Let's call it an investment

So part two of my splurge v save dress fiasco.  Yesterday we did more reasonable dresses - the one pre requisite was that they have sleeves of some variety.   Tomorrow I'll be going to pick up my M&S dresses to see if we can recreate the magic of the black and blue DVF-a-like shirt dress for a smidge of the cost of its designer counterparts. 

Today though, I'm having a look to see if there are any more expensive ones that it's worth investing in.  I say "investing" as buying a more expensive dress can be a classic addition to your wardrobe.  They can be better quality and they can be more generous in their cut which is more flattering for most people but yes, especially for those of us who are taller.  

But is that the exclusive domain of the more expensive dress? 

One thing I do know is that I am much more likely to keep a dress that cost more than a cheaper one.  Is that the only difference?  Well, I have had some (but have tried on more) awful dresses that have made me wary of purchasing more but I have my stalwart little M&S number that has given me new hope. 

Without further ado let's see what the designer end offers.  Starting with a super sensible place - the Sale at Matches.  Now this is a fairy depleted offering at the moment but it shouldn't be too long before there is more sale joy flooding out tinternet.

In the meantime though, absolutely love this orange number.  This, with leopard print.  Love.

Dita Silk Shift Dress from Saloni was £360 now £195

The obvious at Matches though would be to look at DVF.  Of which there is diddly squat left in the sale so we've thrown ourselves in at full price.  But there is free delivery until close of play today with the code FREEDEL (and they do free returns as well so the ideal time to try....) 

Prita Shirtdress from DVF £308

Now this does have shorter sleeves but I'm sure most of you don't have arms that look like they belong to a corpse.  There are only a lucky few of us who have been gifted these.  I love this dress but I've a hunch it's really only good for those less Gulliver in their proportions. 

Scarlet Dress by DVF £338

However my two favourite DVF dresses are these Freya ones - without a shadow of a doubt.  Both will work easily as well in the A/W as well as now.  I daren't have one glass of wine otherwise I will press send... I am totally ignoring the fact that like a complete cretin, I had a £100 off a £300 spend that I didn't use.  The sensible part of me is saying it wasn't meant to be yet but the part that craves pretty dresses is saying LOSER.

So the issue is, which one should I have gone (or will I go) for?  (clearly the right answer is "both"..!) 

Freya Dress from DVF £338  Only problem is I don't know which size would work for me.  I find all of DVF's dresses are sized slightly differently.  The Reina comes up very small - size up unless you want the bursting sausage look.   Whereas I do think the shirt dresses come up larger.  The drawstring waist one though?  Maybe I should order and see whilst it's on free delivery..... (well it would be rude not to, wouldn't it?)

And in the poppy print £338  Have to say if I just had to pick one, it would be this.  I need this dress.

And another different style, again not for those of super long limb I would say.  

DVF Kaden Floral Print Silk Dress £360  Absolutely love this print and these colours.  With cream, nude, orange or pink shoes, this would look amazing for so many different occasions. 

Staying designer but moving over to Selfridges (I may or may not have spent hours and hours looking for dresses - like I said yesterday, it really is a needle in a haystack.  So difficult to narrow down the options as so many different ones could work and so you don't miss out on any, you have to trawl through all of them.  Ho hum.  Thank goodness it's a Bank Holiday and I have a small puppy who is doing a lot of sleeping next to me after being worn out by the children) 

Very similar print style to the DVF ones but slightly cheaper.  Love the shades of this. 

Paul Smith Black Floral print silk dress £265

Michael Michael Kors £160 in black (this one is machine washable)   Also available online in a grenadine (orangey pinky shade to you and me) and a navy.

Another great one from Michael Kors - I would say Marant in style but in a really unusual colour that you'd have for seasons and seasons.  This definitely is for those of us who aren't super tall.  I fear I may have vests longer than this.

Michael Michael Kors Sunari Smocked peasant dress £180 

Going back to navy and I love this one.  Slightly military in its look, this would be just as fantastic with knee high boots in the A/W as it would with either ankle boots, sneakers or strappy sandals now.  Or let's go with mid heel tan sandals for the school run.  I love love love this. (and no I don't have mid heeled pigging anything to wear yet)

Michael Michael Kors Silk long sleeved dress £265

APC Ethnic embroidered crepe dress from Matches £290 Now in my head this will look fabulously Parisian boho - the reality is I fear that I will look like I've been on holiday to Peru and lost my luggage.... However the model here manages to pull it off - but it's a pricey risk to take. 

And there in lies the issue with expensive dresses.  They can be a risk.  It's not so bad taking a punt on a £50 dress that you'll wear once and consign to the back of the wardrobe until it worms its way out into the charity bag.  But an expensive one can keep you up at night, kicking yourself as you salivate over the next season's boots you could have bought. 

The other side of the picture though is a fashion love affair that can bring great joy.  Yes clearly I am slightly sleep deprived and being slightly melodramatic about this but take me on a normal day when I haven't been up at 5am for days on end and I would still sing the praises of a good dress. 

I do pontificate often on the cost per wear element aspect of an item, but (and of course there are always always exceptions to the rules) occasionally it is worth buying an item of clothing that no, you can't wear out to dinner, to a wedding and on the school run, but one that is perfect for all those occasions when a dressy dress is needed.  So yes you could wear it out to dinner, you could even wear it to a lunch and to a party party (I reckon that would come under the heading of out out out...)

Those who know me well will of course be aware that I don't do much without an ulterior motive and I *may* be trying to justify the purchase of this. 

Self Portrait Aurelia £260

Self Portrait Aurelia Dress in navy £240  A shorter version in the navy but for me, the black in the midi style above has my name written all over it.  

But finishing with one I am umming and ahhing about.... should I, should I?  It's back in my size. 

I do think though that the black Aurelia dress is probably more versatile.  Can you believe that these are actually handwashable?  My issue with the last blue dress (apart from The Husband calling it the Alice in Wonderland dress) is that it's so distinctive.  Which means that you're not going to get too many wears out of it.  I think the black one, with different accessories, you'd be more likely to ring the changes and get more wear out of it.  I have one of my best friend's birthday lunches next Saturday - Chef's Table at Roka for the girls which means it's going to be DressTastic.  I then have the round robin of First Holy Communions (clearly I could only wear it to one and yes, I do have other dresses to wear - oi sensible head, get back in your box) and our End of Year Summer Party. 

It's also though, the sort of dress I think you could get away with just wearing to a dinner party.   You could, could't you?

So what would you do?  And what do you do?  Do you think it's better to go more expensive or are do you think you can get as good quality on the High Street.  At the cheaper end of the High Street at that.  

To be honest, I think I've come to the conclusion that it totally depends.  I have looked at my wardrobe and honestly, I think either can be as good, it's totally the luck of what you find.  Which, I appreciate is about as much use as a chocolate teapot but that's the conclusion I've come to. 

Some cheap fabrics can be see through and crease like crazy, but the same can be said for more expensive dresses too.  Just because a dress is expensive it doesn't always mean they will use a great quality fabric.  

And once we've found a dress that doesn't crease or fall apart, we then have the teensy tiny matter of whether it fits.  And whether it's versatile.... Suddenly I remember why I never used to buy dresses and lived in trousers.  

The search goes on..... which is handy as we are pretty much housebound for the next couple of days as the puppy gets used to her surroundings, has visitors and does the odd little outing.  As soon as we can put her down, we'll be able to be more mobile but at the moment we have to carry her everywhere.  Need to do research into what shops you can take a puppy into.... (there is only so much football I can take.  Although we've branched out into frisby now as well.....)

This is me yesterday, escaping for an hour or so with the 10yr old and the puppy into town to visit the Pet Shop (rather gutted it's a) too warm to buy puppy clothes and b) she's too small for them anyway) and have a coffee while people coo over her.  I honestly think people are more excited and clucky over a puppy than they are a newborn baby!


Logo sweatshirt - JCrew
Saxby boyfriend jeans - ASOS
White leather sliders - River Island
Harker cross body bag - Anya Hindmarch
Hat - Zara

During my research I did manage to find one place that I was gobsmacked to find some great dresses.  I've looked at them before but they really do seem to be doing from strength to strength with each season and are becoming virtually unrecognisable.  Anyone guess where I'm talking about?

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20 comentarios:

  1. Love that black dress! Amazing! I have one DVF dress - a leopard wrap and it's repaid itself over the many years In have dragged it out for a variety of occasions (I have just worked out that I have had it 18 years). The beauty of the wrap dresses is that you can wear them whatever your size is and mine has fluctuated so at my bidets it had a little vest under it and now I can wear it on its own - wonderful!

    1. now you see that's the one dress I can't wear. Actually that's not true, it's not the only dress but it's one sort that look horrific on me. But yes, if they suit you then they can be so so versatile. I"m much better suited to the shirt styles. You are NOT helping my not buying.... *resists pouring wine*..!

  2. I'm with you on the Poppy print DVF dress - amazing!! Although the models killer shoes might have something to do with it. Lorraine x

    1. It's amazing, isn't it? And yes, those shoes are pretty special too. x

  3. Not at all about this post, but can I just say huge thanks for mentioning Forever 21!! On your suggestion I ventured into the Oxford Street branch and was majorly impressed. I have been searching for khaki trousers for months now, and found 3 perfect pairs (plus a skirt, and a top and a blouse and other things I have earmarked for later). Reaaly. Thank you. Never would gave occurred to me to consider them!

    1. Oh you are so welcome, it's fabulous, isn't it?! xx

  4. A DVF wrap dress is on my lust-list but I fear it may never happen as I keep buying shoes & bags instead! I love the Michael Kors black dress, just not the gold trim x

    1. Yes, all of these little things that get in the way instead. Oh I quite like the gold trim - I was thinking of my bag with a gold chain that would look amazing with it....xx

  5. Oh you SO need to get a DVF dress - the quality is amazing and I believe they are truly timeless. But I have to say I am very very much loving the Self P dresses, the quality for the money is unbelievable. They feel like they should cost about three times as much, I absolutely promise you. Obviously I'd love both... ha ha ha. And hell of COURSE I'm having wine!

  6. Oooh those self portrait dresses are crazy gorgeous - get the black midi one! I'm gutted as I got a copy of this style of dress from a Chinese website called sheinside - quality was amazing but the zip won't go all the way up. A small from that website is like a UK size 4!!! Gutted but at £24 I can just keep it in my wardrobe to sigh over! Get the Self Portrait!!

    1. YOU ARE NOT HELPING!!!!! (but £24 for a dress sounds amazing!)

  7. GET the Self Portrait dresses, they are soo amazing. The feel and weight of them, everything, really gorgeous and cool. Will look fab on you. Audrey x

    1. OMG stop with the enabling....! (I also have found a Selfridges voucher for a bit which I could use.... hmmmmmmm)

  8. I did exactly the same - ordered a medium denim dress from Sheinside - it was TINY !

    1. But at least you know.... One of the reasons I hate ordering online when it's not an easy return!

  9. Ah now you see we always drink red - never white. And yes, it does seem healthier (god how crap is that?!) Yes a great great every day dress. I actually have a skirt on today... WHHOOOP!

  10. My BFF has a DVF dress and it is, indeed, timeless. 4 or 5 different friends have worn it to countless events and it always looks flawless. Love it!

    1. Wow! Not sure I'd be brave enough to share my DVF..! Lovely lovely friend x

  11. Kaden dress is gorgeous Kat but I'm 5'9' and I felt it was too short so I returned it. Such a shame!!

    1. I think it does look ridiculously short for someone taller, especially to wear with heels!