warehouse. Must ask what you wear underneath yours? I tried a plain cream camisole but lost all that lovely detailing on the blouse. I wasnt sure if a camisole in nude was a bit,well,nude?

    1. Haha - yes, I wear a nude camisole. Ok so it's actually a vest but yes, it's nude!

  3. I dont normally even look at Phase Eight, but was searching for a dress for an event we have coming up, saw the Phase Eight Anna Placement Lace Dress, brought it, arrived last week and have to say i love it, to the point i am tempted to check them out a bit more often now. love the midi look as its not something i normally go for but so glad i gave it a chance.

    1. I KNOW RIGHT??!! I'm off to have another gander!

  4. As much as I love the Self Portrait dresses, they do seem to have become a bit ubiquitous which I admit has put me off a bit. A family friend wore the red Azalea dress to a wedding in Spain last year (it helps that she is young, slim and super-gorgeous) which then tempted me to try one. I'm afraid I can't tell you what it looked like on me, as I couldn't get it over my hips...

    1. The Azalea dress is a REALLY hard one to wear. If that's any consolation....! And oh my lord yes, they come up so small. Again, hope that helps..... xx

  5. H'm I do feel a little meh about them as so many looky likes in the shops and I think I would go off that kind of dress - like the green top - still if we all liked the same thing etc etc ...

  6. That first one from SP is gorgeous! Is there a lining or slip underneath?
    Amazing what can be found at the budget friendly end of the scale too.
    I have the Boden lace top, and can highly recommend it, easy to wash too! It comes with a camisole, which as yet I haven't worn with it, preferring to wear one in a contrast coloured.
    Danish Pastry

    1. Yes, there's a lining underneath the top dress. Great news that the Boden one comes with a camisole as there's nothing more irritating than buying a top you then need to buy more underwear before you can actually wear it! (looking at you & Other Stories....)

  7. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said 'ubiquitous' - I would struggle to spend £300 plus on a dress from SP when there are so many good (great?) copies on the High Street for a potentially passing trend. Next, who normally don't do it for me, seem to have hit their sartorial heights with these delicious dresses. Warehouse is pulling it out of the bag time and time again this season (new design team are working their magic). No SP for me but perhaps a dip into the High Street offerings.

    1. I have to say, I did a feel test of the two dresses from Warehouse and they are completely epic!

  8. I'm echoing the other comments.I still find SP pretty but definitely everywhere.I was at an early summer wedding and noted at least 4 originals and a few "iterations". Recently I sold one and turned my other one into a top. Which I will likely wear to death ...funny,non?

    1. THat's really interesting, making it into a top! I guess because I'm 43 and don't go to weddings anymore, I don't bump into too many people wearing them. I have only worn my white one once, but I've got a big Christmas party that I'm definitely going to wear it to with black ankle boots.

  9. Just discovered your Blog already I am inspired. I am currently loving the whole SP look and the pictures above are all so, so tempting!!