Monday, September 28, 2015

Adding a Bit of Drama: Evans Collection High Low Hem Top and Ultrastretch Skinny Jeans

And now for something a little different... Evans recently were kind enough to offer me some pieces from their current range to try. It was pretty hard to decide and I spent a good few hours shopping in the Marble Arch flag ship store here in London (the staff are totally brilliant - as they always are in Evans stores - so if you get a chance do pop in!) before I settled on my final picks. They include this gorgeous chiffon top with frill detail and Ultrastretch skinny jeans. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Nice and Nautical: Voodoo Vixen Joni Dress

Voodoo Vixen's plus size collection continues to go from strength to strength, and their nautical themed Joni dress is my new favourite. Once again they have totally won me over with the gorgeous details.

Friday, September 18, 2015

UK Plus Size Fashion Week 2015: My Top Picks

UK Plus Size Fashion week was a total whirl of bloggers, models, industry insiders, clothes and photographers. Held over three days at a gorgeous central London venue, most of the industry's heavy hitters were present.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Feeling Fierce: Simply Be Leopard Print Twist Front Dress

Leopard print is a fierce, fifties staple and I always adore it, but usually wear it in smaller quantities - a top, a cardigan, some ballet pumps. But when I saw this dress on Simply Be I was feeling brave and decided to order it. This dress felt like a brave departure for me on a few levels. 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Autumn 2015 Lust List

We're currently being promised an Indian summer. Something we are promised almost every year, which seldom delivers. To avoid disappointment, I am just looking forward to Autumn.

As it get's colder, people gladly reach for new coats, boots and scarves, and for a while the cold feels like a novelty, and red noses and cheeks flushed with chill are endearing. The first morning I see my breath I shiver with excitement - glad for woolens as I crunch purposefully over the first sprinkling of frost on the grass. The delicate dusting of frost is not the only beauty nature offers us in Fall. She also gives as the rusts, reds and russets of autumn, the leaves turning before they drop off the trees and cushion the pavement in a rustling carpet. The colours are a show I missed out on live in the wonderful but steady climate of Durban, South Africa for most of my life. Now, each year the foliage fills me with wonder as I whizz past it on busses and trains, and I find myself picking up fallen leaves on my way home, and find them crushed and crumpled days later in my pockets.

And I am always as in love with this season's fashion as I am with it's colours. Here is my Autumn Lust List...

I am going to start with my most bargain-some pick. From Tesco, at £16 why wouldn't you buy it? I am such a sucker for an oriental print, and the colours in this are gorgeous - I love the complimentary combo of orange and blue. Sadly it is currently sold out above a size 16, but I have it on good authority that they are getting more stock online on 14th September. 

The print, the colours, the shape, the neckline! I love it all. I am lusting after this big time - it would work perfectly through the autumn, but I also would feel pretty smashing in it at a Christmas party.Yes please!

I recently bought this in navy, because let's be honest I am going to struggle to justify adding another red dress to my wardrobe. However, I am starting to have some serious regrets about not adding it to my collection. (Alas, the green - my first choice - is already sold out in my size). This dress is just super easy to wear, the chiffon floats over curves, and the sleeves make me feel somewhat angelic (an unusual feeling, I'll grant you that). And the red is beautifully autumnal. Plus it's a bargain at £35 - get in!

I always like to have a little puddle around Monsoon at the beginning of every season to see what they hasve in store. Sadly they only go up to a size 22, however it is a pretty generous 22 (I am often a 20 at Monsoon) and if you are looking for well cut clothes in quality fabrics, they are a good place to start. I love greek silhouettes, and the Athena here is perfect for those who, like me, have a bit of a goddess complex. This dress is cut in a way that I can just tell it is going to be my curves' best friend. Alas it is sold out in my size on the website, but I think I might pop into a store and see if I can try it on. 

I tend to steer away from pink in my wardrobe. It's just not really my colour. I don't feel myself in it. However, this Joe Brown dress is such a lovely shade, and feels a little edgy with the edition of the black lace and black corset lacing at the back. To me it has a real baroque look to it, which I just love. It's very unusual, and another dress I would adore to wear to a Christmas party, or perhaps New Year's Eve as it has a bit of shine and sheen to it. 

I have an embarrassing confession. I am a fashion blogger, I struggle to squash my clothes into my wardrobe, I am a self confessed shopaholic... and I own one jacket. That I don't like. I really struggle with jackets for some reason. I don't often find ones that I like, and when I do they don't usually fit. I must have an odd body for jackets. But this one! I love the streamlined shape, and I am a sucker for the luxurious, indulgent nature of fur (must be faux, obviously). So yeah. I want this. Big time. How exciting would it be to own a jacket I actually like?!

Any of these on your lust list? What do you love about Autumn, and Fall fashion?


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Is This My Perfect Dress? Studio 8 Yvette Lace Dress

Black Suede Wedges - Primark
Gold Earrings - Primark

This dress is perfection. I mean it. It's perfect. I struggle to believe that the designers at Studio 8 did not design  the Yvette Lace Dress specifically for me. My head has been full of this dress since I went to the Studio 8 launch back in May. Seeing it on the hanger I prayed that it would look as good on as I dreamed. And so when the team at Studio 8 were kind enough to offer me something from their new collection to review, I knew immediately what I wanted. 

As a red head I can never have enough green dresses and this is my most favouritist shade. I would describe it as a deep blend of emerald and forest greens. The shape is a very traditional fifties silhouette with its neat waist and full skirt. The underlayer is a taffeta which has enough stiffness to hold the dress's shape, while still hanging prettily under the mesh overlay. The mesh overlay is accented with a piped floral lac, and the dress has a tie to the waist which I have chosen to tie in a knot rather than a bow. The designers have been clever - they have actually kept the design quite simple, which compliments the rich, sumptuous fabric choices. The sleeves, at their three quarter length, are great if you feel self conscious about you arms. And the back of the dress has a keyhole detail which adds a little extra. 

I always love this shape of dress, but was a little worried about the high neckline, longer sleeves and straight bust line. I was concerned that this would make me look a bit blocky on top. However, the mesh overlay means that the solid colour of the under garment form the shape of the dress, and the mesh just softens it making for a lovely, hourglass outline. The round mesh neckline is open enough to ensure that you don't feel like your choking (I can't bear a tight neck). I am still on the hunt for a decent strapless bra, but so far have found nothing that doesn't make my bust line look rather sad, so I did the next best thing a wore a green bra with thin straps. I was happy that it didn't ruin the lines of the dress at all, and I still felt comfortable and supported. 

Fit wise, I am wearing a size 22 and find it a good fit. It hits me over the knee (I am 5'8) and fits snugly into my waist - which is important to give this dress the desired hour glass shape. Unusually for me I felt comfortable to wear it without my usual shapewear. I may have had a slightly smaller wasitline with it on, and been able to pull the tie in tighter but it's quite pleasant going without the shapewear, particularly in a dress that already has a few layers. I have quite meaty arms and did find it quite a snug fit on my upper arms. If I was slightly bigger I think I would have found it more comfortable to size up to the 24, as mesh is not the softest of fabrics so you don't want to be squeezed into it or it will chafe.  

Me wearing the Yvette at a wedding in Minnesota. 
Black peep toe pumps - Primark
Yellow floral Alice band - Her Curious Nature

I think you will probably agree this is a very special dress, and deserves a special occasion. Those of you who follow me on social media (if you want to, I am on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) will know I recently went to the States (Minnesota to be exact) for a family wedding. It was an incredibly special day, which deserved an incredibly special dress and I was too pleased when the Yvette dress arrived in time for me to wear it. I honestly have never had so many compliments on anything in my life. Minnesotans are known for how lovely they are ("Minnesota nice" is actually a thing) but still, I couldn't walk a few meters without someone complimenting my dress. I chose to pair it with some plain pumps (for comfort and dancing) some dangley earrings and a hair fascinator - and this dress doesn't need anything else. It was pretty warm on that August day but luckily there was a nice breeze or I think I might have been a little sweaty. But it wore well and didn't crease and I honestly felt like a queen in it. 

My first experience with Studio 8 has been amazing - if this is a flavour of things to come, I just can't wait. They really do incredibly special showstopper pieces in their occasion wear, as well as having some great everyday pieces. If you have something special coming up that needs something remarkable I would definitely recommend popping over to Studio 8 and having a look. I am looking forward to wearing the Yvette around Christmas time too I think, as she is pretty much the perfect festive frock. 

What do you think of the Yvette Lace Dress? And the Studio 8 collection? Have you got anything from them yet? 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Terrific Tilly: Voodoo Vixen Tilly Dress

Cardigan - Marks & Spencer (old)
White belt - So old, I can't remember. Bad blogger
Turquoise jelly peep toe flats - Crocs (similar here)

I am such a fan of Voodoo Vixen. I have waxed lyrical on numerous occasions about their beautifully designed clothes which use fabulous fabrics. I adore the colours and prints they use and so when I got the chance to pick one to review from their Plus Size collection I was thrilled! And picking was pretty tough, but eventually I settled on this fresh little number. As with all of Voodoo Vixen's designs the Tilly is perfectly unusual, and I have not seen anything similar anywhere.

Shirt dresses are standard fifties fare, however I don't have nearly enough of them in my wardrobe. I struggle to find them to fit well with my ust and my waist, and so this is only my second one. As with the Collectif Polly I chose to wear this shirt dress with a vest underneath. With a larger bust I personally find the shirt fit more flattering when I wear it unbuttoned. And it just adds to the casual style and in this case breaks up the pattern a bit. I've also added a medium width white belt (to help give my waist definition), an old M&S cardi in a darker turquoise, and some jelly pump Crocs with a peep toe that I bought in the states. I know, I know! Crocs! But how cute are they? 

I love how in the Tilly the androgyny of the shirt style is offset by the full pleated skirt and the prettiness of the pattern. I was a little worried that the pleated skirt may end up making me look heavier on the bottom than I am, however it is a very flattering style. The structure of the top part of dress gives me a good shape a nips me in at the waist where I like to be nipped in, and the pleats flair out over my tummy. The skirt is also extremely full because of the pleats, so feels really fifties and a bit princessy. 

Here I am wearing a 3XL. According to Voodoo Vixen's sizing chart that is the equivalent of a size 24. I am usually a pretty standard 22 (and recently I have lost a little weight, so am actually on the smaller end of the 22 scale at the moment) but if I was any bigger the dress would not have fit so comfortably. As it is I could't have done up the buttons without them gaping. So I would say this is a smaller cut, and if you are looking to purchase the Tilly then size up. 

I adore the fit, and the fact that this is so different from all of my other fifties swing dresses. It's the fabric that really makes the Tilly stand out for me. The print is Japanese inspired and a riot of cherry blossom in pinks, whites, greens and blues. All the colours mean accessorising with Tilly you have a range of options, and I think this would look too adorable with a baby pink cardigan instead.  As you know, I am an absolute sucker for turquoises. The more I can have the better, and this shade is just gorgeous. For some reason it reminds me of sipping lemonade on a front porch somewhere in the Southern United States (I know, I'm weird). It's a great afternoon summer party dress.  However I am also looking forward to transitioning this original style into my Autum wardrobe with some navy or brown accessories and boots.

So, another gorgeous dress from Voodoo Vixen's plus size range. High quality, gorgeous print and a beautiful print.  All I ask of Voodoo Vixen is that they keep them coming. I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in their Autumn/Winter range. 

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