Thursday, April 26, 2007

Dress Dilemma

When we moved and I looked at my clothes, I was shocked my how many I own and was convinced that I possibly didn't need to buy anything ever again as I had something appropriate for pretty much every occassion. However, I was wrong.

In July, we are going to weddings on two consecutive Saturdays, both for ex-colleagues of the OH so there will be quite an overlap of guests. Hence, the dress dilemma.

Last year, I bought this dress for my friend Jo's wedding. I loved it, it is hugely flattering (I don't think I've ever thought that before about anything on me) and I got loads of compliments. But it was bought from Warehouse just weeks before the event - i.e. a very popular high street shop - so I was in a bit of a panic that there would be someone else there in the same dress. Fortunately there wasn't, but I'm still very wary of it happening.

One of the weddings in in the Midlands which I thought was going to make it an expensive event and I was going to have to put my pride aside and make do with either the one dress or dig out something older. (I have a lovely apple green chiffon-y dress that has seen me through a few other ceremonies but it does have a few tiny stains, the result of running around a garden with children and a drink in hand - they are probably only noticeable to me and my drycleaning man who hates a stain and has tried his best on it twice).

However, before our invitation arrived the bride to be emailed to ask if we would like to stay in the wedding venue as they have a number of rooms available as part of their package and it is free to us! Of course, we accepted. The other thing is that the couple in question have said they don't want any proper gifts (he sold his company for quite a few million so money isn't an issue) but just wanted a gift from each guest's hometown. So the costs associated with attending this wedding have suddenly plummeted so I could definitely buy a new dress.

But, I am still scared of the doppleganger danger if I buy anything from the high street and I don't exactly have a designer budget. I'm also wary of buying something that I'll only wear this once - after this pair, the next wedding we'll probably go to is in the north in the autumn so it will be a much colder affair. But then I do feel I should make an effort for someone's big day.

So I'm on the look out for something that I might wear again, doesn't cost too much but isn't from a shop that is in every town, and if at all possible goes with shoes I already own.

Let the hunt begin.


Miss Forthright said...

Maybe try

SandDancer said...

Had a quick look on there now but couldn't see anything suitable - alot of it looked either too casual or a bit too Girls Aloud. But I shall keep an eye on there as they might get something else in nearer the time.

Miss Forthright said...

Oh that's a shame. They sometimes have the odd appropriate dress. Have you tried Debenhams? I know it's high street but not as bad as Warehouse etc

SandDancer said...

I haven't really started looking properly yet - I tried Reiss yesterday which has some lovely things in but nothing 100% right and since it is at the top end of my budget, it would have to be.

I've got plenty of time yet of course but I thought if I got something now, it is less likely that someone else would be wearing the same.

M said...

Buy something very simple and add some eye-catching accessories. That makes it very unlikely that someone else will show up dressed like you. And you can change it again for the next wedding pretty easily.

SandDancer said...

That would certainly solve the problem M, but I'm not great with accessories. I'm allergic to some metals so am very limited with jewellery (especially anything around the neck) and haven't got the necessary panache for scarves etc.

I am however wondering if I might be able to get some suitable separates rather than going for a dress and that way I should be able to wear them again in some other combination.

M said...

When I was in London in March, we walked through Chelsea late Saturday afternoon and passed a church where a crowd was about to enter to attend a wedding. All the ladies had on elaborate hats. Do you typically wear hats to a wedding in the UK? I think they are fabulous, so British. But we could never get away with that here. Maybe a simple hat, but never that elaborate.

Do you typically wear a hat to a wedding there?

SandDancer said...

Everyone used to wear a hat and I think it was considered rude not to, but I think that was more to do with etiquette in church. Since many weddings aren't in churches these days, it seems to have fallen from favour, especially amongst people my age and younger. Mothers of the bride still usually tend to wear a hat though.

The wedding you saw was in Chelsea so probably a bit grander than the average wedding.

Personally, I'm glad I don't have to wear a hat just because it would be one more thing to worry about. I suppose that could be the focus of the outfit but a decent hat is expensive.

M said...

I bet they can be expensive; some seem so elaborate, like artwork for the head.

But I wouldn't be able to resist; I'd just have to wear one myself. I think they're fabulous.

SandDancer said...

Have you ever seen photographs from Ascot - the horse racing event. One day of that each season is famous for the ladies wearing elaborate hats.

M said...

It must be like the Kentucky Derby here. Ladies in their hats drinking mint juleps. The hats are quite elaborate, but it's the only event that comes to mind here where we do that in a big way.