When it comes to being the personification of ‘extra’ there is no other word that springs more clearly to mind, as you drink in my flower crown esque mermaid part unicorn fantasy that is emblazoned with magical realism and littered with happy sprinkles. I wear grandiose ball gowns to Tesco’s, pose against vivid street art motif backgrounds in next to nothing while battling freezing, ice cold temperatures and above all am always and utterly inappropriately dressed for all seasons, because let’s face it, I like to pretend like the cold doesn’t exist. In fact in my fantastical vision, where the purple unicorns dance among the teal mermaids, the ‘concept’ of weather is cancelled. Let’s re-phrase that, my front door is cancelled. Not unless you are the pizza delivery guy with my cheese-tastic pizza, dripping sublimely into my famished mouth. Which is what leads me to my next point- I promise it’s not just a nonsensical speech accentuated by photos- when it comes to finding the ‘perfect dresses’ to have in your wardrobe for any occasion, if extra is what you are ‘after’ then congratulations you have just hit the jackpot. But if pared back minimalism is your thing and you are after a more casual affair, then sorry you should stop reading now. Because this post contains dresses that at heart might be considered as ‘minimalist’ but by the time I am through with them would have been filtered through my rose coloured lens and churned into mini-me creations, paired with flower crowns, walls that will entice your dreams and above all me, although sadly I am not for sale. Sorry bout it.
From The Bridesmaid Fancy, a rose satin pleated dress with capped sleeves with a full pleated skirt to Frida Khalo’s wet dream, here are four wardrobe staples that you need in 2019, the dress edition. Question, is your wallet ready for all this jelly? My bet’s on the Christening Dress. Although since I am broke ASF, I am not sure how much of a promise that can really be. So what is your dress fantasy?
The Bridesmaid Dress
Ah the elusive bridesmaid dress, once a folklore tale of ‘macabre horror’ as visions of a puffy purple meringue that looks like it escaped ‘Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen’ emerges like an aesthetic abomination. You grin with forced smiles for the camera with as much joy as someone who is clenching their butt cheeks on the toliet, wishing that you were on a hot and steamy date with your Netflix account, surrounded by as much food as humanely possible. And when the night is finally over, you pass out with a bottle of champagne next to your pillow, wishing that the Bridesmaid Fairy had come to collect those hideous purple meringues and replaced them with something that was as elegant and as sensual as the next door neighbours who were practically perfumed with chemistry. But fear no more, for your days as the Bridemaid who wishes she was somewhere else is finally over. Entering Jasmine’s favourite store ‘Pretty Little Thing‘ who have been salvaging wedding days since 2012, meaning no tears shed over looking like an extra from the noughties. Sorry 2019 called and she wants her ‘taste’ back. From glorious champagne satin maxi fantasies with elongated leg, to simple, elegant rose satin pleated dresses complete with sash and flower crown, when it comes to re-vamping the ‘Bridesmaid Image’ PLT knows how to do weddings in style. Whether you are as extra as myself, are maximalist or are somewhere in-between, there truly is a bridesmaid dress for any occasion.
My choice was simple, elegant and refined, and whilst more pared back and minimalist than I would normally go for , paired with a sprouting flower crown, watch and mermaid bag, was very much the definition of how I would interpret ‘bridesmaid fashion’. With a wrapover neckline, complemented by a satin sheen finish, the pleated skirt lends a sophisticated elegance to the dress, while the ‘solid colour’ means that the ‘bridesmaids’ can shine, but not outshine the bride, which would be a faux paux indeed. While I chose to rock my signature ‘flower crown’ and colour accents, in my bridesmaid aesthetic, you might also want to pair the dress with a sequin bolero for evening glam, while a simple updo, rose gold heels and a minimalist clutch would accentuate the bridesmaid dress beautifully. Just remember to check in with the bride to be first!
The Date Night Dress
So your date night is on the horizon and you are flapping around like a headless chicken because apparently the 500 beautiful dresses that you already have simply won’t cut the mustard. After all you need something ‘swoonworthy fast’, lest your man decides he wants to get his cakes elsewhere because you thought turning up in a bin bag would be funny. As someone who has mastered the art of ‘not having anything to wear’ despite the clothing sprawled across my bed, floor and crawling out of my wardrobes, scrolling online absentmindedly for hours on end is kind of my forte. And while being glazed to your screen is a fun 5 minute hobby, let me spare you the travesty of eye pain by presenting to you the ultimate Date Night Dress. Entering ‘Jasmine 101’ a silky satin pink ruffle dress with more to the dress than meets the eye. Sensuous, seductive and mysterious the dress goes wonderfully with a dash of red, for that romantic dinner date that will have you both locked in a passionate embrace. After all how could anyone resist a dress that not only presents sensuality in a sophisticated and fun way, but also pays homage to Barbie, flamenco dancers and the 90’s all in one glorious dress? With its ruffle neckline and uneven edging, the satin delight is a feast for the senses, making it the perfect flirty number to woo your numero uno. Whether its a first date, casual fling or practically marriage, Pretty Little Thing knows how to get pulses racing.
For an elegant nod to the 90’s pair a blush turtleneck under the dress, with rose gold barely there sandals and teardrop earrings, while the more colour happy among us, might choose to give maximalism a go, as shown above. Mixing ‘Frida Khalo esque aesthetics’ with Barbie Pink, I chose to pair pillarbox red court stilettos with a whimsical red Disney themed pouch, red tassel earrings, a red rose flower crown and a pink teddy coat, accentuated by a rose gold watch, to create a ‘Valentines Themed’ Date Night appropriate look that was not only flirty, but also fun and completely me. Naturally how you choose to style the slip dress is entirely up to you, but the dress is far more versatile than you might give it credit for.
The Christening Dress
Glorious in blue, what could be a more wondrous colour to celebrate a special day like a christening than pale ceramic blue? While in legend often associated with sadness to me blue is tranquil, serene, vivid and beautiful, all qualities which make it an idea colour for a christening dress. Whether you are a guest, family member, or mother of the child, this christening dress paired with the matching jacket is the epitome of formal sophistication. The mid length paired with duck egg blue kitten heels and a blue and purple flower crown is how I have chosen to style my ‘christening dress’, but what makes this dress the ultimate wardrobe staple is how effortless and elegant it is without any need for ‘over the top styling’. Simply pair with matching shoes, earrings and a clutch and you are good to go, although mind the vomit of spewing children who have eaten too much candy because your dress is a precious relic that does not deserve vomit or wotsit stains smeared all down the dress. Not today Satan, not today. With silver beading detailing woven with blue crochet, the dress is formal without being overly pompous, through its choice of colour and shorter length, while the matching jacket retains its sophistication and elegance. And if christenings bore you and you would rather dance with the devil then listen to children screaming/ priests preaching, then the blue number can also double up as a wedding guest dress, date night number and even be worn to more ‘fancier meetings’.
However if you are the mother of the child being christened then it would probably be a good idea to show up to your poor child’s ceremony. Just remember not to nod off, or you might be having words with Jesus in your sleep and that’s never a good shout!
The ‘Frida Kahlo’ Dress
If there is one nickname that has stuck with me these last couple of years it is ”Frida Kahlo’ or ‘Frida’, as passers by will shout ‘Frida’ at me, while waving a camera in my face, asking whether they can take a photo with me. Even tube goers will ask me whether my ‘style or look’ is influenced by Frida Kahlo. Except unlike the late great Frida, I can’t paint, I can’t draw and my version of ‘attempting to create art’ looks like a rabbit has been squashed by a bus because apparently I haven’t grasped the concept of dimensional shapes. The association with me being ‘dressed like Frida’ was never an intentional inspiration or influence, after all I knew little about the artist, save for she died young, and it wasn’t until people would repeatedly call me ‘Frida’ that I realized upon further research that my style did look similar to her’s, famous for wearing red, florals and flowers crown, while despite not having the thicker eyebrows, I did have tanned skin and darker features, thanks to my Portuguese heritage. And it’s undeniable that my style is very much centered around florals and vivid colours, all aesthetics that Frida herself embraced. However this is how I have always dressed and is more indicative of my style personality as opposed to being influenced by the way artists like Frida dress.
Despite the accidental association, the ‘Frida Effect’ is one that is very popular with online retailers like PLT, like the red oriental print kimono style maxi dress above, worn with a rose flower crown and matching red earrings, finished off with red ruffle heeled sandals. While a tad more maximalist than what Frida might have worn in the day, nevertheless the vibe is there with the use of bold digital floral prints, with the matching flower crown. But asides from being compared to the wonderful Frida-who I am now a huge fan of- what makes the red kimono dress a wardrobe staple? Well for a start it’s aesthetically pleasing; it’s kimono style wrap highlights the chest while the extreme split elongates and lengthens the leg and above all the floral print makes it a versatile print that can be worn all year round. Now how’s that for versatility?
What Dress Will You Be Adding To Your Wardrobe?