So rather wonderfully, someone has nominated me for the Debrett’s 500 – a list of the UK’s 500 most influential and inspiring people across a range of industries.

Thanks, Mum.

As with all these things, it’s nice to be nominated, and although the final list won’t be published for a few weeks yet, I’ve been invited to a party to mingle with other nominees in London.

Who wouldn’t want to go and meet a boatload of inspirational and innovative people?

Or at least, that’s what I thought until I saw the dress code:

“Lounge suit/cocktail”


Proper, genuine panic.

I work from home. This means my wardrobe mostly consists of variations on “Converse, jeans, t-shirt, sweater’.

If required to be smart, I might upgrade the wardrobe to: “Clean Converse, smart jeans, cashmere sweater, slick of make-up”.

Once in a blue moon for a special date or occasion it might even be: “Black top, skirt, boots”.

Friends, I do not own a cocktail dress.

I don’t even own a dress.

I wore a dress once, for a family photo. I was about two years old. If you look carefully you can see the red-rimmed eyes from the one-hour tantrum I had before agreeing to wear the dress. Apparently, I stood at the top of the stairs and screamed, “I HATE YOU!” at everyone, before I was allowed to wear trousers under the dress, for as long as it took to get the photo.


As to why I was being made to wear such hideous trousers in the first place? Well, let’s gloss over that, shall we? It was the 70s, after all.

Oh, and I wore a dress on my wedding day. Look how that turned out. And no, I’m not sharing the photos of the wedding dress.

I showed my wedding album to a fellow blogger once, and she said I looked like an “amputee midget”. So you can just imagine how great the dress was.

Basically… I’m not a dress person.

So this blog post is a cry for help.

What do you do if you really, really, REALLY aren’t a dress person but you’ve got to go to a swanky event like this?

I can’t possibly be the only person who finds comfort in a great pair of jeans and a woolly sweater, and goes clammy at the thought of taffeta? What do I do?