What I bought: New bits from SIR and Theory

SIR’s Lilian open-back dress can be filed under the category of pieces that I order during the hottest weeks of the year but don’t get much wear out of because, once they arrive, the temperature drops. Whenever the heat hits the 30-degree mark, though, I’ve been loving this dress. It’s 70% linen and 30% silk, so it has such a light feel – and the open back adds to that airiness. The silk threads also create a subtly lustrous finish, so the print has a more glam, less grandma’s pottery-collection vibe.

In other recent shopping news, I ordered from Theory for the first time, lured in by their 25% off sale. This brand turns out to have much more to offer than corporate workwear and basics. I picked up a couple of dresses and was really impressed by the quality of the fabrics.

First up, the Good Linen draped back mini dress, featuring a beautiful square neckline and wide straps as well as a lovely draped panel that skims over the bust and falls gracefully down the back. It’s that sort of detail that makes Theory’s prices more justifiable, despite their otherwise simple constructions – they wouldn’t be able to execute it as cleanly on the high street. My only criticism here is that it’s not a perfect fit if you’re petite: I had to size down, and even then the fit could do with being half a centimetre tighter around the waist, and the straps could be shorter. There’s one more issue, but it’s down to my impulsive behaviour rather than the brand: Why did I buy this dress in bright red? It looks good but, like my SIR dress, it lends itself to only the hottest summer days. The black version would have been the better buy.

I have a soft spot for balletic, fit-and-flare silhouettes, so my other Theory purchase was this sleeveless dress with a full, gathered skirt. It’s a new favourite. The top half is a dense compact knit, and the skirt is a taffeta-type poly that feels super crisp. Overall very chic, and perfect for days when you’re feeling lazy but also want to look like you’ve made an effort – the voluminous skirt makes the whole piece feel much dressier than it feels. For more budget-friendly options, there are a few decent-looking “mixed media” styles on the high street. Arket has a very similar one, just with a racerback top instead of a tank silhouette.


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