dear annie

I am planning to wear an ankle-length white linen dress to a midday wedding and reception in the summer. The dress has a high yoke, pleats in the body, and is sleeveless. Can you suggest the most appropriate shoes to wear with it? I would like something with a low or even no heel, which I could wear again on less formal occasions. I have a pair of low silver court shoes - would they serve? What kind of handbag would you suggest, or could I get away without one? I'll have my toddler with me, and may need to carry a few toys or books to keep him amused.

J. Harvey, Dyfed

Yes, your silver shoes would go with your dress, and yes, you could get away without a bag, but there is always something you will need to carry (especially with a toddler). What I would suggest is wearing a bag with a long strap that can be worn across the body, which would look nice and also be comfortable; or failing that, a shoulder bag. Silver would match the shoes and would be suitably dressy for a wedding. Alternatively, brown would look nice with white. If you did want to buy some new shoes, this is what I have found for you: Dorothy Perkins has done some great thongs and strappy sandals in silver which would look perfect with your dress and can be worn throughout the summer. Both styles cost pounds 12.99 - call 0171-291 2604 for your nearest stockist. Fratelli Rossetti has some lovely flat strappy sandals for pounds 138 should you opt for brown instead. Call 0171-491 7066 for mail order details. Bags: Dollargrand has some silver bags, but they are light silver so may not match your shoes if they are very silver. The bags are nice and roomy and prices start at pounds 60 for the small "U" (style 356). Call 0171-431 2756 for details. My personal favourite, although it's not a cheap recommendation, is to get a bag by Emily Jo Gibbs. I think it is always a good idea to have a beautiful evening bag that can serve at occasions such as this and if you do decide to go for something smaller, then bear in mind her filigree or organza bags. They start at pounds 200 but are exquisite and you will treasure them for years. Call 0171-490 8834. Finally, a little bag that's very different and that might interest you, although it's a hold-in-the-hand one, which might prove tricky with a toddler as well. It's called a labyrinth bag and is very ingenious, and also hard to describe - one piece of leather with slits in so that it collapses flat but when you lift the handles up it becomes a cute little shopping bag. It costs pounds 65 and you can call 0171-924 4296 for stockists.

I have recently delivered baby number five and it'll take a while for my saggy tummy to return to normal. I also breastfeed for centuries, so I need buttons down the front. I'm looking for a summer frock with short sleeves. Is there such an animal?

Jennifer Lass, London

Thank you for your wonderful drawing. It made me laugh. I've concentrated on mail order for you; I thought that, with five children, you might not feel like traipsing around the shops! I've also stuck to the cheaper end of the market, but with a couple of dearer ones, because I didn't think you'd want anything madly expensive while you're breastfeeding - spills and all that. Racing Green has done my fave dress of the season, a gingham check dress (style DD301), which is perfect for disguising a bit of a tummy. It has a scoop neck and short sleeves and comes in tiny navy and white checks, sizes 8-18, either 31in or 33in length and costs pounds 39. The same style is also available in chambray in blue or pumice (looks like a hessian colour), style DD321. Call 0345 331177 for details. Then there is a company called Nightingales which does mail order and also has several shops up and down the country (the one in London is at Monterey Place, Mill Hill Broadway, NW7, phone 0181-906 4366). I can't say all the styles are to my taste, but then my taste isn't everyone's. There are lots of dresses like you describe and prices are around pounds 30. Now for the more expensive suggestions: Wealth of Nations does a navy silk A-line cheong- sam dress with toggle fastenings (a bit fiddly, I admit). The A-line would be flattering for you and it comes in sizes to fit a 34in-40in chest. Finally, the Kingshill catalogue features a dress by Artwork which has buttons to the hip and is fitted to the waist and then flares out. It comes in pale blue and white stripes in pure cotton in sizes SML. The style no is H21052 and it costs pounds 146. Call 01494 890555.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

    £35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

    Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

    Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

    £35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

    Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

    £45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

    'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

    In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
    VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

    How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

    Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
    They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

    Typefaces still matter in the digital age

    A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
    Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

    'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

    New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
    Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

    Ronald McDonald the muse

    A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
    13 best picnic blankets

    13 best picnic blankets

    Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
    General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

    He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
    General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

    On the margins

    From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
    Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

    'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

    Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
    Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

    Why patients must rely less on doctors

    Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
    Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

    Flesh in Venice

    Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    11 best anti-ageing day creams

    Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
    Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

    Juventus vs Real Madrid

    Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
    Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

    Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

    Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected