To be fair I did spend quite a bit of time pondering whether to order this dress, partly because of the print: how do you make this bold print work (do you like what I did there?). But then maybe that was five minutes, tops. In all honesty I fell in love with this dress at the word Balzac.
I found out about this little Parisienne chic brand through Instagram, aka the biggest enabling app for hopeless fashionistas such as me. Everyone knows Sézane, in fact all the associates in my office seem to be clad in her ditsy print blouses these days, but I feel like Balzac is still just a little bit smaller, less well known... They do fantastic sweaters with the names of literary couples, perfect for those week-end days spent baking with the munchkins: I got my Alfred and George one in the same order as this dress.
By the way, as we're looking at these over-blown pictures of me, notice how another tricky aspect of this dress is the drop waist cut; it can be challenging for most of us, but for me, with my Mediterranean bootie, it is the equivalent of living life quite dangerously. But here the material makes it all ok: the boiled wool feels quite stiff and means the dress holds its A-line shape away from the hips throughout the day. A more conservative choice would have been to pick the more forgiving navy option, which this gorgeous dress comes in, but I own far too many dark coloured dresses and this print with the grey background was just calling for me.
Now, Nadine, if you're reading this, please skip right through the next paragraph... Instead of tugging in an unseemly and uncomfortable manner at my hips, this skims over every slightly indulged part of me, which is a blessing on my first day back on the clean green diet after a week-end of children activities and a day trip to Lisbon, complete with business lunch and a delicious croissant treat from the magical Padaria Portuguesa next to my office (Nadine is my PT, she might not like this, the carb count in these briochy croissants has got to be 1 million)!
Taking this baby from Saint-Germain chic to markets floor cool was made easy with some more Frenchness, aka the gorgeous low heel Louboutin Pigalle I had bought whilst pregnant in a silly attempt at maintaining some degree of elegance (ha! I still can't believe I tried so hard to hold on to my everyday style stapes, heels, tailored pieces, etc. throughout both pregnancies, how delusional).
They now look great, as my feet have returned to human proportions after threatening to stay at baby elephant leg size for quite a while after Little Madame's arrival (eeek!). The pointed toe is my favourite shoe shape of the moment, it's very classic with a little sexy edge.
To cover it all up, I decided to play a little with the proportions, by throwing on my ruffle-trim coat. It wasn't really needed: the weather has been so crazy lately, today being unseasonably warm after quite a chilly week-end. That said it was fun to contrast the big ruffle at the hem of the dress with the smaller ruffles on the coat trim.
I realise it's almost midnight, and I have to trot to Heartcore first thing in the morning before 6am for my Pilates session... so here are some outfit details before I take to bed:
- Dress, Balzac
- Ruffle trim coat, Red Valentino
- Pigalle patent leather stilettos, Christian Louboutin