A little black dress and a pair of red shoes

Trends come and trends go, but a little black dress is a timeless classic, destined to be around forever. It is a piece of clothing that will take you to any occasion (even acceptable for weddings these days) and it is something that never looks anything less than chic. We all agree that Coco Chanel was a fashion genius, but maybe her greatest gift to the world was making the little black dress something much more than funeral attire.

I don’t think I could count the amount of black dresses that I own, for both every day wear and evening attire. My latest favourite is the Lovedrobe pleated lace dress from JD Williams, a piece that manages to combine style and comfort beautifully in one elegant dress. This dress combines so many of my favourite features – lace, stretch fabric, a pleated skirt in a midi length, and a v neck style to balance out a bigger bust

Lovedrobe Pleated Lace Dress now £55 Click to visit JD Williams

This dress is really lovely, with close attention needed for the lace fabric, it is just so beautiful. The lace is layered over a block coloured lining in polyester that is again stretchy, making it comfortable to wear.

The Fabric is super pretty

The dress has a very vintage feel, with lots of echoes of the 1950s ‘New Look’ styles. There is a keyhole fastening on the back of the dress, but no fiddly side zips or fastenings, you can simply put this on by pulling it over your head, a real good point if you are in a hurry and trying to throw something on and leave quickly.

I really love this dress and how it makes me feel wearing it. It has such a glamorous, old Hollywood style to it, perfect for occasions when you really want to dress up. I have wore this dress on two different occasions, for the premiere of ‘The Red Shoes’ at the Birmingham Hippodrome (where I teamed it with red shoes and bag and won free cocktails for best dressed.) I also wore it for Valentine’s Day, where I continued the red shoes theme with Westwood Melissa’s and a vintage faux fur stole. I think the dress could be teamed with accessories of many different colours, as well as metallics for an updated look.

JD Williams have a great range of dresses that start at size 8 and go up to a size 34, which is brilliant. If you are looking for a dress for a particular occasion this year I would well recommend taking a look.

The return of the long sleeved dress

The beginning of February means we are starting to look forward to Spring and some Springtime dressing. The months of thick jumpers and boots may finally be coming to an end, and we will be able to embrace the new season fashion. But, at the moment, it is still very cold, and so a great transitional piece is the long sleeved dress, so thank goodness that the fashion magazines and shops are currently full of them.

Long sleeved dresses offer so much, both in terms of style and practicality. This week’s Grazia magazine has a three page spread about LSDs, and how simple they are to wear, either with heels for a glam look, or layered over a polo neck and suede knee high boots for a 1970s layered look. Long sleeves offer so much for those who hate their arms, or those who work in cold, air conditioned offices. They can be dressed up with a blazer for work, dressed down with a denim jacket for the weekend, or toughened up with a leather biker jacket. They also look great with a long scarf and beenie hat so you can wear them for the whole of February, before reducing the layers come Spring.

JD Williams has heard the call beautiful, long sleeved dresses and has responded with a host of styles. These range from bodycon to tunic style and stretch day dresses to shirt dress styles. I was asked to choose a dress for review and opted for a folkloric style that I could imagine my girl crushes Emilia Fox and Laura Bailey wearing.

Black/Ivory Print Lace Trim Dress £35 Click to visit JD Williams

Black/Ivory Print Lace Trim Dress £35 Click to visit JD Williams

This dress is absolutely beautiful and so easy to wear. It contains stretch so you can pull it on over your head, and is the sort of fabric that doesn’t need ironing. The long sleeves are beautiful with a fluted cuff, and the print is so pretty, delicate flowers with faint touches of red and green. The dress is actually double layered with a tiered effect that is very unusual, and gives the dress a slight retro feel.

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It was too cold to wear the dress like the model, although I am looking forward to pairing this with heels as it warms up, so I add an ankle boot and opaque tights. I also added bright, clashing accessories, my Mulberry bag and a chunky necklace that I love.

I can see me getting lots of wear from this dress, it is such a no brainer, and I love that it is a dress that would be perfect for a weekend away, it really could be scrunched up and put into a case without needing to pack an iron too. The midi length and empire seam make it flattering and demure, an all around pretty look.

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You can find all the current range of dresses from JD Williams here.

The season of the cold shoulder

One of the key fashion trends of Spring/Summer 2016 has been the bare shouldered look. Whether we are looking at strategic cutouts to give the cold shouldered look, or at full on Brigitte Bardot style, shoulders seem to be fashions new erogenous zone. This is a style that is everywhere, and works for both dresses and tops.

Celebrity Inspiration

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Shoulder baring tops do not conform to one style or trend. They can be worn casually with jeans a la Olivia Palermo, or as a fashion-forward directional look like that worn by Solange. Boho, sexy or worn with dungarees, Bardot styles are possibly the perfect summer top, with a style that can satisfy every taste.

JD Williams currently has a great range of Bardot and cold shoulder tops, and I wore one of my current favourites during the glorious Bank Holiday weekend. The frill Bardot top has a real 1970s retro feel due to the cheesecloth material, and comes in a slightly longer length which makes it a great choice to wear loose over jeans or trousers.  I chose to wear it with a long maxi skirt and mustard wedges for a boho 70s look that I think is great for sunny days and for packing in your holiday suitcase.

Frill Bardot Top £20 Click to visit JD Williams

Frill Bardot Top £20 Click to visit JD Williams

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This top is brilliant in that you can wear it two ways, sitting on the shoulder, or pulled further down in full Bardot style. The neckline is super pretty, with a large frill detail which goes all the way around the top, and the colour is a really vibrant mustard shade that looks so good when contrasted against deep primary colours, or worn with classic black or denim.

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This is super comfortable to wear, is true to size and is already a summer staple in my wardrobe. It also comes in black and ivory, I’m definitely going to add the black to my wardrobe before my upcoming holiday.

At the Cinema

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To view the full range of tops at JD Williams, click here.