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#WeAreBeautiful - Boohoo Bright Mix Print Maxi Dress

Online retailer Boohoo are doing a wonderfully body positive campaign - #WeAreBeautiful - and as part of this they asked me to write a bit about body positivity and embracing summer. They also sent me this very cheerful, summery dress for review.

Let's not lie, summer can be tough for us bigger girls. Images in conventional media everywhere show us very specific body types enjoying the summer sun, and not anyone else. Magazines are keen to pounce on every flaw, and shout about secret cellulite from their front pages. Idiotic ad campaigns ask if your body is beach ready. It's a constant onslaught that can get more than a little wearing.

Well I am tired of traditional media. I am tired of being told what I can and can't wear. What I should and shouldn't wear. What is and isn't for me. Maybe you are too? Maybe you want pretty prints and cut out necklines and short shorts? So, if you've decided you're having a summer wardrobe revolution, where do you go for inspiration? Where do you go to get that little bit of extra courage to flaunt your fabulousness on the beach? Get online lovely ladies! Google big girls in bikinis. Follow some plus size bloggers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. And see big girls rocking fab summer fashion every single day. See them get their arms out. See them show off their legs. See them tan their tummies. And see them look gorgeous while doing it. Because the more you look at these pictures of regular women (and men) just getting out and about and enjoying the weather, as is their right, the more you realise just how silly these rules are. And you know what? The world does not stop spinning because a plus size gal is in a crop top. People do not drop down dead at the sight of you in swim wear.

I am not a bronzed beach vixen. I am not toned or tanned. I am a pale, giant haired, buxom pin up. My legs touch at the top, I have to be slathered in sunscreen or I end up lobster red, and I certainly don't sweat in that glisteny way Beyonce does. But first chance I get I am in a floaty maxi dress, arms out, feeling like a Grecian goddess. Because my body still loves summer. It's been swaddled up in layers of winter woollens for seasons and it just wants to get out there and see the world. A little time in the sun makes my freckles define and darken - I love watching them appear like stars in the night sky across my nose and along my arms. Get me anywhere near an ocean and I will plunge into it. I am seven years old again, and I toss my mane like Ariel in The Little Mermaid, and swim until my arms ache. I float on my back, with my hair fanned out around me and look up at the blue sky and am thankful my body allows me to swim and float and frolic in the water like a child.

I'm summer ready because I have a summer wardrobe I love. I'm summer ready because I have given up trying to be the girl in the magazine. I am summer ready because my body wants to spend some time in the sun and I am going to let it.

I've also set myself a little challenge this summer. I want to push my personal boundaries, and for me swimwear has always been really challenging. So this year I am buying a bikini. It's got super high-waisted bottoms that come up under my bust just about, and it's got a wonderfully supportive top. But it's a bikini! An item of clothing I haven't worn since I was maybe four. This is my personal challenge. My little confidence hurdle to get over. I would recommend setting yourself a little challenge. Take back the summer. Let you skin out. Let the sun kiss it. Let the breeze cool it. Plunge yourself into an ocean. Just enjoy the summer, because it'll be over before we know it!

From Boohoo I decided to choose a SUPER summery and bright dress. I love a maxi dress in summer, and this one deserves to be worn in some sort of exotic location. I ordered it in my usual size 22, and this was a good fit. I like the draw string - this gives the dress a bit more structure and shape, something you don't often find with a maxi dress. This dress is also a good length on me. At 5'8 I often find maxi dresses end up not even nearly reaching my ankles, but this one is a perfect length.

The fabric is bright and fun - feels a little Mexican too me. And it's also light which means it would be great in serious heat. The only thing I would change on this dress is the neckline - the straight across is better on a more fitted bodice. I think this would have looked better with a V neckline or even a sweetheart. That's more personal preference than anything else. I do like the super low back though, especially as it sits just on the bra band.

I paired this with peep toe flat espadrilles, which as so cute and great for summer, however sadly they are a little narrow for my wide size 8s. I also picked the gorgeous Lucy necklace - I adore 70s style jewellery which clashes with a lot of my fifties wear, but is great with a maxi. I love this necklace. It jingles and jangles when you wear it, and I am always a sucker for turquoise.

This was my first experience of Boohoo and it was pretty positive. I like to find new plus size shopping options - particularly those with a body positive stance. Hopefully I'll be brave enough to post pictures in my new bikini soon.

So tell me some of your summer confidence stories below...


  1. Love the colours on this dress, they really go with your hair. Are the shoes boohoo as well? I love boohoo for things like this.

    1. Shoes and the jewellery are both Boohoo - my first time with them and very impressed :) Thanks hon x

  2. Love this post! I'm basically living in maxi dresses at the moment. And today I wore a bikini for the first time since...I can't remember when. I only wore it in our own garden, but you know, baby steps. :)

    You look great in the dress. xx

    1. Woohoo! Go you! Can't wait for my bikini bottoms to arrive. Wearing them out the house will be the next step.

  3. Fantastic post Hayley! I've just bought my first fatkini. :) I loved what you said about the joy of being in the sea. I don't give a flying crap what anyone thinks of me in swimwear. The joy of feeling sea and sun on parts of my body that rarely do nixes all else. xx


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