Sunday, November 06, 2005

Christmas Party Fashion Crisis

(This is a plea addressed to my female readers; the male contingent are free to go and watch Lost or something for a bit, if they prefer...)

It hasn't escaped my attention that the Christmas party season (three words guaranteed to strike dread into my sociopathic little heart if ever there were) is approaching, and I am scheduled to attend at least one merrie Dickensian ball in at least one south coast city.

Which presents me with the vexatious issue of what the hell am I supposed to wear? The world of popular fashion and I have never really seen eye to eye. This is because (for the benefit of those fortunate enough not to know me in person) I'm not your stereotypical size or shape. Heredity has seen fit to furnish me with an almost comedic lack of height - just over five feet, to be precise - and a certain skinniness of limb, counterbalanced (actually, there's not a lot of balance in it) with a fairly ample chest. Which means that not only am I officially "petite", but my bottom half is a size 8 and my top half is a size 12.

While I'm certainly not complaining about this, it does pretty much exclude me from practically every party dress available in any clothes shop in the whole of London. Also, I fucking hate party dresses, and especially anything gold, silver, black or glittery. Brrrr. So, short of having something made (not a chance - I mean, I bought my wedding dress from eBay for £29*, for God's sake) ...help... please... anyone... any suggestions? If you feel moved to include pictures, accessory ideas, mood boards etc., so much the better.

* Lest this make me sound like a total pikey, I should point out that it wasn't a proper wedding dress, it was a vintage 1950s evening gown, and it was lovely.

26 comments:

Tabby Rabbit said...

I know that they've had a slating from various members and at this point I would like to state emphatically or authoritatively I am NOT a fan of theirs but T & Susannah aka, (in the words of LC )- the "vile, concieted middle-class oafs that consider themselves to be arbiters of good taste, and yet hawk cheap, shitty instant coffee" do have a
Personalised Style Rule Generator
. Not that I've tried it... honest.

LC said...

Sorry, got bored of Lost.

Try this.

cello said...

Isn't it obvious? With your size 8 bottom and size 12 top (cow) you have to go dressed as Lara Croft.

Smat said...

My mother-in-law bought me Trinny and Susannah's WNTW book for my birthday one year, and I can authoritavely tell you P, wear V-necked tops - it helps to shape and define the bust area.

Juggling Mother said...

A size 8 bottom?! I can barely remember being a size 18 bottom - show it off girl, sqeeze into somthing tight & ideally leather/rubber. complemented with a low cut top & you'll certainly draw the male contingent of any room towards you.

Yeah, ok, i admit it, the last time I went partying for Christmas was as a teenager.....

belladona said...

Yeah, I was going to suggest the 50's section of ebay, where I recently got an excellent party dress but you got there before me. So, um... no idea. Sorry.

FUNKYBROWNCHICK said...

Go vintage. Definitely vintage. :)

belladona said...

Oh, I would agree with the v-neck thing - we're similar in build I think. I've remembered I have a wrap-around dress which is great for balancing top and bottom out and looks pretty good if I say so myself.

Hjiru - The embarrassment caused by over-optimistic invention and posting of haikus while drunk.

patroclus said...

Excellent, so a hideous 1950s low-cut, v-necked rubber dress it is. Hmm, it's a good thing that all the blokes who'll be there are gay.

Jack Spanners said...

To be honest for most blokes "a hideous 1950s low-cut, v-necked rubber dress" would translate as "a blah blah, blah blah, low-cut, blah blah, blah blah dress".

When I say most blokes I probably just mean me.

lauren said...

wrap top & trousers, or alternatively a just below knee-length wrap dress, and killer heels. or you could ask some of the gay guys that are going to be there...

Anonymous said...

Hey Patters!

Well, um, I have no pretty pictures for you to view... But... I would suggest some kind of top with matching skirt, therefore you can buy each size to fit your slender frame... AND... Well, I know you don't like black party attire, but, in a recent scientific discovery, the, um, scientists discovered that black IS actually slimming! Not only that, but when ladies wear black, apparently, they ooze with confidence and have an air of flirtatiousness about them...

Something to think about, eh? Um, whilst you don't stand out in a darkened room full of gay men...

Lots of Luck from

Kaz x

Merkin said...

I deliberately don't watch Lost as I missed the first few episodes and am waiting for someone to buy me the DVD for my imminent birthday. So my comment is...

Why don't they make girls clothes in odd-numbered sizes?

patroclus said...

Merkin: because, as everyone knows, the even numbers are the "fat" numbers, and it's all part of the global fashion industry's conspiracy to make us all feel hideous and inadequate in comparison with, say, Gwyneth Paltrow or Cate Blanchett. Who probably had odd-number sized things made especially for them.

Imminent birthday, eh? When might that be?

Tabby Rabbit said...

*Perhaps* you should buy this month's Glamour . 1,568 "wow looks". Green dress page (pg 242). Avoid the yellow thing on pg 242 (will pay you £200 if you buy / wear it / give photographic evidence).

Tabby Rabbit said...

Oh. I can see from here you have already made the £1.95 investment suggested above (for the free Frost & French clutchbag, perchance?)

LC said...

>>> Excellent, so a hideous 1950s low-cut, v-necked rubber dress it is.

Crikey! And you say you'll be in a certain south coast town?

GreatSheElephant said...

Crikey. You're me, upside down. I'd go for separates with a very full skirt and a wide belt tight round your waist so you can make yourself look very Gina Lollabrigida. I think I hate you by the way - that's definitely not a look that works when you're an 8 on top

Spinsterella said...

I was going to say something but got totally distracted by uglydress.com - which is currently amusing and appalling my entire office. Well, the girls anyhow...

Oh yeah - if it's formal - can't you just wear your wedding frock?

patroclus said...

Yes, I looked at uglydress.com at 4am on a sleepless night, and it gave me waking nightmares. So a belated thanks for that, LC.

I did actually consider wearing the wedding frock, but decided against it because a) it would be too weird, and b) it's sitting all crumpled in a wardrobe in the south of France.

Top suggestions though everyone (well, nearly everyone...) - many thanks!

Pashmina said...

Oh here I go, late as usual. For what it's worth, were I posessed of your enviably slight figure I'd be straight off to Rockit on Brick Lane, Dolly Diamond on Pembridge Road or that place on Goodge Street* and getting myself a fabulously groovy cocktail dress dating from before 1970.

But that's not exactly original advice at this stage.

dvdkime is perpetuated by shifty-eyed young men outside shopping centres on Saturday mornings.

Pashmina said...

* can't for the life of me remember the name, sorry.

patroclus said...

That's fabulous advice, thanks P! I may take in Camden Market while I'm at it - will be sure to update you on progress.

Pashmina said...

Please do, vicarious shopping is the new black, dontchaknow.

belladona said...

According to some god-awful daytime programme I wasn't really watching today wearing black is a signal that you're up for it.

Aginoth said...

Wasn't Lost Good? ;o)