Whistles Lola Dress : A Versatile Dress

Sunday 29 May 2016

I confess when I buy something like a dress, I don't actually think how versatile it is. I don't do that "stop, think and does it go with a gazillion things in my wardrobe". No I buy it because I like it and I have at least one pair of flat shoes I can wear it with. The real seal on the deal is if I don't have to wear a cardi with it. #bingowings. But my latest dress from Whistles got me thinking because I could immediately see how easy it was to dress up and down.


I'm not saying that flats aren't great for work, they are, but I immediately think heels project a little something extra. And yes, I look grown up for a change. I almost don't recognise me.

Mulberry Araline Bag (Old)
F&F Leopard Courts (Old)
Dotty P Necklace (Old)

H&M Sandals (old but similar here)
Bracelet/Cuff (old)

Looking online, I wondered what was similar and new that would also work with the dress.

  • The Radley Bridgewater reminds me a lot of the Mulberry Araline bag I have in shape but looks to be a little larger and sturdier.  This is currently reduced at half price which makes it a bargain for a good leather bag. Looks like you could also fit your lunch in there ;)
  • Topshop Jewel Shoes - pretty aren't they? They have an ankle strap and a block heel. Anything with a block heel gets the green light from me these days. They just give me that little bit of extra stability for pounding pavements.
  • Michael Van Der Ham for M&S clutches. These look a little different from the standard clutches out there and of course I picked them out for the touches of blue in them to pick out the navy of the dress. You have to find a common denominator in your accessories somewhere.
  • Mint Velvet Mandy Shoes. A beautiful pale shade of leather and see that panel on the front of the shoe? Perfect for holding your foot in. I don't know about you but the older I get, I find that shoes I can actually walk in count for a lot. The fact that I'm not flopping out of a court shoe makes my feet very happy. Oh yes, there's 20% off at the moment too.
  • Hill & Friends Happy Bag. I bet there are a lot of you out there with a little leopard bag nestled in your wardrobes. They're perfect for adding a little oomph to an outfit.
  • Made Bangle. I'm a bracelet rather than a necklace girl and I'm particularly fond of Made jewellery stocked at Whistles and Jigsaw.
  • My H&M tan buckle sandals are one of favourite pair of shoes. They are fab for elongating my short legs and have helped make many an outfit. They were from a couple of years back but these Naturalizer ones are not dissimilar. A solid heel and a "fuller sandal" means you should be able to walk safely and comfortably in these. #oldage


This is much more my style. Casual with sandals and a shoulder bag. Or white trainers and a tote. Can't get much simpler and probably one of the ways I am most likely to wear it. 
  • The Skinnydip rucksack is modern and I just know it would go with so much already in my wardrobe as well as the dress. I like the weave on it.
  • These two band leather sandals look way more expensive than they actually are. They'll take you from year to year with their simple styling.
  • Simple white slip on pumps.  So basic and so simple. Wear them with everything!
  • The H&M mustard yellow bag looks lovely and I like it's nod to Gucci with the bamboo handles. Karen from Mission Style has this bag and when I see it, I think to myself, "I need that bag". I don't really but I still want it.
  • I love mixing navy and deep greens together. And I know that some people think that blue and green should never be seen but I think they are a fab combination.
  • And lastly, a simple pair of black peep toe leather espadrilles. Because it's nice to set those toes free a little isn't it?


Last Note :

  • Apologies if anything has disappeared or gone out of stock from the outfit montages. They disappear as I type sometimes.
  • For reference I'm 5ft 1.5", I'm wearing a size 8 in this dress. I am normally a 10.


  1. Such a gorgeous and versatile dress. I wish I could make black look as good as you do! Wondering if it would also look good with some coloured trainers for an even ire casual outfit. Jane X


    1. I'm looking forward to wearing it Jane. Forecast is cloudy again here - big sigh. And yep, I reckon it would go with coloured or white trainers - it's one of those kind of really neutral dresses. And I've actually got it in navy - I thought it would be a touch softer for the summer than black (of which I already have quite a few of).

  2. Sometimes it takes someone like you to point out the error of my ways. Whilst I'm checking out all the colourful bombers I suddenly realise what I really need is a dress up or down dress thank you.

    1. I would be checking out colourful bombers myself if I thought I suited them. Truth is, I've not found one that is actually flattering. I've loved the designs on them and they really are a statement piece but I didn't feel good in any of them. But the dress, I popped it on and it felt right. That's always good isn't it? Not always the most exciting but feeling good is always good.

  3. I bought this dress months ago, but have never worn it. It looks daft with tights, but is too short on me (I'm 5ft 6) for bare legs. Weirdly, I have the same one in the black and white print, and that one is fine with tights (black opaques, Chelsea boots) so it's just the navy I can't make work.

    1. I can imagine it's quite short if you're 5ft 6 as I feel this is just right for me at 5ft 1 and a bit. And it's a shame about the navy. You can't do navy with black tights at all? I don't have a problem with navy and black but that's just me. I've done it for years not realising it wasn't a done deal but it seems to be the thing these days now.

  4. Hi Sue thanks for such a good post. I live in Melbourne and wondered if you had tried the size 10 on and how and where it was too big for you? I'm normally a 12 but trying to work out if a 10 would be too small? Would you say you are a true size 10 Or an 8/10? Apologies for being so personal - but I'd love to order it......thank you Pip x

    1. Hi Pippa. I can understand your dilemma as you're in Melbourne. Returns are not so easy from all the way over there. I would say I am a true size 10 but I am only 5ft 1 and bit. The dress itself is quite a loose style and they do bring out similar from year to year and I remember trying one on a couple of years back and it was just too big. Even the size 8 in one of them was too big. I took a chance and ordered an 8 this time round as I took in to account, the style (loose with no fixed waist) and just went for it. It fits jsut nicely for me. I did however ask someone else who had the Lola dress - she is 5ft 4 and normally a UK 10 or 12 and she went for the size 10 and said to size one size down. Not sure if that helps you at all.

    2. Bless you Sue that's really helpful! I've been at the gym and eating healthily so may cross everything and go for a 10. I'm 5'4 too so will expect it to be a bit shorter (although most of my height is above the waist! Better order now before they run out. Love reading your blog, real woman with my sort of taste (grown up tomboy) thanks for putting the effort you do into writing the posts. I started a blog when we moved to Melbourne but haven't got round to doing an Australian fashion post, I'm at upsidedowninmelbourne.wordpress if you ever want to pop by, it's part therapy part what we have been up to. Take care and thank you again. pip

  5. This is the perfect LBD Sue, such an easy style to dress up or down! Brilliant if you are like me and don't get many opportunities to dress up, at least with the Lola dress I would be getting my pennies worth as I'd be more likely to wear it with flatties too! xx

    1. I doubt it will ever get seen with heels again to be honest Michelle, I'm pretty much a flats girl these days and if I wear heels, it tends to be with jeans! I'm hoping this is going to be an easy bob on dress like my Vila one - that one is like wearing a nightie - but a bit cooler! :)

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Susie So So