So, as promised, here’s the first of my two round-ups of what’s hot on the high street right now. And can I just say, once I got started down this trail it became apparent just how much choice there was available! This is the tiniest peep into the hundred plus beautiful dresses I found – so if none of these float your boat get browsing, there’s something for everyone.
To start with, I would always advise trying anything on. I rarely buy online (except via ebay) and when I do I check measurements carefully and only usually buy brands I know fit me. For something like this, good fitting is imperative. Also, try LOTS on!
My top shops for the best range of dresses are:
- If money is no object, go to Coast. No matter what shape you are, what colours you like or what event you’re shopping for, they’ll have a dress you fall in love with.
- If you’re on an in-between butdget check out Monsoon – they’ve got some fabulous brights and a huge array of styles to suit all shapes.
- If you’re on a high street budget go to Dotty P‘s. They too have a fantastic range, and usually fall into the £30-£60 category.
Ok, so let’s get started! First stop, Warehouse.
One Shoulder Twist Dress: £45
This dress is a real high fashion shape. It’s ideal for a pear – the fitted waist shows off a healthy figure, the flared skirt covers wider hips and the shoulder detail would not work on a larger bust, but adds interest to a smaller chest. The material is not especially glamorous, but could be dressed up with some fabulous satin heels or strappy sandals and a sparkly bag. The colour is great for darker haired girls, fabulous for “snow white” complexions (dark hair, fair skin) but would likely drain a red head.
Cut About Graphic Stripe Dress: £75
This one’s a bit Gwen Stefani, and could be fantsatic with red lipstick and green shoes, for example. It’s perfect for toned girls – though the bow and the draping will still hide a bit of a tummy. If you’re very self-conscious about your hips and bum, though, steer clear. Black and white (unlike plain white) work on most colourings, though ice blonds with a slight tan really shine in it.
Ruffle and Peplum Mini Prom Dress: £65 £45
Marge and Granddaughter, I know you said no black, but I LOVE the shape of this dress! It’s flattering, fitted at the waist and the perfect LBD. While it’s classic but young with black peep toes, add a red patent leather skinny belt, red shoes and lippy, and it’s suddenly very Dita Von Teese!
Corsage and Drape One Shoulder Dress: £75 £65
This one comes in red or purple, 100% silk and is currently on sale. It’s a great shape for skinny minnies, but beware if you have any kind of a bottom – it’ll just look wide and shapeless from behind.
Ok, now on to Dorothy Perkins, old favourite of mine:
Green Bow Prom Dress: £45
This is one of my favourite dresses – I LOVE the colour, LOVE the cut and LOVE the price! It’s extraordinarily flattering to a small, fitted waist, and again good for a pear shape as it adds weight at the bust. However, it’s also substantial enough to conceal some serious scaffolding underneath! And the bow is so cute! Not only that, but it comes in floral print too – equally adorable, and with an added 50s edge:
Blue Floral Prom Dress: £45
This one would do any summer weddings too with a cute bolero or cropped jacket, AND would take you into Autumn with white tights and blue patent shoes! In fact, I might have to splash out on this one myself!
Ok, moving onto the costlier side of our virtual mall, let’s step into Coast:
There are too many dresses I love at Coast, I can’t even begin to list them all. Some faves are:
Annelli Dress: £125
I love the fresh shape of this one – very modern and a fabulous year-round colour that won’t go out of fashion. The beautiful pleats at the waist will create a smooth silhouette but the narrow hem will give the impression that what’s underneath is rather slim and lovely! No cellulite here!
Truffle Ruffle Dress: £160
I can see where the name truffle ruffle came from with this frock – the overall effect could be a raspberry ripple cream! But keep the accessories simple, clean and black and the dress will make just enough of an impact – not to mention skimming over any unwanted lumps and bumps and drawing attention to that tiny waist you’ve been sculpting!
Mancini Tulle Dress: £160
Ok, this one is a little bridal. But if you happen to have that rakish tanned leggy hippy chick look down pat, replace the belt and pair it with gladiator sandals and a drawstring bag – maybe even a straw fedora? – this dress could create a real trend-setting stir. No? Ok, just indulge me and move on…
Party Piece Dress: £135
Here’s a piece to hit the metallic look bang on the head. In at your narrowest point, with an on-trend sweetheart neckline and that darling bubble hem… Pair it with brassy gold jewelery to warm it up a bit. But don’t expect it to stand the test of time – this one will go out of fashion faster than you can say “pewter tones”.
Our next high street hit is Monsoon. If you’re looking for a prom dress that will take you to a summer wedding, Ascot or Henley, maybe even a few garden parties, you can’t go wrong here:
Lela Rose Prom Dress: £200
This is the ultimate in girly dresses – floral, pink-toned and utterly delightful. Wear with curled or wavy hair and an alice band, and cutesy Mary Jane shoes.
There were so many dresses I loved on the Monsoon website (see three more below) but this bright jewel-green one with detailed waist band had to win for an evening do. Steer clear of boring black and pair this with silver heels and bag to draw further attention to the embroidery.
Rose Prom Dress: £135; Annie Dress: £95; Trixie Dress: £15
And finally, for their Debut range, every Mum’s favourite, Debenhams:
Black Oriental All-Over Embroidery Prom Dress: £110
For a bit of colour but a black base this embroidered dress with bright satin sash is ideal. Accessories can be matched to any one of the shades depending on what best suits your colouring, and the shape is uber-flattering!
Those are my personal high street picks, but there’s so much more out there – so if there’s nothing here takes your fancy my command to you is…
Go Forth And Shop!
(Tomorrow, evening gowns!)