My post-children clothing story is a familiar one, I’m sure.

Small children plus clothes shopping is a difficult combination. And having fewer formal events or parties to go to means even less incentive to browse the shops. Of course, this is all exacerbated by a never-ending reluctance to buy anything until I’m back in the size that I ‘should’ be in, according to me.

All my clothes are old and tired. All my going out clothes are two or three sizes too small. Throw in the classic ‘needs to be breastfeeding friendly’ scenario, and the outcome sees me wearing a knackered, holey dress to my own son’s birthday party.

But, occasions that do require me to dress nicely do pop up once in a blue moon, and when that happens, I inevitably find myself woefully under-dressed, or having to rush out to buy something last-minute that I’m not entirely happy with.

Of course I was going to say yes when M&S gave me the opportunity to review their partywear.

M&S. That’s a good shop. The clothes are well made. I’m not too big for their sizing. Their fashions have come along way in the past half a decade (…or perhaps I’ve just become older? Can never quite figure that one out, but at some point, it just becomes OK to shop at M&S, and Topshop falls right off the radar).

I narrowed my (online) search down to two dresses. (Have I mentioned that I can be massively indecisive?)

A black floral lace dress, and a sequin embellished skater dress, also in black.


In the end, I decided on the lace dress, and from the lingerie section, I also got an Ultimate Multiway Bra because I have nothing strapless in my current size, and a dress like this warrants a decent multiway bra.




But then I made the mistake of popping into M&S. I tried on the other dress. And I liked it better.


I love the style of my original choice, and it is super flattering, but I prefer a shorter cut on the leg. The on-the-knee cut is in danger of feeling a bit too corporate for me (or as Sam put it, “Something Sarah Palin would wear…Deborah Meadon at a charity gala”. Plus, the cut doesn’t lend itself to my new Chelsea boots.




(The lace dress on me)




(Changing room shot – imagine that I’m not wearing socks, and that I’ve actually done something with my hair , maybe just brushed it, in both of these photos)

The other dress, however, is perfect. The cut and detail on the neckline makes it fun, it hides my lumps and bumps better, and I think it would work nicely with my boots.

The problem is that they only had the white in stock (both in store and online), and whilst it’s very Christmassy, white + young children = recipe for disaster. So I am checking the M&S site on a daily basis in the hopes that the black comes back in stock.

Typical me to want the most popular dress that is sold out EVERYWHERE.

(As I was preparing this post, a black size 14 just came back in stock online, so I swiftly ordered and it should be winging it’s way to me very soon. YES).

Which dress do you prefer? Most of my friends voted for the lace dress (based on the photos with the model), but after trying both on, I definitely think the skater dress is more ‘me’. I’ll update this post with a photo of me in the new dress once it arrives.


I chose an outfit free of charge for the purpose of this review.




  1. You look AMAZING in that lace dress. Super slinky, it’s gorgeous. I think I prefer it but only cos I prefer on-the-knee dresses. Have a weird aversion to knees x

  2. You look beautiful in both – I think which one would win out depends on the occasion – if it’s family Christmas then I’d say the Skater dress – it’s a little less formal, and it looks twirly!

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