I’m going to a wedding next month, it’s going to be fairly posh and the invite says ‘cocktail attire’. Now I don’t go to weddings that often (the last one was oooh when Girl Lacer was a baby, I can’t even remember what I wore, although I remember what she wore, a very fetching matching hat, dress and bloomers outfit, the hat would sit at a rakish angle as she smiled cheekily at everyone in the reception). Now just as I haven’t gone to weddings often in the past, I doubt I’ll go to many weddings in the future (everyone I know bar a few are already married off) and especially doubt I’ll be going to any more posh winter weddings (never been to a winter wedding before), I also have never been to a cocktail party before, nor do I really want to . . . so can you see what I’m getting at . . . I don’t already possess a cocktail dress and I don’t particularly want to buy one, as I hate buying stuff I’m only going to wear once. Also, I may be working now but I still don’t particularly have cocktail dress budget. So, what to wear?
I’ve been thinking about this for a while and have been collecting ideas on Pinterest, none of the following dresses I would particularly call cocktail dresses, however I would call them, to varying degrees, dresses I could wear to more places than just a posh winter wedding.
First up, the dresses I would get quite a lot of wear out . . . .
Eugenie Denim Dress £55 Monsoon
Luscombe £69.95 Joules
Grace Oriental Bird Dress £45 Fat Face (although I’m not sure how well this particular style would fit me)
Tara Winter Bird Dress £55 Fat Face (I came that close to buying this dress the other day, as I love the print on it, but of all the dresses I like it’s probably the least suitable and the colour may make me look washed out)
Roseable £74.95 Joules
Boucle dress £99.95 Joules
Lynn Dress £95 Monsoon
British Tweed Shift £135 Boden
And in a category all of it’s own, i.e. ‘the dress my mum would have worn but it’s a classic and it’s never going to date and it’s red but I’m not going to have a chance to wear it that often’
Yasmin Ponte Dress £65 Monsoon (also, I’m not sure if the neckline is going to be doing much for me, I normally need to show a bit of cleavage or I look frumpy)
So, what do you think? Mr. Lacer, for the record, thinks I should wear something ‘long and elegant’, note how there is nothing particularly long here, personally I like my legs, they’re pretty much my only best feature.
Budget wise, in an ideal world I’d like to spend under £50 but I am realistic and I think it’s more likely to be under £70, I may push the boat out to under £80 but I am extremely unlikely to go above that. I haven’t totally ruled out making something, in which case it would be something like the Boucle dress / the Lynn dress / the tweed shift dress above, all of which are above my budget anyway. I really like this dress which was featured on Burda Style.
But I also have to consider that I may also be making Girl Lacer a dress for this wedding and I have Christmas crafting to do and I am not going to over commit myself.
But then I also have shoes to consider, other than my converses and my trainers, the only shoes I have at the moment are my great big clunky brick red DMs (which I am immensely proud of) and if any pair of shoes scream cocktail attire less, it’s those shoes. I do however think my DMs would go with most of the dresses above (with the exception of the dress my mum would of worn and the dress shown in Burda style). And then there’s the fact that it’ll be December, it’ll be cold, so what to wear on top . . . hmmmm . . . luckily I do possess a nice purple wool coat at the moment, that’ll do. And then there’s what bag to carry . . . argh I just don’t do posh. Ah forget it, I’m going as me, I’m just going to have fun choosing a dress that’s going to serve me for a lot more than just one day out (but any suggestions still welcome).
Edited to add:
About 10 minutes after I pressed publish on this post, I had a brainwave that hit me so hard my head almost flew sidewards. I do already own something cocktail related. I rushed to my wardrobe in-trepidation and pulled out my long satin turquoise cocktail skirt, that I last wore about ten years ago and had always kept ‘just in case’. The skirt still had the pins in it from the dry cleaners and I tried it on nervously, considering this was something I last wore before the effect of two kids laid damage on my waist line and . . . . it fit . . . just about (can’t quite pull the zip right to the very top of the skirt but it’s comfortable and fine if I wear a longish top), so I’m quite proud about that. So Mr. Lacer has his wish about something long and elegant, but now the problem of the shoes and top to go with it, my DMs definitely would not go and although I do have a top I can wear with it, look at the bad photo of me below that I’ve just taken, don’t I so look like tired mum who’s grabbed what she could out of the depths of her wardrobe in an effort to look one-off smart? Which is basically what I am (and it doesn’t help that I’m currently between shifts and I’m working 9 hours in total today, so excuse the hair).
Doesn’t help that I’ve always hated that top set I’m wearing, I have no idea what possessed me to buy it for a Christmas night out a few years ago, it’s lace and it’s scratchy and although together the whole thing looks ok, it’s not me, or should I say it most definitely is me and that’s the problem with it, it’s tired, on a budget, mum of two, not ‘quirky’, individual, I ain’t bending to your cocktail rules mum of two I was, I think, sort of aiming for with the dresses above. But the skirt is going to stay but after months of thinking about dresses that go with my DMs I now have to find a pair of shoes and a top that goes with that skirt. Oh (gets hit by another brain wave), I do have a pair of quite masculine looking brogues somewhere, which I don’t wear too much and if I teamed that with maybe some black knitwear, like maybe a black polo neck sweater, with my hair up under strict control in a bun . . . yes definitely! So result, I have now gone from looking for a £50+ dress, to a £30+ top and £30+ shoes, to just a £30+ jumper, feel like I’ve saved myself some money! (I will post a photo of me in my cocktail penny saving slight rebellion outfit after the wedding).