Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

November 2, 2010

I need a dress. A cocktail one.

Help! I am a Mother In Need.

Of fashion advice, that is. You see, I've been invited to two very fabulous weddings in the next two months (one of which is yours Julie dearest if you're reading this - yeay!), which is all very, very exciting, but leaves me with somewhat of a wardrobe crisis.

The dress code for both weddings is 'Black Tie'. Now, on the one hand this is most excellent, as it gives me the perfect excuse to go out and get me a new frock, but, and here's the rub, having not been out much in the last five years, (except to get more milk for wailing children, and more recently to get more food for miaowing kittens), I am having a mild fashion panic.

What exactly should a (ahem) nearly 40 year old mother wear to a black tie, winter wedding, where the style will be utterly fabulous? I don't want to look frumpy, but I don't want to look freaky either. I don't want to look like I've tried too hard, but don't want to look like I tried and failed, either.

Also, you must bear in mind that I have an unshiftable gelatinous blob where my stomach used to be (cheers for that kids), washer-woman hands and exuberant kitten scrapes all over my feet and legs. (I know, I know, I am a vision of absolute beauty).

As a sort-of start to this dilemma, I quite liked these dresses from the website, although again, I hesitate even to put these images up as I may be way off the mark and they will look nothing like this on me!

So, I need your help people of the blogosphere. What the be-jaysus should I wear? Should I be going down the black, cocktail dress route (and then what does one wear on one's be-scratched legs), or should I go for something more colourful? What shoes should I wear, assuming that strappy sandals are pretty much ruled out (or are they?) and is it really true that 'nude' colour shoes make your legs look longer - in which case I'm definitely getting me some of those.

Please help this Mother In Need. The first wedding is in 5 weeks. The clock is ticking.

All comments and offers of fashionable assistance will be appreciated. Comments left after 5 weeks time will not be counted, but you may still be charged. Please get permission from the person who owns your computer before wasting their battery on my pathetic needs. Thank you.



  1. Oh I'm in the exact same position! Except that the wedding is tomorrow. Love the first dress!

  2. My favourite out of those photos is the last one. I think V neckline is always more flattering for most body shapes, and the colour and length are just right too. You can easily get away with some thick tights if you feel that way inclined (M&S do some fab 'bodyshaper' ones that suck in your stomach and hips by the way.)

    I hope you have a wonderful time at both weddings!

  3. Hmm tough choice, personally, I would go into a few places and just try on loads and see what works best for you style/colour wise. As for nude shoes, I've not heard that before but I wouldn't wear them unless I had tanned legs, which I don't. I wish I had some occasions to dress up for. Happy shopping!!

  4. Definitely v neck and runched tummy is most flattering. For legs - get sally hanson airbrush legs - like make up for legs that you just spray on - sounds weird but trust me! Enjoy.

  5. oooooh this is exciting! Love black tie.

    Can you wear the same dress to both weddings? or are there same guests or are you anti wearing the same dress? Because it will obviously make the budget bigger for one!

    Very hard to give advice without knowing anything about your shape but there's some amaaazing, tummy tucking underwear out there,.. I think just about every department store has them!

    If you feel at all uncomfortable or fidgety in the changing rooms don't buy it! you'll be fidgeting all night.

    Also... I cannot recommend enough going and getting your hair done for you! It just looks better and 'right' more than if you do it yourself. Saying that, I have MENTAL hair so maybe you won't have that problem.

    Ooooh I'm excited for you. The babbling nonsense probably gives that away.

    Oh, and if at all possible try to go dress shopping kid free- I wanted to sell George on ebay by the time I was done the other day!!!!

    Hope you have a lovely time. xx

  6. I had to get a cocktail dress a few years ago and I hired one. I lhonestly ooked like Jessica Rabbit despite being very bumpy, frumpy and lumpy. It was the best thing to do and only cost £60!! X

  7. Oh how exciting! Two posh weddings and a posh frock! I'm not any good at fashion advice I'm afraid but I do like the 2nd dress..the purple one with the detail at the front.

    Some great advice here from the others. You should go try on some frocks. As for scratchy legs get the suck-it-all-in supportive tights with the nice sheen. In nude to go with your nude shoes ;-)

    xx Jazzy

  8. What they all said. Except, add in Phase 8 and Fenwright Mason (is that spelled right?) to your investigation list. I can almost always find something I like in one or both of those... Best of luck!

  9. Wow. You are amazing bloggy people of the world. This is fab advice. Fortunately, I can wear the same dress to both weddings as entirely different sent of people - which is a bit of a bonus. I think I need to clear the diary and have a full on shopping spree. I will, or course, share the results of my hunting with you.

  10. Love the first dress! It'd skim nicely over any wobbly areas (which I very much doubt you have). I'd definitely go for something knee length with slightly opaque, sparkly tights. Can't advise on shoes though, I'm hopeless on shoes.

    You'll be gorgeous!

  11. I like the last one. It would look great with some sparkly accessories :)

    On the nude shoes note. They do apparently lengthen your legs. So based on this and on the fact that my legs are about 1ft long I went and tried some and I was distinctly disappointed. Sort of made my feet look like I was barefoot and had no toes thus making me look a lot shorter. haha.

    I'd probably wear a pair of heels with some kind of detailing on the front or heel.

    Then again you can probably just discount all I've just wrote as I have no fashion sense at all haha.

    I hope you find a spectacular dress :) I'm sure you'll look perfect!

  12. V neck, tummy ruching and BIG knickers. No idea about nude shoes, sorry. Have a wonderful time and drink plenty of champagne - you'll soon forget what you're wearing!

  13. I think you should check out
    There is an enormous choice and quite reasonable. Some would be entirely unsuitable but there are some very appropriate ones also.
    I'm quite sure you do not look quite as bad as you make out. I'm sure you will look wonderful.

  14. Aha! I was in the exact position last month. I went to an awards ceremony last month and I've got another this month. In the end I got this black dress from Hobbs: (now reduced I notice!). I wore it once with a red belt and red shrug and I've got a purple shrug for the next one. Just altering the accessories you see! Saves a fortune, and you can't go wrong with black.

  15. I am crud at stuff like this, but I just wanted to say that the dresses you have shown above are fab.

  16. Either way black tights, black suede platform heels (platform means won't be so high) and then have you considered either this dress (which will glide over any imperfections) or the satin cocktail one you have is lovely (get a cropped cardi to go over in case is gold)

  17. I like dress 2. Simple, classy and, being long, less to worry about with bare legs, tights etc!


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