I’m always a bit skeptical of multi-use products.”Jack of all trades, master of none”, usually springs to mind. So when the Dressing Room sent me the Signature Butter by Nadia wrap dress to style as part of their Great British Dress Off campaign (more about this on their blog), I was curious to see whether it would live up to the promise.
I’ve had a fondle of these dresses before, so I expected the jersey would be soft, weighty and fluid, and indeed I was not disappointed. It’s an interesting dress in that it’s really just a skirt with two very long ties attached to the waistband, and it is this design that gives it the versatility to be worn so many different ways. The most enjoyable part of this trial was playing around with the dress, seeing how many ways I could style it. And, wow, there were a lot of ways. I’m showing you three here, and I’ve gone for quite formal styling as we head into wedding/christening/graduation season.
Firstly, I’ve gone for a simple halterneck style, twisting the straps together down the back and knotting at my waist, leaving the long ties hanging to one side. I’m usually a bit shy of halternecks as I have quite broad shoulders and can sometimes look like a prop forward, but I think the broad straps counter this quite nicely.
I’ve gone for a Grecian look for my second style, taking both straps across one shoulder, crossing them at the back and then again at the waist before knotting to the rear. I really like this asymmetric style; really elegant, perfect for an evening engagement.
For my final look, I’ve gone for a crossover halter style, crossing the straps at my chest, then again behind my neck, wrapping the straps around my waist and tying to the rear. Another incredibly simple yet chic style.
Dress – Butter by Nadia
Bag – Anya Hindmarch Valorie
Shoes – Russell & Bromley
Cuffs- George at Asda (c/o)
And I’ve barely scratched the surface here. This image gives a better idea of the myriad ways this dress can be worn:
Hopefully I’ve proved that this dress works really well for the curvy contingent, but I also think it could work just as well on a sleeker silhouette. It would look amazing worn as a strapless ballerina style, and those of you who don’t need a supension-bridge-like structure keeping everything hoisted could try one of the more daring backless styles.
If you want to know more, the team at The Dressing Room have put together this excellent video showing how to tie the dresses to achieve various styles.
This dress could also be the answer to a lot of occasionwear woes. How many times have I dropped a bomb on a dress for a wedding and then angsted about wearing it again? This dress isn’t the cheapest, but it’s around the price point I’d buy at for a big event and you get a lot of bang for your buck. Swap the accessories round and style it a different way – Hey Presto! New dress!
Hmmm, I think I’ve talked myself into it…
- This dress will be winging its way back to Dressing Room HQ tomorrow morning, and I have not been paid for this feature. I have done it because they are all round good eggs with a great range of products and give superb CS. Oh, and I like wearing pretty dresses.
- I haven’t taken up cage fighting, as the bruising to my leg may suggest. I actually fell over a slide at the playground. God bless the mum standing nearby who tried to temper my humiliation by telling me she does that ‘all the time’. Course you do, love.
- My lawnmower is not, to my knowledge, broken. I can’t be sure of course, as I haven’t taken it out of the garage for about 8 months.
So after swearing blind I was going to be better at blogging this week, I’ve been a bit crap really, haven’t I? Work has been mental and I really haven’t had a minute. Anyway, here a a couple of snaps of what I’ve been wearing:
Top – Whistles
Skirt – Vivienne Westwood Red Label via TK Maxx
Shoes – & Other Stories
Earrings – Kate Spade
Today, I didn’t even have time for a proper outfit shot – all you get is a quick Instagram from my desk:
But as you can probably tell I’m wearing the George skirt I bleated on about for so long. And does it live up to the promise? You betcha! Good thick fabric for smoothing out the old lumps and bumps and a great length. It is cut for a curvy figure I’d say, a teensy bit roomy on the hips but not so as you’d notice, a good fit on the waist though, so I don’t think I’d have got away with an 8. I’m wearing it with my beloved Jemima Vine python flats and pretending I’m in the jungle!
No work tomorrow though, yippee! And I’ve got an exciting blog post lined up for the weekend! And an Outnet order arriving! AND it’s Eurovision! Life isn’t so bad after all…
I love nail polish. I mean really properly love it. After biting my nails for 27 years, I made it my New Year’s resolution for 2012 to stop and I’m still revelling in the novelty of having something worth painting, so I change them several times per week. However, that sort of habit can get expensive, so I’m always on the look out for reasonably priced, decent polishes. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve spent the best part of £20 on designer polish and been disappointed by a watery, easily-chipped formula.
I was asked to review the wittily-named Christian polish by Invogue (available at OhBeauty). Unsurprisingly it’s a grey shade (see what they did there?) but it’s quite blue-toned and in some lights looks almost lilac, making it really versatile.
In terms of the polish itself, it’s quite a thick consistency and needed only two coats for good coverage. I’m impressed with the staying power – I’m the world champion at chipping my nails and this has stayed chip-free for four days on both occasions I’ve worn it. It also comes in a lovely range of shades; I like these:
See the full range here. Delivery is free within the UK and the code GET10 will bag you an extra 10% off. I’ve just ordered the neon green – which one will you go for?
After a week of patchy blogging, I’m hitting the ground running today. A slightly different sort of lust list today as I am focussing not on a single store, but on a particular trend that is really tickling my fancy at the moment. Monochrome was all over the S/S13 catwalks and this has naturally filtered down onto the high street, but I particularly love it in stripe format. Maybe it’s my inner burglar, I don’t know. Anyway, luckily for me, I’m spoilt for choice!
I love the slight volume to this skirt, and the fact that it is 98% cotton is a real selling point – it is so hard to find natural fibres at a reasonable price! I have just ordered this with code DPVC20 (valid until 19 May) giving 20% off. I will report back.
I have liked this trench for a while, and it’s now on sale, but of course it has sold out in my size. I will have to do a trawl of the London stores. I’ve not had a Banana Republic trench before but, as I understand it, the quality and cut are among the best on the high street.
While I’m on the subject of Banana Republic, here’s another stripey little bargain. I think this would definitely need to be a try on in-store enterprise as I’m not sure the cut would work on me, but I can see it being a really verstaile office cover up.
I’ve never bought from, or even really ever looked at, Kaleidoscope before, but I LOVE this dress. I think I’m going to have to order it because it ticks all my boxes; crew neckline, slimming side panels and cinching waist band. Click on the pic and check it out on the model, because I’m not sure this shot does it justice!
For a more casual take on the trend, how about this tee from Mango. I like the slight twist on the stereotypical Breton top, and I think the relaxed shape makes it really easy to wear.
I have my heart set on this cute cami by Tibi. It will have to go into the sale, because even I draw the line at spending the best part £200 on a vest, but I’m pretty sure it would be something I could bring out year after year, and as we only get about 6 days of camisole worthy weather a year in this country it would probably last me into my dotage…
A still pricey but slightly less absurd option would be this T by Alexander Wang tank. I’m a big fan of the brand and am building a bit of a collection, but the thing that puts me off here is the ‘off-white’ description. I’d have to see it in the flesh to determine just how far from white it really is.
Ok, so these aren’t quite black and white, but aren’t they fab? I’ve seen these pop up in a lot of fashion shoots, alongside some real big-hitters. I think the blush/black combo just about edges it for me, but it’s close! They’d dress up a simple shift a treat, or look great with jeans.
So, are do stripes do it for you? Or are you more into florals or colour-blocking? At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I love hearing your comments, so do let me know what you think!
I don’t know about you, but even at the age of 28, I still get the ‘back to school’ Sunday night blues. I don’t even work on a Monday, but I always feel a bit glum that the weekend is over. And as with any low mood, I find this feeling is best combatted with a bit of browsing. So, welcome to my new Sunday night spot, where I showcase an item on my fantasy shopping list.
This Charlotte Olympia toucan clutch is the perfect mix of sublime and ridiculous – I absolutely LOVE it. But at £395 it’s on the steep side! I’m holding out for the sales; I think he belongs in my wardrobe!
Since the tragedy of the building collapse in Bangladesh, I’ve naturally noticed a great deal more discussion surrounding dressing ethically. It even came up on a girls’ night out last week (in between discussing which member of One Direction we’d like to corrupt). The general feeling was that it’s very difficult to know how ethical a retailer is, and that known ethical retailers (for example, People Tree) don’t exactly cater for our demographic. Now, without doing extensive research or a trend-led, affordable ethical fashion brand popping up (which would be great, by the way), what can we do?
Well, one option is to buy second hand. eBay and dress agencies are great for this, but does anything beat the thrill of finding a gem stashed away in a charity shop. Not only good for the environment and your soul, charity shopping is kind to your purse too. Yesterday, on my way to collect my children from my parents’ house, I popped into a few. They live in an affluent area, so donations are impressive. Some great buys I spotted yesterday included Jimmy Choos for £30, a Vivienne Westwood Anglomania dress for £9.99 and J Brand jeans for £8! However, I came home with this:
Not the best shot in the world, but it’s a DKNY silk shirt dress, which I paid £14.99 for. It is in immaculate condition and fits beautifully. I’ve been looking for a shirt dress for years and never found on that’s quite right; they’ve always been too long, skirt too full, sleeves not quite right etc. But this one is exactly what I wanted, and so versatile.
All that for £14.99 and I’ve done my good deed for the day? I call that a win! Why not check out your local chazza – you never know what you might find!
Apologies for radio silence, the household was struck by a hideous sickness bug and between looking after various members of my family and being afflicted myself, blogging has fallen by the wayside!
I’m still feeling (and looking) pretty ropey, so there’ll be no outfit post today, but it’ll take more than Norovirus to stop me mentally spending money. This week, I’m all about the printed pencil skirt. Here are my two favourites:
This Whistles beauty is so bright and zingy; I’d probably go the whole hog and wear it with my neon yellow fitted shirt to really inject some colour into the office.
A more sedate (and thrifty) option would be this fabulous palm print skirt from George at Asda:
Today I’m channelling one of my style favourites, Kristen Stewart.
I know she’s not everyone’s cup of tea, style-wise or otherwise, but I love the way she can switch from uber-grungey off duty to high-octane red carpet glamour, without losing herself. You’re never going to see K-Stew picking up an Oscar in a pastel tulle confection, though I appreciate there is more to do with that than her inner-emo.
Before you all write me off as some weird, style-stalking saddo, when I put this outfit on it was not with the intention of emulating Kristen. This T by Alexander Wang muscle tank is a size bigger than I normally wear and was looking worryingly tunic like over my skinnies. Rather than consign it to the mistakes pile, I thought I’d try tying a knot in it to shorten it, a la Miss Stewart, and hey presto, I had a wearable top. Then I thought I might as well go the whole hog and wear a biker too. Sadly mine is from Oasis and not a Balenciaga freebie, but you can’t have it all.
However, you can rest assured I won’t be wearing a backwards snap-back cap any time soon. No-one is so young, beautiful or famous that they can do so without looking like a total tool. Just sayin’.
Good thing I took this shot early in the day, as the shirt no longer looks like this. A couple of hours in the garden with my progeny and it has been daubed with ice cream, smeared with chocolate and splattered with earth. I am about to get changed!
Still, it was a nice outfit while it lasted!
Shirt – Gap
Jeans – Goldsign
Shoe – Charles Philip Shanghai
Due to a massive fail to take a photo today, here’s what I wore to work yesterday:
I love the bold combination of cobalt blue and neon pink together, so I used those two colours as my focal points against a simple palette of monochrome. Nah, I didn’t really – I just grabbed a few things out of my wardrobe at random and the net result was the happy accident of a half-decent outfit! The earrings are new, and I’m still in that silly, excitable phase where I want to wear them every day, so expect to see them repeatedly for a couple of weeks.
Blazer – Zara
Dress – Me&Em
Shoes – Charles Philip Shanghai
Earrings – Kate Spade
Bag – Raoul