28 In Style

The Ultimate Sleeved Maxi Dress

I’ve been on the hunt for a long-sleeved maxi dress for quite a while now… since 2017 to be exact. I blame my friend Michelle Tyler. After I saw her in this dreamy fern print maxi dress a few years ago, I had to have one. It has to be just right though. I’m the eternal Goldilocks with clothes– if it isn’t perfect, I don’t buy it. A regret-free wardrobe sparks much more joy than finding a new home for my mistakes, a la Marie Kondo.

To complicate my search, I don’t want a floral maxi dress. Why are almost all of them floral?!  I can bear a very abstract floral, but if it reads as flowery, then no. I also don’t want a sleeveless one. A sleeveless maxi limits me to summer-only wear. If I spend money on a nice one, I’d like to be able to wear it nearly year round, so sleeves are a must. Plus I live in Grey Britain, and no one needs to see my sun-starved arms any more than is absolutely necessary.

After my due diligence, I’ve realised that I need more than just one maxi dress– a light floaty one for summer and a more versatile year-round one. Ideally, both in styles that I can wear fancy with heels or casual with flats. I thought I hit the jackpot with this orange one.  Orange is a colour I’ve spent my life avoiding, but now I love (I blame Catherine from Not Dressed as Lamb for that; she is the orange queen). The metallic gold spots on it made me swoon; I can imagine piling on fabulous gold jewellery to fill up that V neckline and adding some gold flat sandals or heels. The problem is I just can’t get past the girly ruffle. I will wear a flounce or a ruffle on a skirt, but nowhere near my face. I would honestly rather have a spider near my face than a ruffle.  A floral ruffle would require years of therapy.

Eventually, I found this golden mustard coloured dress by Sarvin. As a brand, Sarvin is RIGHT in my sweet spot: woman owned, only uses sustainable and recycled fabrics, has an ethical supply chain, and is luxuriously stylish without being ‘trendy.’ Basically, the brand is the polar opposite of Zara. This elegant 70’s style dress is a colour I don’t usually wear (but can, although it should be a bit brighter, according to my colour gurus).


It nails my versatile and nearly-year-round requirement, so I feel like it is a good purchase. Will I wear this on a sweltering day in New York or Savannah this July? Not unless someone is walking directly in front of me with an air conditioner! But I can wear it with heels to dinners, weddings, and other occasions, and with gold sandals for holidays and lunches. On a practical note, it is constructed so that the wrap doesn’t UNwrap as you wear it (there is an internal button that secures it). I bought a size large, because I thought I’d need it to ensure the wrap didn’t slide open, as it does with every DVF wrap dress I’ve ever tried. I’m going to exchange it for a medium because this one is too big on me. I wanted to stick to my posting schedule, so we photographed the large one anyway. I look forward to seeing future collections from this brand. I’ve already begged Sarvin make this maxi dress in a few more colours (turquoise! red! pink!).

My shoes from last week’s post are perfect with this dress, once again proving my theory that if you only buy things you truly love, everything magically goes together.



These are the other maxi dresses I’m ogling online. I hope that some of the pricier ones go on sale at some point. I’m still on the hunt for a light floaty summer number and maaaaybe even one without sleeves.  If you see any other fabulous ones that aren’t floral, let me know!

linking to: stylesplash, notdeadyetstyle, notdressedaslamb

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  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 7:11 PM

    Funny that you mentioned the DvF dresses because I’ve just all altered two last week. Th is color is gorgeous and rich and fabulous on you. That orange one is fabulous too I think. Have a great evening.

    • Reply
      April 29, 2019 at 8:19 AM

      I wish I could wear DVF wrap dresses, but my boobs make them impossible. I love the prints and style though.

      Thank you so much; I love this golden colour too. I may get the orange one in shirt form… no ruffle! xx

  • Reply
    April 28, 2019 at 8:32 PM

    Wrap dresses that fall open when you walk or sit… They’re just not worth the hassle of either trying to add a stitch here and there to fix it or always fumbling with it which takes away from any of the positive aspects of the dress. I’ve bought a couple of yellow/mustard pieces but sent them all back because they’re just not it. I’m a Goldilocks as well.

    • Reply
      April 29, 2019 at 8:27 AM

      Ohhhh, I totally agree Brenda. I am far too much of a tomboy to fiddle with clothes all day. This is the only wrap dress I’ve ever found that I can wear with no issues of sliding, gaping, or falling open. And there is NO way I’m wearing a camisole under a dress to protect my modesty. Any clothes that require that much faffing and though just stay in my closet. I’m just getting ready to start a Pinterest board called “Stress Less Wear A Dress” that has only hassle free beautiful dresses in it.

      There aren’t many shades of mustard I can wear, but I think this one is just gold enough for me to manage it. I’m going to have Red Leopard evaluate it! xx

  • Reply
    No Fear of Fashion
    April 29, 2019 at 1:05 PM

    Luckily you tackled the criticism I had. Yes, I am bold enough to tell you truths. And feel safe enough with you to do so. You can tell me in person if you’d rather I don’t haha.
    I was going to say that you could size down. And you are. Love the blue with this mustard yellow. Lovely blue colour and with the earrings and the necklace near your face, I presume they “neutralize” the fact it is not your colour according to your colour test.
    Photographing the outfit in front of this house is magic (I know this house. Been there with Annette.)
    Laughed out loud when I read: “A floral ruffle would require years of therapy.” On that note I will withhold my advise to buy the green Essentiel dress I showed a couple of weeks ago. It has white flowers in it. It is very lightweight. Ideal for summer.

    • Reply
      April 29, 2019 at 4:25 PM

      I love your refreshing honesty, Greetje!

      Yeah, the dress is definitely too big, I may even need TWO sizes down, we’ll see how much difference there is between the sizes. Yeah, I was hoping by putting a great colour near an ok colour it might help. Also this was a really overcast day, so the colour seems more drab than in the sunshine.

      Oh, I know which house you mean in Notting Hill. This isn’t that one 🙂 This one, conveniently, is on my street. A friend of ours used to live in this magical place but recently moved to the country.

      I ADORE the green Essentiel dress, but the flowers give me pause. The colour and shape are great though. I would still consider it because everything else is so perfect. xx

      • Reply
        No Fear of Fashion
        May 10, 2019 at 3:51 PM

        Don’t!! You will always hate the flowers. I am sure you will find something like that without flowers.

        • Reply
          May 11, 2019 at 6:21 PM

          Yeah, you’re right. I WILL always hate the flowers, hahaha! xx

  • Reply
    April 29, 2019 at 2:30 PM

    Be still my heart…
    Is this a Vogue editorial??? My God Woman you are divine! And it would be remiss of me to not give kudos to your incredible photographer M. What an awesome team you are.
    Also, I agree with Greetje on the colour combination of turquoise and mustard, Brava Mia Belladonna! Genius!

    • Reply
      April 29, 2019 at 4:27 PM

      Thank you so much, sweet friend. Yeah, M did a great job in some pretty awful lighting on this grey day. I’m so pleased you like it all! xxx

  • Reply
    April 29, 2019 at 10:03 PM

    The only MAXI dresses which I own are JOHNEY WAS………….and they ALWAYS have a bit of FLEURS!!!!!!
    I would wear MAXI dresses everyday!But for some reason I do not !Maybe because I donot have enough!!!!!!!!
    Off to check out your source!

    • Reply
      May 3, 2019 at 10:31 AM

      You are SO GOOD in maxi dresses; I can even see you in this one. You carry off florals MUCH better than I do, that is for sure. xx

  • Reply
    May 2, 2019 at 2:42 PM

    Wow! Class all the way! How do you do that? You must be w Leo… (wink) You look absolutely stunning Lisa in this ensemble, against the wisteria background etc. Missing you Girls! Lots of love! xx Abby

    • Reply
      May 3, 2019 at 10:32 AM

      Thank you so much Abby, my fellow leonine princess. Lots of love to you my friend. xx

  • Reply
    May 2, 2019 at 9:54 PM

    Stunning dress, and even more stunning photos. I love that you got wisteria in the shot – what a pretty flower. Thanks for sharing. Jacqui Mummabstylish

    • Reply
      May 3, 2019 at 10:33 AM

      Thank you so much, Jacqui! I adore wisteria too. xx

  • Reply
    May 3, 2019 at 7:36 PM

    […] this action are DAI (post here) Little Tienda (have my eye on the Picnic range) Sarvin (post by The Sequinist) and Beulah […]

  • Reply
    Emma Peach
    May 14, 2019 at 11:33 AM

    Such a gorgeous dress Lisa, I love the colour…and the sleeves are fabulous! I have a co-ord in a similar shade that I’ve worn with turquoise shoes and bag. I popped over to the Sarvin website for a nosey and my goodness, the dresses are all amazing! I love that they make vegan scarves too 🙂 Love, love, love those sequin mules!

    Emma xxx

    • Reply
      May 14, 2019 at 11:37 AM

      Thank you, Emma! The sleeves are what totally sold me on this dress too… and the colour. Sarvin really takes sustainability seriously, and they even have a range of clothes made with vegan dyes. I knew you’d love their things too! xx

  • Reply
    May 16, 2019 at 5:18 PM

    Ok- I’m testing this out before I try to leave another comment- I keep getting redirected.

    • Reply
      May 20, 2019 at 1:32 PM

      This should now be permanently sorted, thanks to my fabulous new service provider 😀 xx

  • Reply
    May 16, 2019 at 5:22 PM

    YAY! It went through ok- so ignore the one, above this is my real comment. 😀
    The color of this dress is perfection and I’m glad you are sizing down. I know what you mean about the “UN-wrapping”. I love the look of a wrap dress SO much, but I always end up looking like Chesty LaRue every time I try one on. SO nice that this dress is accommodating of the bustier gals! Beautiful as always.
    ~Melissa xx

    • Reply
      May 20, 2019 at 1:31 PM

      Thank you lovely, for your persistence! I’ve been in the middle of changing my site host, so there have been ISSUES. Thank you 🙂 Yes, me and wrap dresses have never worked out, but I’m thrilled with this one. xx

  • Reply
    Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb
    May 24, 2019 at 11:02 AM

    First of all, I’d like to sincerely apologise for all the orange I’ve subjected you to… it’s obviously rubbed off!! But then Red Leopard should also shoulder some of the blame I think 😉

    I’ll make this quick as what I have to say is pretty easy to sum up: THIS DRESS IS INCREDIBLE ON YOU. IT’S incredible, and you look incredible. I just wish I’d got to it first…!!

    Top marks for the stunning photography and location as well, the wisteria is heavenly. How lucky are you that you have it right on you doorstep?!

    Catherine x

    • Reply
      May 28, 2019 at 3:30 PM

      Yes, you and Red Leopard have totally shifted my thoughts on colour, that is for sure.

      Thank you for all of your kinds words on the dress and photography. I’m even more thrilled with the dress now that I sized down, there’s less fabric which is a good thing! xxx

  • Reply
    September 12, 2019 at 12:38 PM

    What a fabulous dress!

    • Reply
      October 1, 2019 at 11:24 AM

      Thank you so much, Mireille! xx

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