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Honest opinions/advice, please, on dress for summer weddings

(21 Posts)
polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 13:06:50

I'm a Size 22, tall, (5'9'') with an hourglass figure and good legs. My hair is dark blonde with subtle highlights, if it's relevant.

Have two weddings to go to this summer and thoughts are turning to outfits. Last year, I bought this dress for a black tie do:

It's actually in black and white, not navy blue as the website says.

It was a bit of a 'distress' purchase and, though it fits well and neckline is quite flattering, I didn't feel particularly 'special' in it. Though it might be on frumpy side - though I did get some great accessories for it.

Anyway, wouldn't have thought of it for this summer, but of course now the black and white mono look is very 'in'. Which makes it - possibly -more in fashion than last year. So am wondering if I should wear it and get some new accessories - eg, perhaps bag and shoes in a 'bright,' such as red or lipstick pink.

Views, please on:

i Whether it might work or is, in fact, frumpy/ mother of the bride-ish, or worse, as I originally suspected.

ii If anyone thinks it's OK, ideas for styling it. (I don't do pashminas or fascinators!)

iii if you hate it, any other ideas. But please nothing sleeveless or miles above knee, and NO cheapo plus size specialist retailers like Simply Be et al. I've already looked online through Igigi and Curvety and Anna Scholz and Monsoon and Boden (usually a good standby for me) and found nothing so far. I'm fussy!

S and B mavens, all thoughts, ideas - except just 'lose weight' - welcome!

Ashoething Wed 10-Apr-13 13:12:52

Im sorry but I cant imagine that dress would do anything for your figure. You are lovely and tallenvy and a classic hourglass-have you considered a vintage style? Lady Vintage London have just started doing a range of plus size dresses and they are very reasonable-around £40/50. They are sleeveless but would look amazing with a shrug-check out the blog by FullerfigureFullerbust to see what I mean.

Some one on here recommended the company to me and I have been singing their praises ever since-I have bought 4 dresses in 2 weeks they are that good!

QueefLatina Wed 10-Apr-13 13:13:54

The dress is great, I would carry on the monochrome look and get white pointed stiletto heels to go with it.

if you want some colour get a brightly coloured clutch but I would use a black clutch and get some bright lipstick instead.

As for a cover up, a white tux style blazer would look great.

No way you could look frumpy in that!

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 13:14:51

Wow - will take a look -and at the blog, too. I think you are right that I'd be happier and look better with something more fitted and flared.

QueefLatina Wed 10-Apr-13 13:16:09

I have to say though, why on earth would you call your women's fashion shop 'Beige' hmm

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 13:20:23

Sorry, cross-post with QueefLatina. Thanks for your ideas too. I could actually get the waist of that dress taken in to provide a bit more definition.

Your white shoes idea is really interesting - they're everywhere this season - including L K Bennett who are one of my favourites. Have to say I have a bit of a hang-up about them, because of having worn them the last time they were in and them then becoming naff - but maybe now is the time to get over it! I have a very nice black clutch already.

Love idea of a tux, though not sure where I'd find one in my size.

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 13:22:16

Agree about name of Beige - also, sadly, the staff in their West End shop aren't nice either, despite the prices.

Only go because they have some upmarket Italian plus size labels and it's cheaper than going to Italy- though not as nice.

SirToffeeDoris Wed 10-Apr-13 16:06:34

Good for an hourglass? via navabi, £207

Cheaper version from planet £69

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 16:13:28

Thanks, but red really doesn't suit my colouring alas - though OK in accessories.

slug Wed 10-Apr-13 16:50:03


Goes up to a 22

Would work on an hourglass and goes up to a 22

Some ideas here

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 10-Apr-13 16:54:01


THe dress to which Sirtoffee posted a link is gorgeous, are you are you can't do red.... the one you posted would be OK if you were about 65

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 17:12:49

slug -I do love those Lady V dresses but, apart from preferring something with sleeves, they are very long and that seems a bit of a shame when my legs are one of my best points. Not sure if they would shorten well.

The Monsoon dress is nice and the De la Drapiere ones certainly worth exploring. Thanks for those in particular - will look through them tonight when I have more time.

another, I'm pretty much 100% sure I can't do red - my complexion just looks wrong with it. But could look for a similar shape in bright blue or in green.

Your comment on the original dress reflects my own feeling that it's too 'staid'.

HazzaB Wed 10-Apr-13 17:43:34

I'm a similar size/shape to you. Size 22, decent legs, hourglass. I've found that the style of dress you have looks OK but does make me look more frumpy than I need to. It ends up looking like I've just found something that fits and hides all sins, rather than something that fits and brings out my best features.
I found De La Draperie at the end of last year and so far have had my wedding dress made by her, bought a jacket and a gorgeous summer dress for weddings. She's really fab - and helped me see that something which nips me in at the waist and ends at the thinnest part of arms/legs, and skims hips looks great and takes pounds off. They're not cheap but the summer dress I just bought (which she altered to a few of my specifications and in a fabric I chose) was £175. I found the straighter style of her dresses worked best, with a waist that I could nip in - she does these styles with a kind of multi-level drawstring thing at the waist which lets you pull it in exactly how much you want. I know that sounds terrible but it isn't!
Good luck. I know what it's like.

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 18:24:53

hazza, thanks for that recommendation. And Slug too of course.

Have now had a look at the de la Drapiere website and seen quite a few things that I like - or would like very much with slight variations.

Best of all, she's based just round the corner from me, in Barnes. Can't believe I didn't know. Am going to book a preliminary appointment to browse and go through ideas, asap. Quite excited!

May I ask which jacket and summer dress you chose, hazza?

Would be happy to pay those prices if I can get a dress which will look good for the two summer weddings and, perhaps with a jacket from there, also at another wedding I'm going too in October. (No overlap of guests).

MsWinnieBaygo Wed 10-Apr-13 21:30:16

You don't mention what age you are but it is very staid and something that I would expect a 70 year old to wear to a wedding

You can get a lot more bang for you buck than that dress.

OneLittleLady Wed 10-Apr-13 21:34:35

I have to say, I don't like the originally linked dress. It just looks so....old. Sorry if that sounds rude, it's just something I'd perhaps expect an elderly aunt or my grandma to wear to a wedding or christening. I would expect you could get a much more flattering dress elsewhere and would look and feel lovely. Good luck in your hunt for one smile

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 23:10:09

No you and last poster don't sound rude at all. I did feel the original dress which I bought in a panic was a failure and far below my usual standards because it looked much too staid and was going to 'recycle' it.

It was only the fact that it is monochrome that made me even think of askin views on giving ot another outing. But the vast majority of comments show I was right to dispose of it!
Posters have given me some good ideas to explore for a replacement.

OneLittleLady Wed 10-Apr-13 23:21:26

Tigermilly have some lovely dresses in 50's shapes. Not sure if they are the kind of thing you'd go for but they are really nice.

polyhymnia Wed 10-Apr-13 23:44:54

Will check them out.

polyhymnia Tue 16-Apr-13 11:56:52

slug and hazza just like to say many thanks again for suggesting Carolyn de la Drapiere.

Went into the studio/shop yesterday and there were three styles I loved. One was in my size in a lovely print - a variation on the style with ties round waist hazza mentioned.

But this retro one looked as if it would be amazing on me too - though she only has it at moment in a size smaller than mine:

Also this style, in another colour - but again isn't in yet to try in my size:

Am waiting for them all to come in in my size to make a final decision. Some lovely prints are available in every sort of colour and pattern. The detail - buttons, etc - is lovely. And she will adjust the fit and length of whichever I choose to fit me exactly.

Definitely know I'll get something lovely for the weddings now. Such a relief, and great fun choosing too.

HazzaB Fri 10-May-13 20:28:42

Hi there. Sorry I didn't reply before when you asked me which dress - but it is a variation on the floral purple dress you linked to. I love that one. So pleased you found Carolyn and liked her designs. It IS a massive relief!

Just felt duty bound to advise you though, as it's quite an outlay, to avoid her dresses in a French chiffon silk, in my opinion. My wedding dress was made out of that and was fab in the studio and when I got it home but for some bizarre reason became more and more static. Tried everything but 2 days before the wedding my friends and family said I couldn't wear it as it clung to me like (very unflattering) glue. I was pretty devastated, had to grab something off the peg in monsoon to wear, and sadly Carolyn decided not to refund me anything. I'm sure she is legally entitled to do so, but it did make me sad as I'd saved so long for that dress and hoped she would make some goodwill gesture just to show she valued me as a customer more than anything. Anyway, I still love her designs but before you splash out, would advise against that particular fabric although she said she's never had that problem before so might just be me or my house!

Good luck and hope you find something that makes you feel amazing. I love that black and white dress you linked to as well.

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