Wardrobe Stories | Anna Sui Dress

Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress | Chanel Handbag

I’m starting a new series today that celebrates my personal attitude to fashion. I adore clothes, no question. I’ve always had strong opinions about what I wanted to wear, even when my choices were…questionable (my 3 year old self insisted that an outfit of swimsuit, dungarees and wellington boots clearly outdid a princess dress for Halloween.). In high-school, when H&M was considered the shop to buy from, I was saving all my birthday money to purchase Anne Fontaine blouses in the sale. It never bothered me that I wanted to wear different things from my peers; or that, far from owning dozens of tops from Zara, I was happy with one lime green jumper with a bow at the collar from Tara Jarmon.

Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress

Gradually, piece-by-piece, I’ve created a wardrobe that consists largely of items that I have worn and loved for years. Without even being particularly conscious of it at first, I have always been drawn to classic, quality garments that never go out of style and showcase beautiful materials, patterns and fine attention to detail. I have never been a lover of fast-fashion, and I am so pleased that the slow-fashion movement is increasingly gaining momentum. Now, don’t get me wrong: I don’t only shop designer items, and I’ve got plenty of Zara and Uniqlo pieces that are in my closet too, but I will say that my shopping criteria never changes. I still look for quality, good design flair and timeless style, whether I’m choosing clothes from Anthropologie or Lindex. I have a black Zara blazer that I’ve owned for years, whereas my favourite LBD is from MaxMara. In general, though, it has to be said: you get what you pay for.

Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress

For this new ‘Wardrobe Stories’ series, I’ve decided to share with you the sartorial loves of my life: the clothes that have seen me through many important events, that I turn to time and time again and that escape every wardrobe purge I make. These are the pieces that I consider to be my best all-time buys and are the pillars of my style. First up, my favourite statement dress by Anna Sui.

Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress

I bought this dress for my 22nd birthday party (I’m now 29, so you can do the math!) at a boutique in Hampstead that stocked a delightful mixture of Anna Sui, Acne, Cacharel, Repetto and others (sadly, it has since closed). I can still remember when I first tried on the dress and falling completely head-over-heels in love with it. At the time, it was the most expensive dress I’d ever purchased (and I had to give up other indulgences – like coffees, meals out, or any other unnecessary purchases – for a long time in order to buy it), but since then I can’t count the number of times I’ve worn it, and I still get a thrill every time I reach for it.

I’ve always loved Anna Sui’s boho, but feminine designs. Her dresses are perfect for more petite ladies (I barely make 5Ft 3″), as generally they are cut quite short, and I always appreciate the gorgeous materials and decorative touches that are used in Anna Sui clothes. This dress combines patterned satin and velvet with hand-embroidered stitches at the cuffs and bodice. It is perfect for so many different occasions: weddings, dates, parties, or simply for when you want to feel glamourous. A statement dress is just as important an addition to your closet as a little black number: it adds interest and depth to your style and oozes confidence with a hint of fun.

This time, I wore the dress for an outing with my Mum on Valentine’s Day (she’s always my favourite person to spend time with). First, we stopped by Laduree to select some of their daintiest and most delectable macarons. I always love visiting this tiny shop in the Burlington Arcade; it makes me feel happy every time I step inside Laduree’s gold and pastel world. And then there’s the best of decisions to make: rose petal or cherry almond macarons? How about 2 of each!

Laduree MacaronsWardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress | Laduree MacaronsLaduree Macarons Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress | Laduree MacaronsWardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress | Laduree Macarons

After umming and ahhing over french patisserie, we strolled along some of the blissfully quiet backstreets of Mayfair, peering into the windows of rare book and art shops, before going on to the Royal Academy to see the Monet to Matisse exhibition (it was fantastic, by the way – I’ll be writing it up properly another time, but do go if you get a chance. I was in heaven surrounded by so many Monets!).

Backstreets of Mayfair, London Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement DressWardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress | Chanel Handbag Wardrode Stories | Anna Sui Statement Dress

After touring the exhibition (this time I was sensible and brought my ballet flats to change into – my feet were much happier!), we headed down to the fantastic Shenkman Bar in the Keeper’s House (the entrance to which is just to the right of the gallery – you can see the door behind me in the above photo). We decided a glass of something pink and sparkling was appropriate for the day, and we sipped happily as we chatted about our favourite paintings from the exhibition.

Although my dress is 7 years old – so no longer available! – below I’ve chosen some similar options for statement dresses to give you inspiration:

champagne taste on lemonade budget options:

statement dresses

1/ ASOS  2/  Anthropologie  3/ Needle & Thread (sale)

millionaire or living on beans on toast indefinitely options:

statement dresses

1/ Isabel Marant  2/ Needle & Thread  3/ Anna Sui


I’d love to hear – what clothing pieces do you treasure that you’ve held onto for years? Which items make up the foundation of your style and wardrobe? Let me know in the comments below!

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  • Trust you to match the macarons with your gorgeous dress! I am not sure I have much “style”, but the three bespoke suits from Timothy Everest are gorgeous to wear and I think I look fairly good in them too.


  • This dress seems very you! You look stunning. These photos are great xx


  • It’s a very lovely statement dress! x

  • Oh my gosh, I love this Wardrobe Stories Series Idea! It is SUCH a gorgeous dress, the colour, the pattern – and matching it with the macaroons makes it even better 😛

    P.S. That chanel clutch and your heels too!


  • I love this idea and i’m looking for the new posts. Your dress makes you look young and stylish. Those macarons from Laduree are so eye-catching and delicious.

    • Thanks so much! I’m really looking forward to sharing more favourites from my wardrobe 🙂 The macarons were very delicious! xxx

  • THAT DRESS. So in love.

  • Your dress is timeless and beautiful, and I love this series idea, can’t wait to see more of your wardrobe. I have some dresses that I go back to time and again and I definitely feel that as time goes by, my sense of style improves and my hats, boots and dresses are core items which will carry me through the years xx

    • Thanks so much! I’m looking forward to sharing more of the ‘pillars’ of my wardrobe 🙂 It’s lovely to have great dresses in your closet that you can rely on always looking great, isn’t it? xxx

  • How adorable are these heart-shaped Macarons? Sorry to point this out first, but I do always have a weakness for Ladurée! 😉 I love the idea of this series – your approach to style and fashion is so different and so much more sustainable from many fashion bloggers (in a good way!) and that’s so refreshing for people like me who appreciate beautiful clothes, but would never describe themselves as fashionistas – it’s good to get some style inspiration that is focused on wearing what you want to wear rather than what’s considered on trend right now! 🙂

    • They were very tasty too! 😀 Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Thanks so much for your lovely comment Melanie – I’m so glad you enjoy this style of fashion post. Ha, yes – I couldn’t ever keep up with the serious fashion bloggers who have a new outfit every day! I genuinely prefer reusing pieces I really love though. xxx

  • Love the time, and how timeless it looks! 🙂 I can really see your style coming through: classic and sophisticated and occasionally fun hehe. I love the idea of getting something that you can wear and wear again, and not something that’s just ‘for the hype’ – ever since graduating, I’ve begun to take this more seriously and honestly it’s been really great bc you know you’ll have dependable and key pieces to choose from all the time 😉 love how colorful the dress is too <3 I didn't even know Anna Sui had dresses/clothing, silly me!

    Cherie x
    say hi at sinonym

    • Exactly: it’s so great to have some key pieces in your wardrobe that you know you can rely on to make you look great, no matter what! I’m all about investing in timeless, classic pieces 🙂 xxx

  • Oh my gosh, I hope you have a photo of your three year old Halloween costume! What a sight you must have been! Love this dress and the fact that you still love it so many years later means it was a great investment!

    • Hehe, I’m pretty sure I do somewhere – I will have to try to dig it out! I was a real sight…!!! This dress has definitely been a fantastic investment – I’m sure I’ll be hanging on to it for another 7 years too 🙂 xxx

  • that dress is a total showstopper! I applaud your patience to save up for such lovely pieces. My favorite investments are designer shoes… they inexplicably last longer, look better, and are more comfortable!


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