Wednesday, 12 September 2012

An Orla Kiely Dress - Before and After

First, thank you so much for all your warm words and kind thoughts about Angus starting nursery. And for sharing your potty training tales - an area of parenting that is hilarious when it is far behind you but tedious when you are in the middle of it. You are all lovely for taking the time to visit and leave comments - it makes my day. And a very big hello to my new followers. You are very welcome and it's lovely to have you here!


Anyway, to today's business. This is not, and never will be, a fashion blog. But I was just so darn happy with the result of something that I really wanted to share it with you. 

I bought the dress below from Uniqlo, part of their new Orla Kiely range (be still my beating heart). I love her designs and use of pattern and colour, and have various wallets, mugs, cushions, towels, lampshades...I could go on. It's embarrassing. But her clothes have always been financially beyond my reach, so I was VERY excited by the Uniqlo range, and ordered this dress.

But when it came, oh, it was not the moment I was hoping for. The words tent-like and maternity spring to mind. But I love the pattern, and the collar and cuff detailing, and the price. So I gave it some thought. I could take it in, but I'm no great shakes on the sewing machine and would probably ruin it. I could cut holes in each side and add a tie-back, but cutting an Orla Kiely dress just felt very wrong.

So, after some pondering and much discussion with my friend Sam over wine, I bought two metres of cream velvet ribbon for the princely sum of £2.58 and made a sash/tie around the waist. I love it. It suits my shape now. I can adjust the ribbon for fat days and thin days and no dress was harmed in the making of this post. And it is the perfect Autumn dress with tights and my favourite brown boots.

(Please excuse the altogether horrid pictures - it was very bright and sunny, my hair was a mess, I am squinting, and felt like a right idiot standing in my back garden making John take a photo of me. But the dress is good.)



59 comments:

  1. I got mine in the post too and felt EXACTLY the same! So funny! Anyway I am going to do the same as you, thank you for the idea! Xx

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    1. My husband is now claiming it was his idea... A skinny belt would work too.

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  2. It looks great, I can't do the whole maternity dress stuff either yet strangely I love that style! Ada :)

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    1. Same here - and I am always drawn to those cute blouses that button right up to the top with little peter pan collars, and they look awful on me.

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  3. Good work! Looks like a totally different dress. Good thinking! :)

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  4. Lovely makeover! I too love OK - I have a red purse with the leaf print studded into it - I've had it for years but don't think I'll ever part with it.
    June

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    1. That sounds nice. I have an oilcloth wallet but have always lusted after her leather ones, the detailing on them is so pretty. x

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  5. Hello! Mine arrived yesterday and gosh it's short! You look lovely in both pictures I think, but the belt was inspired!

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    1. They are short - and I'm 5'11" so it's super short on me. Not a dress to wear bare legged...

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  6. I have ordered a couple of t's and hope they fit as I am on the large size. I think you look great in both.

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    1. Thanks. I ordered a t-shirt too and wish I'd ordered another. And a hoodie...I could go on.

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  7. What a brilliant makeover- it looks amazing and really suits you. I love the collar details and it looks great with tights and boots. xx

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  8. Brilliant and it looks great - amazing legs!

    I have just caught up with the Angus post (getting to blogging is sometimes beyond me) - love his backpack & I am sure that you will both settle into a wonderful routine. My boys all took their time with potty training and were around three when they did it. We just have to wait & then suddenly it isn't an issue any more. Busy little boys don't want to have to stop to do anything as boring as go off to the toilet when they could be having fun with their toys...But you are right parenting gets a whole lot easier with perspective in your side. Much more stressful when yo are in it...

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    1. Ah, thanks, you are lovely. Not amazing really - but black tights hide a multitude of sins!

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  9. That yo is supposed to say you and isn't a pathetic attempt to be 'down with the kids'!

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  10. Oh I think it looks fabulous and so you - hello by the way, such a lovely picture.

    Just perfect for the Autumn and I love the teaming with boots and tights.

    We're slowly settling in here, but we haven't quite completed a full week yet - I'm sure I will go 'phew' by the time the weekend comes.

    Nina x

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    1. Yes, there will be a big "phew" here on Friday afternoon too. This to-ing and fro-ing all day long is exhausting! x

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  11. See we all like the picture and expect there is quite a bit of envy about how great you look in the dress.

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    1. That is so kind of you to say because when we look at ourselves all we see are the flaws. x

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  12. Genius! You look terrific in that dress, perfect for autumn!

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    1. Thank you. I think autumn clothes are my favourite kind. x

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  13. It's so nice! What a great outfit. And clever you - well done :)

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    1. Thanks Lottie! :-) And thanks for stopping by. x

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  14. Love this Gillian ... have been eyeing the dresses up too ... thought they were a bit short ... obviously using a giraffe like model as it is a lovely length on you ... so I think I will be popping back to order on if they are still available ... absolutely lovely on you and so cute with the ribbon detail ... Bee xx

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    1. The dress is short but I am nearly six foot tall so am used to things always being a bit short on me. It's ok with tights or leggings, but I definitely could not wear this with bare legs!

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  15. I love her too! When I was at the Chelsea Flower Show this year, she had a gorgeous retro shack. I was so hoping she'd be there but I missed her by a day. I don't know about this affordable line - Ill have to check it out. You look fab in it - that belt is brilliant!

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    1. Oh, I wish I'd seen that retro shack, I bet it was fantastic. I've never been to the Chelsea Flower Show but I'd love to go one day.

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  16. I think it looks lovely in both pictures, but what a clever idea of yours and now you have two completely different looks! xx

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    1. Thank you. I might wear it loose if I'm feeling fat. But not too fat - I don't want anyone asking when it's due! x

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  17. The photos are great and you look beautiful! What a pretty dress. Well done for being so imaginative and making it 'work' for you! Shows off your tiny waist!
    Hope the toilet training is going well. It is exhausting but so worth it when you think of all the money you will save on nappies and how much more grown up it will make Angus feel. Eleanor is still working on number 2's but this always takes longer, doesn't it?
    Have been thinking of you all this week and hope you are settling into routine again. It's such an emotional time with little ones this age. They want to be big and we want them to be big too, but it can be hard seeing them become so independent. I think we love them being small and needing us so much because that's all we've ever known. Bet they will be full of smiles when they see you waiting to collect them at hometime. xxx

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    1. Thank you. But my waist is not tiny.
      It's been a funny old week. Angus makes a huge fuss when I drop him off and I walk away feeling like the worst mother ever. But I know he settles when I've gone. Roll on friday... xxx

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  18. Looks great! Both of them ! Hope it goes ok with Angus. I bet he loves nursery x

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    1. Oh Andrea, dropping him off is awful, he clings and screams and sobs. He literally has to be pulled off me. But then when I've gone he is apparently fine, and tells me when we get home that he likes nursery..so I guess he must be ok. xx

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  19. Gillian, Y\you look great! The dress is so pretty and I love that you can have two looks with it! Very clever!

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  20. What a clever stratagem - it works beautifully! So satisfying when a little ingenious ruse like this comes up trumps. And the pics are lovely - so pretty and happy. Enjoy wearing! E x

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    1. I am saving it for my knitting course on Saturday. I thought it was just the dress to sit and knit in! x

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  21. Brilliant idea, it looks fab, but I like it without the sash too. I don't know about tent-like and maternity springing to mind, you've got a wonderful figure and can carry off the style with no problem.

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    1. That's very kind of you, thank you. I may wear it minus sash - all these lovely comments have made me look at it in a different light! x

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  22. I bought the same dress and felt like I was wearing a nightie! I have kept it in the bag in case it suddenly grows on me, but alas I think I will be sending it back :(

    My son is 2 1/2 and will proudly do a wee in his potty at bathtime. I'm going to wait to potty train him though. I think when he turns 3, so next Spring. I have an older girl so my mind boggles how to toilet train a boy lol

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    1. I love how many of us bloggers have bought or ordered this dress! Angus is 3 years and 4 months which some might say is late but I do think boys train later than girls. But, so far so good! x

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  23. Just catching up with your posts. You look fab in the dress. I've just followed the link and was amazed at the prices. Now I've got a dress and top on the way - ho hum!
    Thank you
    ellie
    x

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    1. Oh dear - I am sorry if I inadvertently caused an online shopping spree! I really wish I'd ordered a hoodie and a scarf as well....

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  24. It is amazing how determined we can be when we love a dress, especially Orla Kiely. Very nice.

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    1. Yes! You're right, i couldn't bring myself to return such a great dress. Ifonly I was thing determined in all areas of life. c

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  25. Wow, you absolutely rock in that dress. Hot Mumma comes to mind. You go girl, you are very beautiful!

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    1. *blushes* I am LOVING the fact that someone has called me a Hot Mumma. That will make me smile all day! xx

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  26. It's a great dress, and you look fab in it :D

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    1. I haven't worn it yet. I nearly wore it to the knitting course on Saturday but opted for jeans in the end, much more comfy!

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  27. such a great and easy fix! i had looked longingly at the collection at uniqlo and decided that the dresses were too shapeless for me. well, for me once i'm no longer pregnant. great job! still might be a bit short for me though...

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    1. Maybe they would make excellent maternity dresses! But a bit of a splurge when you only have a couple of months of pregnancy left... They are short, definitely a dress to be worn with tights/leggings not bare legs! x

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