Saturday, 25 September 2010

Challenge Magpie!

Hello all,
To give you a bit of respite from the onslaught of fashion weeks, I am trying out something new. I'm taking on your wardrobe challenges! Write to me with any wardrobe questions you'd like me to tackle and I'll get to work, so you don't have to.
Love Miss Magpie

Challenge Magpie No.1

"I really want a sexy full-length evening dress that looks special without being OTT. Ideally it will be figure hugging and really flattering and will allow me to get away with having a smaller bust. It should look expensive but cost a maximum of £300. Help!"
Avital, North London

This is quite a challenge Avi! Buying a full-length dress is never easy as there are so many styles to choose from. Beware of too much embellishment (can look tacky and you won't be able to wear it again and again) and too much fabric (not flattering). Opt for simple styles in luxurious fabrics and then accessorize them, so you can change it up every time you wear it.

Here are some options (click on the links for full details):

Iris halter dress, Halston Heritage, £302, My-Wardrobe

This dress is very classic, which means you'll get years of use out of it. A halter-neck works for big busts as well as smaller ones, so don't be afraid of them. The simplicity of this number will be highly flattering. I know that this is not the figure-hugging look you were looking for, but I'd still give it a try.

Floral silk dress with bustier bodice, Tibi, £287.65, My-Theresa

The beauty of having a smaller bust is that you don't have to worry about support all the time, therefore strapless numbers work well. This dress has a boned bodice which will provide you with enough support and will give you some structure. The print is very relaxed so can be worn for a variety of different events.

Annette maxi dress, £180, Monsoon

Ok, I know this is from a duller-than-dull high-street store BUT it is actually very, very pretty and has some lovely little details. It is also well under budget. If you are still not convinced, then check out the back:

See - how very pretty is that! Plus, with a smaller bust, the whole bra consideration isn't even a worry! Once again, this is not a figure hugging style, but I still think you should give it a whirl.

Mesh insert maxi dress, Was £38, Now £30, Asos

Ok, try this one out. It will either ooze sex appeal or will look really cheap and tacky. I'm not quite sure. The back is completely open which will look great on you. The best thing is the price - because what you save on the dress you can spend on a pair of killer heels!

Black cross-back evening gown, £200, After Dark

Ok, so I would never normally do this, but I am going to share one of my secrets. I bought this dress back in May at After Dark - a small dress shop in North London. It is perfect for black-tie occasions - though perhaps a little too dressy for some events. It has padding in the bust area, so there are no worries about that and is completely figure-hugging. It comes in various colours too. I doubt they'll still have this style, but they do have a good selection of evening gowns.

Finally, I'd like to recommend getting a dress tailor-made to suit your needs. Try Pussy Willow for a bespoke evening gown, made to fit your shape, taste and budget.

And if your budget miraculously grows...

Beulah wrap gown, Diane Von Furstenberg, £730, Matches

Ok, sorry, that was mean!



  1. I really like the tibi & halston dresses - and I am a BIG After Dark fan - they have loads of mother-of-the-bride dresses but in and amongst those they have little gems like yours - I will go back and have a look. Will send pics when I've chosen the dress (it's for a very glam wedding in NYC). Thanks Stephie. Avi xx

  2. Glad there's something you like there. I love the Tibi dress and can totally see you looking amazing in it, so do give it a try. Take photos and let me know how you get on xxx

  3. I love the Tibi dress and after dark one. The Halston one we actually tried on I think as a potential bridesmaid one but it was too backless! Now I want an excuse to dress up!!
    Tash xx