This week’s dress (seeing as though dress posts seem to be becoming a “thing” on here!) is the print pleat shirt dress from Teatum Jones at Label Mix*. Label Mix is an own-brand collection at Next that launched last year. The collections are produced in collaboration with “rising star” designers and they come out with some really unique pieces every season.
This printed pleat-skirt dress by London design duo Teatum Jones takes a relatively wholesome and (dare I say it?) safe dress shape and makes it into a striking, vibrant piece. The prints are just beautiful and I love the clash between the top and the skirt – it’s far more striking than a shirt dress that’s made from the same print all over and it’s a good introduction to mixing up patterns and colours if you’re not usually brave enough to take the plunge.
(I say “brave” – you know what I mean. I realise it’s not “brave” in the same way as abseiling down a crevice to rescue a fellow mountain-climber, or “brave” as in sticking your hand into a box of poisonous spiders, or even “brave” as in planning a trip to IKEA on a Saturday… I suppose the correct word would be adventurous. Sartorially adventurous, at that.)
A word of warning: this dress comes up on the small side. I really need at least a twelve to be truly comfortable in this. As it stands, wearing a ten, I’m having to almost contort myself to hold my stomach in enough. The dress is actually quite cinched at the waist, so it’s probably not the best shape to wear anyway, if you’re having to contort yourself to hold your stomach in, but let’s ignore that…
So: great patterns going on and love the midi-length pleated skirt. It makes the whole thing look a bit Vintage American Girl Next Door Going To A Hoedown**, especially if you wear it with little cowboy boots, but with trainers it’s cool and fresh and easy. And I like that the top is buttoned (as shirt dresses tend to be) so that you can sex it all up a bit if you’re in trainers or breastfeed in it if you’re out and about with a baby – or both, if you’re with a baby and in trainers. You sexy trainer-wearing daredevil, you.
You can see the Teatum Jones AW18 collection here – there are so many beautiful bright colours and amazing prints, it’s about as vibrant and joyful as winter dressing can possibly be. And I like that Label Mix gives you a bite of the high-fashion cherry without the price tag but also that it brings slightly lesser-known designers into the high street arena. Obviously designer collaborations with the high street are nothing new (I mean, Designers at Debenhams, for a start) but Label Mix feels a little edgier and cool.
On a complete sidenote, can we all take a moment to appreciate the glorious light coming into my photos that makes me look like I’ve popped up in a secret fairy grotto? It was the last light of the day, almost, and I was forcing Mr AMR to take pictures when all he wanted to do was watch tennis/racing/football/whatever was on that day, delete as applicable. To make matters worse, I gave him approximately eight minutes to “get a nice shot where I don’t look weird” because I was really hungry and irritable and just wanted to eat an ice cream. Apparently his celebrity clients are much lower maintenance than me. Haha.
You can find this Teatum Jones dress at Next here* – it’s £160. Remember to go at least a size up. I think that Next do free returns – when I’m online shopping, I usually buy everything in two or three sizes, because I know I’ll be doing returns anyway so I like to make sure I have a lot of options. In for a penny, in for a pound. (Wrong saying, possibly, but it seemed like the right moment for some profound words of wisdom.)
**Vintage American Girl Next Door Going To A Hoedown is totally a look.
Royalty-free mage from retrovectors.com