03 Feb 2013
I like this dress so much I bought it in two colours.
My latest Wall purchase arrived today, back-ordered from a batch of things I picked up recently.
I bought the same dress from fave company Wall London a month ago in dark red and when it arrived, I liked it so much I logged straight back on and got it in this blue-grey shade. This is one of my signature colours - almost the exact colour of my eyes (and as we all know, don't we girls, a third of your wardrobe should be in your eye colour).
I love this dress for several reasons. First and foremost, as must immediately strike any over-40s babe, it's got SLEEVES. Why don't more manufacturers offer dresses with sleeves? Well, cost, mainly. It takes quite a lot of fabric to make the average sleeve because of the depth of the armscye (the bit that goes in your armpit). If you ever have the chance to make your own clothes, the shape of what you might have thought was a tube might come as rather a surprise - it's far wider at the shoulder end than you might imagine, so costs the manufacturer about an extra two yards of fabric per garment (for a long sleeve) - all of which cost will be passed onto you, the customer.
The second reason I love this dress is the massive cowl. It is just huge, like something off a monk's habit, which makes it drape in an extremely flattering way. Cowls by other manufacturers no longer suffice - for me, it has to be Wall. As you can see, it's almost the width of the shoulders on this garment - a very very generous cut, and its weight means you can drape it wide, long and narrow, let it fall to the back or even pull it up over your head.
The third reason is the smooth, thick, heavy cotton jersey fabric - hand-picked long-staple Pima cotton from Peru, cultivated in Fair Trade conditions, with a proportion of the profits going back to benefit the producers. And because it's cotton, it's easy to wash at home, and there's no ironing involved, thus cutting my carbon footprint massively.
And the fourth reason is the cut, with its elegant fall at the sides and flattering waist seam, and a skirt length and width that enables me to sit cross-legged, or with my legs in front of me without feeling self-conscious.
I have never been disappointed with a garment from Wall. They are beautiful, classic, slightly unusual and arty clothes for women with brains as well as bodies.
As I negotiate what sometimes feels increasingly like a fashion minefield of garments that are unsuitable because they are too short, or sleeveless, or frumpy, or badly cut, Wall stands like a beacon of elegance that gives me hope that as I trundle towards 50 and beyond, I might actually still be able to find something to wear.