I have been on the hunt for the perfect summer dress/dresses – both for ‘at home’ and holiday – over the last few weeks and it’s something I always struggle to nail, for a number of reasons. Reason one: getting the right length. At 5ft 7-ish I find mini dresses are usually too short on me, plus at 41 years of age I just don’t feel quite right in them (there’s a time and a place, now in my life is not it and the whole ‘age is just a number’ thing just doesn’t apply in this instance!) and sometimes maxi dresses are just too long on me. Reason two: getting the right fabric. All too often, I’m seduced by a pretty summer dress only to find out it’s 100% polyester and whilst I’m tempted, I know that it’ll end up causing me a sweat-fest in anything over 20 degrees of heat, so it’s just not worth it, nope. Imagine my delight then, scouring the shops on Friday, when I came across this PERFECT 100% cotton calf-length midi in H&M. SCORE!!Now, I’m not going to lie, there were moments as I wore it for the first time this weekend, when I felt a little bit Little Bo Peep and a little bit Little House on the Prairie, but honestly, putting those thoughts to one side, it felt like a dream to waft around in on a summer’s day. And not one person asked me where I’d left my sheep, so I figure that’s a win.
On Sunday, at Hever Castle to watch my slightly crazy husband do his first half Iron Man competition, in 26 degrees of heat, this dress was so cool and so comfortable to wear. Aside from the 100% cotton factor, which is the BIG win, I love how it is fitted at the top with flattering slightly wider shoulder straps and seam at the waist, then flares into the skirt with pleats and tiers to the hem. And here’s the kicker… IT HAS POCKETS!!!!!!! Winner winner chicken dinner, am I right?!
It has a concealed zip in one side and is also lined at the top – I didn’t feel I needed to wear a bra underneath and it didn’t look obvious or revealing/weird, because the top is nicely structured, so that was another bonus on a hot day. And it meant no faffing about with dress straps and bra straps, because frankly that ruins a nice day out now doesn’t it?Sizing wise, I normally take a size 10 or 12, and this is a 12. It does feel a teensy-bit loose across the shoulders and bust but from the waist down I don’t think I’d want to chance it in a smaller size because this feels right. I might just get the straps adjusted a smidgeon so it fits super-duper well.Right I haven’t even told you the best bit yet… IT’S IN THE SALE!! Original price £49.99 and now reduced to £24.99 – and actually, in store, I paid £20 bizarrely, not quite sure why but online it’s showing at £24.99. You can buy it here. It looks like they have no size 8 or 10s left online, but all other sizes are still showing in stock.The dress actually also comes in black (in the sale at £24.99 online and all sizes appear to be in stock) and the most beautiful white and yellow lily print, which is simply stunning – although that isn’t reduced, so is priced at £49.99 and online there only seems to be sizes 16 and 18 left. Honestly, I am so in love with this dress – the cut and the fabric feel amazing and I think it’s going to be fab on holiday in particular. Here I’m wearing with tan/gold sandals but I think a contrasting red sandal or espadrille would also look great and I also plan to experiment with some slides.
H&M Cotton Poplin Dress in Light Blue, £24.99 – buy here.