Christmas is a funny old time. Most years, I love the festive season but force-fed joviality is a bitter pill to swallow if you’re not in the mood. 2014 has been difficult – there are no words to describe how hard it is to come to terms with the loss of my beloved Dad. Grief is a curious beast and people respond to it in surprising ways. There are friends who I thought would stand by me no matter what, who have turned their backs, leaving our friendship in tatters. I don’t blame them for it; sometimes the pain of another is too reminiscent of one’s own struggle and backing off is the only option. It’s a crying shame, but I have no choice but take a leaf out of  Dad’s book, say ‘fuck ’em’ and move on.

This little tale may seem incongruous in a blog post featuring party frocks, however it’s not as arbitrary as it might appear. I’ve always used clothes as a means of cheering myself up. It does not alter anything on a profound level but dressing up lifts my spirits, and makes whatever challenges that life hurls my way fractionally more manageable. These are the dresses that I would like to wear this Christmas.

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