But I digress - it's nothing to do with sales or A/W stock (which does seem to come into store earlier every year, I will just say) but no - tis when I utter the words Maxi Dress. (or shorts, or swimwear or sarong.....)
No, the annual unveiling of the Maxi Dress means that Spring has finally Sprung. Not full on Summer - I'm talking about those days when it's warm enough to have air circulating around the legs but god forbid we should get a glimpse of full on flesh.
Personally I have always had a love/hate relationship with them. Actually, if I'm honest it's more of a hate/hate relationship. Having had very small children around my ankles for so many years, these are not the most practical of dresses with ankle biters (treading on a hem and exposing a boob to the public wasn't ever a good look). Also being tall, trying to find one long enough was a challenge to say the least. But I do have a couple - mine are from Reiss, Baukjen, All Saints and New Look - that I trot out every year as soon as the temperatures start nudging something non goosebump inducing.
I know it sounds ridiculously early to be mentioning them but I think these are perfect for layering and ideal as a transitional piece of clothing. Much easier than a maxi skirt to be fair (I really couldn't get maxi skirts to work) - tops with them are a nightmare. Plus mine is elasticated - I'm too old and my middle too wobbly for elasticated skirts and fitted tops.
But a maxi dress - ideal for smooth lines and with a smalll jumper over (to be explored shortly - these are on the agenda, fear not) or a blazer (ditto) these are perfect for wearing now as part of an outfit and then in the Summer when it's warmer as a dress in its own right.
Alas mine don't really fit this bill and are foolishly full on Summer but there are definitely many more around this year I've seen that would work. Shoe wise - I've nearly always found flats to work better for me with a maxi dress but that may be because I've had serious length issues. I do love a maxi on a shorter person with stack wedges (think Olsen twins or Nicole Ritchie, yes they do look cool). And I know I sound like the most ludicrous stuck record but definitely skater shoes or trainers would look fab for a more dressed down vibe. I used to wear cons with one of my navy ones, now I think about it.
I can pretty much state that I don't think I need a new maxi dress this year. I have my old ones that I need to wear - all are perfectly suitable. One thing I will say is that a maxi dress is a maxi dress is a maxi dress, they do seem to have stood the test of fashion time - and after my leg epiphany last year, I am determined to flash the pins in my 40s seeing as I have been too much of a pathetic wuss to get them out at all in the last 25 years. My old maxis will work just fine.
Without further ado though, if you are in need or haven't thought about these before as an interim clothing option, let's start with some great jersey ones that would work for a myriad of occasions - they aren't the cheapest but like I said, they do stand the test of time and so are a good investment. Plus these ones are very versatile, it's worth considering the cost per wear ratio thingy.
I should also add that all the dresses I've hunted down to feature today are those that can be worn now with either a biker jacket, fitted blazer or boxy thin knit cardigan over the top (even layered with a fitted shirt or shirt bib collar) giving them more flexibility than a lot of maxi dresses out there. However do not fear if you are after a purely Summer number - there is plenty of time to explore them in more detail.
Cara Print Maxi dress from Mint Velvet £119 A great print to wear with a black jacket to get the max use from your maxi.
Sunset Dress from Hush £55 in black This with suede ankle boots and a biker jacket. Yum.
A Classic Maxi Vest Dress - the ideal basic foil to any sort of jacket or fitted cardigan
and also black (seen here with Skaters...)
A very useful plain navy number from John Lewis
A slightly different version from M&S
Another navy stripe version from Anthropologie. This one very much reminds me of my Baukjen one which I've had for four or five years now - it's done weddings, Ascot and the school run. A very versatile print and style.
And it seems that navy/white stripes are the order of the season (hurrah, I shall be getting my money's worth out of mine again then).
Slightly more unusual but I love the shade of this, the shape of this and I think it proves that you can wear heels with a maxi - let's all rock the mid heel! Would love this with a cream biker, little boucle jacket or tux style blazer over it.
Staying with cap sleeves and I can guarantee that if I didn't say where this is from, you would never guess. They have actually, for once, done a fantastic job of their photo (am I giving the game away?)
A flowing print jersey one in a flattering style again from M&S
Tobago Maxi Dress £45 Love the addition of yellow in this print.
A beautifully unusual and yet timeless print and shape from Hoss Intropia.
Leaf Print dress £134 This epitomises the dress that can be worn to work with a blazer, to a wedding and on the school run with a denim jacket and a pair of havs. Pub in the evening with a pair of skater shoes and a biker jacket. This would be The One for me. Pure class. (and obviously it goes in the washing machine.....)
So do you have a wardrobe full of maxi dresses or at least one or two that you haven't thought about cracking out before the sun cream? The right sort of maxi does layer perfectly and they are a great idea if you struggle with this tricky time of year clothes wise, like so many people do.
Outfit today - heels were needed. I have one issue with my skater shoes. I love them so much I've been wearing them every day and neglecting all my heels and holy hell, my feet ache. A day of heels and hey presto - foot comfort restored. My feet are just not used to being in flats day in day out, so a tiny change was needed. Whoever thought anyone would ever say my feet feel better for being in heels. Other than that, they are pretty much perfect in every way.
Striped linen tee - Zara
Navy waffle jersey blazer - Next
Boyfriend jeans - Hush
Tan leather belt - Primark
Mole suede boots - Zara
Whisky Medium Marcie Satchel - Chloe
Dynamite necklace - Marc by Marc Jacobs
Is there to be more sunshine tomorrow I hear? I think I shall be exploring another one of my must have items for Spring. I'll say it has surprised me and goes to show you should be very careful about what you get rid of from your wardrobe.