And suddenly I look up and we are half way through February. The new year, new me campaign has stalled slightly due to the snow: it’s hard to concentrate on eating plates of avocado when my toes and fingers are masquerading as icicles. That being said, I’ve lost maybe 5lbs, and exercise every morning in the unheated conservatory off my kitchen using my Pilates barrel and free weights: it’s amazing how quickly you warm up when you are huffing and puffing like a grampus. (I’d go to the gym opposite but it smells of stale sweat and man. In a wholly revolting, not clean way.)

There was a slight falling off the healthy wagon involving a chocolate eclair & a Chelsea bun this week: it never really occurs to me to eat sweet sticky food, but there they were, winking at me in Fitzbillies’s cabinet of desire (more to come later) and snip snap the deed was done. But there is nothing wrong with indulgence, so long as we don’t flagellate ourselves or label it as ‘naughty’: that’s bad thinking and just creates more problems.

My main problem right now is not to do with excessive Chelsea bun consumption, but  that my, erm, top half is as exuberant as ever, (in my wild imaginings my new regime would have shrunk it all) and I cannot find an evening dress for the BAFTAs on Sunday that is slim enough for my back and legs but large enough around the chest. WHY oh why do dress designers insist on churning on endless iterations of strapless gee-owns?

If I wear a strapless dress, I become so top heavy I look as though I’d topple over in a light breeze. That aside, if you are bosomy, wearing a strapless dress is akin to stapling a post it to your front saying, do, please, talk to my chest not my face.


And that’s quite apart from the remembered trauma of the Louis Vuitton Concours at Hurlingham some ten years ago, as my strapless (unboned) Martine Sitbon dress, unable to cope with the strain, slid down to my waist, to leave me standing in the middle of the dance floor in a black satin basque.

Equally splendid.

And, judging from the enraged response on my Twitter feed this morning when I bemoaned the lack of sleeves for women on evening dresses, I am not alone. Even if my new year, new me campaign succeeds,  I’m still going to want sleeves on my dresses.

PLEASE someone make a dress I can wear without flashing my assets.


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There’s a few dresses with sleeves on the “gowns” section of the Outnet (can only get at US site here though). Personally, I think the Halston Heritage mauve one is lovely, but it might not be your style. There’s also a spectacular bejewelled kaftan which looks like it was stolen from Endora from Bewitched:… :p

Also, I sympathise on the chest/strapless dress dancing problems front.


I totally agree with you. As I work for sabbs london we cater to top business women for their outfits. And many of them being full figured women our designers make elegant dresses for them with short and long sleeves.


I think you need a tame dress maker. I make most of my own dresses and have half the Vogue catalogue in my cupboard (as well as a substantial attic room full of fabric). But I’m never stuck for a dress as long as I have the time to make it. It’s that little detail (time) that is sometimes elusive.


@Redbookish: I suspect that this is indeed the answer. I know pretty much exactly what I want…I can sew, but lack the time, so think I am going to start looking for a pattern cutter. LLGxx


Omg looks so lovely


Oh dear. I do sympathise…..

What about a Belle and Bunty dress? They do elegant drapey 30’s type things with sleeves that are lovely but a bit different. They cost an arm and a leg and I’m not actually the owner of one bsonacnt vouch for them from personal experience but I can always dream…! They are in Spitalfields I think but they have a website. Or what about a vintage 50’s dress? With a matching little jacket over it for the arms.? Just wanted to say that i am such a fan of your blog Sasha and look forward to reading about your exploits every day. Have a lovely weekend and a pat for P Baddog.


Hilarious photo to accompany the subject! You are preaching to the converted. I can’t believe your dress fell down to expose your basque! Once, when I was walking to dinner in the Plateau (Mtl) I didn’t realize that this grecian-style jersey dress I was wearing had shifted. It had a tendency to slip around, but I was wearing a fab bra so I didn’t mind showing a bit of it. Unbeknownst to me, alas, the left bodice moved more than expected and I ended up flashing my left (bra-covered) boob at everyone for blocks!?


Surely Erdem could rustle up something for you? After all, you are famous. Call Rachel Zoe, why not? I suppose I am deluded in the way the world works, but still. BTW, that’s me in the Narciso LBD with sleeves in TNMA’s post. Hi:).


Or one-shouldered? Do you look good in pink?


Oh my god, what about this from Issa? OK. I will stop.


That Louis Vuitton Concours, slipping incident did make me giggle. Are you ready to laugh about it yet? I shall look forward to seeing what you pick out to wear for the BAFTAS x


Hi there, please join my campaign for non-dowdy dresses with arm coverage!
(It’s called quite simply: Dresses with Sleeves)

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