Caught Between a Frock and a Hard Place

Apparently, we make 35,000 decisions every day. 226 decisions alone are made about food. (I didn’t realise I could summon up so many opinions on boiling peas and picking red onion out of tuna sandwiches).


Yet every day we make thousands of decisions about what to eat, what to purchase, what to say and how we say it, and of course, what to wear. We know the feeling of the difficult decision too: Shall I quit my job? Babies or no babies? Latte or mocha?

Spring dressing calls for more tricky decisions than ever- you’re not on autopilot any more, you’re on the BBC Weather app making desperate judgement calls about the day ahead.

The cliché goes that a typical British spring day can call on all four seasons for inspiration, and in no particular order. It makes for excellent rainbows and lush lawns, granted, but I want to wear my velvet pumps without wringing them out afterwards, thanks ever-so.

Still, my clod-hopping booties seem weighted and gloomy all of a sudden, and as previously discussed, you’ll (I’ll… we’ll all) cry if forced to wear another woolly effing jumper ensemble. The sun is at least out for longer these days, and the stretched evenings make the espadrilles and Aperol seem tantalisingly close. And I’m positively jonesing for the floaty tea-dress. It’s wafting over the horizon and tempting me with its bracelet length sleeves and gauzy side-eye.

But reality always includes more gale-force wind and drizzle.

What I counsel, when caught in this awkward meteorological/sartorial stale-mate is to make like Shrek and talk about your layers:


Top underneath? Obviously, I’m not a sadist.

Trousers? …I beg your pardon?

Let me explain.

It’s a trend that has done the rounds. From a tunic over flares in the 60’s to the fanciful but ultimately flawed skirt/trouser combo of the late nineties, we’ve clearly always yearned to pervert the natural way of things. It’s plainly meant to be an either/or situation but we just cannot help ourselves.

But things have got chicer this time around, so step away from the skort. The trend-setter’s silhouette now involves longer midi dresses which slide gently over trousers- skinny and fitted or wide and billowing if you fancy that Professor Trelawney vibe.

Wonderfully flattering too, if you happen to have a bottom the size of the Bay of Biscay (guilty) or thighs like tug-boats. I also like the edge a trouser-leg might lend to an otherwise feminine or romantic silhouette.

(side note: I actually slightly disagree with myself here. In the pictures, I’ve noticed the waistband of my jeans makes me look like I have made the world’s most important decision- to bring new life into it- and so I would advise a less bulky cut of jean. I’ve recently invested in some slim-leg suede trews which work absolutely perfectly- still a proper trouser leg but without any fly and button nonsense making it look like I’ve eaten for two).

It’s also nice to wear a dress without any of the admin it usually entails. There’s no merry internal dialogue of:

Have I shaved my legs? Where did that bruise on my knee come from?! My legs look like a 9 year-old boy’s. WOW my Bilbo Baggins tribute has got out of hand I need a pedicure…

But mainly it’s still warm, while also being cool. My favourite fashion oxymoron. The bottom half of your body can remain swaddled happily while the top half can start on those Aperol Spritz’s while squinting in the sunlight. For days filled with 35,000 decisions, this combo feels like a no-brainer.

No tags yet.

© 2023 by Annabelle. Proudly created with