As a finalist for the Dorset Venus Awards, Business Mother of 2016, I'm going to the glamourous awards ceremony tomorrow night. The Dress code? Colourful evening gowns and black tie.
Whilst this is very exciting, when you have a 30 piece capsule wardrobe, a colourful ball gown is not generally included! What do you do when your minimalist wardrobe can't meet the code?
With the Christmas party season not too far on the horizon, I thought this would be a perfect example of what you can to do when it comes to special occasions without spending a fortune and without expanding your wardrobe unnecessarily.
There were a few options to look into when it came to finding the perfect dress. Where possible I didn't want to buy something new. Partly the cost for a good quality full length evening dress is anything upwards £150, and I have been talking to groups about capsule wardrobes and fast fashion a lot in recent weeks and the damage to our environment from the fashion industry is horrendous. Pre-loved seemed like the way forward.
Borrow: I had a few offers of borrowing from a friend, but nothing quite fit the brief
Hire: An internet search found some great sites like 'girl meets dress' or 'love it lend it' there were a few beautiful dresses, but the cost for hiring for an evening was still quite expensive.
Buy second-hand: There are so many places to buy second-hand, charity shops, private sales, and online in an endless variety of sites.
I headed for ebay. Dresses of every size, design and colour being sold practically new, all over the country. The main issue with buying online like this is that you can't be sure of the fit, even with accurate measurements and descriptions, to get around this I had been out to the high street and tried on various different styles and I already had a good idea of which brands and shapes generally suit my body type.
After some searching and watching various items I bought two dresses, which I loved, similar styles, one blue Debut dress for £14.23 and one red, Phase Eight for £14.99. Both used, but in 'as new' condition. I was set on the red until it arrived but the colour wasn't quite as I thought it would be from the pictures - it was quite a warm tone of red. As I have a cooler skin tone, the cooler colours suit me far better, and the orange undertone just washed me out. So, the red dress has made its way back to ebay and with a little bit of luck and some decent pictures it might even sell for more than I bought it for!
So tomorrow night I will be in a beautiful blue dress. It's quite a simple style, which can be easily glammed up. My passion for sparkle and showy shoes has paid off as I do have a pair of blingy heels in the wardrobe and some very beautiful accessories from Stella & Dot to finish the look.
So with a little bit of searching and less than £20 cinders will go to the ball! (well a little bit more after I had my hair and nails done...)
oh and when I'm done with the dress, that will be washed, pressed and be back on ebay for someone else to look a million dollars in. xxx