Hello!  Feels like ages since I’ve done a mid-week post… I blame the home renovations – sorry!

Anyway, this is, as promised in last weekend’s Sunday 7 – Instpiration post, a short update about this Debenhams Red Herring dress (reduced to £19.50, limited sizes available):


Now I’ve already talked about this on Sunday, but a quick re-cap for you:  I’ve bought this dress a total of 3 times!

Yup… completely bonkers!

I first ordered this dress at the tail end of May when I was researching dresses for this post and paid the full £39 price tag; the dress never made the cut for the blog-post because it’s upper shapeless-ness did nothing for me (think sack of potatoes and you’d be on the right track) and I imagined the style would also be tricky for others to wear as well:


Plus, the smallest size available in this style was a size 8, which was pretty big on me around the chest:

There was quite a big excess of fabric under the arm – a good 2-3 inches on each side:

I belted the dress, which made for a much better looking dress on my frame:

But honestly?  I couldn’t be arsed with any alterations: the fabric of the dress is a very-loose-weave fabric, one where you could catch threads/have “pulls” and as such, it’s a fabric which frays so badly that in sewing terms, it’s a tricky fabric to work with.

I didn’t feel my basic sewing skills were up to the challenge.

And so, back it went.

No cheap Dodo Bar Or dupe for me.

And I’ve been desperate for a budget Dodo Bar Or Dress since first becoming aware of the designer last spring.


Anyway, I then noticed the dress was on sale, and thought – f*ck it!  I can alter it – it’s a bargain for £19.50… so ordered it again.

And with my click and collect order I received a £5 off next purchase voucher…

The dress sat in a bag for a couple of weeks, and in the end, I felt like I should go with my gut, and reminded myself I didn’t have the skills or time to alter it.

And yup – I returned it again.

On the very day of returning it… the dress started popping up all over my Instagram feed, taunting and teasing me…

Until I broke.

I ordered it a 3rd time.


However, this time round, I got to use my £5 off voucher (though included some extra, essential homewares to bring my total shop up the required amount in order to use my voucher)… and so, the dress cost me just £14.50.

Practically free, right?

But what of the fact that the dress was too big?  And alterations being beyond my skills set?

I did what any other adult, grown up 46 year old would do… I took the dress round to my sewing-genius mum’s!!

When I arrived at mum’s… she did that chin down, look over her glasses thing and gestured to the scrunched up dress in my hand “why have you brought that table cloth round?”


You’ve got to hand it to mum’s… rather like small children, they say it as they see it, eh?

Anyway, I explained the whole story to her, and having done the “unpicking” of the band around the top at each side, she was happy to help me out.

We couldn’t take the the dress in to an exact fit around my chest because I wouldn’t be able to take it off/put it on… unless we added a zip or button.

But given how roughly the dress is sewn (you’d have to unpick it to see it – no overlocking/zig-zag on the edge and fraying like hell: only a matter of time before the stitching gives way to the frays!!) we decided to leave it slightly loose so that the dress remains an easy to throw-on dress.

I also asked my mum if she could add in a loose (elasticated) gather at waist level, so that should I want to wear the dress un-belted, it would have a little more shape for my petite frame:

So as you can see, there is dramatically less fabric under the arm (we took two inches in on each side) and the very loose, waist-level gather creates an extra “tier” in the dress and so is altogether less sack like on me.

This waist-level gather, also creates a more even ‘gather’ should I wish to belt the dress:


So for £14.50, and thanks to my lovely and talented mum, I have a pretty good Dodo Bar Or tribute, don’t you think?

Whilst the dress is going to be a great addition to my “real” holiday wardrobe, I also plan to wear it with a white tee under it / sneakers or ankle boots as well before I get down to the sunny South of France.

Back with a Sunday 7 at the weekend, though my (currently sold out) Glittery Green HM Trousers have arrived & so I may pop a review up on Friday if I can.

Til then – would love to hear your thoughts on my ever-so-slightly-tweaked dress?

Thanks for reading,

B x

Final Note: I haven’t mentioned the length of the dress – but it’s the perfect midi-length on me, so I *think* I can finally call of my hunt for a summer dress as this might just be “the one!”