Browsing Category

Dresses

Dresses, Wanted!

TFP Pick of the Day: The Perfect Stripe Dress for Winter

stripe knitted dress

Staying styling AND staying warm aren’t necessarily one and the same thing at this time of year: in fact, all too often we end up forgetting about style altogether, and just layering on as many items of clothing as it takes to keep out the chill.

The answer? Knitted dresses.

They’re easy to wear (just as easy as jeans or leggings: maybe even easier, in fact, because you don’t need to find a top to wear with them), warm, but when you find one that works for you, you’ll look like you made a bit of an effort, even when you didn’t. Which is why we love this navy stripe dress by Sugarhill Boutique. The navy and white stripe gives this a classic/nautical feel, which will be effortlessly stylish with absolutely no fuss, while the little heart appliqués on the collar are a cute little touch. If it’s not quite warm enough for you, a silk slip underneath will keep you warm AND stop the dress catching on the tights you’re probably going to have to wear with it for now: when spring rolls around, though, bare legs and a simple pair of flats will look just as good.

If you haven’t heard of Sugarhill Boutique, they’re a good brand to check out for cute knits and sweet floral dresses. We love this slogan sweater:

'Happy' slogan sweater

And we’re also fans of this heart-print dress, which is another one of those items that’s really easy to just throw on with tights and boots in the winter, and a pair of sandals during the warmer months:

Betsey heart print dress

Finally, if you’re looking for a bit of light weekend reading, don’t forget to check out Forever Amber, for personal style and lifestyle topics, and ShoeperWoman, for all the shoes you could ever need! Have a great weekend…

Dresses

6 of the Best… Little Black Dresses

little black dresses

Where would we be without the little black* dress?

It’s chic, it’s easy to wear, you can dress it up or down as required and there’s pretty much one for every taste. With the Christmas party season well under way, the little black dress is about to get a serious workout, so here are six of our current favourites from the UK high street…

01. Rare London bustier midi dress, £55

Tulle skirts have never been trendier, but they also have a classic glamour to them that’s hard to beat. This one is just £55, and will make you feel like a movie star: or a ballerina, as the case may be…

02. Ted Baker bardot neckline bodycon dress, $195

Simple and elegant, this bodycon dress by Ted Baker is the kind of dress you can wear many different ways, without anyone realising its exactly the same dress.

03. Chi Chi London jacquard midi dress, £62.99

If you love dresses, you probably already love Chi Chi London, but if you haven’t heard of them, this is THE brand for special occasions. This jacquard midi dress is black with a touch of gold, to make it a little more interesting. A fitted bodice and full skirt complete the retro-inspired look: just add red lipstick and a great pair of heels and you’re good to go.

04. Lipsy embellished prom dress, £68

From a midi-length dress to a midi one: Lipsy’s embellished prom dress has a sweetheart neckline without the hassle of going strapless.

05. Coast ‘Kimbly’ bow cocktail dress, £49

If you DO want to go with a strapless option, however, Coast’s ‘Kimbly’ cocktail dress is down to just £49 on sale: there are still some sizes left, but you don’t want to wait too long to grab one!

06. Gaynor Maxi dress by TNFC, £80

Finally, for those times when full-on glamour is the only way to go, TNFC’s sequin maxi dress makes us want to invent an excuse to wear it. Any excuse’ll do…

*Or navy, or red, or green, or blue, or whatever your signature colour happens to be.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Good Clothes Gone Bad | The Back-Slit Dress

Remember when we talked about when good clothes go bad? Well, here’s another example…

ASOS full-skirted dress

[buy it here]

Now,  in fairness, this one could’ve gone either way. It’s one of those dresses that got an instant, “OMGLOVEIT!” reaction from us, quickly followed by a, “Or DO I?” The shape is amazing, is as the subtle print, which seems just right for the upcoming winter seasons. Dresses with sleeves are still rare enough to make us want to buy every one we see (Seriously, why so many short-sleeved dresses in winter, fashion designers? Don’t you all get cold? Do you really want us to spoil your beautiful designs by layering cardigans and scarves over the top every single time we wear them?), and did we mention how awesome the full-skirt is on this? Awesome, seriously. The shiny fabric and the seams along the bust, however, did give us some pause for thought: and then there was THIS:

dress with back slit

And instantly, a good dress goes bad.

Seriously, why would they do this? Not only does the back stick out from the model’s body, creating an awkward sideways-silhouette, we also have to ask how on earth – or rather WHERE on earth – you’d wear something like this? Super-thick fabric, with a high-neck and long sleeves: that’s going to be pretty warm, right? When we saw it from the front, we thought, “great dress for cold weather” – but then there’s the whole issue of the naked lower back. When is it ever simultaneously so cold that you need long (THICK) sleeves and a high neck, but also so warm that you can happily bare your back to the elements? We have no idea. All we know is that if we owned this, we’d end up having to wear something under it to cover the lower back: which renders that detail totally redundant.

Why’d do you it, ASOS? If you’d just given it a normal, filled-in back, you COULD have had £150 from us. As it is, it’s just another good dress gone bad…

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Faces in Places: Anna Sui suede mini dress

anna sui suede mini dress

Can you see it?

Can you see the face on this Anna Sui suede mini dress? Because we can see a face on this dress: and it’s not a happy face either. In fact, it’s a grump, annoyed face – a face that clearly says, “For crying out loud: why am I attached to a stupid suede mini dress? Why wouldn’t I have been a vintage Dior ballgown? Or something Taylor Swift might wear? Instead I’m stuck here with birds for eyes, and a really big nose…”

dress with a face

Now can you see it?

OK, OK, bad Photoshop is bad, we get it. But you see the face now, right? And now that you’ve seen it, you can’t UN-see it. That’s the problem with faces in places : they’re funny, and they can sometimes even be cute: they’re not always what we’d call a “crime of fashion”. But wear them once, see the face, and you will never look at that dress, or sweater, or whatever it is, the same way again. All you’ll see – and all anyone ELSE will see – will be the face.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to swing this as a “statement” piece. Because it is one. The problem with statement pieces, however, is that, well, they make a statement. Sometimes quite a strong one. So rather than YOU wearing the clothes, the clothes will almost always end up wearing you in these cases: people won’t remember what YOU looked like – they’ll just remember you as being “that girl with the dress that had a face”, and you have to ask yourself if that’s what you really want your wardrobe to do for you.

If you do want that, fair enough. But if you want people to see YOUR face, rather than the one on your dress, we recommend steering clear of faces in places – no matter how cute they might look.

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Dresses can be fashion crimes too

lace overlay maxi dress

[Buy it here]

Last week we mentioned that, when it comes to fashion crimes, trousers seem to commit more than their fair share of them. Well, let the record show that dresses aren’t totally innocent either. Take the dress above, for instance. Now, we’re going to bet that a lot of you will like this. It has that whole, “Look, I’m naked under this meagre smattering of lace!” look going on, and people seem to LOVE that for some reason. We don’t, needless to say – we’ve actually had nightmares in which we’re out in public wearing just a meagre smattering of lace – but it’s not the top half of the dress we want to talk about today: it’s that weird trim around the ankles: a trim that makes it look like the model has been shackled at the legs. It’s even worse from the side view:

ASOS long lace dress

It’s just hard to escape the impression that she isn’t wearing a skirt, but has loosely tied her legs together at the ankles. Which is odd, really.

Then there’s this:

Vivienne westwood dress

[Buy it here]

You’d never guess this was £1,000 and designed by Vivienne Westwood, would you? Because it looks like the kind of thing you might hastily cobble together from the contents of an old linen drawer, if you woke up one morning and discovered that all of your clothes had mysteriously gone missing. But no, it’s a dress which costs more than some people’s rent: amazing!

Finally:

Relax dress

[Buy it here]

We don’t know about you, but we’d find it quite hard to “relax” in this, because we’d be so busy hiding around corners and hoping no one we knew saw us in our ironic fashion-statement dress and ugly sandals. Would it be worth it to know that we were super-edgy, in a way that most people wouldn’t even be able to understand? We’re going to go with “no”…

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Guess What It Is

dress or bag

Anyone feel like hazarding a guess at what this is? Without cheating by scrolling down the page for the answer, we mean?

Is it a sleeping bag? A tent? Some kind of Ikea lampshade cover? Because it totally looks like an Ikea lampshade cover, don’t you think?

It isn’t, though. Although we’d possibly like it better if it was. No, this colourful item is, in fact…

designer dress

[Buy it]

..a designer dress! Which will cost you £1,172.53. One. Thousand. One. Hundred. And Seventy Two. Pounds. And fifty-three pence. Nope, it doesn’t get any easier to believe the more you say it. Quite the opposite, in fact. What people choose to spend their money on is their business, obviously, but we have to say, if someone said they were buying us a £1,ooo designer dress, and we opened the box to find this inside, we’d have a hard time coming up with an appropriate “present face”, wouldn’t you? Because this? This looks like an Ikea lampshade, as we’ve noticed. One from the children’s department. On clearance. It also makes the model look like a cartoon character, and reminds us of a couple of our fashion guidelines, namely:

01. If you can’t instantly work out what kind of garment it is, it’s probably a crime of fashion.

02. If it makes models look bad, there is no hope for the rest of us.

03. No item of clothing should look like it came from Ikea.

In a bid to cleanse our palettes, so to speak, we had a look around for something we might actually like from this brand. Seeing the words “voluminous brocade skirt”, we thought we’d struck gold: we DO love a big skirt after all!

voluminous brocade skirt

Er, maybe not quite this big, though. We have to admit, though: something like this would come in really handy on public transport – you’d have all the space you needed!

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

The Ugliest Dresses of 2014

the ugliest dresses of the year

We hope all our officers are having a happy holiday season, and taking the opportunity to rest up and get ready for a super-stylish new year. Right now, though, it’s still 2014, and we’re continuing our look back at some of the biggest fashion fails of the year – in our opinion, at least.

This time we’re looking at some of the ugliest dresses of the year, and, as with our last roundup, these are all items from our archive , which means you’re unlikely to be still be able to buy most of them – unless you’re very unlucky.

Here are some of our least favourite dresses of the year: 

meadham Kirchoff rubber apron dress

Meadham Kirchhoff rubber apron dress

2013 brought us one of the strangest designer collaborations known to man, when Meadham Kirchhoff teamed up with Topshop to create a range of high street “fashion” that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a sex shop. A few months later, the brand followed up with this rubber apron dress, which they wanted £2,279 for. It kind of set the tone for the year, to be honest.

sack dress

The Sack Dress

We love a Little Black Dress, and would generally argue that simple is best: this one takes that principle just a little bit TOO far, though…

ugly sheer dress

The model’s pose is EVERYTHING.

denim shirt dress

You thought it was going to be an ordinary denim shirt dress, didn’t you? If only!

rick owens dress

We recommend wearing your best undies with this Rick Owens dress: just one wrong move, or the slightest of breezes, and the world will be getting to see it, after all.

ugly maxi dress

Yes, this is a “dress”. Or so the product description claimed, anyway…

We hope you enjoyed this look back at the dress crimes of 2014. What will the future hold, we wonder? Well, we don’t have to long to wait to find out: we’ll be back with more crimes of fashion in 2015 – for now, we wish you all a very happy New Year when it comes!

– The Fashion Police

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

We’re, like, totally obsessed with this orange Valentino dress

orange Valentino dress

Valentino orange silk dress, $3,700

We’ve always hated it when people use the word “brave” to describe someone’s fashion choices. Not only is it something of a back-handed compliment to give someone, (“Oh, that’s such a BRAVE choice!” is generally fashion-speak for, “Wow, what a hot mess!”) it also leaves you with no way to describe things that are ACTUALLY “brave”. If wearing clothes is “brave”, how do you describe someone who runs into a burning building to rescue a kitten, for instance? You’d have no words, would you?

(See also: people who use the word “OBSESSED” when what they actually mean is “I glanced at this, and I quite like it, but I’ll have forgotten all about it by the time I’ve moved onto the next photo on my Instagram stream. “OMG, I am, like, SO OBSESSED with this jacket!” No, you’re really not. And if you really ARE obsessed with a jacket: seek help. Seriously. But we digress.)

Where were we? Oh yeah, this dress.

So, we hate it when people use the word “brave” in connection with fashion, but we’re nothing if not inconsistent, so we’re going to do it anyway, and declare that you’d have to be pretty brave – or at least to genuinely not give a damn what people think of you* –  in order to wear it. For one thing, everyone’s going to assume you’re pregnant, you can take that as read. Now, that might not matter to you  – we’ve read that it’s unfashionable to care about whether your clothing is flattering or not – but we reckon most non-pregnant people probably DO care just a little bit when people repeatedly ask them if they’re in the family way. For another thing, people are probably also going to assume you’re a Buddhist monk who’s lost their way – or are in costume as a Buddhist monk, which could be just as awkward. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a Buddhist monk, obviously, but if you’re NOT one, the constant questions could get old after a while…). For a third thing, you’re going to be the centre of attention aaalll night. Because you’ll be the person in the giant orange dress, obviously.  (You might like that, of course. It’s hard to know why you’d wear something like this if you DIDN’T want to be the centre of attention.)

Oh, and finally: your bank account will be almost $4,000 lighter, and this is what you’ll have to show for it.

So, whaddya think: would you wear it? 

(*This is as opposed to the type of “not giving a damn” in which the wearer of the clothes works very hard to cultivate a “don’t give a damn” attitude/appearance, whilst actually caring very much indeed what you think of their outfit. Fashion: it’s like a whole different language, isn’t it?)

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

When Maxi Dresses Go Wrong

The maxi dress. It’s a summer staple for many people: throw one on with a pair of sandals and a floppy sunhat, and you’re all set for a day by the pool, a trip to the beach, a leisurely day’s sightseeing… you can fill in the rest of this list yourself, we’re sure. Not only is the maxi dress a lightweight alternative to shorts, sundresses or all of those other summer options, it can also be very forgiving to the figure: unless, of course, it looks like this:

black maxi dress with knickers

Black maxi dress, $24

We have a grudging respect for this dress. It’s just so unapologetic, isn’t it? The girl who wears this dress isn’t going to fuss around, adding silly layers of see-through fabric to present the illusion of a “modesty” we all know doesn’t exist in a dress like this: this girl just wants to go out in her knickers. And she’s GONNA. You have to admire that single-minded determination to have your knickers on show at all costs. Er, don’t you?

This girl, meanwhile, ALSO wanted to go out in just her knickers:

black maxi dress

[Buy it here for $36 ]

Her dad wouldn’t let her, though, so she had to get creative. When she faced up to the parents, on her way out of the house, she looked demure and elegant, without so much as a visible pantie line. She was business in the front, for sure. When she turned around, though…

business  in the front, party in the back

… that dress was definitely aaaaallll party in the back. And what a party it was, too!

They both, however, felt themselves to be better dressed than THIS girl:

mesh maxi dress

Open Relationship mesh maxi dress, $29

Because that’s just silly, now, isn’t it?

What do you think, Style Sleuths? Do these dresses belong in Fashion Police jail, or would you like us to set them free, without charge?

 

 

Dresses, Style On Trial

Style Trial | Zara eye print dress: a fashion blogger favourite…

Zara eyeball dress

Every year, Zara manages to create an item of clothing which is snapped up and worn by absolutely everyone. And by “absolutely everyone”, we mean “by fashion bloggers”. Fashion bloggers often seem to exist in their own little trend microcosm, don’t they? For instance, we don’t recall seeing anyone wearing THAT Zara skort (which was LAST year’s fashion blogger ‘must have’) in “real” life, but every fashion blogger on the internet seemed to have one, and so it is with this eyeball-print dress.

This dress is currently sold out online, but if you’re lucky you may be able to find one in store, and if not, there’s always eBay, where you’ll find tons of them, all selling for double the price you’d have paid to Zara themselves. (Fashion Police tip: try typing the words “Blogger favourite” or just “blogger” into the eBay search engine for an interesting insight into all of those fashion blogger trends…). Oh, and if you DON’T want to pay double to cover your body in eyeballs (All eyes will be on you: geddit?) SheInside are selling an identical dress for just… £10.

(It may actually be the SAME dress, in all honest. We’re still not clear on whether sites like SheInside, ChicWish etc are actively copying brands like Zara, or whether the clothes are simply being made in the same factory in China, and Zara et al are just adding a bigger mark-up. Either one is possible.)

All of that aside, however, what we really want to know is what you THINK of this dress. You’re probably going to be seeing a lot more of it as the summer rolls on, because although it’s been out for a while now, it shows no sign of diminishing in popularity. Do you like it, though, or do you consider it to be a crime of fashion?

Is this dress innocent or guilty?

 

Dresses, Fashion News

Would you wear… Peacocks’ £1.99 lace dress?

Peacock's £1.99 dress

Last week, UK fashion chain Peacocks rather cleverly managed to drum up some publicity for themselves by selling a dress for the bargain price of just £1.99 – about $3.30, for those of you in the U.S.

The dress is shown above: it was a little lace number, available in mint or lilac, and, predictably enough, it sold out so quickly it managed to crash the brand’s website. Not to worry, though: Peacocks have announced plans to repeat the experiment in the future, with other low-priced dresses to come.

Our question is: what do you think of them?

For those of you worried about the ethics of buying clothes which are cheaper than your morning cappuccino, you can relax a little: this was a loss-leading exercise for the retailer, who would normally sell this particular dress for £18 – still pretty cheap, but definitely not AS cheap as the £1.99 it eventually sold for. The point, of course, is not to make a profit: it’s simply to get our attention, and, hopefully, to persuade us to spend some REAL cash on other, regularly priced items on the site.

Did it work? Well, it certainly got our attention, that’s for sure. Having gone to the site in search of the famous dress, we decided to take a quick look around the rest of the stock – strictly for investigative reasons, you understand – and here’s what we found:

lace skater dress

lace skater dress in black, £18

This is the black version of the £1.99 lace dress, selling for the regular price of £18. We wouldn’t class this as a crime of fashion, but we probably wouldn’t wear it, either: lace is a fabric that can LOOK cheap even if it isn’t, and although we don’t think this looks like it cost £1.99, we don’t think it looks particularly expensive either, although it’s obviously hard to tell just from a photo. It’s inoffensive enough, but certainly not “wanted!” material.

structured stripe shift dress

Structured stripe shift dress, £22

Now, this is more like it: still inexpensive at £22, but the structured shape and slightly longer hem makes it look higher quality.

cropped cardigan

Cropped cardigan, £12

We’re always on the lookout for cropped cardigans, which are much more flattering over dresses than regular ones. We’d prefer longer sleeves, because it’s rarely warm enough at Fashion Police HQ for short ones, but this cardi comes in four different colours, and will at least keep your shoulders warm and covered in sundresses etc.

red belted mac

Red belted mac, £26

You can tell a lot about an online retailer from the quality of their outerwear. It being the start of spring, Peacocks don’t have a huge selection at the moment, but we did like the look of this bright red trench coat – a nice alternative to the classic beige versions we featured yesterday.

So, what do you think of Peacocks and their £1.99 dress? Did you buy one? WOULD you buy one?

Dresses, Fashion Fraud Squad

REAL vs STEAL | Mint lace dresses by Dolce & Gabbana and RoseGal

Docle & Gabbana mint dress

L-R: Dresses by Dolce & Gabbana and RoseGal

Today’s edition of “Real Vs Steal” features a very literal interpretation of that phrase: the lower-priced dress isn’t simply “inspired by” its designer counterpart – it’s such an exact copy of it that it could be said to be literally “stealing” the designer style.

The designer dress in question is this mint beauty by Dolce & Gabbana. Our sister site ShoeperWoman featured this dress earlier this week, and we instantly fell in love with it. As it costs a bank-breaking £1,885, however, we resigned ourself to the fact that we’d never get to wear anything remotely like it – until Fashion Police informer, Claudia, emailed us the link to the RoseGal copy, which is a whole lot cheaper at $32.09.

What can we tell you about RoseGal? Well, not a whole lot, as it happens. We’ve never shopped from the site ourselves, but we’ve been aware of it for a while now. It’s one of a growing number of Chinese retail sites (see also Choies, ChicWish, etc), all of which manufacture very low-cost fashion items, some of which are startlingly similar to clothing found in our favourite high street stores. (And which possibly ARE the same items we buy from the likes of Zara, Topshop etc, just with a different label sewn inside: who knows.)

Of these sites, RoseGal markets itself as catering to the “vintage inspired” market, and carries a lot of 50s-style dresses, one of which is this Dolce & Gabbana dupe. It’s identical in style, although the fact that it costs just $32 (and that’s WITH shipping from China) makes us very much doubt whether it’ll be of a similar quality. With that said, although we haven’t, as we mentioned, shopped from RoseGal before, we have bought or been sent items from both Choies and ChicWish, and while the quality wasn’t outstanding, it wasn’t terrible either, so you never know. Unless, of course, you decide to order this dress, and report back to us.

Would you, though? How do you feel about made-in-China dupes of designer clothing? Would you purchase one of these dresses?

[Thanks to Claudia for the report!]

Dresses

Closet Confidential | Boden ‘Nancy’ dress in blue Riviera print: review

Closet Confidential offers you a peek inside the Fashion Police closet, seeing what we’ve been buying, what we’ve been returning, and – most importantly – what we thought of it. Today, Chief of Police Amber takes a look at Boden’s ‘Nancy’ dress in ‘blue Riviera’ print, which you may remember as a former Dress of the Day candidate

Boden Nancy dress in blue Riviera print

Boden ‘Nancy’ dress in blue ‘Riviera’ print, £89

Boden Nancy dress in blue Riviera print: review

Boden Nancy dress review

I pre-ordered this dress as soon as it appeared on the Boden summer preview site. I was totally won over by the pretty landscape print, as well as by the 50s-inspired wide neckline and full skirt. The dress finally arrived last week, and here’s what you need to know about it:

Shipping

As I mentioned, this was pre-ordered from the preview site, and although I wasn’t keeping strict track, it took around 8 weeks to arrive. This is often the case with Boden, who tend to manufacture limited amounts of their clothing, meaning that popular pieces sell out quickly, or have to be pre-ordered, often with a long wait. On the plus side, the website is pretty clear about how much stock is available and how long you’ll have to wait for it. Both times I’ve pre-ordered something which has been wait-listed, it’s arrived a few weeks earlier than I expected, so they do appear to be working hard behind the scenes to make sure you get your item as quickly as possible. Also, your card isn’t debited until the item is despatched, so at least you’re not handing over your hard-earned cash weeks before you have something to show for it.

Quality

This is a lightweight summer dress, and although it IS fully lined, the main thing you need to know about it is that the fabric is fairly thin (Both layers are 100% cotton), making it more suitable for summer than for early spring. (With that said, I’ve already worn it this spring, layered up with a cardigan, and didn’t have any problems with it.)

Appearance

Ten out of ten for appearance: this dress looks exactly like the product shots and has a gorgeous, vintage feel to it: super-summery, and very easy to wear either casually, or in a more dressed-up kind of way.

Sizing

I should say here that I’ve ordered quite a few pieces from Boden over the last year or so, and find the sizing always runs a little large. With this dress I ordered my usual size, and while the fit is fine, it’s not perfect: the waist and bust are both a little looser than I’d ideally like, so I’d say this is generously sized, and you might want to consider sizing down if you have a small waist/bust.

Verdict?

You’ll be unsurprised to know that I love this, and, having already worn it, there’s no chance of it going back: a keeper!

[Buy it here]
Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

The Ugliest Dresses of 2013

the ugliest dresses of 2013

Each year, as December comes to a close, The Fashion Police like to take a look back through the case files, and round up some of the worst fashion crimes of the year just gone. This year, we’re starting off with a look at the dress section of our jailhouse, so sit back, relax (if you can), and take a look at our gallery of the ugliest dresses of 2013!

(Note: These products go right back to the start of the year, and many – if not most – are now out of stock.  We’re pretty sure you’ll be able to live with this knowledge, but just in case you can’t, we’ve indicated where each dress came from on the image itself, so click on the gallery to read the item description.)

Dresses, Style On Trial

Spaghetti straps over t-shirts: the 90s revived

We haven’t said much about the 90s-revival that’s been going on in fashion for a while now: mostly because we were hoping that if we ignored it for long enough, it would simply go away. Well, it didn’t go away. And now the stores are full of items of clothing that look like this:

90s fashion

Dresses: Miss Selfridge

Spagetti-strap dresses over white t-shirts: all you need is a velvet choker and a pair of Doc Martens, and it’ll be like 1995 never ended. GOD. Back then, of course, people wore ACTUAL dresses, over ACTUAL t-shirts, not this “stuck together” nonsense that prevails nowadays. This was all fields then, of course. Onesies were just for babies. Crocs hadn’t been invented. People didn’t need their clothes to be stuck together in order to work out which shapeless floral dress to layer over which white t-shirt. Of course, the fact that people were actually WEARING spaghetti-strap dresses over t-shirts is all the evidence we need that the 90s wasn’t exactly the most stylish decade either – which is why we weren’t particularly thrilled to see these dresses (and all of the other 90s-inspired fashions that are around right now) back in fashion.

Of course, we’re prepared to admit to a slight bias here. We remember this trend from the first time around, you see, and while we don’t subscribe to the belief that if you wore a trend the first time it came around, you should always avoid it the second time, even when the dresses in question AREN’T attached to the t-shirts, we still find this one kinda awkward. We may have fond memories of watching Blossom, but that doesn’t mean we want to dress like her…

What do you think of the spahetti-straps-over-t-shirts revival? Crime of fashion, or just a logical way to wear a strappy dress but keep your shoulders covered at the same time?

Dresses, Fashion Police

TFP’s Ultimate Party Dresses Roundup

Today is the last day on which you’ll be able to order something online and have it delivered before Christmas (for many retailers, at least: there are a few who’re offering express delivery later in the week!), so if you’re still looking for party dresses for Christmas day, New Year’s Eve, or anything in between, now’s your last chance!

To take some of the hard work out of your search, we’ve rounded up our favourite party dresses from UK high street retailers: we don’t claim to have found something for everyone in this selection, but out of the thirty different dresses on the page, we hope you’ll find something you like. So sit back, take a look, and we hope you find your perfect party dress, whatever it may be!

Party dresses from ASOS:

ASOS party dresses

 

 

Purple Bardot dress, £85; Gothic prom dress, £100; sequin top skater dress, £50

Party dresses from Topshop:

Topshop party dresses

Sweetie embellished dress, £180, Duchess satin skater dress, £80; panelled peplum dress, £46

Party dresses from Dorothy Perkins

Dorothy Perkins party dresses

Maya sequin dress, £38.50; Paper Dolls pleated peplum dress, £51.30; electric blue prom dress, £29.40

Party dresses from River Island:

River Island party dresses

black lurex column dress, £32;  red rib box pleat prom dress, £45; beige asymmetric frill scuba dress, £50

Party dresses from Zara

Zara party dresses

sequin v-back dress, £39.00; green lace-insert dress, £25.99; blue shift dress, £59.99

Party dresses from Oasis

oasis party dresses

red ‘Jessica’ dress, £65; oriental jacquard dress, £85, sequin bodycon dress, £68

Party dresses from Warehouse

warehouse party dresses

Cobalt maxi dress, £60. daisy jewel dress, £68, metallic bonded lace dress, £65

Party dresses from Miss Selfridge

miss selfridge party dresses

lace sequin midi dress, £87.50; silver high-neck jacquard dress, £55; empire beaded maxi dress, £95

Party dresses from Karen Millen

karen millen party dresses

polka dot tutu, £210, red crepe dress, £175, metallic lace dress, £190

Party dresses from Coast

Coast party dresses

Brieta short dress, £150 ; Avelina bandeau dress, £150, Bryony bow dress, £175

Dresses

Five party dresses under £25

party dresses under £25

pink strapless prom dress, £20; oriental print dress, £18; silver jacquard dress, £20; red crepe dress, £18

A £20 party dress, which you can pick up at the supermarket, and pay for along with the rest of your groceries? It doesn’t exactly SOUND like the most stylish solution to a Christmas wardrobe crisis, but when we headed over to George at Asda to check out the party dresses, we found quite a few that we wouldn’t kick out of the closet.

All of the dresses above are under £25 – in fact, none of them are over £20 – so if you’re hoping to get through the party season while sticking to a budget, don’t overlook the supermarket, is what we’re saying. This selection also gives a nod to current trends, with 50s-influenced shapes, and the ever-present jacquard which has been popping up on dresses for a while now, and which is a nice, wintery fabric, with a touch of glamour.

Our favourite, as if you couldn’t guess, is the pale pink strapless number, which has that nice, vintage feel, and would allow us to indulge our inner princess quite effectively. That’s just us, though, so if you’re looking for something a little less pink and frothy, take a look at the George website to see the full selection.

Dresses

Dress of the Day | Collectif ‘Regina’ polka flock dress

Collectif Regina polka flock dress

Collectif ‘Regina’ polka flock dress, £55

Collectif’s winter collection recently arrived online, and more than a few of the pieces have already made their way onto The Fashion Police’s ‘WANTED!” list. And also into The Fashion Police’s closet, if we’re going to be completely honest about this.

The ‘Regina’ polka flock dress is one of the items currently on that list: although Collectif is technically a “retro reproduction” label, it’s a little less expensive than many similar brands (At £55, this dress is priced similarly to a mid-range high street store), which makes it that little bit more lethal to our bank balances. This dress has tons of old-fashioned glamour, but won’t look out of place in a contemporary setting either: in fact, it would make a nice Christmas party dress, and is the kind of classic LBD that can easily be given a new(ish) look depending on how you choose to accessorize it.

The wiggle shape and sweetheart neckline are the stand-out details of this dress (the little bow at the waistline helps, too), and the style is one which Collectif tend to release every season, in a variety of different colours and prints: in fact, there are several variations available on the site right now, including some full-skirted versions for those of you who aren’t so keen on pencil dresses. See them all here.

DOTD

Dresses

Review | Oasis stripe bodycon knitted dress

Oasis stripe knit dress stripe bodycon dress

Suspect : Oasis stripe bodycon dress

Spotted at: Zalando

Price: £40

Officer’s Comments:

The words “horizontal stripe” and “bodycon” can be daunting enough on their own, but put them into the same item description and they’re enough to strike fear into this officer’s beating heart. This Oasis knit dress has appealed to me for a while now, though, so when Zalando offered to allow TFP to interrogate something from their women’s clothing section I decided to give it a go.

The first surprise with this one came in the colour: in all of the photos I’ve seen of this dress, it looked to be a cream and black stripe. In real life, however, it’s more of a black and tan/beige, as you can see from the photos, which I think are a better representation of the actual colour than the ones from Oasis:

stripe bodycon dress

As it happens, I actually prefer the tan/beige version: I feel it has less of a ‘Beetlejuice’ feel to it, and tan and black is also one of my favourite colour combinations at this time of year, so it’s all good: it is something to be aware of if you’re ordering this one, however.

As for the dress itself, well, it’s pretty much as described: a very fine-knit, stretch knit fabric, which is comfortable and easy to wear, and which feels good quality. Another thing to be aware of here is that Zalando’s sizing differs from Oasis’s sizing: I ordered the size 6/8 at Zalando, which is actually marked as “XS” on the label. The conversion seems to be pretty accurate, though, and I’d say the fit is true to size. It is a bodycon dress, so it’s designed to be form fitting, and for that reason it’s not particularly forgiving: I’ll probably wear it with either some shapewear or a slip underneath to smooth out any bumps, but overall the fit is what I expected, and thanks to the stretch fabric, it’s very comfortable to wear, unlike some bodycon styles, which can leave you feeling like you’re being squeezed to death. For reference, I’m just under 5″4, and it hits just below the knee, which I think is a good length for a dress in this style.

Overall, I really liked this: I know a lot of people are wary of horizontal stripes, but they’re a great way to create the illusion of curves, and I think this is the kind of dress that’ll work well worn casually with boots, or dressed up with heels. It’s also well-priced at £40, and good value for money, especially if, like me, you reply on knitted dresses to get you through the autumn/winter!

Crimes of Fashion, Dresses

Crime of Fashion? Gareth Pugh raised neck dress

gareth-pugh

gareth-pugh-dress

Gareth Pugh dress, $2670

We couldn’t decide whether this dress was more amusing from the front or from the back, so we’re submitting both photos into evidence and letting you decide for yourselves.

Now, don’t get us wrong, we like a high neck on a dress. Or a coat. Or a sweater. Or anything with a neck, basically.

The clue to making this work, however, lies in the word “neck”. You have to be able to see, not just the neck of the dress/coat/sweater/whatever, but the neck of the person wearing it. It has to be seen to exist. If the neck of the dress is so high that it makes the wearer look, well, NECKLESS, then Fashion Police, we have a problem. This model, for instance, looks a lot like someone emerging from a protective cocoon which she’s been living inside for many a long year. Like a tortoise, say. Or an alien. And, of course, with Gareth Pugh, that’s probably the whole point: this isn’t a designer who likes to make clothes that are in any way “ordinary”, after all. It’s ART, dahlinks. Which is all very well, of course, but it’s also CLOTHES – and in this case, $2670 worth of clothes, so you better be darn sure you’re going to get a lot of use out of it if you’re going to buy it. (Unless you’re the kind of rich that can afford to drop almost $3k on a dress and only wear it once, obviously.)

Is this the kind of dress you’d be willing to invest that amount of money in? Can you see yourself wearing it regularly – or at all – or do you think it’s a Crime of Fashion? Answers, as always, in the comments section, please…

Buy it here

P.S. Spotted a crime of fashion? Don’t let it walk free: report it to The Fashion Police and we might just arrest it!