It’s the time of year when invitations start coming in. I’ll be covering party dressing and black tie for women over 40 in more detail in a few weeks’ time but I thought I’d show you what I chose to wear to a Black Tie event last Friday. I’d been thinking about what I was going to wear for a while. I kept looking through the barely worn cocktail dresses that hang in my dressing room, not wanting to wear any of them and then feeling cross with myself because it’s such a waste of money. Over the years I have learned that shiny, sparkly cocktail dresses are the closest I ever come to a one night stand, I love them for an evening but then never want to see them again.

I’m sure I can’t be the only person who feels like this so I decided it was time to find a new approach. After all, eveningwear is expensive and so it needs to be something that you want to wear again and again. As soon as this midi skirt appeared online at Finery, I knew it could be the solution and having the Black Tie event gave me the perfect excuse to order it. When it arrived I discovered that it is perfect to dress up for an evening event but you only have to switch to a polo neck and boots and you can wear it for work. Much better value, in my opinion, than a sparkly dress. This is how it looked.

Nikki Garnett

Hobbs jacket (past season, this year’s version); Finery skirt (international delivery); Bombshell jersey top; Jigsaw ponyskin shoes and clutch (past season); Eternal Collection pearl necklace

As you can see, I teamed it with a short black jacket from Hobbs which was the perfect cut for the skirt but made it look a bit corporate so I ‘shoulder robed’ it instead. The top that I’m wearing was just the right shape. It comes from the very talented Katya at Bombshell London who has taken her signature sweetheart neckline into high quality jersey. It is close fitting so it tucked into the skirt nicely but it is easily long enough to wear with coated skinny jeans or leggings too and – it is currently reduced (and yes, they do deliver internationally).


It is cut so that you can wear it slightly off the shoulder for an evening like this or a little higher as in the picture above. All of her clothes are designed to flatter the bust whether it is large or small, revealing the full impact of the clavicles but without any cleavage on show. Bombshell is a tiny British company run by a woman over 40 who is chasing her dreams so, as you can tell, I am encouraging you to support her.


The skirt has lace daisies embroidered onto a gauzy over layer and a light underskirt.  The fabric is stiff and so it stands out giving you a true 1950s silhouette. It makes you want to twirl. So I did!

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