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I need a cocktail frock. I wouldn't know a cocktail frock if it bit me on my (ample) bum.Help!

(23 Posts)
ravenAK Sat 08-Oct-11 20:21:19

It's for some award dinner thingy (dh is up for a gong).

I'm built on generally Amazonian lines - 6', size 18-20.

Ideally, I'd like something that I could dress down afterwards - this is the first time in 40 years that such an outfit has been required of me, & I'm unlikely to be going on any cruises in the near future grin.

Oh & I mostly wear black - purple or red at a pinch.

Any suggestions? I really don't know where I should be looking!

scaevola Sat 08-Oct-11 20:28:33

Try John Lewis?

Last time I was in there they had some 1950s style dresses (wide neckline, nipped in waist, sticky out skirt) in a slightly sheeny fabric; choice of black or dark purple. I'll go and google to see if they still have similar.

The snag with cocktail dresses in the day is that the material is usually a bit too opulent for daytime (unless you go the chintzy route, how old are you?)

scaevola Sat 08-Oct-11 20:38:08

From John Lewis: this is quite a versatile, yet forgiving LBD and this is a similar shape to the one I was thinking if, but a different fabric.

ravenAK Sat 08-Oct-11 21:12:08

Tanks scaevola, they're both nice but I like long skirts tbh - are you allowed long on a cocktail frock? Good shoulders & boobs, hockey player legs & too tall for heels!

Opulent fabrics aren't necessarily a problem - I'm a gothy type so I'd get a fair bit of use out of anything velvet/devore/silky. I'm 40.

Currently trying to convince dh to let me borrow his spare DJ & go as his civil partner wink. I hate girly clothes shopping....

scaevola Sat 08-Oct-11 21:43:39

Cocktail to me does mean short!

I prefer ballerina length for just about any evening do, but they're just not in the shops! JL do have a longer version of the first dress I linked, but as you are tall,it's difficult to know if it would be, it is meant to be, full length,or if it would hover somewhere awkwardly ankley. But a maxi might yet work. I'll have a think

scaevola Sat 08-Oct-11 21:48:01

Try the dresses on here The Fairy Gothmother. They do have some mid length ones in backer bood red that might fit the bill (calf length, forestry type top). The navy 50s style dress (@£55) or the red Retro dress (@£95) might be right.

ravenAK Sat 08-Oct-11 23:07:10

I like the styles at TFGM, although they're usually a bit overpriced for Camden goth clobber - their corsets are good but the rest tends to not be fantastic quality.

Sorry, I'm a complete PITA! You're being really helpful - I just don't really like dresses - actually, I don't think I've worn one since I was at school!

Could I get away with a glitzy top & a long satin or velvet skirt? Or does it have to be a dress?

I feel such a miserable cow - dh is all excited because he's up for an award, & wants me to enjoy a posh night out, but I'm just going to feel horribly silly in anything 'frocky'. I can do jeans, t-shirt & New Rocks, I can do totally OTT top/corset/long skirt/big boots & dramatic goth make-up, but sophisticated, understated glamour is utterly beyond me...

ripitupandstartagain Sat 08-Oct-11 23:26:49

Come on ravenAK, you can do it - surprise yourself! Pretend it's fancy dress!

ravenAK Sat 08-Oct-11 23:34:25

Find me a nice long black dress & I will! I can definitely do killer jewellery & make up.

It's the whole shortish frock thing. It's just not for a strapping wench like me. & if I wear heels I will feel even more of a prune AND I will fall on my arse before the night is out.

keepingupwiththejoneses Sat 08-Oct-11 23:38:57

What about this in the black long. Would look fab with some killer jewellery.

ravenAK Sun 09-Oct-11 01:29:03

oooh yes, that's more something I could see myself actually wearing. Is the length OK for cocktail frock/black tie though?

LadyClariceCannockMonty Sun 09-Oct-11 12:16:25

A cocktail dress by definition is knee-length or just above. But for a formal dinner I think you could go long, if you'd rather. You could check with the organisers or someone else who's going? I'm quite taken by this.

HermanMumster Sun 09-Oct-11 14:10:23

Some black maxis here.

ravenAK Sun 09-Oct-11 16:44:13

The Ted Baker is lovely, but too pricey for a one-off wear! I suspect it'd work better if I were a tad more willowy, too!

The planet ones are definite possibles.

Is this too frumpy?

I like the colour, I could glam it up with jewellery & then I could wear it with woolly tights & big boots once it's served its purpose...? Also it's cheap as chips (but might look it I suppose).

LadyClariceCannockMonty Sun 09-Oct-11 16:56:45


I'm not sure velour is that easy to dress down, tbh. And yes, it might be a little frumpy. Are you sure you wouldn't wear the TB one again, even to similar events? And I've got it and it's very roomy – would suit most shapes fine, I think.

KatyMac Sun 09-Oct-11 17:13:31

I'd wear this with a skirt
might be too casual
like this
I like this
& this

Collision Sun 09-Oct-11 17:22:16

LTS - red

Alouiseg Sun 09-Oct-11 17:22:19

Aztec Dress

noddyholder Sun 09-Oct-11 17:36:24

love this

raskolnikov Sun 09-Oct-11 18:06:06

Hi Ravenak
I'm only an inch shorter than you and a size smaller - I find Wallis, Planet and Phase Eight have lovely dresses (although I love wearing the girly stuff anyway), I do think dresses look better with a heel - if you're worried about falling off them, try wedges - they're often very comfortable and can look gorgeous with short or long dresses, try LK Bennett or New Look, depending on which end of the price range you're looking at.

TethHearseEnd Sun 09-Oct-11 18:08:42


TethHearseEnd Sun 09-Oct-11 18:12:25


keepingupwiththejoneses Sun 09-Oct-11 18:53:40

If it is black tie I think you could get away with a long dress, I recently went to a blck tie dinner and a few ladies wore long dresses.

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