En Brogue In Full: long(ish) dresses and trainers

OK, when I say “long” dresses here, you have to give me a bit of artistic licence. Because actual long dresses on my 5ft 3″ frame would look ridiculous. So this week, I’m talking about longish dresses, since I find that ones which fall just above my ankle bone are way more flattering than ones which are longer. I have experimented with floor skimming dresses, but I find that they only work for me when I can get my toes out, and we shot these pictures in freezing temperatures (spot the ice on the pavement!), so perhaps we’ll tackle long dresses and Birkenstocks again in the summer. But for now, it’s longish dresses and trainers – the ideal spring outfit!

Predictably, I’ve gone for a pair of adidas Gazelles to pair with my H&M dress (it’s sold out online now unfortunately, but I got it quite recently, so you might still find some in store). In this instance, though, I’ve chosen them as much for the burgundy matching the stripes in the dress as I have for their flattering proportions. That said, they are my go-to trainers for wearing with dresses and skirts, along with my favourite white leather kicks. I tend too avoid anything too chunky as I find it overwhelms my skinny ankles a bit, so I’m always drawn to slim silhouettes. I’ve also got a pair of black leather Gazelles which are SO USEFUL for pairing with opaque tights and a dress (because who knows when we might get another Beast from the East!).

Photography, Zac Frackelton (zacfrackelton.com)

Another thing I find I have to consider with dresses is my boobs – I’ve somewhat bafflingly gone from a 32b to a 32DD in my thirties, despite not having any children to affect their size! – and sometimes loose dresses can hang off them and look terribly unflattering. My stomach is by no means flat, so I don’t like wearing anything too figure-hugging, but I’ve made the mistake before of attempting to disguise it under a loose dress and just ending up looking like I’ve got lost in a tent. The stripes on this particular dress do a great job of averting the eye from any lumps and bumps, as well as giving a hint of a waistline without actually being tight. When I look at other dresses in my wardrobe that I love, it can’t be a coincidence that they all have a print of some kind on the fabric – I do think that a print can be easier to wear than one block of colour. I am also drawn to the fact that this dress has sleeves (although they are a little long for me) because I’m no Michelle Obama when it comes to arm exercises, sadly.

I’d love to know what you think! Do you wear dresses and trainers? Are there lengths that you’d never try with flat shoes? Have I encouraged you to step out of your comfort zone?! Leave comments below.


  1. Keep these “In full” posts coming! We seem to be fairly similar in shape, I’m a tad on the short side, with a 32FF bust! I was ‘only’ a D in my 20s, and no kids here either!
    I’m not really a dress person, I prefer separates (easier to get a decent fit, being a short a**e and all), but there are definately take homes for me in this outfit – I love the way your shoes pick up the stripe in the dress, it really makes the colour pop. And yes to slim line sneakers – they don’t over power as much (I returned the most gorgeous Boss sneakers last year because they were just too chunky, despite being a similar shape to my Stan Smith’s)

    • Ah thanks so pleased you’re enjoying reading these features! I don’t wear dresses much either but love them in the summer because you just need to add shoes and you’re ready to go! Is there anything you’d like to see me tackle on the future? Always good to get suggestions! X

      • I must admit I’m a kind of jeans and a tee kind of girl, if I do a trend it’s one I feel will be stylish in a year or so. Oh and I wear a lot of flats (I’m not as purist as you, so a heel does sneak in on occaision). On the colour front, I love blue in all its shades, with touches of pink and red thrown in.
        Tips on how to stay modern without looking like I’m trying to re-live my teens would be great!

      • I’m always trying to relive my teens! I was even thing with a theme for this feature being “how to do Britpop in your 40s”! 😂

  2. I’ve always felt too short for longer dresses, but I like this a lot. It could be a good look to try. I tend to stick with black, blue and grey and I am planning to do more sewing. Maybe that would be a fun way to combine it?

    Keep those posts coming, I’m on the slender side and find I get drowned in some styles, anything to change it up, living the cute H&M dress too, I love a good print.

    • I think the key is finding ones that are meant to be a bit shorter, and not going full length. This fabric wasn’t too swampy either. I have a weird combination of being petite and slim at my extremities (ankles and wrists) but have expanded in the middle with age! 😂 which makes dresses quite tricky!

  3. I’m the same height as you and tend to go for dresses a little shorter than this, but you’ve made me want to try a slightly longer length, looks good on you. Full length isn’t for me, I look like I’m standing down a hole. Even were I to wear heels (no!) still look and feel daft. Same goes for wide trousers.

    Your gaxelles look great with the H & M dress.

  4. I love your style and I’m enjoying the full outfit posts as well as the shoe reviews. Breath of fresh air on my Instagram feed too where often it’s all jeans jeans jeans. Now do excuse me while I go off to shop this post!

  5. Although I’ve been very much a a jeans/trousers and trainers devotee most of my grown up life I’ve started wearing dresses with trainers (or Birkenstocks in the hot weeks) in the last year. I’m a particular fan of Toast denim dresses. Love your clothing posts. Even though I’m a fair bit taller I still get some tips from you. Have just bought 2 DISKO sweatshirts after seeing them on your Insta.

    • Ah that’s lovely to hear! I think many tricks apply to everyone, regardless of height, although you’re lucky in that you probably have more choice! I LOVE Toast, particularly trousers and jumpsuits but they’re so long! Happy you liked Disko / what a lovely brand.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s