Marks and Spencer Per Una Teal Flower Print Dress

About a month ago, I visited the Marks and Spencer Outlet at Ashford’s Designer Outlet.  It comprises a range of stores selling items at knock-down prices, and there’s usually many a bargain to be had.

The items sold in the M&S outlet store are usually end of the line or last season’s/year’s stock.  None of that really matters to me – I just want to get fabulous clothing at reduced prices!

I was fortunate enough to pick up a lovely Per Una dress for only £28.  Unfortunately I can’t find it anywhere online to link to it for you but at the end of this post I will include some items from the main store I have my eye on at the moment.

I first of all tried on a size 12 in store but it was on the large side so I swapped it for a size 10:

The size 10 fits really well, and is in fact slightly too big for me on the waist.  There is a gathered twisted section at the waist, which pulls the dress in but also creates some excess fabric in the tummy area.  This is not an ideal look for me, as I like my dresses to be as unfussy as possible in the waist/stomach area, but as there is no other gathered areas on the dress it’s not too bad at all.

The boob room is not the best – as you can see I need to wear a vest with this dress in order to preserve my modesty.  The crossover section is also on the tight side and digs into my boobs very slightly.

The fabric used for this dress is a lovely soft stretch jersey.  It’s very easy to wash and wear (96% viscose, 4% elastane) but I have noticed some pilling and bobbling after only two washes/wears so I am not sure how long it will last.

The dress is completely smooth and unfussy at the back, which works well for me.  The three-quarter length sleeves are good, too, as they are genuine three-quarters, rather than ending at the elbow as some others do.

Length-wise, the skirt falls on the knee, so it’s modest but at the same time very feminine.  The skirt has a hint of a flare to it; just enough to stop it from being bodycon.

The dress brings together many of my favourite colours.  Petrol blue, teal and turquoise are brought together with a black leaf pattern which has hints of pink and purple.  It’s a very beautiful print which would be flattering on almost any skintone.

When I tried this dress on at home, I absolutely loved it but I wasn’t sold on the gathering at the waist.  I therefore tried adding a belt to see if I could make that work.

Yes!  The belt worked very well and did not interfere with or break up the pattern in any way.  The belt I used here is a simple elasticated belt with a black metal clasp.  I fastened the belt at the back so the front had a completely plain appearance, as I felt that a buckle or clasp could clash with the busy pattern on the dress.  However, having worn the belt a couple of times it had to be thrown away as the clasp twisted over on itself.  That’ll teach me to wear cheap belts!!

I felt much more confident with the waist cinched in on this dress.  Previously, I felt that the dress was not as flattering as I might have liked due to the gathered section but adding a belt has solved this as it’s covered.

If you live anywhere near an M&S outlet I would strongly recommend you visit it as much as possible to hunt out the best bargains.  Deliveries are made to store several times a week so do ensure you find out when they will take place at your store and when the new stock is usually put out.  I have found with things in M&S outlets that once they’re gone, they’re gone…so make sure you snap up anything you like (even just a bit) as you can always regret later and get a refund!

There are always heaps of gorgeous dresses available at M&S; here are a few of my current favourites:

I love this Per Una Crossover V-Neck Animal Print Dress (£39.50).

Image courtesy of Marks & Spencer

I have seen the dress in store and it looks every bit as lovely on the hanger as it does here on the model.  I desperately wanted to try it on but unfortunately the smallest size they had available was an 18, which would have been far too big for me.

The colours of the Per Una Crossover V-Neck Floral Print Dress (£45.00) really caught my eye:

Image courtesy of Marks & Spencer

Anything with blue and/or green always makes me look again and I bet this dress is another that’s even more lovely in reality.  

The Per Una Crossover V-Neck Floral Abstract Dress (£39.50) looks perfect for work:

Image courtesy of Marks and Spencer

I love the simple style of this dress and how its pattern really brings it to life.  Fabulous!

Finally, we have the Grid Striped Mock Wrap Dress (sale item – £15.00):

Image courtesy of Marks and Spencer

I think I am going to have to order this one!  It’s lovely.  The colours and pattern are right up my street and I know I could wear this to work just as easily as to a family meal.  So versatile and pretty.

I always rate Marks and Spencer items highly for fit and quality and therefore the mid range price tag is often justified.  However, supermarket brands such as F&F (Clothing at Tesco) and George at Asda are catching up quickly on both of these counts so I wonder how long M&S will be able to sustain charging relatively high prices for their products.  Nonetheless, I adore the brand and there’s always a bargain to be had in the M&S sale!



  1. Anonymous
    16 December 2012 / 21:20

    This is one of my favorite dresses on you ever! The colors, patterns, and silhouette flatter your hourglass figure and coloring. It avoids that trying-too-hard look that a too tight or elaborate outfit can convey. The black vest coordinates with the belt, so the belt doesn't seem to cut off your bottom half. The pattern and ombre coloring are sophisticated and ladylike. Good find!

    • Curvy Wordy
      6 June 2013 / 17:28

      Thanks for your comment! I love this dress too x

  2. Anonymous
    6 January 2013 / 00:30

    I want this dress so much! What a great review, as always. Janet x

    • Curvy Wordy
      6 June 2013 / 17:28

      Thanks Janet! You never know, you might be able to find one on eBay, perhaps?

  3. Cherry
    12 May 2013 / 22:32

    Love the dress! But I do think sometimes you do use the belt too much. The detail on the belly looks lovely on its own. 🙂

    • Curvy Wordy
      6 June 2013 / 17:30

      Thanks Cherry. Unfortunately the dress doesn't fit properly and needs the belt to hold it in place, otherwise the front starts to ride up my boobs!

  4. Anonymous
    9 August 2013 / 06:16

    Hi there, thank you for your interesting views on the per una dress. I am five feet two and 36 yrs of age and mostly size 14. Do you think per una dresses would suit a shortie like me? I esp like that pink leopard print dress

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