Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Mary Portas and Coast–A Tale of Two Black Dresses


Mary Portas DressAlways on the hunt for the perfect Little Black Dress, as you may have gathered by now, I decided to try two of this season’s day to evening black dresses, by Mary Portas and by Coast, all in the name of research, you understand. 

One of these has five star reviews at House of Fraser (so it has to be wonderful, doesn’t it?) and the other with no reviews anywhere, although interestingly was almost sold out at both House of Fraser and John Lewis. 

I tried on the much reviewed Mary Portas Aurora dress yesterday fully expecting it to ‘do the business’.  I am 5’2” and a size 10.  It zipped up reasonably easily for a body-con dress and the top fitted very snugly, although I thought that the stand-up collar was a bit over the top, however the bottom half was a disaster, not from straight on but when I Coast Wrap Dresslooked at the side I saw that it looked ridiculously tight, clinging to the backs of my legs, which I never think is a very good look………..  This surprised me as the skirt is lined.

I like the style, the fabric is ok, but this dress will outline lumps and bumps on anyone, front, back and side.  When I took it back for a refund I commented about the fit to the girl on the till.  ‘Yes we have had a lot of those back’, she said.  No surprises there, then.

I suspect that if you are taller you should go up a size, but who, really, wants to do that, with all the work to stay slim.  Not me, thank you very much.

My second try was a simple black jersey/crepe wrap dress by Coast.  It is almost sold out at John Lewis and House of Fraser but back in stock at Coast itself.  Grab this dress immediately if you like dresses that have a flattering v neck, sleeves and hug curves beautifully.  The fabric is slinky enough to take you from day to evening, the skirt has a slim shape at the hem and a fixed wrap with a small tie.  The neckline and shoulders are nicer than in the picture here.  This is definitely a Little Black Dress every girl needs in her closet.  Trust me on this one.