Can a Mama rock a Midi?

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

When I say mama, I mean me, with 3 kids and 2 school runs and floors to be mopped (in-between blogging). Can a midi dress really fit in my life? I didn't think so but Ruth at Room 31 wasn't taking no for an answer. She showed me a stunning picture of Nicola Payne wearing hers, Nicola started tweeting words of encouragement and before I knew it, this beauty had landed in my hall..and it was love at first sight - two of my favourite colours and a great pattern.
Niamh Black/Mocha Midi Dress - £14 (25% off with SGS25!)
I studied it for a while trying to decide if it was me. It put me in mind of a woman I saw in the airport last week with a jersey dress on. It was your classic wrap jersey dress and while she had an amazing figure and the print was gorgeous, the look seemed a bit dated. It got me thinking that perhaps the jersey wrap dresses I would have worn in the past at work have been replaced by these midi dress. The same concepts apply - usually well printed (excellent disguise), jersey material, super comfortable. And better than that, these are longer, with no gaping v-necks and no risk of a gust of wind showing your undercrackers to the world. I started liking even more...
A test shot was instagrammed...and the response was favourable. 
Ok, maybe I can pull this one off after all! Bring on the photoshoot and bring on an accomplice - Fiona from Avenue 57, whom Ruth had sent a similar dress to and here we are in all our glory..
Both unsure of this style of dress, we styled our respective frocks without conferring as we knew this would make it more interesting. Here are the two looks I created. The first one is the going out option:
Shoe Boots - Autorgaph at M&S
  Necklace - Promod 
Cropped Black Jacket - Dunnes

But I want to be able to wear this on the school run so I changed the jacket and shoes and added a scarf. On reflection, the scarf is a bit heavy looking but I picked such a cold day to do these pictures and couldn't bear to take it off.
Denim Jacket & Pumps - M&S
Scarf - H&M
Dark Green Leather Bag - DKNY

Before you rush off to check out Fiona's blog and how she styled hers, here are my styling tips for midi dresses. (Remember, I'm not a stylist - it's not the law and could very well be a load of tosh that the fashion police will seek me out for)
  1. Team with a shorter jacket to balance out the proportions
  2. Offset the neat fit of the dress with a chunkier heel or a shoe boot.
  3. Spanx (or similar - try TK Maxx) are great for getting a smooth line underneath. This applies all the time actually. I wear mine EVERY day.
  4. You don't have to be skinny to wear these dresses. In fact, they are super flattering on curvy girls because of the pattern

Note : I'm wearing a size 12 but given the nature of these dresses, anything from a 10-14 would have fitted me.

I'll leave you with an out-take from my photo session. I'll set the scene - two 4 year olds riding bikes past me every 5 seconds as they sped around the house, 9 year old complaining about taking the photos and asking me what I was going to pay him, husband asking why we were all out in the garden on such a cold morning. This was my last outfit and I wasn't sure about the shoes anyway. I gave up after this. Some days, you have to quit when you're ahead..

34 comments:

  1. I love the outtake! How many times do we feel like that a day with our kids ...ha ha! You look super slim in this dress. I think my jelly belly would betray me even with tuck it all in pants ! There is alway s a lump or bump that escapes somewhere on me :( must exercise more.
    Love it on you though. Xx

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    1. I reckon I feel like this about 6 times a day! And I do have a jelly belly but I think the pattern is quite deceptive...thankfully! Ax PS pilates works magic - I swear by it! x

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  2. I would have definitely said that a midi dress was only for occasions ... you completely converted me when I saw the styling for the school run! (love the Dunnes cropped jacket by the way) Great post .. off now to check on Fionas. And laughed out loud at the final pic!!

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    1. Aw - thank Helen. That jacket from Dunnes is eons old but it never fails to get an outing every few months. Ax

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  3. As a *ahem* bigger girl I can say I love a midi dress, especially for accentuating curves though I think at a sz 12 - 14 with a big bum etc short jackets can be a huge no no, of course on you lovely skinny minnies it looks fab!!

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    1. Came back to say I can't get the pic with the shoe boots out of my head! Twit Twooo!

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  4. I love how you've styled it both ways Avril! Its super versatile & looks great on you! I so need some Spanx!! Seriously need some as I have a monochrome striped midi on the way from DPs!! I love the out-take too & those gorgeous Office shoes are on my Pinterest board! :) Andrea x

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    1. Can't wait to see yours on you - it sounds great...off for a peek at your blog now! Ax

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  5. Mama can definitely rock a midi!!! love the outtakes he he xx

    fabulousso40s.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Thank you - so glad that everyone identifies with that last picture. It's not just me who does that face then! Ax

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  6. Stunning on both of you - I love the clean lines of a midi - so slimming. I find them really comfortable too - and I'm with you regardless of how toned I'm feeling I ALWAYS wear a body - keeps all that mummy jiggle at bay! - Not that I see any here on either of you hot mamas! xx

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    1. Thanks Joanna - my spanx twin! haha x

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  7. Looks amazing of course you can rock it, both of you! You certainly have the figure for it! xxx

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  8. I am laughing so much at your outtake! BRILLIANT!
    You look divine in yours and I LOVE it with the necklace

    Fiona

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  9. Not so keen on the school run look but love love love the other one! You look fantastic! You can so definately rock this look! XXX

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  10. Love the going out look Avril, the chunkier boots look great with it. Black ankle boots and black tights would also look great for day time, and I am I right in thinking you have taupe ankle boots? That would look great with bare legs and a denim jacket (or even a denim shirt) too! Gorgeous on both of you skinnies!!x

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    1. Thanks for that Trea - hadn't thought about those boots but they would be PERFECT with it. Off to try that one now. You're a star, Ax

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  11. Hehe, love this last photo-this is real family life behind the lens cap!! The dress is gorgeous on you, I am on a mission to get something similar and you've given me style inspiration with these different looks, well done! xxx

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    1. Thank you Sharon - you'd really suit one also. Get yourself over to Room 31! Ax

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  12. I absolutely love this this look, it's current, classy, and age appropriate.....even if the 16 year old's are giving it a go they just can't pull off in the way a confident woman of the world can! I bet you felt pretty damn good in it, and I bet your hubby loved it too?! xx

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    1. Hubby was bemused - wasn't so keen on it on it's own but thought it looked well with the jacket! It's a look that grows on you I think! Ax

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  13. Avril - I can't stop laughing at your last paragraph - especially your 9 yr old asking how much you would pay him - classic! The dress looks great on you both ways but I especially like it with the shoe boots (love em). I think you can safely say you've rocked the midi! xx

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    1. Thanks Jenny - I have a 9 year old with an empty money box. He's so keen to earn extra pocket money so asks when doing any task for me around the house! He's a chancer, I say! :) Ax

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  14. You both look absolutely stunning Avril, and your house sounds just like mine, my oldest has been asking for a while how much will she be getting for helping me figure out twitter etc, and I've just realised it will be cheaper to invest in a tripod! Nikki x

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    1. Thank you Nikki! These kids are too smart - must be all the clever genes from their mums! Ax

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  15. My goodness, you can both so wear a midi, they look so flattering on you both! x

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  16. I have ordered your midi (with the code of course!), it looks fab! Love the out take pic too, exasperation in a photo :)

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    1. Hope you love it too - you'll have to send in a picture for the Room 31 show & tell! Ax

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  17. LOL!. Your son is a natural capitalist!! LOLOL! You've got such an incredible figure. I could go for ankle strap stilettos (haha... me and my ankle strap) or awesome gladiator heels, lose the jacket for a more simple and longer coat.

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    1. Oh you are so right Marlene! He knows a money making opportunity when he sees one!
      Thanks for the tip about ankle straps - that's a great idea that I think would work really well too. But of course, now I have an ankle strap shoe shaped hole in my wardrobe...Ax

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  18. Hahaha! Love your outtake. You look amazing in this midi, high five for being brave enough to try it. Definitely a keeper.

    S xx

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    1. Thanks Sara - it's so much better than I expected...so yes, a keeper! Ax

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