Tuesday 18 July 2017

Breton Maxi Dresses and Summer Sandals from JD Williams *REVIEW*

SUMMER IS HERE!!! Gosh aren't we being blessed by the weather gods right now? I'm LOVING it - sunshine makes everything better, right? Long walks, picnics, barbecues, trips to the beach, weddings...they're all ten times more amazing when the sun pops on his hat and comes out to play.

Of course, with great summer weather also comes icky (but essential) suncream, hay fever, mozzies and midges, wasps, sleepless sticky nights and the need for a whole re-think when it comes to your wardrobe.

If like me, you live in the UK and are used to mostly rubbish overcast, slightly cold summers, then you may have also found yourself with exactly 2.5 items of actual summer clothing in your wardrobe - one of those a swimming costume and the other a kaftan! It was time to get shopping and give my summer wardrobe a much needed boost.

As a very fair skinned and curvy size 12/14, I like to feel supported, well covered (so as not to burn) and confident in my summer clothing - skimpy t-shirts and barely there shorts just don't cut the mustard for me, so I often struggle to find cool and comfortable summer clothing that I actually like and feel confident in. 

I'm a big fan of maxi dresses as they provide good coverage, but are cool and easy to wear either casually or dressed up. However, at only 5ft 5" I sometimes struggle to find maxi dresses that aren't so long I need to wear 8" heels with them. When the people at JD Williams asked if they could send me some pieces from their summer collection I jumped at the chance of trying some of their summer maxi dresses on for size as well as a GORGEOUS pair of tan wedges from their summer sandals collection, which I knew would match both dresses perfectly!

Naturally, both dresses are variations on the Breton stripe (come on, you wouldn't expect anything else from me, surely?) and I absolutely LOVE them. I think I've worn them about 5 times already in just a few weeks and I'm thrilled with these classic additions to my summer wardrobe.

My first choice was this uber floaty Bardot style navy and white Breton stripe number, with tie waist and off the shoulder neckline. It's currently priced at £45, which is a steal considering its quality and never-go-out-of-fashion summer wardrobe staple status!

Navy/Ivory Stripe Bardot Dress JD Williams

I love how pretty and floaty this dress is, it's uber feminine without being pink and floral, but also has a very classy/chic vibe thanks to the Breton stripe. The dress length is perfect on me...hallelujah! I can wear it with both heels or flats which is unheard of for me when it comes to a maxi dress. The fact that I can team it with heels or flats means its an even more versatile piece for me, so well worth the £45 price tag. 

Navy/Ivory Stripe Bardot Dress £45.00 from JD Williams

It's so easy and comfortable to wear and brilliant to dress up or down with flip flops for a more casual daytime bbq vibe, or jazzed up a bit with wedges or heels for a more glamorous look. I'm thinking add heels and a fascinator for a relaxed summer wedding or dress it down with flip flops and a flower crown for that boho chic festival look. 

Navy/Ivory Stripe Bardot Dress JD Williams
Garden bbq fun with my wingman

I'm wearing a size 14 here and I find it a great, comfortable fit - it is loose and floaty which is just how I wanted it, but the elasticated Bardot-style top section keeps it firmly in place, and the tie on the waist cinches you in for a more fitted and flattering look. 

The second dress is this navy stripe jersey maxi t-shirt dress which is currently priced at £25. I instantly loved this dress firstly, for it's Breton stripes, and secondly, for the sleeve length: so often maxi dresses have no sleeve at all - just spaghetti straps which I tend to avoid at all costs due to a strong dislike of the tops of my arms. As my main "problem area" I feel much more body confident and relaxed with a decent sleeve, so this dress was a real win for me. 

Just like the Bardot dress it is a great length for me - the hem sits about 3 inches above the ankle in a heel and just grazes the bottom of my ankle in flats - that's maxi dress perfection right there! 

I wear a size 12 in the picture and found it to be a true-to-size fit. 

It is made from a heavy jersey material which makes the dress sit really nicely - it is worth noting that it is a very figure hugging dress so you need to embrace your fabulous curves and enjoy flaunting them to the world when wearing this number. The stretch in the fabric makes it crazy comfy and a major plus is I've found it needs no ironing at all, making it the perfect holiday dress - anything that can be folded in a suitcase and still look half decent when you're on your holiday is a winner in my book. 

I teamed this dress with my Boo Chew Suzie Wild Flower Meadow teething necklace (I LOVE this necklace - pretty, bold AND Connie can chew on it to her hearts content, amazing!) and tan wedges for a relaxed day with the kids. 

The uber-stretchy fabric makes it a perfect mum staple as I can easily manoeuvre up and down off the floor in it, and its length means theres no worries about flashing my undergarments to all and sundry when chasing about like a madman in it. I even ran races against Bert in the park in it yesterday... 

Cracking up at the awkwardness of posing for an outfit shot when you're just a random blogger from Bedford, ha ha ha! 

Last, but by no means least, JD Williams sent me these stunning Sole Diva Willow Wedges in Tan. I adore a tan shoe for its versatility - tan literally goes with absolutely EVERYTHING! I wear a size 8 shoe and have very wide feet, which usually makes shoe shopping a veritable nightmare, however the Sole Diva range are available in a variety of width fittings so I went for the EE wide fit option and they fit absolutely perfectly. 

Sole Diva Willow Wedges in Tan

I love the gold buckle and stud detailing and pretty but chunky straps - they feel solid and supportive but look pretty and stylish. The cork wedge gives that relaxed summer feel and so far they have been a very comfortable wear. What more could you want?

Sole Diva Willow Wedges in Tan

The willow wedges are currently on sale at a reduced price of £25 - what an absolute bargain! 

I have to say that before JD Williams got in touch I had a huge preconception that their clothes would be more suitable for women of my mums generation, I had no idea that there would be so many items I would love at 30 - it just goes to show that it is always worth a look, because you just never know where you might find that next perfect wardrobe addition!

What's your favourite outfit this summer?

Mrs B


I was sent both maxi dresses and the wedge sandals in exchange for my honest review.