Thursday 20 June 2013

I haven't got a stitch to wear

My week has continued to be fairly quiet, but that's no bad thing - from this weekend on, the pace hots up and I need to build myself up to it!

Eldest has her Y6 residential in Scarborough next week; five days away with school friends and teachers, she can't wait. 

My charity shopping this week has been limited to picking bits and pieces up for her, including two pairs of unworn shoes (Rocket Dog and Kurt Geiger, no less), a total of £8 for both.

On my chazzing travels, I often see designer and expensive brands - they usually aren't my cup of tea, but if you want Monsoon, Reiss, Karen Millen, Jigsaw, Ted Baker, etc, you can certainly find them among the tatty Primark and New Look.

It's my birthday next week, but we are going out for a celebratory family meal tomorrow, since Eldest will be away (and obviously doesn't want to miss out.)
On Saturday it's our local festival, including a car boot, followed by another annual tradition - Park Night!
My mates Trace and Sue always celebrate the summer solstice with a few drinks sitting on the hill in our local park. There is a magnificent view of the city from there. It will be my first year in attendance, but I am reliably informed it's a very civilised affair, no Special Brew, Thunderbird or White Lightning, since we are Ladies.

If it rains, we will be in Trace's kitchen instead...

I know - it's a glamorous life I lead, rummaging at a car boot, mooching around a little local festival, then drinking in the park.
However, in August, I will be attending a truly glamorous event, and need your advice/suggestions, ladies. 
My sister is hosting a joint party for my brother-in-law's 60th and my niece's 21st birthday. It will be A Very Posh Do, and the dress code is Black Tie. 
I have never been to a Black Tie event before, and don't know what to wear. I have dresses galore, of course, but they aren't really evening wear - or are they? Do the men have to wear dinner jackets or is a decent suit OK? 

This dress, for example - would this do?

Yeah, I know I wore it today to go to Chesterfield and do the school run - why not wear a gorgeous midnight blue 1970s evening dress to do those things?

But is it Black Tie?

I'm about to be 49 - why don't I know this stuff?
1970s Shubette maxi dress - vintage fair
Bangles - charity shopped
Peacock pendant - vintage street market
Turquoise/silver mosaic ring - Pia jewellery (sale, old)
1960-70s stainless steel/blue ring - charity shopped this week (£1.50)

Just giving you an idea of how it might look in action on the dance floor...

Apart from planning my weekend activities, dealing with stray greyhounds, bee gazing, and developing a bad case of wardrobe angst, this week brought a delightful surprise in the form of gifts from lovely Jo, who blogs at Joyatri.

A fabulous woven belt, a good read, and Men in Crimplene - perfect!

Thank you, Jo - I hope we can get together during your next stay in the UK.

You may make your own jokes about my retro bush.

(Oh dear, there go the search term stats again...)
And I look forward to hearing your thoughts, experiences and advice on Posh Dressing.



Anonymous said...

I love your dress! I think it would be perfect for a black tie do.
We're watching the weather for the solstice too - at the moment looks like our party will be inside.
Hope you have lots of fun. xx

freckleface said...

Oh I do like it when I know the answer. Which is as follows. Listen carefully. You will be a Black Tie Goddess in that frock! It ticks all the boxes. Long, glamorous, sexy, gorgeous. Do hope that has helped.

By the way the shot of you in action on the dance floor was marvellous, just marvellous.

Drinking in the park? You take things to a new level. Have one for me! xxxxx

Emma Kate at Paint and Style said...

I've had a little look in my book, 'Etiquette of Modern Society' and all I've found is, ''How often do we see a dress, exquisite in all it's parts, utterly ruined by the wearer, for instance, by the adoption of vulgar gloves!''
So stay away from vulgar gloves and you should be okay in that dress. xxxx

Trees said...

I love this fancy blue frock on you! No one rocks a maxi quite like you!! As for the posh event I'm pretty clueless...first thought that entered my head was SEQUINS!!

Vix said...

That dress is gorgeous, I bet you knocked them for six down Chesterfield market. Did "Press it hard" Dave show his face?
God, nothing throws me into more of a state than a posh do. I'm fine dressing up when I don't have to but when it's expected I'm terrified.
My Mum used to go to a lot of them, her favourite outfit was a vintage man's dinner suit with a cummerbund, matching bow tie and a basque. At one event she bumped into Victor Meldrew (Richard Wilson) who bought her a drink as he though she was the coolest person there.
Whatever you wear you'll look fantastic. In the meantime have a brilliant piss up on the hill and pre-birthday dinner. Do stay away from the Thunderbird, the thought of it still makes me want to puke 30 years later!
Love you!! xxxxx
PS Fab parcel from Jo!

Helga said...

It shows off your booboids beautifully! It would be perfect for a black tie event!!! I reckon these things are likely more casual than they used to be, just go for all the glitz and bling with that heavenly frock, pop the man into a penguin suit and Bob's your uncle!
Love you!

Flora Cruft said...

I am proud of you for wearing that amazing midnight blue gown on the school rock, you're my inspiration Curtise! It suits you so beautifully, such a stunning look, and your retro bush is looking pretty well trimmed I must say!

Unknown said...

Love that dress! Im sure that you will rock the socks of everyone in it at that party!

Melanie said...

What I wear to a posh do often depends on how much embarrassment I think the person I go with can endure. I like how Vix's mum dressed for a part and also the advice to STAY AWAY FROM VULGAR GLOVES! LOL. I think this dress would be brilliant. It really doesn't matter what you wear so much as how well you swan about. I adore you for wearing this dress on all occasions though, exactly the way it should be. Your town should give you a key, those giant ones. Bwa-ha-ha re. bush.

Rose&Bird said...

Yep, I would totally wear that gorgeous blue number for a black tie do! I suppose that's one problem with dressing up for everyday wear !

Unknown said...

You like sublime in that dress! The colour, the sleeves, the embroidery all scream posh party to me. I have seen you in a few outfits (all maxi's) that would fit the bill too. Don't freak out, you will look fab whatever you wear! Oh and.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY for next week!

Annie said...

I don't really go to Black Tie do's, but I would have thought that dress would be perfect. It is gorgeous, and you look lovely in it.

Have a great weekend. I am off to Cornwall tomorrow so will be celebrating the Solstice down there. Doubtless the dreaded Rattler will be involved!

Happy Birthday for next week, and have a brilliant time. I shall try to keep up with your adventures when I can get wifi.

Annie xxx

Connie said...

Well, since they don't make crimplene for girls, I think your dress will be perfect! Absolutely NO gloves. Excellent advice. I used to have to go to posh events straight from work and I always used the something sparkly trick. It fancies up anything. I see you with a gorgeous blingy clip in your hair. And those are your best dance moves? Come on, Curtise. Clearly you have not had enough champagne. Let's see those gorgeous legs. You are going to be the belle of the ball!!

Fiona said...

Well you've had my advice already but hot diggety dog, YES!... that dress is perfection. (I love the emboidered waistband.) Rocket Dogs and Kurt Geiger?? Eldest will be the coolest kid in Scarborough. Will keep my fingers crossed for a dry evening on Saturday. I've never tried White Lightening but used to drink Diamond White like it was going out of fashion, oh dear the memories! Enjoy the pre-birthday celebrations. xxx

Señora Allnut said...

i'm absolutely useless to advise anybody about posh dressing, I'm always inappropriately dressed when attending events or weddings!
Anyway you look fabulous wearing your blue dress, it seems a perfect dress to dancing and partying all night long, staying glamorous!
besos & partytime

joyatri said...

Glad the parcel arrived safely and I hope you enjoy the gifties. I would have preferred to give them to you in person -- next time, as you say.
I agree with others that that maxi is black tie worthy (you are the queen of butterfly sleeves) but I don't think you should take advice from an unscrupulous shopper like me. I had to go to a black tie event 20 years ago. I bought a dress, tucked in the price tag, wore it and returned it the next day.
I think one of your elegant lurex numbers would be ideal for a posh event.

Patti said...

I am all thumbs at formal affairs as well, and I've got nearly a decade on you, dear Curtise! But I vote yes for this fab frock, and attitude is everything, as Mel says. You will shine. and happy pre-birthday weekend too : >

Kylie said...

Your blue frock might be a bit cas for black tie Curtise, but it's lovely and that colour REALLY suits you. As far as I'm concerned you have a very glamorous life. Please say hello to your littlest Miss for me x

Sheila said...

Black tie is formal - a black suit with a bowtie for men, a formal evening gown for women. Although I adore this blue dress (the colour is fab on you, not to mention woo! boobage!), it's too casual.

I say bust out the vulgar gloves! Show them who's boss.

thorne garnet said...

black tie generally means a tux for the man: white stud front shirt, with those little pleats, I like a wing collar, with a black bow tie(the black tie bit) and a cummerbund or vest.

for ladies: a evening gown, not a cocktail dress, stocking, heels and, oh what the hell, a tiara and a feather boa

I know this because there's always some fancy dress up part in plays.

Wear what you want and enjoy the party!

BellaBean Vintage said...

That dress is stunning and perfect for a black tie event! I love a posh do, everyone dressed up, and if done well the booze should flow freely. Enjoy the al fresco sozzle xx

silvergirl said...

Happy early birthday
Hope you get to celebrate every single day this week

Sissy said...

Honestly love that dress on you, but could be a little casual for black tie. Maybe pick some outfits out and post em up? A vintage fur stole always dresses things up a bit, I don't condone new fur, but will wear the vintage. You do look fantastic in blue!

Unknown said...


You could not be more beautiful in that gorgeous blue maxi. Seriously, I think I just had a stroke. Everything about it is PERFECT on you - the sleeves, the colour, the slinky fabric. But it's not black tie.

Get out the SEQUINS, FEATHERS, BEADS, SPARKLE, EYELASHES, HEELS, FAUX FUR, TAILS, TOP HAT AND NONSENSE! There are not enough black tie opportunities in life - make the most of it!

And of course, take ten million pics. Thanks.

Love yer EVERYTHING in that amazing blue maxi!

Sarah xxx

The Small Fabric Of My Life said...

I would wager you would be te most glam guest there in your blue maxi dress.
I am 47 and still have those dressing issues.
Have fun and have a drink for me to celebrate summer!?

two squirrels said...

Oh sweet the blue maxi is just fabulous on you....the fit is amazing.........
Black tie should be all things "red Carpet"......oh oh I am with Sarah.......lots of glamorous things. Like a beautiful cocktail dress or something you would wear to a ball. Hmmmm I remember the most fabulous 40's/50's black cocktail dress you have....with heels, gloves, tiara....sparkles will be just stunning.
Have a truly sparkly weekend.
love V Happy Happy Birthday coming!!!!!!

Melanie said...

I have no idea what black tie involves either but I do know you look fabulous in the slinky blue dress; I love how the fabric falls xxx

Sewingadicta said...

Happy birthday, dear Lady!! I'm with you traveling to the 49 also within a few weeks ... I'm pretty clumsy to advise other girls about the formal dress ... but ... is that we're not formal, Lady!! Yay!

Pull Your Socks Up! said...

Like Vix, I get in a terrible stew over posh dos and feel far more comfortable wearing evening frocks to school or the dentist. I just KNOW that blue frock is going to smash the joint - perfection! I hope you have an amazing sesh in the park celebrating the summer solstice and oh gosh look at your garden honey, I would pay good money to visit your parkland and retro bush! xoxox

Unknown said...

That dress is gorgeous and the color is beautiful and goes lovely with your skin tone and hair coloring.

Indigo Violet said...

Right now I would love to be sitting on top of a hill drinking plonk - it was hailing when I left work today. There has been so much rain that NZ has had umpteen landslides, thousands of people are without power, and parts north of here are knee-deep in snow. BBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

Vintage Bird Girl said...

I too have no idea about black tie etiquette, but I do love that frock on you for sure. I know you will look amazing whatever you choose. Have you changed your hair or is it looking lighter from the sunlight? And a very happy pre birthday to you! Xx

Anonymous said...

That dress is absolutely fabulous on you!1 But I kinda agree--not black tie. You need something that looks like you're going to the prom (US thing)
More blingy and posh. I'm sure you'll find something amazing while chazzing!! And a tiara and vulgar gloves would be perfectly acceptable.
Just think "what would Clementine do?"
This is an opportunity to wear something that just might be a bit much for the schoool run!

Miss Simmonds Says said...

Thorne has it right! That's black tie. Sounds scary! I'm sure you'll have something great to wear and get some tips on how to move in society from Clementine! oooh Yr6 residential - mine was in the Lake District and I mostly loved it, could've done without the teachers of course. I really love these photos of you, you look so beautiful! That dress is quite simple but so stunning, I really like it. Your hair looks super luscious as well! xxxx

Forest City Fashionista said...

I would have to agree with the other dames that have said - "lovely dress, but not black tie". The colour is glorious on you and I love the fluttery sleeves. Black tie would mean the penguin suit for the guys, and fancy gown for the gals. I would take it as an opportunity to get out the spiffiest dress you have and as Sarah said, haul out the shiny and sparkly accessories!

I hope the weather is nice for your drink in the park.

Anonymous said...

Good old Wikipedia

For him you can quite often find tux jackets in chazzers and you could find the matching pants with a stripe up them in M+S - need to check they still hve them in (we're going to Grad Ball m'dear to lower the tone lol).

For me - I'm going floor length with lots of diamante bastard jewellery. Brocade cocoon jacket, ugly flat shoes (hence floor length - I can't do heels). I have to have vulgar gloves now of course and a tiara :)

Don't stress it because once you've eaten or had a few beers, the chaps will be wearing their bow ties as Mickey Mouse ears, the dancefloor will be full of women hitching up their long frocks and cursing because they keep tripping up - and it will be business as usual.


Miss Magpie said...

Gosh that is a fabulous colour on you.
Others have beat me too it with the black tie advice but I sincerely hope you have got vulgar gloves.

bonsaimum said...

That blue dress is to die for! Unfortunately I haven't got a clue when it comes to dressing for posh do's.

OP SHOP MAMA said...

No advice on posh dressing!! But I think that dress could easily pass - especially with some black shoes or summink..
x Yeh search stats are hilarious!!

Anonymous said...

I love your blue dress!!It looks amazing on you, probabily with the right accessories it could be perfect for the black tie event! I always don't know what to wear in these kind of situations, but I follow few rules: don't dress up like I'm going to a masquerade (individual style must always be revealed from what I wear), choose something new from the charity shop (it inspires me more to have a new dress to wear) and when in doubt black clothes always come in handy!
Have fun!! Love xxxxxxxxxxx
P.S. It was hard to write this comment because I giggled all the time for the 'retro bush' joke!!!

Krista said...

This blue dress is sexy Curtise, I love the fit and the flower details, so summery! I know nothing of posh dressing but you know me I'll share my opinion anyway:) I think this dress is too casual for black tie. I think elegance is the key, over the top luscious elegance. Be sure to trim your retro bush;) too:)))). How exciting a huge bash and your birthday round the corner. Can't wait o see what you decide on, you will rock it honey !

Vintage Coconut said...

Ohhh that flower-child-esque dress looks so marvelous on you Curtise. I barely have to do black tie anything so I really have no clue. *LOL*

Unknown said...

Wear what you want Curtise,
who cares anywaty,at your age you earn the right to wear what makes you happy ??? no??
That blue dress would be more than adequate i think

Ariane xxx

Anonymous said...

I love this dress on you. It's so slippery slinky sexy! I want to wear it naked. ha!
No really, it's so feminine and goddess like.

Ulla-Marie said...

I don't dare to give you any advice regarding dress codes, but I suggest taht you shall wear that blue dress when visiting the local festival!

Rachel said...

I vote the blue dress. Or really, any of your maxi dresses - to me black tie just means dressed up. Sexism-time, it usually means dresses for ladies, suits for men, so subverting that is great, like Vix's Mum...

You look comfortable in, look beautiful in, and so own, wearing maxi dresses. Do it do it.

Happy birthday for next week! I'd say, hope to see you in your birthday suit on the day, but I mean in an outfit...!!

Anonymous said...

That dress looks stunning on you. Don't know much about black tie affairs, but I'm sure you would get positive attention and many complements if you wore it to any special event.

You lead beautiful life, Curtise, and I'm glad you share it with us.

Unknown said...

I love the style and color of your dress! Beautiful jewelry! Happy Birthday to you!!!!


mispapelicos said...

That dress is soooooooo perfect for the ocasion. It is not only glamoursous, but confortable and unique.
I wore a 6 euros vintage dress to my daughters wedding.

The Style Crone said...

Happy Birthday Curtise! And the blue maxi is divine and flows beautifully on you, in your lovely garden. I'm sure that whatever you choose to wear to the posh event will be perfect. As long as it works on the dance floor!


Ivy Black said...

Ditto! Again with the life rushing by! Still, you are a sight for sore peepers in that blue number. Your garden looks does your retro bush. And the one in the photo.

bohemian vanity said...

Dear Curtise, that dress is divine, you look like a goddess!!! The colour, the shape, everything is brilliant. Guess it's perfect for the event!!!
Have a fab time! xxxx Tani

Unknown said...

my only advice is you look gorgeous so if gorgeous is what you wanna aim for then yes wear it but for god's sake trim your bush first!

Vicky Hayes said...

Loved reading your post Curtise and all the comments (so now I'm late...) and was getting very excited to think I might be able to advise you to get your bush trimmed and then Jane beat me to it! My take on black tie is embrace it to the nth degree with plenty of glitz and slink! Vicky x