• Thu01November 2012
  • Fashion saviours: My mustard dress

    When I was younger (between the ages of say 16 and 22), I used to spend many a day perusing the markets of London town.

    First it was Camden, which was packed full of vintage shops at the time and the ideal place to pick up army surplus. This was the mid- to late-90s after all and if you cast your mind back to then, army trousers and parka jackets were all the rage.

    Then the film Notting Hill came out and Portobello became my next hangout. I loved trawling the stores for cheap Topshop knockoffs, student designer gear and vintage finds. This affair lasted for a few years and I’m not quite sure how it happened but I discovered Spitalfields market.

    At the time it was a car park with market stalls selling odd bits and pieces. I remember a certain Traffic People selling their garments there and young students from London fashion colleges trying to make a bit of money from their designs.

    I’ve always had a thing for markets and I guess it comes from the fact that I love to discover new talent before they make the big time.

    The mustard dress in this photo was one of my finds from a few years ago. I was in-between jobs and temping at a solicitors close to Holborn. During my lunch hour I liked to wander up to Fetter Lane market. Most of the stalls along the market sold food, packet stuff and things for the household – quite useful if you’re looking to stock up. But it was a clothes stall that happened to catch my eye. And this dress in particular.

    It wasn’t so much the mustard colour but the style, material and cut of the dress. It looked like the kind of dress that I could wear season after season with confidence. I went with my gut and parted with what wasn’t really very much money at all. The mustard dress was mine.

    I’m so glad I made that decision as I still dig it out today. The cut is fantastic, a heart-shaped neckline with buttons down the front, fastened by a black belt around my waist. Made from a thick cotton and lined with black polyester, the dress also acts like a coat. I can wear it over tights or leggings, with or without a polo neck top or simply stick some thermals underneath and no one knows any different. It really is comfortable and most importantly of all I feel elegant when wearing it.

    It’s also really well made. Compared with my high street buys, I haven’t had to make any alterations, sew on fallen off buttons or darned holes – you get the gist. I’d love to find the designer Ou Han Ri Pai who made this dress as it has definitely paid off in terms of cost per wear.

    You could say that this is my go-to dress – a piece in my wardrobe that I can wear day or night and know that I look good. Before buying this piece, I’d never really been a fan of mustard but season after season it comes back, which is fine by me. For this means I am on trend without even trying.

    If you’ve heard of the designer Ou Han Ri Pai, please let me know.

    What do you think? Do you like my mustard dress?

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