Hello!  This Sunday I have woken up feeling every one of my 45 years (11 months & 2 weeks).

My 8 year old’s busy schedule seems to have taken over: driving him an hour away to a ‘Maths Challenge Day’ on Friday and wasting my day (5 hours) waiting around for him to finish – as in, I then drove a further 2 hours round trip to the McArthur Glen Outlets in Swindon which was a fruitless little trip!

He (the 8 year old) then ran the schools mini marathon yesterday morning (along side 1000+ other kids) which meant an early Saturday start after my Friday night out at friend’s Birthday Drinks (ugh! I almost feel as tough I ran the mini marathon, all 1.9kms of it!) followed by a BBQ at his friends house for most of the afternoon yesterday.

And today, we need to knock up a collage or model of Stone Henge – homework which we’ve known about for a month and is due in tomorrow but haven’t yet started. Eek!

Luckily he’s still in bed, sleeping it off, after his exhausting day yesterday… I’d rather he got some decent rest than stressing him about his homework!

Which leaves me to enjoy my cuppa and get a little blogging done without taking time away from the boys…

Today I’m doing a Sunday 7 based on a request I’d received: I know – get me! A request, eh?!

A little while back, after posting this photo of myself on Instagram:


Waiting for my taxi with a LOT of cases after a month in Spain last summer

I was asked if I could blog about the best summer Black Petites Maxi / Midi dresses out there…nothing too dressy, just an every day kind of black dress you can throw on with your sandals and flip flops; and so today, I’m finally getting round to it.

The request was made based on the fact that a lot of black maxi/midi dresses out there are really rather flimsy; so, I’d like to point out from the outset that I haven’t seen these dresses in the flesh: so I can’t comment on the quality of the fabric, but if I was going to buy a Black Maxi/Midi dress, then these would be on my ‘to order and try’ list.

And let me tell you – it’s a tough brief: it’s not just that it’s slim pickings in the petites ranges; with the volume of floral print and trend for bright colour, it’s been a tricky one!

So, there may well be the odd ‘regular’ range midi dress included which might be ok as a Maxi length on us shorties, or, as is so often ‘de rigour’ for us, you might need to take the dress up if you want it to be a midi length.


7. GhostPoppy Black Dress (£195)


I know… £195?!

Well, I had to look at the Ghost offerings first, simply because the dress I’m wearing in that photo (above) is an old Ghost dress… I’ve had it for almost 20 odd years now and it gets pulled out every summer, can be machine washed and tumble dried and is super hard wearing because it’s showing no sign of wear or tear AT ALL.

So in a cost per wear calculation, my dress owes me absolutely nothing!

Back to the Poppy Black Dress though… it’s difficult to see online, but it has some delicate black on black embroidery, pin tuck detailing and has an empire line so would suit most shapes.

I agree that the cost of it is a bit of an investment, so perhaps not for everyone.

6. BodenTwist Front Jersey Dress (£90)


Lovely shape

Good old Boden… this dress is of course available in Petite, Regular and Long, and although it’s a jersey dress, it’s from Boden, so you can imagine the jersey will have a lovely drape and be light weight enough for summer.

The over all shape is lovely, and to be honest, I would wager that it’s worth every penny of it’s £90 price tag simply because you’d make use of it for years.

Plus, I believe Boden have a 25% discount starting tomorrow?  I received a flyer in the post but I’m afraid I’ve binned it (I know, not the best blogger here!) so if you are thinking of ordering this dress, perhaps just hold off until tomorrow & google the discount code?

5. ZaraFrilled Midi Dress (£17.99)


very low scoop neck…

A classic slip dress is again a useful piece in a summer wardrobe as it can be worn over t-shirts, thrown over your cossie, and this Zara Frilled Midi is a regular slip dress with a wee, small twist in the form of a couple of frills giving it extra swish.

Given the length on the model, this would be a full blown maxi on us shorties; if you wanted it to remain a midi – I don’t think there’s much scope for a simple alteration without taking it to a professional given the frill detailing.

My only reservation about the dress is that very deep scoop-neckline: I know for a fact that I’d have to tie some knots in the straps if I were to wear it, otherwise the neckline would be soooo low on me, it would be under my boobs: not an attractive look!  However, for those more blessed in this area, it probably wouldn’t be such an issue!

4. Boohoo: Petite Aria Ruffle Bandeau Split Front Maxi (£18)


Now I’m not big on the whole bardot / cold shoulder thing, but… in the interest of being impartial, I thought I’d include this style of dress for those of you that are into this look.  (The whole reason I’m not a big fan is that I have very narrow shoulders and this style just doesn’t work on me… better a complete strapless dress for me than a bardot-top for me!)

Of all the bardot dresses, I like the look of this one because of that big front ruffle, which gives the illusion of sleeves, would fall nicely over the dress when belted, giving a nipped in waist effect.

At £18, who knows about the quality?  But it might be worth a punt?

3. Mango – Decorative Buckle Dress (£59.99)


Love this one!

I am slightly smitten with this Mango Buckle dress… I adore the simplicity of it.

BUT, again, how low is that neckline?

Perhaps it would be just me that it’s dangerously low on, and so I’d be layering it over t-shirts and the like, but it’s a lovely looking dress.

I also like the low back as well:


This dress would hopefully make it to a midi-length on us shorties… but if you’re worried about that neckline, I’d say there is scope to have the straps at the top shortened.

However, that is an alteration too far for me to do myself and so if this is the dress for you, perhaps factor in the cost of such an alteration?

And that is the only reason this dress didn’t make it to my number one slot!

2. ASOSCheap Monday Double Layer Ribbed Tank Dress (£40)


This is another regular range dress which I’ve included because I do feel that it would still work on us shorties regardless of any extra length.

The fine ribbed jersey would make it light weight enough for summer, and the dress itself with the asymmetric hemline is very much on trend; the simple shape of the dress would work dressed up or down and it’s a reasonable price.

Definitely one to try.

Ready for number one?

1. MangoRuched Detail Dress (currently reduced to £45.99)


simple, elegant and verstatile

I love this dress.

The ruching detail and  assymmetric straps/neckline add interest; the length would be maxi on us shorties, but as it’s made of a ‘flowy fabric’ would lend itself to being shortened to midi length (relatively straight forward) if that’s what length you preferred.

I would wear this with flat gladiator sandals, flip-flops, heeled sandals, ankle boots, wedged sandals… again, a very versatile dress up or down dress without having to make too much actual, real effort.

Perfect for lazy types like myself.

My only issue is that this isn’t a ‘throw on’ dress because it is has a side zip… but given how lovely looking it is, I’d probably get over that.

So those are this week’s seven.

This week’s Stinker of the Week comes from ASOS Petite: Off the Shoulder Maxi (£20):


Just too “meh!”

Now comparing this to the Boohoo dress… it’s just so shapeless and cheap looking, don’t you think?  Or is that just me, seeing what I want to see? (wouldn’t be the first time!)

And my Wildcard of the Week: How about trying out a jumpsuit instead of a dress?


Jumpsuit perfection!

I have the long-sleeved version of this Hush Short Sleeved Jumpsuit (£75 – sold out on the Hush website, but still some availability via John Lewis).

I am not a hair taller than 5ft, and this jumpsuit is some sort of hocus-pocus-jiggery-jumpsuit-magic because it seems to fit me, but also works on much taller ladies: I think it’s that elasticated waist.

It’s a pain going to the loo, but it is one of the most comfortable things in my wardrobe. Fact.

If you can wear trousers with a top tucked into them – then you *can* do jumpsuits as well: I promise.

How to style?

The simple flat sandals look from the Hush website photo is just one way, but here are another 3 looks:


Look 1 – Layer it up: for cooler days, just layer a long sleeve Boden Breton (£28)  underneath it. The addition of a basket bag, something like this Zara Tricolour Plaited bag (£49.99) –  containing a trusty denim jacket (just in case) like this Zara Puff Sleeve Denim Jacket (£29.99) with some Black & white Veja Wata Pierre sneakers (£70) is a great mooching around town kind of look.

Look 2: Going Out-Out: Just add heels! Something in this season’s bright yellow, like these fierce looking Topshop Jemma Point Mid Heel Courts (£59) should do the trick!  You can of course wear your trusty biker, or denim jacket, but if you wanted to smarten things up, why not try a blazer like this Topshop Tailored suit Jacket (£65) in green? As luck would have it, Topshop have this lovely yellow Clara Clean Clutch (£15) to finish the look off.  And I know, I’m probably pushing my luck here with the green jacket, but if it’s not for you, they do have a similar style in Black.

Look 3: Holiday Nights: I often find I feel kind of chilly after an entire day in the blazing sunshine when I’m on holiday.  Plus, being a magnet for mosqitos I like full coverage in the evenings. So this jumpsuit would be ideal.  I would keep is really simple and wear it some flat sandals – perhaps something nice and blingy for the sunny holiday evening, like these HM Gold Sandals (£19.99 – I have the black version of these from last year, and they are super comfy; sorely tempted by these gold ones…) and a cute little tassels clutch like this Mango Ethnic Clutch (£39.99) and you’re all set to have some aperitifs on the veranda before heading out to dinner. Oh, and don’t forget your sunnies (£6.99 – HM)

Although my Hush Jumpsuit is the long-sleeved winter version, I tend to wear it with sleeves rolled to 3/4 or half:

So that’s it for another week… I realise a ‘black summer dress’ may not be *the* most exciting of summer dresses for some, but I’ve personally always loved the simplicity of the blank canvas of a black summer dress and it’s come in useful year after year.

How about you? Do you prefer a floral or riot of colour?  Or like me, do you like a black summer dress?

I’ll be back mid-week to update you on those H&M dresses I mentioned in my last blog post.

Til then, have a good Sunday night and week… it’s meant to be warming up a little.

We can but hope and pray, eh?

Thanks for reading.


PS: I know, there wasn’t a single mention of cats, black or otherwise, in this post.  Just liked the title though!