Can a dress change the way you feel about yourself?

Since C was born (last November) I’ve been feeling a bit bleurgh about the way I look, I know that’s shallow and there are very serious things to worry about but it’s a fact, and seeing as this is my blog I’ll write what concerns me. I turned 37 soon after she was born, and whilst the numbers themselves don’t bother me, what does make me sad is what I see when I look in the mirror. Everything seems to be heading southwards, to be in excess, to be soft where it should be firm or just generally looks old. (Interestingly it would seem I am not alone as there is an article in this month’s Red Magazine where the author has the same issues as me.)

Whilst I’m far from getting depressed over it, it does get me down when I stop and think about it (which I don’t try to do often), it also means I don’t make much effort with clothes as it feels a bit like there’s no point, as nothing can hide what my body is doing or where it’s going – downhill.

I posted recently about going to my brother’s wedding last weekend, and for the last year I’ve been wondering what I could wear to this wedding that would hide what I dislike and highlight what I like. In April I bought a lovely emerald dress from Monsoon for the wedding, but, as Hubs pointed out, it didn’t really do anything for me as it was quite a floaty number.

Then a month or so ago, after a few email exchanges with the lovely PR people for The Pretty Dress Company, I got the opportunity to choose a dress from their selection to wear to Baby Brother’s wedding. This was very exciting indeed! I wore a pretty dress company dress to my sister’s wedding 3 years ago, and I was yet to find a dress that I liked as much.

With Hubs at my sister's wedding - 2010
With Hubs at my sister’s wedding – 2010

So it felt like Christmas getting the chance to borrow one of their dresses for another wedding. A couple of weeks ago I got an email back from them, saying they had chosen a dress for me. I eagerly clicked on the link and my heart sunk. It was coral. I’ve never worn coral and I couldn’t imagine wearing coral. It had 3/4 length sleeves at a time that it seemed that summer would go on forever. And the model on the website had blonde hair and looked very tall. I couldn’t imagine how it would look with my darker hair (would it clash with my copper highlights?), and worried that it would come down to my ankles as I’m only 5’4″.

When it arrived I tried it on with a breastfeeding bra (which showed above the neckline – sexy!), no make-up, unkempt hair and no heels. It looked bloody awful. It was too late to find anything else, so it was that or the green Monsoon dress. Hubs kept telling me it looked better than the green one, so I trusted him and went about finding accessories and a sexier (less high-cut) bra!

I am sooooooo glad I did. Saturday rolled round and while Hubs looked after C for me (L was already being looked after with the bride) I took the time to really apply my make-up, rather than the usual wave of a mascara wand and dash of lip gloss. I got ready like in the old days, taking my time, and actually enjoying it (despite my hair going a bit dodgy).

The effect was incredible. I felt a million dollars. More than that – a million pounds. I haven’t felt that good about myself (physically) in the longest time. I felt slim, I felt toned, I felt youthful, I felt sexy. It was amazing. It was a magic dress (combined with some top make-up).

Dress
The front of the dress

The photos aren’t amazing (that’s what happens when the drinks are free-flowing from mid-afternoon!) but I think you can get an idea of its fabulousness here.

The back of the dress
The back of the dress

I love the back of the dress too – the highness of the back and the size of the split.

The dress in natural light
The dress in natural light

Sometimes it’s hard to tell colours in photos, so here is the dress again, but outside in natural light this time.

I needn’t have worried about the length as it was just below the knee, which was perfect (I don’t like my knees!), also I was grateful for the sleeves in the end as the temperature had dropped before the wedding came round, and it also hid any bingo wings. It was a very comfortable dress, and whilst I was conscious about holding my stomach in (i.e. not just letting it all hang out) I didn’t feel like I needed spanx or to be holding my breath permanently. I cannot recommend this dress enough, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it, and loved wearing it.

If you have anything resembling an hourglass figure then you should go for it as it’s such a flattering fit too. The only thing I would say is to go one size up, which is what I did as I remember my previous pretty dress company dress being a little too tight, whereas this one looked and felt just right.

Franglaise Mummy with Baby C
A close-up of my fully made-up face

Dress: Maui Coral Lace Dress by The Pretty Dress Company £129
Gold sandals: San Marina, bought in Nice, France in 2009 for around 90€
Gold clutch: a cheapie shop that I can never remember the name of on the Zone Piétonne in Nice for around 20€ in 2009
Eye make-up: Benefit Big Beautiful Eyes around £25
Gold watch: DKNY bought in 2006 for around 150€

You can see more photos of the dress in my post about the wedding itself here.

Disclosure: I was loaned the dress from The Pretty Dress Company in exchange for this honest review. I was not paid to write this article and all opinions and words are my own – not only did I love the dress but I got tons of compliments too :-)

As I have a gorgeous outfit on – for once – I’m linking up with both What I Wore Wednesday and Fashion Friday, click on the links below to see some other fab outfits.

Fashion Friday on MummysGotStyle.com

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8 thoughts on “Can a dress change the way you feel about yourself?”

    1. Thank you! I really hesitated when buying the shoes as they were far more than I would ever spend normally, but I’ve worn them so many times now that I think I’ve had my money’s worth :-)

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