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Whether you’re a beauty novice or a confirmed fashionista, this topic is for consulting Mumsnetters on all things style-related. Plus, check out our Swears By page for the inside track on the next Mumsnet must-have.

Posh Do Dilema

(47 Posts)
KeepCalm Wed 18-Oct-17 18:18:14

Where would one get an outfit for a posh do (evening awards ceremony) if one was a certain size & age (41yrs).

I am not remotely comfortable in clothing other than trainers/boots/work clothes (casual) and an evening out is normally jeans & a top blush Am usually found in a kitchen/ wrangling with kids or outdoors walking/cycling.

I ALWAYS get outfits wrong. Always. MyWedding dress, outfits when we are wedding guests, previous posh events.... I normally hate it, leave it to last minute and either panic bug or drag something out the wardrobe.

I’d really like NOT to get it wrong this time and whilst I’m aware no outfit is going to turn me into Nigella I’d like to at least scrub up well.

I am shaped like a barrel with decent enough legs. Size 22 up top 😳, 18 - 20 ‘waist’ and 16- 18 hips.

Frills/lace/ froth/ fancypantsness fills me with cold sweats/horror & dread.

Please help smile

Sidge Wed 18-Oct-17 18:28:09

I found a good selection here on Simply Be

Could be worth a look? Some of them are quite simple and classic. I'd aim to show off your good legs and don't forget to accessorise - IMO it's the extras that can really make a dress, dressy.

ClosedAuraOpenMind Wed 18-Oct-17 19:28:23

i’m kind of similar to you in both age and size OP - my go to dress for posh work dinners/awards is from violetta - got it a few years ago but it’s a simple long sleeve black sequin dress. bit of shape wear underneath and heels and I’m good to go
also saw some dresses in Joe Browns recently which I thought were nice and might work for similar such events

00alwaysbusymum Wed 18-Oct-17 19:46:50

Monsoon have nice dresses?

lostfrequencies Wed 18-Oct-17 19:56:34

Have you checked out Scarlett & Jo? I have a few dresses and they are great quality.

trinity0097 Wed 18-Oct-17 20:10:36

This dress is amazing!
So comfy, I know you said no lace, but it has a proper underskirt/top/lining.

I wore one (black) once all day to teach dressed as the Deputy Head from the worst witch! Was so comfy!

NapQueen Wed 18-Oct-17 20:16:58

If you want separates:



Nel1975 Wed 18-Oct-17 20:27:02

I bought one similar to this for a wedding. Hides any lumps and bumps. Shows off your legs.

KeepCalm Thu 19-Oct-17 15:50:39

Thank you ladies. First lot of online shopping arrived from Very & is being sent back hmm

Have ordered from Evans and Mango also.

One from Scarlett & Jo ordered to try also.

I found a lovely Joanna Hope dress but it’s not available till mid Nov which is too late.

Will have a look at some of the links that I haven’t seen before.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Thu 19-Oct-17 15:56:03

Please don't disregard a dress.

ASOS have some beautiful pieces in their Curve range.

What type of evening do is this, does the invitation say black tie? Is it a dinner as well?

WhatTimeIsItCuckoo Thu 19-Oct-17 17:04:22

Watching with interest as I also have an awards ceremony coming up, next week in fact! Need to get my act together. I like the look of some of the Simply Be ones from the link from a pp

KeepCalm Fri 20-Oct-17 07:54:19

@ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay It’s a high end awards ceremony including dinner. DH will be in formal attire and merrily just whips it out the wardrobe and brushes it off & looks marvellous <git>

KeepCalm Fri 20-Oct-17 07:55:40

@WhatTimeIsItCuckoo lovely to hear you’re going to one too and that I’m not the only one cutting it fine!!

I popped a few in a basket on JDWilliams site last night but forgot to finish as kids/tea time interrupted

Will get the first lot sent back today lol

Crumbs1 Fri 20-Oct-17 07:59:19

Monsoon do some nice dresses for evenings that go quite large. If your not overly comfortable in dresses, I’d make sure you were understated rather than Christmas tree. Simple elegance with nice jewellery rather than covered in sequins. East do some nice things too, as do Phase Eight.

ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay Fri 20-Oct-17 08:05:17

Ugh it's so easy for men. Just pull the suit out of the bloody cupboard.

Order a load of stuff. It can all be returned. It's not on the 4th of November in scotland is it?

KeepCalm Sat 21-Oct-17 06:21:28

@Crumbs1 that’s the plan hopefully! I had two tops sent yesterday from Evans but they’re going back. Why do people insist on putting frills on things ffs? My chest enters the room ten minutes before I do anyway without another layer adoring it!!

@ItsLikeRainOnYourWeddingDay no, not on the 4th smile

Will revisit Monsoon and haven’t tried East so will give them a whirl.

Monsoon/Phase always fill me with terror incase someone turns up with same dress in much smaller size confused

Crumbs1 Sat 21-Oct-17 07:21:44

Couldn’t agree more re all the ghastly frills that seem to be around ruining clothes that would otherwise be quite nice.

KeepCalm Sat 21-Oct-17 09:55:34

Another set of options ordered from JDWilliams (showing my age) and Debenhams and M&S this morning.
First lot from Evans (frills) Mango and Very going home .........

bitofabelly Sat 21-Oct-17 13:23:49 this looks slightly crappy on the model but is the best dress I have bought...I bought a smaller size than I am...absolutely shows off the legs...gorgeous sleeves...lovely chain across front which isn’t as loose as it looks on model..the dress is hanging off her..I got so many comments from relatives about this dress and how slim I love love it!!!!

WhatTimeIsItCuckoo Sat 21-Oct-17 15:14:59

I love that bitofabelly, have just now ordered it myself. Fingers crossed! Hope you soon get sorted OP smile

bitofabelly Sat 21-Oct-17 20:41:13

Ooh I’m so excited you ordered’s woeful on the model...but a great dress...covers a back..hope you like it...I don’t post often only when I’m 100% about something ☺️

KeepCalm Sun 22-Oct-17 12:36:15

It’s now out of stock in a 20 and not expected for 4 wks <weeps>

bitofabelly Sun 22-Oct-17 12:38:45

Try Debenhams..they had it too

WhatTimeIsItCuckoo Sun 22-Oct-17 12:42:58

Also try John Lewis KeepCalm, that's where I ordered mine from online then I pick it up from today at my local Waitrose, only ordered it late yesterday afternoon. They have a 90 day returns policy too.

FeckTheMagicDragon Sun 22-Oct-17 12:50:36

I feel your pain OP. The best advise I was ever given was to dress like you normall do, but smarter.
I go for sparkly sandals & bag and co-ordinating navy and white separates. My favourite is a navy blue V neck (flattering for those blessed in the chest department), with a very sheer navy chiffon poncho type over it to hide my upper arms and white Capri trousers that show off my ankles above strappy kitten heels. All bought from different places. I normally wear flip flops or ankle boots, jeans and v neck T shirts smile

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