Go Long: Evening Dresses With Sleeves

As a lover of the dress, when it comes to winter I’m not always up for exposing my legs but often holiday parties demand it – I want to feel elegant and feminine on a night out.  I therefore return to my small collection of dresses with long sleeves to beat the cold but still give me that little bit of glamour and sophistication.  This ruched dress is from Reiss, one of my favourites to wear at this time of year.  The ruched fabric contrasts with the smooth side panels to give the illusion of curves and the low back is a detail I adore – it balances out the simple and covered up front, is a little sexy yet mysterious and subtle.

Some of my long sleeved dress choices for the holiday season, below.  Left to right Long sleeved sheer ponte dress from Oasis; Reiss Roseanne black lace layered dress; Sabiaa sparkle dress from Ted Baker and Whistles Victoria lace dress.

I think the key to footwear when it comes to an outfit such as this one is to balance the understatement and block colour of the dress with a high and strappy heel.  In fact most of the long sleeved dresses I found online were styled in this way – you don’t want something too chunky; you need to go delicate.  These sandals are from Nine West.

The only thing I wished I had done in this post was to wear my hair up.  A messy bun or ponytail would have looked perfect!  I think, Blog Reader, whilst 2012 was the year of accessorizing, 2013 will be the year of the hair for me. Watch this space!

Photos: Lydia Hudgens.

Style In The City of Manhattan: Brooklyn Bridge & All Saints Black Dress

Manhattan has an uncanny ability to make me feel like Carrie Bradshaw at times.  The energy is infectious, the people full of spirit – New York City really feels like a place where anything can happen.

I remember arriving in the USA on December 27th 2010 after several huge snowfalls had hit New York.  My first adventures in Manhattan were experienced through the snow, including a walk over the magnificent Brooklyn Bridge where I recall a big feeling of ‘wow’ hitting me as I took in the views of Manhattan and the islands.

Before my trip back to the UK this week, I returned to Brooklyn Bridge with my photographer Lydia to take some new photos of one of my favourite dresses from All Saints.  From their premium collection last year, brought out in time for the party season, I am still in love with the gothic construction and parachute themed styling (an All Saints signature) of this gown.

There is a wonderful Harpers Bazaar cover with Sarah Jessica Parker running on Brooklyn Bridge in a pale blue dress full of layers of chiffon.  I have this print to remind me of my wonderful stay in NYC:

Image above from here.  All other photography: Lydia Hudgens.

Lots of people have asked me what it was like moving to Manhattan from the UK and living here: Was it amazing? Expensive? Friendly? Unfriendly? Rude even? Would I recommend it? Absolutely.  To quote Carrie Bradshaw again:

If you can only have one great love, then the city just may be mine. And I don’t want nobody talkin’ shit about my boyfriend.”  (Sex and the City TV Series)

I’ll be back for a visit in September, Blog Reader.  I’ve also worked with Lydia on lots of outfit posts over the last month in preparation for my various adventures and travels.

Normal blog service will resume from back in the UK very soon.  I’m excited about my visit.  So pass the crumpets.

Until then!  StyleOnTheCouch xo

StyleOnTheCouch Loves: Dorothy Perkins

There are some London high-street favourites I return to each time I take a trip back home, Blog Reader.  One of these is Dorothy Perkins, an established brand known for providing affordable fashion – it’s one of the UK’s biggest retailers.  Recently Dorothy Perkins collaborated with designer Olivia Rubin on a delightfully named ‘Postcards From…‘ collection of clothing, created with some of Rubin’s signature bold prints.  It’s a small collection of simple wrap dresses and tops with some draping and peplum details and the print is very cute – colourful flying birds, shells and flowers:

Image above: Blush Shell Peplum Top and Grey Bird Peplum Dress, both Olivia Rubin for Dorothy Perkins.

The Dorothy Perkins mainline collection tends to stick to classic silhouettes and simple shapes.  I go to them for their shoes, tees and dresses and during my last trip home to London in February my mother treated me to this lavender lace pencil dress.

Available in blush pink and a similar style in grey also, it’s a simple dress with flutter sleeves that give a lovely balanced, hourglass shape on the body.

Some of my other favourites at Dorothy Perkins right now: below left, the Border Print Prom Dress and Lilac Sleeveless Blouse.

I’m hugely fond of this label having grown up with them.  Do you have similar brands, Blog Reader, who follow you through life?

Wearing: Lavender Lace Dress, Dorothy Perkins; Tassle clutch, Robyn Brooks New York.