Sometimes you just come across a dress that ticks a lot of boxes and for me, this is it.
This is the Rosie lace panel dress from Whistles (down from £249 to £199.20) which I borrowed from John Lewis for the Ladies' Lunch and Style Event at the Botanical Gardens earlier in the week. I hadn't had a chance to try it on beforehand but luckily the fit was great (this is a size 10 - I often go up a size in Whistles) and I have to admit to being reluctant to hand it back.
What I really like about the length of this dress is that the deep "hem" panel below the frill allows for a bit of leg to show through but without it being a "short" dress. And for one who has knees which are as wide as her thighs (you've heard of cankles, well let me introduce you to knighs or thees) that is a really good thing.
The nipping in at the waist bit is also good and although this is clearly meant to be a "dressy dress" there's enough volume in the skirt to make it slightly less dressy than a pencil/body con type number - without it being so voluminous that it requires the highest of heels to balance out the proportions. This dress is one that I would happily wear on a daily basis with flats (OK, let's be honest, trainers. There, I've said it. AGAIN.) And should I ever be lucky enough to own one, I would wear pretty much day in day out so that it paid its way.
In addition to it coming in blue, it also comes in red as shown here...
And I could have sworn that I saw one in pale grey in John Lewis the other day. However on closer inspection, what they have is a similar version in the Rosie Lace Dress (note the absence of the "panel" part of the description) which is a John Lewis exclusive. Now the problem with this dress is, because it's an exclusive to John Lewis, it may not be possible to ask them to apply their "never knowingly undersold" policy (which you can scrutinise in full here), meaning that it might be only available at the price of £249. Then again if it's the dress of your dreams then maybe that's one that can be squared off with a little financial/mental gymnastics.
And this is a side view of the dress, just in case anyone wondered what it looked like from a different angle.
The shoes that I am wearing are Karen Millen past season but for a (sort of) similar look, take a look at these from Steve Madden at John Lewis (£80). I like the juxtaposition of the lace with something a little edgier rather than a girlie shoe but you know, just mix it up and have fun!