It’s rare I write about clothes these days, but I am so excited by this dress that I had to slam fingers to keyboard. I’m excited because it’s from New Look, a store I usually avoid like the plague because I assume it’s full of girls barely out of the My Little Pony stage. I assume I’ll feel ancient, and annoyed by the crowds, and appalled by the length of everything’s hemline, and have to queue for three months at the till. And so I never go in. And I still haven’t. I found this online after a friend pointed me towards New Look’s bloody fantastic midi dresses. You see, I have a thing about midi. It is the perfect sweet spot between feeling unsophisticated in a mini, and like a Cath Kidston wigwam in a maxi (I have nothing against maxis on others. They can be fabulous. I am just tiny and look immediately like I did aged four, in my St David’s Day Welsh costume. Only less cool, now I think about it). Midi is such a chic length on any height. On shorties, it covers the knees so no one really knows how high up they are and consequently, how long one’s legs might actually be underneath the fabric. The same applies to tall girls – it seems to level us all out a bit.
Anyway, not any old midi will do. I have standard requirements for all dresses. I must have sleeves, always. If there is to be a waist seam (as opposed to none on a nice tunic or smock), then it must be slightly above my real waist, where I’m thinnest, so as to flatter my shape and crucially, allowing room below it for me to comfortably store my large meals. In addition, I’d like not to have a V-neck, because if it’s even slightly too deep, I can’t wear a bra (unthinkable), or if it’s even a fraction too high, my boobs look saggy. So it’s easiest to avoid them altogether and stick to boat, peter pan, polo or funnel necks. And so what we have in New Look’s collection of long sleeved, funnel necked, ever so slightly high waisted frocks, is a fashion full house. And they are so cheap. The one I’m wearing here (which everyone in the BAFTA Style Suites at The Savoy wrongly assumed I was wearing to the ceremony and cooed appreciatively, asking me who’d “designed” it) was £9 in the sale. NINE POUNDS. And you can still get it if you’re quick. If too slow, worry not. They still have plenty of other print options, all sewn into the same perfect shape, at the not-to-be-sniffed at full price of £24 and £29. I have taken the precaution of buying three more before posting. Now RUN THERE.