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Winning Best New Blog at the British Plus Size Awards with Panache and Dynasty

I am still buzzing from this weekend. I was wowed, awed, thrilled and overjoyed to win Best New Blog at the British Plus Size Awards on Saturday night, and I feel like I haven’t yet come down from cloud nine. The event was a black tie affair held in the beautiful ball room at the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, and I got to enjoy an evening spent with some of the most inspiring and gorgeous women I know, all dressed to the nines and plied with bubbles – hello heaven!

 The wonderful team at Panache were kind enough to host my mum and I, along with the gorgeous CurvyWordy, for the evening. It was so lovely to meet some of the team behind this brand that I fall more and more in love with. They also sent me a beautiful set, the Kitty from their Sculptresse range, which I will be reviewing later this week.

I don’t know about you, but it’s not every day I am invited to a glamourous, black tie event, so I wanted something really special. I wanted something that made me feel like I was part princess, part goddess (I know – delusions of grandeur right?) and the wonderful people at Dynasty more than delivered. Having previously seen beautiful Georgina from She Might Be Loved in one of their creations, when they offered to dress me for the event I was thrilled. Their plus size brand is called Dynasty Curve, and I literally spent hours ogling their gorgeous dresses, and trying to choose one for this special night. It is so wonderful when you come across a brand who has a plus size collection just as exciting as their main collection.

I eventually went with the Astrid in Petrol Blue. This full length dress, is beautifully made with chiffon overlay is a very unusual shade of blue (I am not sure I have truly captured the colour in any of the pics I’m afraid), and I love how it looks with my fair skin and red hair. I absolutely fell in love with the bodice of this dress. The plunging neckline is embellished with a collection of beads and jewels in blues, silvers and gunmetal, all delicately sewn in a leaf pattern onto a light mesh that is attached to the straps and bust line. The bodice is also ruched in gentle folds which help to accentuate the bust. These folds continue under the bust which has the effect of drawing the waist in. The back of the dress has widely placed straps (I love the back, but it did mean pinning my bra to the straps to avoid slippage) and in some places the mesh edges out over the strap, which gives them a lovely organic look (like a fairy dress). I tried a couple of necklaces with this dress, but in the end I decided that a pair of long sparkly earrings, and wearing my hair down was the way to go.

The rest of the dress is pretty much a floaty column (quite a Grecian line) and I loved how it moved and floated as I walked. I am 5’8 and was wearing 3 inch heels and the length was pretty much perfect – just grazing the floor.  This is one of the most flattering dresses I have ever worn, as the chiffon floats happily over any lumps and bumps, and I didn’t feel the need for any shapewear which was brilliant. I honestly felt every bit the princess goddess I had wanted to feel, while also feeling super comfortable in this dress. I want more excuses to wear it, so if anyone has any balls they would like to take me to, do let me know! And if you're looking for something sensational, sparkly and showstopping then Dynasty Curve is amazing! 

I don’t want this to end up like an over indulgent Oscar speech, but there are so many people who have been incredibly supportive and I just wanted to say thank you. I was pretty flabbergasted to win. And incredibly pleased, of course. The last year has been a pretty steep learning curve – it has been loads of fun, but a lot of work and to be recognised for that is incredible. But by far the most meaningful thing that happened on Saturday night – the lovely girls nominated alongside me all came up to personally congratulate me. Theirs were the warmest messages of congratulations and support I got on social media. There was not a sour grape in sight, and I can honestly say I count each of these women as a peer and a friend. If you are not reading these women religiously already, I seriously suggest you head over to their blogs sharpish:

Charli from CurvyGirlThin
Lottie from Lottie L'amour
Kat from The World Through Kat's Eyes
Paige Christie from BB You
I started my blog somewhat tentatively and secretively at the beginning of this year. I kind of knew what I wanted to talk about and what I wanted to say, but I wasn’t sure anyone would actually want to read it. Taking pictures of my outfits and talking about them seemed incredibly self-indulgent and a little vain, but I knew the impact that seeing fashionable, stylish, confident women with bodies like mine had had on my confidence and outlook and I wanted to create content like that. I wanted people to know that being plus size shouldn’t exclude you from the world of style, the world of fashion. That along with the adjective ‘fat’, there were a lot of other words that could be used to describe your look because you are more than any one thing: stylish, chic, edgy, sexy, quirky, smart, fierce, modern, vintage, flamboyant, downright bloody fabulous.

I kind of imagined blogging would be a quite solitary activity. That I would sit at my computer, and write my little posts and hopefully get the occasional comment. Little did I know that my lovely readers would comment on my posts and send me messages of support. That you would ask my advice, and share your own journeys with me.

Clockwise from left: Caroline from CurvyWordy and I; Me, Hollie from Pretty Big Butterflies, Lottie from Lottie L'Amour and Katie from Toodaloo Katie; Me and my gorgeous mum; Caroline and I with the lovely ladies from Panache, Tia and Jennie.

I also had no idea that there was this fierce, loyal, supportive, beautiful community of women who all seem to be in this together. As soon as I started timidly talking to other bloggers and body positive warriors on social media, started asking them questions and offering my opinions, I was overwhelmed by the acceptance. Bloggers like Caroline from CurvyWordy and Georgina from She Might Be Loved have tirelessly answered my questions and given me counsel when I was a newbie who couldn't figure out web analytics or was just having a bit of a crisis of confidence. I was absorbed into this sisterhood, and instead of feeling like I was in competition with these women (which is so often the way women seem to interact with each other) it was like they had intentionally turned the norm on its head and were boosting each other up. Everyone I went to for advice, a leg up, with a problem, gave freely and without hesitation. And so, when I say I could not have done this without them, I really mean it. I couldn’t have done it without them. Like at all. No way, no how.

So my message is this – if you need a boost, if you need some advice, if you need a little borrowed confidence, get involved. If you see someone you admire on social media, chat to them. Ask a question on twitter, post a pic on Instagram, follow them on Facebook. Because body confidence is not exclusive. We’re all on this journey together, and it's so much easier if you're not going it alone.

So yes, a million thank yous to you all! Please do keep reading, I promise to keep writing!


  1. You look absolutely incredible, and I am so bloody happy for you! <3 much deserved! xx

  2. You looked so lovely on the night, and the win was very well deserved indeed. I've said all this already, both directly to you and on social media, so apologies for being repetitive! Great post x

    1. Thanks my lovely. Such a great evening with you, and you looked sensational! As per usual!

  3. Such a well deserved win Hayls. That dress looked divine as though it was made for you. You are a warm, kind and hilariously witty woman and I love the bones of u. I wish you so much prosperity & wins for the coming year ahead. You rock baby girl xx

    1. Aw Kat, thanks so much. You looked gorgeous too - that dress was the perfect colour for your complexion.
      Right back at ya sweetheart!

  4. Congratulations! Fabulous blog and beautiful dress :) xx

  5. You look absolutely incredible! Congratulations on your award, that's so wonderful and well deserved! :) x

    1. Thank you lovely lady. What a great thing to say! You're a babe x

  6. Love you Hayley!!!!!! This was so well deserved and you looked simply beautiful!

    C xx

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  8. I absolutely loved reading your fashion article. Your insights into the latest trends and styling tips are spot on! As someone passionate about both fashion and Human Resource Management, I couldn't help but draw connections between the two. Just like fashion allows individuals to express their unique style, HR practices can foster a workplace culture where employees feel free to express their authentic selves. That's where services like Human Resource Assignment Help. come in handy, ensuring HR professionals are equipped with the knowledge to create inclusive and fashion-forward work environments. Keep up the fantastic work!


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