Style Dilemma: What can I wear to my son's birthday party?
My son is turning three next month and I want a nice outfit for his party, which will be both indoors and outdoors. I need something kid-friendly, yet flattering. It'll be the first time several of the guests will have seen me in a couple of months, so the pressure is on Shelley (29), Dublin
Considering the demands of a house full of toddlers, your outfit will require a large degree of practicality. With that in mind, I think a shirt dress could be a good option. Feminine yet not overly girlie, practical and very stylish, this garment ticks all the boxes.
You do need to choose carefully, however, as shirt dresses have a tendency to look amazing on the model, but their inherent lack of tailoring and structure often means they are less flattering on real women.
With that in mind, Asos's fluoro jacquard spot-design dress (1 €73) with pleated skirt and full sleeve is a directional choice. The fit-and-flare style makes it figure-friendly, while the breathable woven fabric will help keep you cool in every sense.
For a more casual style, New Look's Great Gatsby-inspired shirt dress (2 €29.99) with mesh neckline is light and airy, while the embroidered panelling is visually slimming.
If you're heavier on top, the 'Charlie' from NW3 by Hobbs is an understated day dress with serious style kudos (3 €165). The sharp-collared, short-sleeved navy shirt contrasts at the waist with a knee-length Navajo print skirt, adding texture and interest.
For the daytime element, wear with a simple pair of flats but, come evening time, pop on a pair of nude heels for a chic, minimalist look.
If you're after something with a little more structure, try the red shirt-style dress by Per Una Speziale (4 €120) at Marks & Spencer. Alternatively, for some clever colour blocking, look to the 'Dessie' dress at Tommy Hilfiger (5 €179).