Reviewed – The Mary Dress from Patricia O’ Toole Beautiful You

Earlier in the year I reviewed a couple of dresses from Patricia O Toole and her Beautiful You collection. The idea behind the collection is so simple and yet very effective, the dresses, skirts and tops already have shapewear built into them, and are designed to enhance your curves, so that when you wear the dresses, you look and feel fantastic.

In the Summer I was lucky enough to win a Twitter competition and got to choose another dress from Patricia’s collection. This time I went for the Mary dress in a stunning hot pink shade. The dress was from the Autumn/Winter Collection, so I knew I wouldn’t be wearing it until the weather turned cold (I always seem to be dressed quite skimpy as I always seem to feel hot, so it has to be really cold until I hit long sleeves and jumpers.) But last week, as temperatures dropped, I wore my new dress for a special night reviewing a local restaurant. And, as the dress is now on sale at the bargain price of 60e, I thought that the time was still right for sharing my love for this frock.

Mary Dress €60.00 Click to visit Beautiful You

Mary Dress
Click to visit Beautiful You

There are so many things I love about this dress, not least the wrap and tie detail on the front that gives it a sort of dancer feel ( you know those ballerina cardigans? That). The skirt is full and flirty, it feels very feminine and is also flattering, and with the shape wear underneath, the whole look is that beautiful 1950s silhouette that I have to say I adore so much.

DSCN9554[1] DSCN9555[1] DSCN9556[1] The dress is in a stretch single jersey, which makes it easy to wear, even if you are opting for that second pudding, and the pink shade (Wisnia) is lovely for those who like their wardrobes to have more than a splash of colour. This dress would take you from many occasions and could be accessorised with a brooch, or worn with both heels or boots for a day to night-time look.



Gudrun Sjoden – One dress worn 5 ways

I have been a long time fan of Scandinavian brand Gudrun Sjoden. Gudrun’s designs are always beautiful and unique,  clothes that are amazing quality and offer something that are so different from anything else you will find, High Street, Designer or otherwise. But I was recently set a challenge, could I show just how versatile Gudrun Sjoden pieces could be by styling one dress five different ways? I love a good challenge so I browsed the website, chose the perfect dress, and set about looking for accessories to make five different, but totally versatile looks.

Florencia” cotton/silk dress now £85 click to visit Gudrun Sjoden

Florencia” cotton/silk dress now £85 

The dress I chose was the Florencia cotton/Silk dress which is still available in all sizes but is now reduced to £85. This is a gorgeous summer dress, almost paper thin, but with pretty back detailing – pinafore style straps and lacing detail. I think this is a dress that could work for work, for holidays, for casual days and evening for an evening out. This is how I styled the Florencia dress five different ways.

Look 1 – It’s holiday time!

The dress is so cool it is perfect for very warm, sun-drenched days. Teamed with a Gudrun Sjoden classic shawl to cover those shoulders and a pair of silver leather sandals ( a holiday purchase), this look is great for dinner and drinks.


Look 2 – Evening attire – UK Style

I think if you add a pair of killer heels and a pretty beaded clutch bag, this can work for a night out in the UK – the fit of this dress gives you curves, and the silk fabric makes it feel very dressy.


Look 3 – Casual Day with Joe

Add a side ponytail, vintage cardigan and pointed toe kitten heels for a more casual look.


Look 4 – Smart work look

A smart jacket, square-toed heels and a Chanel style quilted handbag (from Marc B at Topshop – so old it is almost vintage) and this could work for a meeting, or a more formal occasion.


Look 5 – thinking towards Autumn

A dress can be turned into a skirt very easily by adding a jumper or a top over it. I belted this New Look jumper and added an unusual Gudrun Sjoden necklace too. Pretty pink Next shoes picked out the colour in the flowers on the skirt.


So there you have it, one dress, five different ways of wearing it. I also think this would be great worn over leggings with flat ballerina pumps for yet another look. The possibilities are, quite simply, endless, making this a great piece to have in your wardrobe.

*With thanks to Gudrun Sjoden and Varg for the challenge!

High Street Outlet celebrate the Little Black dress

Some people hold the view that Summer holiday dressing has to involve bright colours. Others use a suntan as a perfect base for white cottons and linens. But I truly believe that, even when the sun is blistering, nothing is chicer than a little black dress, whether it be midi, mini or maxi style.

High Street Outlet sent me a couple of beautiful dresses for my recent summer holiday in Menorca, and one of those dresses was indeed a black dress. The Ex M&Co black maxi dress is a stretchy maxi style dress with a simple yet elegant design. It has shoulder straps with a gold bar detail, making this metallic a great shade to accessorise this look with. The V neckline has a gathered detail on the bust and is great for enhancing cleavage, but is not too low to be too revealing of that tan (or white bits in my case!)

Ex M&CO Black Maxi Dress £17.50 click to visit High Street Outlet

Ex M&CO Black Maxi Dress £17.50 click to visit High Street Outlet

This is a brilliant dress for holidays. It has no zips, fastenings or buttons – you simply put it on by pulling it over your head. The stretchy fabric is perfect if you’ve overindulged on puddings or cocktails, because, let’s be honest, who doesn’t when they’re on holiday.

Sandals from ShoeZone - review here.

Sandals from ShoeZone – review here.


One of the main things that appeal to me about this dress is the length. I love maxis, and dresses that sweep the floor don’t generally bother me as I wear fairly substantial heels. But on holiday, when I only wear flat sandals and flip flops, something a little shorter that is not likely to trip me up is a real bonus. This dress has a skirt that is just long enough to count as a maxi, but not long enough to send me flying across some Spanish Square.



This dress is another High Street Outlet bargain at just £17.50, and would most definitely work with heels for a night at the theatre or romantic dinner with the hubby, but I think it works really well as a holiday evening look.