Today I want to talk about something that’s really close to my heart…something that I feel has really changed my life and made me feel differently about myself. And that thing is the humble midi dress.
Since leaving as editor of So Magazine last year, I still contribute to their fashion and beauty section, and in this month’s issue I waxed lyrical about my love for the midi dress here. In that article I selected a few dresses available in the Tunbridge Wells area, but you know what guys, I just bloody love midi dresses so much that I thought I’d write about them again.
Over the last year or so, I seem to have accumulated quite the collection of midi dresses. I’ve got polka dots, florals, stripes, plain, fancy…you name it, I’ve got it. (Some might call this a “problem” but they’re wrong.)
Ironically, I don’t actually like wearing dresses much, and generally unless I’m dressing up for something special or have the option to clad my pasty legs in 100 denier, I’ll opt for jeans over a dress any day. BUT, that’s the great thing about midi dresses – they cover most of my pale and pasty legs leaving just an exposed ankle (ooh, err) – which is ideal whether it’s blazing sun or the bleak midwinter.
They also work for any height too – shorties like me benefit from the extra length without tripping over the hemline of a maxi, while taller ladies can expose a bit of calf to the sunlight in hope of a tan. I’m telling you, it’s win win people.
Shoe-wise you can’t really go wrong either. Trainers work, boots work, wellies work, sandals work, heels work…I’d even be willing to say those super sexy walking boots would look good. Maybe. Anyway, the point is these dresses are versatile. An investment if you will, which is why I have so many of the things. I’m all about investing.
It’s hard for me to pick a favourite from my extensive collection, so I thought I’d feature three fairly recently purchased dresses.
1. The Primark Cami Midi Dress
I’ve worn this dress the most of all my recent purchases because it’s really really easy to wear. On sunnier days (ha ha ha) it can be worn on its own, but mostly I’ve teamed it with a white t-shirt underneath and my Adidas Stan Smith trainers.
Pros: Versatile, works with layers, costs just £13!
Cons: Watch out for the leg split. It has a habit of creeping round and flashing a fair amount of leg that you might not want to be revealing to all of the train carriage/ dog walkers / your boss.
2. The Topshop Austin Floral Print Angel Sleeve Midi Dress
This dress was a total impulse buy because those sneaky people at Topshop sent me a push notification when it went on sale, and I have no self control so I bought it. And then it sold out so I felt kinda smug, even though I had no need for it and nowhere to wear it. But I love it.
Pros: Instagram-worthy levels of floral print, cute cut-out back, perfect occasion dress without breaking the bank (it cost £39).
Cons: This dress has double the leg splits so there’s double the chance of flashing your knickers at Deborah in accounts. The cut-out back does make it trickier to wear as casual attire, but a cami vest top underneath stops the bra/naked back dilemma.
3. The H&M Floral Crepe Midi Dress
This dress has been a labour of love (and a bit of hate) for me. I saw it online and loved it but it was out of stock. Then I found it in a store and bought it in a size 8 without trying on (I’m usually an 8/10 in H&M sizing). I got it home and the top part was massive. Like, totally hung off me huge. So I returned it. Then I found it in another store but all they had was two size 6 dresses. This time, I actually tried it on and to my amazement it actually fit (which goes to show how mad their sizing is!) However, the one I tried on had a button loose, so before heading to the checkout I grabbed the other one and bought it. The tale should end there…but oh no. When I got it home I tried it on, and this one didn’t fit either – once again the top part was way too large and the bottom was too tight.
I know what you’re thinking – “why on earth didn’t you just give up?” Because friends, I’m a shopaholic through and through and I can’t quit. So, I toddled off to my nearest H&M armed with my return, to see if I could find ANOTHER one. This time all they had was a size 10, but for the lolz I tried it on. Bizarrely, it actually fit better on the top, but was far too big elsewhere.
Eventually, several days later one came back in stock online in a 6, so I ordered it just in case. And it fit. So I kept it. And…I haven’t worn it…yet.
The moral of this story is: always persevere. But also totally ignore the sizing in H&M.
Pros: It’s pretty.
Cons: The amount of effort it took to find it. Honestly, getting a wedding dress was easier.
So there you have it – midi dresses are the future. They’re awesome. Go forth and buy some. Get your ankles out with pride.