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Wedding guest outfit for my early 70s mother?

(48 Posts)
SuperConfused Wed 19-Mar-14 21:30:43

I am going wedding outfit shopping with my mum this weekend, and am -dreading it a bit hoping someone might be able to point us in the right direction.

She is very, very fussy, and in the past she has spent months looking for an outfit before panic-buying something at the last minute. She's early 70s, has short white hair, would ideally like to look as french and stylish as possible and is about 5"4 and a 12-14 on top, 14 on bottom.

She generally looks great in separates and suits but has decided this time she wants a dress. Which would be fine, except she has quite strict rules she won't deviate from - things have to have quite high necks, (she objects to anything with even a scoop neck), her upper arms have to be covered and can't just be covered by a jacket as she would never take it off so a dress would need to have ideally three quarter length sleeves, and it would need to be tummy-skimming/flattering.

If something was really wonderful, and matched all that, I'd say her budget would go up to 200/250+

She likes massimo dutti and M&S for casual, but I'm not sure either of us knows where to start for this except house of frasier (there's no John Lewis in her home town and I don't think she will make it to London before the wedding)

Does anyone have any ideas that might meet that criteria?! Or even brands that would be good to look at?

storynanny Wed 19-Mar-14 21:35:32

Jacques vert has lovely wedding outfits. Online, in Debenhams or in their own stores

AmandaTanen Wed 19-Mar-14 21:39:07

Another vote for Jacques vert.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Wed 19-Mar-14 21:50:23

This is rather lovely and would be longer on your DM than on the model.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Wed 19-Mar-14 21:56:43

Rather superb. Also comes in bright red.

Inertia Wed 19-Mar-14 22:12:08

There's a brand called Nitya which my mum is fond of which might fit the bill- unfortunately I can't find anything online! They tend to have concessions in some of the bigger departments stores so you might be able to find something locally?

Inertia Wed 19-Mar-14 22:18:49

Maybe they are not in business anymore? Their French website dates back to 2010 so that's not a good sign!

Inertia Wed 19-Mar-14 22:25:56

Jacques vert has this or this which might work in terms of tummy skimming.

SuperConfused Wed 19-Mar-14 22:40:49

ooh thank you for all the suggestions. Zero the first one you linked to looks great, I guess she'd just need to be prepared to go for it and return if it didn't work.

Jacques vert seems like a possibility, my fear about some of the ones linked is they are a bit patterned/flouncy from what she usually goes for. However I came across this www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Jacques+Vert+Monique+lace+shift+dress/195329000,default,pd.html which seems like it could fit the bill so worth checking out in store I think. Will also keep my eyes peeled for Nitya if they still exist!

Floisme Thu 20-Mar-14 07:19:43

I am probably closer to your mum in age than I am to a lot of you and, to be perfectly frank, if you suggested Jacques Vert to me, I would tell you to fuck right off and back again.

Of course, if your mum likes the Jacques Vert look then blush but I doubt it somehow, not if she wears Massimo Dutti and wants to look French. That, to me, suggests simple shapes, clean lines and general unfussiness. Her rules don't sound outlandish: lots of women want to disguise upper arms and tummy. A high neckline is more restrictive but maybe she just feels self conscious about crepiness around the chest?

I like Zero's links. A shift style with sleeves and, ideally a bit of knotting/ruching trickery on the tummy might do the trick. Or, if she has boobs and a waist, she might prefer something more A-line. I would look for fabrics with a bit structure or a really good quality jersey.

I can't look for links right now but I would check out Hobbs, Jaegar, Phase 8, LK Bennett, M&S Autograph (please don't take her to the Classic Collection!) Damsel in a Dress and Kaliko. If I find time later I'll try and come back with some links.

Getting a good fit is really important and she may need to try on a lot of things but you can always get something altered. Good luck smile

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 07:49:25

Flo - So much more forthright than I dared to be!

Although I'd quarrel with your list too. My own mother is quite a bit older than the OP's - and while she might pick up the odd thing from the shops you mention they wouldn't be the go to places for a chic wedding outfit.

I"ll try to look out a few more pieces during the day....

Waswondering Thu 20-Mar-14 07:54:18

My 70yo mum got a lovely navy lace knee length shift dress from Jaeger for her birthday. High neck, half sleeves. It's lovely.

What about Précis too?

storynanny Thu 20-Mar-14 10:57:02

Ooh, do give Jv a consideration. I am a slimmish, size 14, def not frumpy 57 and I have a beautiful pale pink dress and jacket for 2 weddings this year and is was carefully vetted by 30 year old girls! Yes, some of their styles are flowery and flouncy, but some are like their sister name, precis.
When I was trying outfits on in the shop, there was a wide range of ages, shapes, etc trying on.
There is a good range of strong colours in their current collection which I would have gone for if it wasn't for a pastel themed wedding. I particularly liked the lime green outfit.
But, everyone is different and like different styles.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 11:55:00

So...

Isn't THIS the sort of thing your DM is aiming for - but at half this price?

Sure there are a few good things still to be found...

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 11:58:24

Yes!

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 12:30:13

This could look rather glamorous - and again should be longer on your DM.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 12:54:41

Must stop -

This isn't what you asked for - but if she changes her mind about separates this would be amazing.

TheresLotsOfFarmyardAnimals Thu 20-Mar-14 12:54:50

Have you tried Roman? My Granny likes it.

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 13:05:02

Absolutely last one!

Think this is perfect. (Maybe a teeny scarf?) Worth trying their own site as well probably.

Here.

Floisme Thu 20-Mar-14 13:22:28

Zero you are right - some of my list is smart/everyday rather than wedding. That Lanvin you linked may be over budget but it absolutely nails the look. I like your other links too.

I've seen this and the colour is lovely. Not sure how it looks around the tummy but I think it would skim rather than cling: www.hobbs.co.uk/product/display?productID=0114-5840-3331L00&productvarid=0114-5840-3331L00-KINGFISHER%20BLUE-14&refpage=dresses

Another Hobbs: www.hobbs.co.uk/product/display?productID=0114-5847-9037L00&productvarid=0114-5847-9037L00-DK%20APPLE%20GREEN-8&refpage=dresses

Love this though it might be too daywear? www.jaeger.co.uk/Dogtooth%20Shift%20Dress/630254H,en_GB,pd.html?dwvar_630254H_color=88700&dwvar_630254H_size=8&start=5&cgid=women-dresses

Another Jaegar although black might be unflattering? www.jaeger.co.uk/Lace%20and%20Crepe%20Dress/630312G,en_GB,pd.html?dwvar_630312G_color=00100&dwvar_630312G_size=6&start=40&cgid=women-dresses
More Jaegar, also comes in bright green: www.jaeger.co.uk/Lace%20and%20Crepe%20Dress/630123H,en_GB,pd.html?dwvar_630123H_color=40400&dwvar_630123H_size=6&start=30&cgid=women-dresses

storynanny yes, I may have been a bit harsh on Jacques Vert. The name just epitomises everything I hate about the type of clothing that gets dished up to older women.

Aboyandabunny Thu 20-Mar-14 13:25:14

A local, independent boutique is your best bet. Assistant will be able to spend lots of time with you and give advice.

AWimbaWay Thu 20-Mar-14 13:38:12

Fenn Wright Manson, phase eight and LK Bennett would all be worth checking out.

www.lkbennett.com/Clothing/Dresses/c/clothing-dresses?q=:price-desc:size:14&show=All

www.fennwrightmanson.com/dresses

www.phase-eight.co.uk/fcp/categorylist/occasiondresses/all?resetFilters=true#filters=W_SLEEVE!3-4+sleeve&resultPage=0

ZeroSomeGameThingy Thu 20-Mar-14 13:41:53

Agree Flo, Love the pale blue Etoile with its coat - very Queen Mumgrin The dark green is a bit workaday; would need £20k of gobstopper pearls, a dead fox and immaculate grooming to carry it off.

I don't know what's going on with Jaeger these days. There's nothing actually wrong with the things you link - just a feeling behind my eyes that I've seen it all too often - sort of visual cliche?

Floisme Thu 20-Mar-14 13:47:13

I like some of the Fennwrightmason, AwimbaWay - particularly the Anya dress in navy, provided it's not clingy. www.fennwrightmanson.com/dresses/anya_dress2.htm

Floisme Thu 20-Mar-14 13:52:09

Ooh I hadn't noticed the matching coat, Zero - might be a step too far though!

I thought Jaegar were doing some interesting stuff a couple of years ago. It was all out of my price range but I remember watching and liking! But I agree, they're beginning to revert back to a more conservative look.

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