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Formal Dresses???

By bubzie - 25 August 2008 32

Hiya everyone.

So, i’ve got a slight problem.

My year 12 formal is coming up at the end of the year, and i still dont have any ideas of what to wear.

And to make matters worse, i cant just go into any old dress shop and pick one out, to put it lightly, i’m not a size 12 or anything.

Does anyone know anywhere that has “bigger size” formal dresses??

thanks in advance 🙂

[ED – Bubzie’s been an active commenter here for years so I’m rather excited about her year 12 formal. Therefore any potential unkind commenters should take note that they will be straight into a week in moderation if they earn my ire here]

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Formal Dresses???
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Hero 12:24 pm 03 Sep 08

hey bubzie, i don’t know if you are still checking this thread, but i thought i might add that though my formal was quite a while ago, Nocturne made my good friend (who was a larger size) a stunning bodice and skirt, she looked gorgeous. I really recommend them. they tailor to fit you perfectly and help you pick fabric and colours that ensure you shine…hope this helps.

rune 10:18 pm 27 Aug 08

Brides of Manuka inside the Manuka Village Arcade has a good range of formal wear and bridesmaid’s – I recall they had some in sizes up to 22. Prices are reasonable also.

They are the local stockist for Hills in Hollywood – which has a vast array of formal wear options (

They have a gallery on their website which I have found very useful:

Woody Mann-Caruso 4:28 pm 27 Aug 08

WMC – Do you mean Nocturne on Bougainville St in Manuka?

Yes, that’s the place! I could’ve sworn in was in Kingston, but I remember now – it’s opposite what used to be Woolies in Manuka. Thanks!

OzChick 3:20 pm 27 Aug 08

Hi, try this website. They have lots of pretty dresses for girls your size.

Good luck with this…

realityskin 9:14 am 27 Aug 08

just make sure you wear a little g-string, VPL is no go !

fabforty 8:06 pm 26 Aug 08

Ahhh…the school formal. Mine was in the 80’s, KC and the Sunshine Band playing “Please Dont go”… and……well, enough of that.

I second those who have suggested the dressmaker at the Bus Depot Markets (Neet designs I think). You can have something really gorgeous made to suit you and I’m sure they could advise about colour and style. What’s more, you can be sure no-one else turns up in the same outfit. That’s the trap with Harts and similar “of the rack” shops.

Good luck Bubzie and have a magical night ! Please report back

Davo111 8:04 pm 26 Aug 08

Ebay has been mentioned a few times – if you get yourself measured up properly then the chances of getting a good fitting dress it quite good. If it isn’t the right size, some shops will allow you to return/swap etc. Otherwise it’s ‘only’ a $60 loss. One of my friends said that she just ebays them again if they don’t fit (with better measurements)

deezagood 7:40 pm 26 Aug 08

Shopping in Canberra for any formal occasion is really sad. Limited choice, very expensive and chances are that there will be two of you in the same frock (gasp!). Tiger airways sometimes have $30.00 and $40.00 fares to Melbourne midweek. I reckon it would actally save you money to jump on a flight to Melbourne, catch the airport bus to the city … and go crazy trying to choose from so many options. Or spend the day in Sydney -same deal. Good luck with your quest!

pebbles32 5:30 pm 26 Aug 08

I wouldn’t dismiss the ‘usual’ formal wear places. I got a great formal outfit (size 16) at Events in the Canberra Centre. The staff were really helpful (and honest) about what looked good and what didn’t.

The Huntter 2:35 pm 26 Aug 08

Hey bubzie, Saw some possibilities in Cassidys Kingston today. Finally a store where size 18 is really 18. But my vote would be for Neet Designs at Kingston markets, top level. Off the rack or made to measure but get in asap. Long straight-but-dancable skirt in shot silk $150 matching top or jacket maybe another $100. Young and classic styles. Or by appntmt in Qbn 62971558. & Have a great time!

Mia80 1:56 pm 26 Aug 08

Not knowing you size does make this difficult.

Noni B Woden stocks some beautiful dress, and usually up to a size 22.
I have a number of gowns and dresses from there. They are around the $200 – $300 mark, which I think is pretty standard when you go formal.

Good Luck, and let us know how you go.

needlenose 1:54 pm 26 Aug 08

I officially LOVE THIS THREAD.

You won’t find anything at My Size, Taking Shape or Maggie T (where the saleswoman told me they had pleaded with the buyers for formal wear but the buyers insisted there wasn’t a market for it).

However, Harts in the Canberra Centre do have some gorgeous frocks in larger sizes, and can order in for you from their catalogue as well.

I would be reluctant to buy off eBay – while I’ve scored some lovely things that way, I’ve had a few that didn’t work at all, and if you’re going to spend very much money then you ought to be able to try it on first.

Very excited to learn about Rosie’s & Nocturne – will be paying them a visit at the first opportunity!

Now we just need to be sure that you have a partner worthy of your frock…

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