* Prices may differ from that shown
Back in the early spring, I needed to buy myself an outfit for my Brother-in-laws wedding. Being so close to the wedding party, I wanted something that looked pretty smart and flattering as I know how many photos get taken for posterity. I have put on some weight in recent years, and I was not feeling very confident, so I wanted something to disguise that and also be practical for chasing round after my boys while my husband was doing his best man duty.
Shopping was s horrendous experience. My size is around a size 16 which is pretty average if you ask me, but the shops had very little in them that was suitable for wedding wear, and things that I liked were only available in ridiculously small sizes that even my skinny sister would have struggled to get in. It was in desperation that I walked into House of Fraser, and we spotted the linear range of clothes.
This shift dress stood out to me immediately as it was certainly appropriate in colour for a spring wedding. I took this and another dress into the changing room. My sister preferred the second dress I chose, but as that one wouldn't do up, it was this one I ended up picking.
I'm quite concious that perhaps I might have gone for another option if there were more clothes in my size in the shops that were suitable, however, this was literally the only item I saw that I liked and fit me.
This dress is a sleeveless shift dress that comes to just above the knee length, and has a concealed zip fastening up the back of the dress. The print features large pink flowers, and there is a large sash to wear around the middle as a feature. Without the sash, I don't think I would like the dress.
One issue straight away for me was where to tie the sash. It was done kind of to one side on the front on the dress when I bought it, but I wanted to team this up with a matching pink jacket from the same range of clothing, and the buttons on this jacket were crushing where the bow was and it spoiled the whole line of the outfit. However, the sash was not sewn onto the dress to hold it in position, so it was a simple matter of tying the bow at the back instead so that it was out the way. This worked so much better for me, and I think it looked a bit nicer to. The back of this dress also has a small slit at the back of a couple of inches up from the middle of the hem.
The dress is 100% polyester, and features a white silky lining over the full inside of the dress. Wearing this dress, I did find that I was quite warm so I dread to think how hot I would have been wearing this to a summer wedding.
The dress is handwash only which is a bit of a pain. It can be tumble dried though on a cool setting, and it can be ironed and reshaped whilst damp. I haven't ironed it. Instead, I make sure this is hung straight up and not wrung out too well so that as it drips dry the creases don't stay in too badly. Its the sort of dress that will do some creasing as you wear it anyway.
The dress was perhaps a bit overpriced at £110, especially when I then needed to buy the matching jacket as well at £120. I was fairly gutted to see that this has been reduced recently in the sale to just £55 which is a much better price to pay for the dress. Its a lot of money, which I didn't really want to spend on a dress, but as it was the only outfit that was suitable I wasn't left with lots of choice.
I was reasonably comfortable wearing the outfit for a whole day for the duration of the wedding. I did get a fair few complements from people at the wedding about how nice I looked, and I certainly felt that I looked smart enough.
The only real negative was I found that I did click the dress on the first occasion I wore it just ever so slightly, but I was wearing a bracelet, and this pulled at the dress on the front where my hand had been resting on my lap. Not hugely noticeable, but its a pain when stuff like that happens to expensive clothing.
It is not a fashionable enough print for me to feel that it is out of date when I next need to wear a smart outfit for an event, so I should manage to get more wears out of the dress - especially as we have another two weddings we are invited to in August.