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'Cocktail dress' - aargh!

(21 Posts)
HedwigHouse Wed 04-Nov-15 11:08:28

I have just started a new job and the Christmas do dress code says 'cocktail dresses'. I'm not even sure I know what a cocktail dress is! I have no fashion sense and a general hatred of shopping so any pointers would be much appreciated.

I'm a size 12, 5'1", bulky middle but vaguely decent legs. For work I usually wear pencil skirts and tops to hide the mum tum but dresses seem to leave it all to hang out. Floaty shapes seem to accentuate the lumps and bumps and I often see skater dresses recommended on here but that fit and flare shape makes me look like a little girl. I'd like something ideally with 3/4 sleeves in a dark colour. I don't even know where to start looking!

hellsbellsmelons Wed 04-Nov-15 11:13:44

Something like THIS maybe?
Although skater it is a bit more sophisticated than the usual type.
THIS is similar

Annarose2014 Wed 04-Nov-15 11:14:10

Two words. Shift dresses.

Get a black shift dress with a sparkly collar and you're sorted.

SunnySomer Wed 04-Nov-15 11:16:21

Yup, totally agree with Anna Rose. Look in Hobbs or Karen millen or similar (if budget allows)

HedwigHouse Wed 04-Nov-15 11:19:30

Hells I LOVE those first two dresses, ten years ago I'd definitely have gone for something like that but I don't know if I could pull them off now. Is that the sort of thing I could get away with as 'cocktail'?

Anna, wouldn't a shift dress just make me look puddingy round the middle??

Annarose2014 Wed 04-Nov-15 11:22:10

Look at this beauty

Pop a shiny necklace on and you're sorted.

You'd have to buy fast though as there's only size 12s left and not many I'd say.

Annarose2014 Wed 04-Nov-15 11:23:09

No Hedwig, post-baby they're literally the only type of dress i can wear!

WomanScorned Wed 04-Nov-15 11:24:19

Surely shift dresses are work/office wear?

WomanScorned Wed 04-Nov-15 11:27:03

Ok, I take that back. That Asos one is lovely!

hellsbellsmelons Wed 04-Nov-15 11:46:03

I shall probably get one of the first 2 for my Christmas dress this year.
I'm 5ft 3" a size 12 and the very wrong side of 45!!
And they are definitely cocktail dresses!

Pantsalive Wed 04-Nov-15 12:28:31

If you're used to wearing pencil skirts, how about getting a sequin one or other sort of embellished one and wearing it with a chiffon top. There are loads around at the moment in all price ranges.

Asteria36 Wed 04-Nov-15 12:35:23

Cocktail Dress code is basically short black tie. You could easily get away with a lovely fitted skirt and top, but try to channel super smart dinner party rather than night out.
Boden does good cocktail type dresses and also lovely evening wear separates - I would be heading in that sort of direction.

HedwigHouse Wed 04-Nov-15 12:47:14

I will def look at Hobbs and Karen Millen for ideas although I probably wasn't planning to spend quite that much given I'm unlikely to wear it again.

HedwigHouse Wed 04-Nov-15 12:49:25

Sorry missed a load more brilliant ideas! Thank you everyone, has given me some ideas!

burnishedsilver Wed 04-Nov-15 12:54:30

This dress form Coast petite range might be worth trying on.

thunderbird69 Wed 04-Nov-15 13:04:02

lots of dresses in the sale at Debenhams

black and lace

peplum maybe hides tummy a bit more?

longer skater style

Pantsalive Tue 10-Nov-15 14:46:52

Hedwig I've been wondered if you'd found anything.
I saw this suggested somewhere and thought of you: baroque skater dress
Not sure if it fits the brief - although I still think one of the lovely party skirts is probably the way to go for you.

Pantsalive Tue 10-Nov-15 14:47:47

Although I'd wear a different slip with that dress. I don't think theirs looks as good as it could.

KateSpadeAddict Tue 10-Nov-15 16:08:57

This looks brown to me in the pictures but is described as ‘black mix’ which to me makes it more desirable smile The sleeves may be a little long on you though.

But i LOVE this one:

There is actually quite a few on the M&S website that may be worth a look. You can filter to choose 3/4 length sleeves grin

KateSpadeAddict Tue 10-Nov-15 16:09:47

oh sorry didn’t realise that this was started last week blush

HedwigHouse Wed 25-Nov-15 22:13:14

Gosh, I'm glad I came back to this thread and apologies for the late reply. I did order one of the suggestions from Asos and a few from Debenhams but they weren't really right but KateSpade has found me a winner with the first sparkly dress. I tried it on in the shop today and it's great. Thank you!! I've never actually bought any Per Una stuff but this is the second thing this week. I must be officially middle-aged grin

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