When You Find ‘The One’

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Penge Secret Garden

Woodlands Penge


Lace Dress

Dress: Forever 21. Coat: ASOS. Bag: Vintage. Boots: Dorothy Perkins.

It’s not often that you find a dress that gives you “the feeling”, know what I mean? That rush of glorious wonderment as you look in the mirror and think, “Wow. This is totally me.” Somehow, those folds of fabric say everything about you that could ever wish to express, and you feel great and you know that you look great too.

I live for those moments, but they’re pretty hard to come by. I still remember finding a purple floral tea dress in New Look when I was sixteen and finally able to shop for myself, and experiencing that sense of pure delight for the first time ever. That dress made me feel better than anything had ever done; so much so that I still have it, seven years later, and still absolutely adore it, although I don’t wear it as much these days. Seven years of incessant wear starts to make things look a little shabby, but I can’t bear to part with this tangible memory.

Over the years I’ve found that feeling a few times, with a couple of posh Topshop frocks, and one very special Orla Kiely one, but it’s never a given with any shopping spree. Most of the time I find things that I feel pretty good in, and feel comfortable in, and that’s enough for me. But recently, I got to experience the feeling again, in the not-so-quiet confines of a Forever 21 changing room. Profound, I know.

We’ve already discussed how I should have reached ‘peak lace’ by this point. But this new purchase proves that that simply is not the case; when it comes to lace dresses, my wardrobe will always have room for just one more. I found this blush lace number whilst perusing the sale rails for some more tops, which I’m sadly lacking in at the moment, and when I grabbed it off the rail, I knew it would be coming home with me. As it happens, I was right – the armful of tops I also tried on were left behind, because this one was the only one for me.

As soon as I put it on, I got the feeling. This dress says everything about me that I could want it to. It’s pretty and feminine, but it’s also pretty cool and so 60s-inspired. It has a seriously cool high neck (but not too high), scalloped edging, a sweetheart under-bodice, and those sleeves! Bell sleeves as flouncy as you could ever hope for. I didn’t think you could get things like this in Forever 21; in my mind this came straight from the New York attic of someone who was on the case in 1966. When I looked in the mirror, it made me want to dance. So I did. I felt comfortable and pretty and cool, and I hope that feeling descends every time I reach for it from my wardrobe. Know what else made it extra special? When I took it to the till, it was discounted to £6.99. I would have bought it for ten times that, I felt so good, but to get a frock I love this much for under a tenner? Priceless.


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