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And welcome back to another Sunday 7, after a little Easter break and an unintentional second Sunday off, but dutiful daughter…erm… duties called.

The warm weather over the Easter weekend gave us a little taster of the  ‘just chuck on your dress & sandals weather’ of which, there is hopefully more of, on the way.

Anyway… all that sun & warmth over the Easter weekend, as well as the fact that I am now having to wear office appropriate attire, 3 days a week…  has got me in the mood for taking a look at some frocks.

In general, I favour a simple, fuss-free kind of dress, though occasionally, something a little more fancy might just catch my eye:

7. Topshop – Pleated Pinafore Dress (£55)


You can’t see much of the detail of this dress in black, but it’s a versatile dress which would look great worn as is, with flip-flops, through to wearing with layered long-sleeve tops underneath and boots…. and all the various layered/unlayered/footwear options in between.

Here it is in the Tobacco colour way, which shows the front pleat details clearly:


And finally, it’s also available in Marigold, which I’m showing the back view of, so you can see the plunge-back detail:


Things to note: the dress is from the regular range so would be a full-blown maxi on us shorties.

I have a similar, black, plunge-neck Ghost dress from 19 years ago (no pleat details but similar enough,)  which is still going strong and gets pulled out every summer… it’s a style which comes in useful for both events and holidays.

6. Cos – Contrast Panelled Jersey Dress (£55)


Brought to my attention by Susie So So and The Style Coop who both wear it beautifully.

It’s a simple dress, with just enough added interest to ensure it’s not ‘boring’ but… as we know, Cos doesn’t cater for my newly acquired size 4 status.

There’s a LOT of fabric in this a-line cut dress, so it’s probably not for me, given I’m extra petite, with pretty much zero shoulders.

However, I love the style and if I could get away with the size, then I’d probably wear it over jeans with flats.

The dress is also available in navy/red, plain white and this Blue stripe combo which I absolutely adore:


5. H&M – White dress with Embroidery (£69.99)


Such a pretty dress.

Again, it’d be too maxi length on me, and would need a trickier alternation from the top of the frill (ie detach first, lose a little length of main dress section, then reattach frill) otherwise, if you took it up from the bottom, you’d loose some of the pretty detail.

The dress is 100% cotton with a cotton lining.

My reality is such that, I probably wouldn’t get enough wear from this dress… and haven’t the energy for any complex alterations.

{Nor do I wish to spend any thing more than it’s £69 price tag on paying for alterations…. #cheapskate!}

Still, there’s a pretty white dress hole in my wardrobe…

4. & Other Stories – Gingham Linen Wrap Midi Dress (£95)


I love a bit of yellow… and I love gingham.

This simple wrap dress is right up my street and one I’d definitely consider altering, as it would be a simple take-up-hem job.

BUT… as is often the case with wrap dresses, there are no pockets.

AND… I never get on brilliantly with wrap dresses in general, even though I very much love the idea of the style.

Good news for any fellow narrow shouldered minnie’s like me… the dress is available in a size 32.

It’s also available in plain black as well.

3. New Look – Linen Look Button Front Midi Dress (£22)



A perfect little summer dress.

Such an easy-breezy, simple style to wear.

There’s only size 6 available in the black online, but having had a quick look – there seems to be good availability in-store.

You can see the back details better in the Rust version:


The dress is available in a further five colours with good availability in most sizes & colours.

2. Zara – Geometric Print Dress (£39.99)


I’d generally always take a geometric print over a floral…

{being a bit of a #mathsgeek I’m drawn to geometric shapes!}

This dress isn’t available in an XS – as is sometimes the case with Mango and Zara, the smallest sizing they opt to start at in some pieces is a Small.

Given the flowing, a-line, tiered style of this dress, I think you’d be totally justified if you were to say ‘That’d drown you Beans!”

But, it has pockets, and sleeves… and would look really sweet if belted.

I really like the colours too:


I’m not having the best day in finding suitable dresses for petites, am I?!

I think when it comes to looking for dresses, I’m often drawn to the very styles / cuts which would not work on me…

Fashion is so unfair sometimes, eh?!

1. Boden – Anastasia Shirt Dress (Light Chambray £80)


What’s not to love about a skater-skirt, chambray shirt dress?

And as it’s from Boden, it’s available (from the off, no waiting around for weeks on end to see if other ‘fits’ will be released) in Petite, Tall and Regular.

And yes, yes… we have pockets!

I think I’d probably lose the matching tie belt and replace with my own or go belt free… although it’s quite nice to have the matching fabric belt, isn’t it?

The dress is available in a few other colours, including this Blue Stripe (reduced to £56)


And I’m rather taken by this ‘Ivory Happy Starry Wave‘ print version – reduced to £56 (though not so taken with the name choice!)


So those are this week’s 7.

But we’re not done yet…

Stinker of the Week: Topshop Jacquard Satin Mini Slip Dress (£29)


There are so many styles of ‘little, tiny’ dresses on the Topshop website which are not (& never were, at any age…) “me” but I admit, they’re clearly aimed at a much, much younger demographic so it seems too obvious to award them my weekly accolade of stinker.

However, I’ve opted for this mini satin slip dress.

Mainly because I happen to think satin slip dresses are hard enough to carry off in the first place for most of us, but, in a longer length, and styled up cleverly… there is a possibility of the dress *not* looking like a nighty.

This shorter length slip dress on the other hand… verrrrrrry tricky to get away with it *not* looking too nighty like.

Though I’m sure that someone out there is cool enough to do just that, and would look fabulous in it.

But that person just isn’t me.

{#differentstrokesfordifferentfolks and all that shiz.}

Wildcard of the Week:  Wild Swans Boutique – Ganni Layered Pleat Polka Dress (£170)

ganni dress

All those frills.

Could I wear this dress?

Or will I look like a 1960s/70s loo-roll holding doll?

The dress fulfils two of my big loves: polka dots and navy blue.

However, the frou-frou, tiered frilly layers are as far outside my comfort zone as you can get.

So how would I style this dress?

Look 1 – Every Day:


An out and about springtime outfit, where you can wear this Ralph Lauren Hoodie (John Lewis, £115) over the dress, or tied around your waist.

{I know this hoodie is kinda pricey, but I couldn’t find another pale grey hoodie that was as wide, slouchy and shorter in length. I don’t think you’d want one too long!}

I’ve gone all match-matchy for the rest of the look, starting with these fab Orangey/red M&S Flatform Velcro Two Band Sandals (£35) and a similarly vibrant Faux Leather Saddle Cross Body Bag (M&S £29.50) with yet more orangey red, in the form of these Zara Resin Sunnies (£15.99)

What can I tell you: I love a bit of matchy-matchy!

And no… there’s no coat included. You can chuck a denim jacket , a blazer… whatever you fancy over the top.

But I’d hedge my bets and just pop a little brolly in my bag!

Look 2 – Wedding Guest:


Given this dress has rather a lot going on, I’d keep it really simple.

Some strappy sandals, a clean-cut blazer and a small, simple bag.

I wouldn’t bother with too much jewellery nor hairbands/hair-clips… there’s enough fussy frills going on already.

I’ve opted for the Topshop Reid Vegan Strappy Sandals in Stone (down to £47 from £59 – think the 20% offer expires at midnight today,) and this beautiful, clean line Cotton Linen Blazer (Cos, £99.)

This Miesha Ball Handle Grab Bag (Was £27.00, Now £21.60 with current discount, until midnight) ties in tonally and has just the right level of interest to elevate it into a ‘wedding guest handbag’ status without being too glitzy for daytime, everyday use… after all, we *ALL* love to make the most of our purchases and see them working hard for us, don’t we?!

Look 3 – Somewhere in between:

dresses-look3Dressing this dress down is pretty easy, just add trainers of any kind.

Here, I’m going with some classic, neutral ‘Parchment’ coloured Converse All Star Hi 70s (Office, £69.99) but you could add a pop of colour to your outfit with any bright coloured Converse which take your fancy.

As per the Wild Swan’s styling, I’m going to add a waist belt, this Light beige ‘Straw’ effect Belt (H&M, £13.99) one is wide enough to ensure that the empire line/waist frill can be covered up/contained under the belt.

I’m loving this paler tortoise-shell H&M Premium Sunglasses (£34.99) which I think would work just perfectly with this outfit, as would this tiny little Topshop Frankie Yellow Frame Bag (£17.60 currently with 20% off til midnight, then back up to £22.)

And of course, a trusty Denim Jacket (not pictured,) in your preferred cut/length/denim wash.

Now… truth time: I’d written most of this blog last weekend, but didn’t get to publish because of poorly, elderly-olds dramas, which was a case of having to just drop everything.

#familyfirst and all that.

In the meantime, I’d managed to bag a 15% discount on the Ganni Dress via Trouva by signing up to emails and then recommending to a friend.

Although ordered via Trouva, the dress came from Wild Swans Boutique.

The smallest size Ganni does is a 34, so most of their styles would be too big (as in too loose a cut) on my extra petite frame.

However, given the cut of this Layered Pleat Polka Dress, I was fairly certain that I could get away with it… the puff of the mini balloon-sleeves seem to hide the fact that the dress is too wide under arms/across the chest on me:

And although the original dress length was more ankle bone/maxi on me… I simply unpicked the lowest tier, and thereby improved the proportions of the dress on my short/petite frame.

So the answer to my usual question of  “have these 3 looks persuaded me into buying /wearing the Wildcard?”

… is a resounding “yes!”

I mashed up Looks 2 & 3 for a meal out (at Nandos!) and although my H&M blazer from last year is of a fitted style, rather than the current trend of boxy cut blazers… for the amount I wear it, I don’t think I need another and will be making do with this one.

{Oh, and I’ve also tried the dress with my pink cowboy boots and pleased to report that it’s another look which works: can’t wait to wear the dress with them!}

How about you: would you go for such a frilly frock?

As ever I’d love to hear your thoughts on the Wildcard looks, and indeed on all of my picks.

Just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

Thanks for reading.