NOT LETTING AGE DEFINE MY LIFE OR STYLE

Evening Maxi Dress: Black & White Floral

Friday night was 'girl's night' out in my neighbourhood.  Not just any old 'girl's night out' but one to celebrate a special lady's 70th birthday.  The evening merited an outfit worthy of the occasion.

Floral Maxi Dress with Faux Leather Jacket

TallBrownFox and I have been very lucky that where we live now and at our last place, we know / have known our neighbours.  Not just known them, as in, we've smiled nervously at each other over the garden fence, but as in we've become friends, purposely hung out with each other down the pub, barbequed together, even been to each other's weddings.  I know, who has neighbours you actually like so much, you have them in your wedding photos?  FOREVER!

There's a long established tradition within my immediate neighbours that on big '0' birthdays and at Christmas, the girls go out for a meal to celebrate.  And a couple of times a year, the boys go out for a curry.  We're not talking Michelin-starred haute cuisine here, just local bistros where we can all enjoy each other's company, without having to sell one of our vital organs in order to foot the bill.

My business attire pretty much consists of wearing lycra and leggings (no, I'm not an aerial artiste for Cirque du Soleil), which doesn't allow for much creativity in the dressing department.  When I do go out, I like to be a little more stylish than opting for a great pair of jeans and a sparkly top.

 
Floral Maxi Dress with Faux Leather Jacket


My love affair with maxi dresses is ever growing.  Over the last couple of years, petite ranges have increased the variety on offer from casual / beach maxis to ones that wouldn't look out of place at a wedding.  This season, there are some uber stylish petite ones around.  When I saw this not-quite monochrome dress first appear in Debenhams' Petite Collection a few months ago, I thought how striking it looked but at £50, it struck too deep into my monthly budget.

I quietly bided my time and was duly rewarded.  Sales are getting earlier and earlier these days and 2 weeks ago, when it was barely mid-June, it was in the sale.  I swooped silently, like a kestrel descending upon it's prey.  A few clicks online and it was mine, at a more budget friendly £35.

Black and White Maxi Dress

Days are definitely warming up thankfully but evenings can still be chilly.  My petite, faux leather, waterfall jacket was perfect for that early evening dip in temperature.  The shorter length means the print of the dress is shown off to maximum effect and the jacket's snug fit doesn't bulk me out (which can so often happen when you're petite).  The zip pockets on the side add another focal point to the soft draping of the jacket's front.

Side view of Maxi Dress and Faux Leather Jacket

Once inside the restaurant, I just slipped off the jacket.  The dress is so comfortable to wear as the material gently drapes from under the bust.  Good thing too; not only were profiteroles consumed for dessert but one of the 'girls' had sneakily bought a birthday cake.  When the waiters brought it out to accompany tea and coffee at the end of the meal, candles blazing in the soft light of the room, the whole restaurant erupted into a hearty rendition of Happy Birthday.  Cue delight and embarrassment in equal measure from the birthday girl!

Front view of Floral Maxi Dress

Black and white, although crisp looking, can be a tad dull if you love colour, like me.  Although yellow isn't really my colour, I get away with it here as it's only in the centre of the flowers.  I love how the print is graphic style; it's as if the petals and their striations have been hand-drawn on the material.

Skirt of Floral Maxi Dress

You even get the detail of the stamens.  An epicentre of energy bursting outwards.

Close up of flower on Maxi Dress

I debated which necklace to wear.  In the end, I chose my multi-strand, faux pearl and glass bead, illusion necklace over a black one (try saying that mouthful after a few glasses of wine).  That evening I prefered how the pearls softened the dress slightly.  A more formal occasion, I'd have worn a jet black, beaded, waterfall necklace (not such a mouthful to say).

Illusion Faux Pearl and Glass Necklace

I even had time to pamper my feet with a mini home spa treatment.

I'm pleased to report neither nail varnish remover or nail varnish was spilt in the execution of the mini home spa treatment.

 Black Strappy Wedge Sandals

Wedges with maxis are like bread and butter; made for each other. 

Madam, your carriage awaits.  

Side view of Floral Maxi Dress

Special mention to TallBrownFox who commuted home earlier than normal to be in time to take the photographs for me before I nipped 2 doors down, for pre-restaurant fizz.  And extra special mention to the lovely B, who organised the whole evening single-handedly.

Floral Black & Cream Evening Maxi Dress: Debenhams Petite Collection
Faux Leather Waterfall Jacket: Dorothy Perkins Petite
Black Raffia Bag: Jones the Bootmaker, old
3 strand Necklace and Bracelet; old
Black Wedges: New Look last year

Linking with / Turning Heads Tuesday  /  Confident Twosday  / A Lovely Little Wardrobe   /  Style Swap Tuesday   / Style Elixir   / #iwillwearwhatilike
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22 comments

  1. That dress looks gorgeous, and you look great in it! I only own one maxi dress and one maxi dress, for whatever reason, I don't think I look as good in them as they look on other people. Thanks so much for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment!

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    1. Thanks Amy. I'm sure you look way better in it than you think. I think maxis suit pretty much everyone.

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  2. This is my kind of maxi!!!! I love the detailed print and it goes nicely with the jacket. So nice to have friends as neighbours!x

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    1. Isn't it? We've been so lucky. It's getting quite rare these days to be friends with neighbours.

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  3. Great dress!! Great minds think alike!!! jodie
    www.jtouchofstyle.com

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    1. We're just so in synch, Jodie! Yes, I'll be popping over again to check out the Thursday & Saturday stylings.

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  4. Love your maxi dress and your black wedges too!
    Darlene
    http://whosaprettygirl.com

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    1. Thanks Darlene. The wedges are real favourites of mine and certainly earn their keep!

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  5. Glad you were able to get that dress on sale! It's beautiful on you! I love the look of the jacket with it too!

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    1. Sometimes holding out pays dividends! The dress is definitely going to become a 'go to' piece in my wardrobe. Thank you for your lovely comments.

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  6. What a great bold print! I have just bought my first maxi dress myself. Love the comfort. The jacket is very stylish, I love the style and it sounds like a great relationship with your neighbors, very few may have. Sounds like an enjoyable enening!

    Thanks for linking up with Turning Heads Tuesday!
    jess xx
    www.elegantlydressedandstylish.com

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    1. There are comfortable aren't they? The jacket was great find. I tried biker styles but haven't found any that I've loved. Liked yes, but not loved. The waterfall style has just that right balance of edge and softness which I like.

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  7. Love this...feminine but with a bit of edge! So cool that all of your neighbors get along so well. My adopted mom lives on one side of us, but the other side....it's like something out of a bad reality show. We actually had to hire an attorney to get them to settle down. People puzzle me sometimes...doesn't it make for a much better life to just be chill and not look for drama at every opportunity?!
    Debbie
    www.fashionfairydust.com

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    1. Thanks Debbie. I'm so with you on this one. It's not difficult to be considerate to each other but sadly some folk seem unable to chill and love to seek drama everywhere. That's crazy you had to take the legal route.

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  8. What a gorgeous dress, and that you styled it with the leather jacket is both elegant and edgy. Happy 70th Birthday to your neighbor and friend.
    Thank you for linking up to "Bloggers Who have Inspired me."
    Rachel xo
    Bloggers Who Have Inspired me link up now LIVE

    Garay Treasures

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    1. Thanks Rachel. Your description of it being 'both elegant and edgy' is a great phrase. I'm pleased you think the styling nails both as that's what I was aiming for. Thanks for your lovely comments.

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  9. This is such a beautiful dress! The large floral print is fantastic, I love it! The necklace is so beautiful, right choice for such a special occasion. How lucky you are to have neighbours that are friends at the same time.

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    1. It was the large print that caught my eye as it's so striking. Thank you for your lovely comments. I wasn't sure at first about the choice of necklace but I'm glad you also think it was the right choice. And yes, I'm very grateful indeed for good neighbours.

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  10. What a pretty dress, very dramatic! :)

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    1. Thanks Laura, it's what I liked about the dress!

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  11. Jacqueline I LOVE the pattern on this maxi!! Sounds like the birthday party was a great success, and it seems you too have a great husband who comes home early to take outfit photos for you... Another keeper!!

    Thanks so much for linking up with #iwillwearwhatilike, hope to see you next week for pink (or anything else you've been wearing)!

    Catherine x
    Not Dressed As Lamb

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    1. Thanks Catherine. I just loved the print when I saw it. And yes, TallBrownFox is definitely a keeper!

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