Every year I love to add at least one new dress to my ever growing collection. When I purchase each dress I like to know that I’ll pull it out of the wardrobe and it’ll go with the majority of my accessories. I want to be able to wear the dress to any occasion, day or night, without having to think too much about how I’m going to style it. My style is mainly floaty and floral, and I very often stick to what I feel comfortable in. Yet there’s nothing wrong with trying something different once in a while, is there?
When I think of an off the shoulder dress, I imagine days at the beach and holiday destinations. I see women wearing them all the time, women who are confident and know exactly how to pull them off. I’ve always needed the security of at least a spaghetti strap to make sure I’m held firmly in place. I’ll always remember when I was on holiday in my late teens and wearing a brightly coloured bikini in the sea, a huge wave rolled up and dragged the bikini top down and, well, all I can say is I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life.
So you see, I do expect miracles from one summer dress.
In a moment of extreme braveness I came across this white Off The Shoulder Dress* on the Tobi website and thought, hey, why not give it a try. Not only did I choose off the shoulder but decided on a mini length as well, I would normally have gone for a maxi dress but oh no, I stepped well and truly out of that comfort zone.
There was something about this particular dress that I felt drawn to, maybe the delicate polka dot print made a welcome change from floral or maybe it was the fit and flare skirt that I knew I’d feel more comfortable in rather than a tightly fitting design.
When the dress arrived I couldn’t wait to try it on. It fitted beautifully in all the right places, not too tight or so loose it would fall down. The elasticated part across the chest enhanced my womanly shape, one I didn’t know was there before. It wasn’t low cut so I didn’t feel exposed and wanting to pull it up all the time. The website describes the dress as a skater style, measuring 72.4 cm length, I’m nearly 5 foot 8 inches and on me it reached to about my mid thigh. The skirt section has a sheer top layer and a soft satiny lining underneath. If white isn’t your thing, don’t worry, this dress also comes in red and black.
I love the extra detail around the neckline and the arms, the delicate frill gives a real girly feel to the dress. The tiny polka dot print gave the dress a simple, classic feel rather than being bold and in your face. The material was so soft and not in the least bit scratchy, the dress feels such good quality and looks well made, it could easily have come from a high end store. I felt absolutely amazing while wearing this off the shoulder dress, I felt a strong, confident woman while retaining my femininity. It suited both my shape and style without looking like I’d tried too hard.
I’d set myself a little challenge. I knew I could easily pop on a pair of pretty summer sandals and add a straw bag for a casual day look which would be ideal for a day at the seaside, but would it still look as good styled up for an evening event.
Accessories are a great way to completely change the look of an outfit, from shoes to bags, even jewellery can make a difference. A pair of brightly coloured tassel earrings would bring an element of fun for a day look, however I prefer to wear delicate gold or silver jewellery. With my neckline on show, I chose this beautiful gold layered necklace* to add a hint of glamour to a simple day dress. The smaller chain is in a choker style and the longer chain includes a disc pendent which sits perfectly just below the collar bone. I think it’s one of the prettiest necklaces I have ever seen.
For my shoes and bag I’ve chosen two items I’d picked up from Amazon. For months I’d been searching for a dupe of the Chloe Nile Bracelet bag. I love that this one is practically identical, although it’s not made of leather and definitely doesn’t come with the hefty price tag. I was surprised at how well made it was, it has good quality stitching and doesn’t look or feel cheap. The bag can be worn cross body using the adjustable shoulder strap or as a grab bag using the circle ring handle. It’s the ideal size for an evening out, there’s a slot for a card holder, along with a larger section for a mobile and a few makeup essentials.
My shoes were another amazing find from a brand called Rock On Styles and are a very similar design to the Valentino Rockstud pumps, but for a fraction of the price. The heel height is roughly 3 inches, so not too high if your’re going to be on your feet all evening. They’d also look absolutely beautiful worn for a prom or with a bridesmaids outfit. They are made of good quality faux leather, with studs along the straps and the front of the shoe.
To complete my look is a blush pink and rose gold watch from Anne Klein, which was a birthday gift from Adrian, he knows me so well as I simply adore these colours (it also comes in Chestnut or Navy). I slipped on an off white blazer from Anastasia (Similar), sadly mine’s out of stock but there are loads around like this one from Tobi.
I may have been going out for the evening but I wanted to keep my makeup looking quite natural and fresh. First I applied No7 Aqua Perfect Cushion Foundation, which is your base, concealer and powder all in. It’s also a handy size compact to pop in your bag. For my eyes I’ve used my trusty Too Faced Chocolate Bar Palette and Better Than Sex Mascara. To finish off the look I’ve used Estee Lauder Pure Color Envy in the shade Insatiable Ivory and Essie Nail Polish in colour Bare With Me.
All I needed was a glass of Prosecco in my hand.
Shoes: Rock On Styles
Watch: Anne Klein
*These items were kindly gifted to me by the PR team at Tobi