The Great Frock Hunt

Holy farking shit, Batman! I just entered the Race for Life! It’s a very popular fundraiser, a 5k race in aid of Cancer Research UK. I’ve signed up for the Edinburgh event on June 5.

That doesn’t sound like very fair away at all, eep! But I really need to shake things up and find new ways of getting fit. Training for the 5k should be fun and hard work, and the Good Cause factor will keep me motivated and full o guilt 😉 I’ll get cracking once this wedding and honeymooning palaver is over.

I can’t believe how bad my wedding procrastination is that I would rather sign up for running races than go dress shopping. I did have a wee look on the weekend but soon got cranky with how SLEEVELESS everything is! I’m not even looking for a wedding-y type frock – just a nice fancy dress that you could wear for a formal do, you know? But it’s all either tiny wee straps or no freaking straps at all, so all the world sees are my pale wobbly ham-like limbs. And I don’t want one of those wrap-thingies to hide my arms coz with me it always looks like I am obviously trying to hide something AND I am really uncoordinated and don’t need additional "bits" to worry about.

I’m off to London this weekend to visit my sister and hit the shops. I have a grand budget of about £200 including dress, shoes, accessories and/or Bridget Jones-esque magic squishy-in undies. Oh dear.

I am dreading this big style. It’s all such a hurry, and it’s the wrong season to be a looking for something for a size 16/18 person who wants to hide both legs and arms. I just have a sinking feeling we will run around town for two days and I’ll end up in some frumpy sack, whatever I can force my flesh into. I hate shopping. ARRRGH.

Nevertheless, it could have been worse. I seem to have lost a few inches over the past four weeks. My grey trousers that threatened to disembowel me mid-January now fit perfectly, as does the jumper that was skin-tight and itchy. My undies aren’t digging into me anymore. I’ve been gymming like a mofo this past three weeks, including three Body Pump classes last week, so I’m feeling quite good.

I’m so reluctant to post these things, the Little Changes I’ve noticed. Last year I so rarely did it, coz I thought I’d jinx myself if I shared some success and I wouldn’t lose any more. But the only way that will happen is if I stop eating healthily and/or stop exercising. So from now my tactic is to give you guys FULL DISCLOSURE! There’s no point skulking around. I need some accountability. Meanwhile, unlike last year, I’ve decided not to mention my weight-loss efforts at work, coz they’ll only try and feed me cakes.

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27 thoughts on “The Great Frock Hunt

  1. Delurking to say that I saw you mentioned in an article about blogging in today’s (8 Feb) Age (online). Congrats on that and also your impending nuptials. I bet you will look gorgeous on your wedding day.
    Good luck with the dress hunt too. Been there, done that. *sigh* Isn’t it nice though when you notice signs of lost poundage like that? Good on ya!
    seeya,
    Karin (Melbourne, Australia)

  2. I was just going to suggest one of those wrap things! Good thing I reread your post LOL. Well done for entering the race – that’s a really good way to keep motivated, cos that day aint gonna get any further away!!
    Try not to get too despondent shopping, those buggers in formal dress shops are paid to make you feel as though you have to buy somthing from them, but you don’t! I’m sure you’ll look gorgeous on your wedding day.

  3. hey chicky! i don’t think that it will matter at all what you wear – u will b gorgeous! And think of all those people who wore puffy sleeves and balloon skirts in the 80s, saying, that was trendy kids, honest it was! In ten years it won’t matter anyway. Maybe you should just don a kilt!! I have a nice australian tartan if u want a lend : )

  4. Maybe you should go for something that has a jacket over a dress type thing. Good for this time of year anyway.

    I’m sure you’ll find something fabbo. Good Luck!!

  5. you will manage 5 k no problem. I thought I would never do it but now I can and it is not even that big a thing. My goal now is 10 k but Im not a race person when it comes to things like that. I hate crowds *L*.

    and Im sure you will find a dress with your sisters help and that you look just dandy in them. we are all our worst enimies *S*

  6. It is near impossible to find dresses that cover the arms that aren’t total Nana dresses. Sometime depending on the style it makes your arms look bigger if you try to hide them. (Definately don’t do the wrap thing- terribly annoying!)
    Or have you thought about getting something made (really soon!) that way you can choose exactly how the dress is 🙂 Maybe in a style you know suits you in some nice fabric.
    Anyway good luck- I know your pain.

  7. me again. Have you thought of having a dress made? If you can get a recommendation for a local dress maker, it’s worth looking into. Try asking at local fabric shops for suggestions.

  8. I found that the poncho coming back into style was a god-send for us folk with fat arms, so that’s my suggestion. My mum bought me one for Xmas, god bless her – it’s black with spindly weave, and I’ve thrown it over everything from singlets to a formal dress.

    Option B: get dress with mega-cleavage. Then no one will be looking at your arms 😉

  9. thanks for the ideas guys!

    clarrie – i would love to have a dress made, and might do that for the aussie wedding party in october. but unfortunately i only 2 weeks til we leave for the wedding so i’ve left it too late… arrrgh

  10. You could look for a dress that has the sheer fabric for the sleeves? Too bad you can’t come to the states my mom is a wonderful seamstress and could make a dress that would fit you like a glove…too bad I’m not super wealthy so I could fly her out to you….just look in every kind of shop because the perfect dress is waiting for you and I think you’ll find it in a place you might not expect to find it….and if you have to alter it a little then go ahead….just know that the love you feel will radiate out of you and in Scottish Companions eyes you are already the most beautiful woman in the world…he sounds so wonderful, just know that he loves you and that’s the most important thing on that day….

  11. Nooooo, you’re coming to London and I’m going to be away this weekend. I could have bought you a handblender and delivered it personally. Oh well, have fun (??) in the shops.

    Monsoon is pretty good for dresses (but maybe all sleeveless). A friend of mine got married in a wedding dress from them – strappy but she wore a bolero jacket (same thoughts as you on wraps!) Oxford Street is hell – even more so on weekends. Don’t know where your sister’s living but may be worth checking shops out round there first.

  12. Have just remembered – most big stores (Debenhams, Top Shop, John Lewis etc) have a free personal shopper service, though you may have to book in advance. You just tell them what you’re looking for (don’t mention wedding if you don’t want meringue/vv expensive) and they zoom round the store bringing you stuff to try on. Much more relaxing than traipsing around yourself.

  13. link to dillards.com

    Just had to drop this suggestion- the biggest pic of the woman in the green-floaty dress… love the wrap. It doesn’t look matronly and it ties so you don’t have the problem of the “wrap”. If you could find one like this in white or cream and have some delicate flowers with it…

  14. Okay, so you could do the bolero jacket thing, but no one wants to wear a bolero jacket to their wedding. (I am so sorry I’m not there, by the way, because I would volunteer to add sleeves to a sleeveless dress.) But, if you buy your own wispy fabric, draw out or find a pattern for what you want, and beg a seamstress, I can all-but-guarantee you that she will agree to do it. Because, really? It’s a simple alteration and who wouldn’t? The story is so damn romantic, it’s not even funny.

    On the other hand, push comes to shove, there are worse things than a wrap. The trick is not to buy one that’s overly slick (see: velvet, satin) and to avoid the over-the-shoulder fat-girl drape. Welcome to me at this year’s Christmas party looking like a moo cow in a size 12 ’cause I did the over-the-shoulder drape as opposed to over-the-upper-arm.

  15. You inspired me to sign up for the Race for Life. I’ve never run in anything before and I’m off out tonight on my first training run.

  16. I know you’ve probably already tried Monsoon, but there’s a Monsoon Limited Edition / outlet type shop on Covent Garden in London. In that lovely shopping arcade right in the middle of the square. It’s got a bunch of dresses that they only make a few of, so it’ll have more variety than other Monsoon stores. At least, this store was there in 2001 when I was a student in London…

    Check out Droopy & Brown, they make FAB victorian-influenced evening gowns, but I have no clue as to price or size-friendlyness. I just know I used to drool at their windows when they had a store in Edinburgh. They’re located in London too.

  17. Oooooh! (because now we’re all talking about frocks I had to go web browsing) Monsoon’s website has a SEXY bolero like thingy. Though the hot pink might not be the look you’re going for. A sweater-ish bolero thing can look very snazzy with an evening dress.

    link to store.monsoon.co.uk

  18. For my wedding I had a dress that has a little arm coverage. In the end I had it made v. cheaply by a friend. I wasn’t 100% happy with it, but I do think it helped hide my wobbly arms … sometimes. Point is I knew they were there and in some pics it is all I can see. The day was still happy and I hope you find something perfect that will make you feel beautiful. Want to see my dress : link to photos2.flickr.com

  19. Don’t go with the poncho, you’ll look like you’re hiding under a tent, not the look you’re going for. Wraps are also probably too obvious. I agree that cleavage is the key thing, because it really will take everyone’s eyes off your arms, and will put everything in proportion. If you cover your chest and leave the arms open it accentuates them. If you find something with sheer sleaves that’s a plus. I do think that bolero jackets are cute. A jacket is probably better since it’s winter.

  20. I was going to suggest Monsoon and a bolero too. And the cleavage idea – definitely! Although that suggestion of having a dressmaker put some sheer sleeves onto a dress is a good one, and shouldn’t be very costly?

    BTW I did the wrap thing at my wedding, and it actually wasn’t too annoying at all. In fact I thought it jazzed up my outfit because the dress was quite plain otherwise (mind you I wore red! ha!) And nobody is thinking ‘What’s she trying to hide’ – on your wedding day, everyone is too busy telling you how good you look, don’t worry 😉

    Oh and way to go on Race for Life! Champion.

  21. Here, here on the cleavage thing. I did the wrap thing (I’d post a link but my site is still down, grrr) and it wasn’t too bad.

    My bit of advice? Go into ever shop you see. Even if it’s a skinny chick shop. It’s how I found my fab race day dress, in a shop that I would NEVER have gone into ordinarily. It’s amazing what you can find sometimes. Fingers will be crossed that you find what you’re looking for!

  22. Ok, here’s my 10c worth – to add to all the wonderful comments above. When I had to go to my first ball and wear sleeveless I went to this wonderful shop where the guy showed me how to actually “wrap” a wrap. Take a Long wrap – sheer – and then you wrap around your shoulders as normal but then take under your arms and tie at the back. its stunning and looks so “bridey”. From the front it looks like a bolero but from the back a wonderful soft tie. Seriously, you don’t have to worry about it falling off or anything because its tied but you still get the feeling of sleeveless at little cost!!!

  23. Ah I was going to suggest summat but then read Lynda’s comment and it is exactly what I’d suggest! This way is extraordinary and very smart and with a great effect and everyone thinks…ooohhhhhhh sooooooooo chic! and you are gorgeous anyway so!

    And yes, welcome back me!!!!!

  24. I’m with Jessa on this one. Buying a frock that looks amazng on – even if it is sleeveless and begging a dressmaker to make the alterations (sleeves.

    I have to say this too – you will know. The second you see the dress, you will know it is for you.