I still haven’t worked out who I want to be or what I want to do when I grow up, so on this blog please join me while I try and work it out while keeping child-like creativity alive!  Find home and fashion inspiration; travel and days out; photography, writing and more. Have fun looking around 🙂



A plain black smock dress

Styling a black smock dress

This time last year Chris and I had our first campervan trip of the season to Cornwall, and it turned out to be a lot warmer than we expected! I feel that at the moment we’re in that hit or miss time – completely unpredictable – often looking warm and sunny, but then you find there’s a freezing cold wind, which stops at 2pm and then it becomes quite hot! Anyway, the black dress I’m styling for this blog post is ideal for now – as long as you have a cardigan handy!…

Styling a plain smock dress

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I bought the dress in Target, a large sells-everything type supermarket in America with a large clothing department. On our trips across the pond (where we usually stay in Stamford, CT for Chris’s work) I always allow a good amount of time to browse and try on clothes. I tend to really like the clothing in there; it’s good value; good quality and goes up to size xxl in most brands, so I can choose from anything I see, which is refreshing. This black cotton smock dress is by Who What Wear and I love it.

Styling a simple cotton dress

How to choose a smock dress

How to choose a smock dress

I love the lace-up detail at the front, which reminds me of the lace-up tops I had in the ’90s and gives what would otherwise be a plain black dress, a designer-esque touch. The fit of the dress is perfect – I like a smock style dress, but this one has gathers at the waist, which gives a more flattering shape without being uncomfortably tight. I do like patterned smock dresses, but if you find a plain one, then look for details like buttons or lacing which add interest.

Cotton dress with pockets

Yay! The dress has pockets!

How to style a smock dress

How to style a smock dress

Anything smart or tailored wouldn’t work with the relaxed style of a smock dress. I wore it with a simple grey cardigan recently to add a bit of warmth. It would also look good with a denim jacket or even a leather biker jacket for a rockier edge. As the dress flares out from the waist, a long-line cardigan or jacket wouldn’t look right.

How to wear a smock dress

Wearing a plain black dress

Which shoes to wear with a smock dress

Well, predictably, considering the location of this photo-shoot, I went barefoot for the photos. However, the rest of the day I wore the smock dress with my dark red Clarks sandals. Any colour sandals would work with black, or also relaxed-style shoes, or trainers or Converse all-stars would look cool. I don’t think this particular dress would work with boots though.

A black smock dress

The evening light was gorgeous when we took these photos, so I’m sorry if I have included too many for this fashion blog post – Chris got a bit carried away snapping away, and I struggled to leave out so many!

Style blogger over 40

The photos, by the way, were taken at Holywell Bay in Cornwall. If you’re a fan of the recent Poldark series, then you may well recognise it as Nampara cove – the one the men always stare at when they’re being moody. The one with the twin rocks in the sea. You can see it better in the photos we took for a dress I made for Threads of a Fairytale; or in my vlog I filmed at the time for my YouTube channel. It’s a beautiful beach and I hope we go back again soon.

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Here are some similar dresses you might like:

Here’s my look-book video that includes this dress:

Style Inspiration,
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styling a pink maxi dress
Styling a Pink Maxi Dress and Going all Jane Austen!
October 12, 2018
I’m not quite sure where the idea originally came from – it was probably just a few influences that all came together. First, I bought a maxi dress from Amazon to wear over the summer, and thought it looked a bit Pride and Prejudice. Then we happened to need to go to Bath for Chris to have his computer fixed at the Apple shop; and then I think I was inspired by the bookstagrammers of Instagram to borrow a copy of Northanger Abbey. And lo and behold, we have this fashion blog photo shoot….

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