On the search for a dress that isn’t backless, strapless, sleeveless or mid-thigh length? Take a look here!


At this time of year there are plenty of dresses of the backless, strapless, sleeveless, mid-thigh variety. Trying to find something with a slightly longer hem, or a sleeve or heaven forbid a v-neckline can be a little more challenging.


As part of the campaign for the Pavilions shopping centre, I was involved in a Style Event at a hotel in Birmingham. Natasha, one of the models, wore this fantastic Invitation Tamsin Dress £199 by Hobbs. 



Natasha loved how supportive and comfortable this dress felt and she was definitely talking about  buying it. For me it’s one of those dresses which curvier ladies may steer clear of, thinking that it may not be flattering but I love the way that it emphasises Natasha’s incredible curves. I feel positively unfeminine standing next to her!

Hobbs also does a similar sequinned style but with full length sleeves, as does Monsoon (black and gold) and Boden (grey matt sequins). Although there are only limited sizes on the Boden website, the Birmingham store has a wider range of sizes, as they do in many of the pieces which are low in stock on-line.

Natasha’s bright red lipstick and bouncing curls also add to the glamour of the dress. Speaking of bouncing curls, what do you all think of the Duchess of Cambridge’s “radical” new hair-do? A fringe! I know – how radical is that?!

I also thought that I would show you this Invitation Maze Dress (£133) which too is from Hobbs. It’s a really beautiful style for anyone who prefers a knee length hem, a v neck and a dress with sleeves. It also nips in just under the bust, which is the narrowest point on the torso, so from that perspective it is really flattering, as is the slight fullness in the skirt.



I spotted this jewelled chiffon gown from Mango (£159.99) whilst in the shops today. It is such a pretty full length dress with beautiful beading. The addition of the sleeves is quite unusual in a full length dress but I think that they make it more accessible and also very stylish. 



So for anyone who is on the search for a dress that isn’t backless, strapless, sleeveless or thigh high – don’t give up – there are some gems around.  Coast and Phase Eight are also good brands to take a look at, as are Boden and Whistles, who have plenty dresses with sleeves this season.




  1. Iva Grbesic
    November 28, 2012 / 6:12 pm

    This is what women need! Fantastic post.

  2. Avenue 57
    November 28, 2012 / 6:25 pm

    This is great! I was looking for a friend for an evening dress and for 90% of the time I was faced with backless, thigh split, strapless .. I just wanted to find a good evening/party dress for the 30+ who doesn't need or want to show it all offFiona

  3. PoppysStyle
    November 28, 2012 / 6:57 pm

    I bet the long dress would look stunning shortened too – I wouldn't be afraid to take it to a tailors…I adore lace sleeves – my wedding dress had them:)

  4. Isla
    November 28, 2012 / 8:36 pm

    Lovely ideas – where is the gorgeous black dress you're wearing from?

  5. The Flaky Fashionista
    November 28, 2012 / 9:02 pm

    Lovely choices. About time that the designers started taking notice of the fact that not all ladies are happy to bare their arms!

  6. Nikki172
    November 28, 2012 / 11:03 pm

    Saw you at M&S Merry Hill & really enjoyed your informative talk.Could you post future events?Great blog!

  7. Heather
    November 29, 2012 / 3:13 pm

    Great tip! The Hobbs dress is actually half price in the red version.x

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    May 24, 2013 / 7:38 am

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