Sarah Recommends: The Arabella Dress

by Rowena Howie May 10, 2015

 Sarah Recommends

It’s a rare and special feeling: trying on a dress, seeing yourself in it for the first time, and LOVING it.
Not just the ‘Aw, this is nice,’ feeling, but the ‘Holy mother of dresses, that’s me?!’ feeling! Regular ladies in store will be nodding their heads sagely at this point, they know that that’s the feeling we go for as standard here.

However, this season, we are totally spoilt with what I’m pegging as the hottest dress of the season: the Arabella. She is made of the stretch fabric we know and love from Stop Staring, and has some fantastic tailoring elements that are, frankly, genius.


A deep and flattering twisted bust section gives a fabulous sweetheart neckline shape that will accommodate (and help give the look of) a generous bust. Sweet contrasting buttons, a faux belt buckle and illusion pocket details add interest, and the vertical ruching in the tummy area helps to cover any additional curves we’re carrying on the front.


Add this to the fact that the fabric is a fantastically playful polka dot white on deep lipstick red, and you’re onto a surefire winner. This isn’t the bright red of the Billion Dollar Baby, this is a deeper, more sophisticated shade, which helps to augment the energy of the dots.


  This is a fabulously sexy summer dress. Do not be afraid of her! If you take her out, she’ll show you a good time. She is fantastic for curvy girls and athletic figures alike because of the fabric
Regular customers in store will know I’m all about versatility and re-wearability, and the Arabella is no different. Here’s some suggestions on how to accessorize and style her for different looks and occasions. She may be an eyecatching print but she’s more flexible than you think….
We also love the Celebrity dress in navy polka for all the same reasons!
Stop Staring Celebrity Dress

Holiday dress: This is the easiest! Find yourself a floppy brimmed cream hat, some oversized cats eye sunglasses, and cream flip-flops. Once you’re a little further into the holiday, swap the flip-flops for the gorgeous gold Harlow Sandals by Miss L Fire. All you need now is sunshine and sangria!

Wedding guest dress: Calm the sexiness of Arabella down with ivory accessories. (After all, you don’t want to outshine the bride- I’m pretty sure there’s rules about that.) For warmth and something to cover your arms, I would opt for the Joan Bolero. The cropped length means you don’t lose the fabulous shape of the dress in the small of your back and it looks rather tailored for a knit. Add the Lillie shoe in ivory, the Betty in cream, or the white Emily sandal if you prefer a lower heel. Add a pearly diamante earring (like the Margaret) for some sophisticated sparkle, wear subtle makeup, and you have your outfit!


Day out with the girls: Let’s start with the shoes on this one, because it will depend on what you’re doing. Lots of walking? Stick to a mid heel like the Anita, Vogue or Juliette. Lots of sitting and supping? Go for a statement heel like the fabulous Gatsby, Sergei or the Eva. Contrast with a navy cardigan to add a casual nonchalance to the look, like the Casablanca cardigan with its’ lovely leaf detailing. The Ingrid jacket in blue is also a great way of playing it down but a more tailored look. A practical and pretty cross body bag like the Femme Souffle will keep your hands free for more important things.


Hot date: Now, seriously girls, if you’re wearing this to a date, they’d better have earned it! This demands that you go big, or go home. Don’t wear it on the first date, though. It should be a second or third date dress. You don’t want to lay your aces on the table straight away! The general idea of this outfit is that you keep it simple. Let the dress do the hard work for you. Because of the fabulous neckline I suggest a sparkly earring and a sparkly bracelet- but no necklace. You do not need to do anything else to draw the eye to this area, if you catch my drift? The Lula earring and bracelet are dainty with just the right amount of sparkle, or the Diamante circle studs are a great high-impact look. If you’re good with a high heel, I think the Veronica shoe looks amazing with this dress. If you would prefer something a little lower then have a look at the Sergei and Anita.


Ultimately, I think this dress looks best with an ivory or a red shoe. Don’t have a either? Here’s that reason you’ve been looking for…!


Rowena Howie


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