Friday, July 1, 2016

Rocking It Your Own Way: River Island Plus Red Bardot Maxi

Come summer I am always on the hunt for a couple of statement maxi dresses. Cool, easy to wear and fabulous on plus size figures, I live in maxi dresses in the warmer weather. This year the casual maxi that's stood out for me is this Bardot version from River Island Plus.

Red Bardot Maxi Dress - River Island Plus
Giant Palm Tree Hoop Earrings - Black Heart Creatives 

I saw the Red Bardot Maxi Dress from River Island on several bloggers and plus size model types before I got it for myself. This oriental floral printed beauty has a Bardot neckline which reveals the shoulders (another plus size blogger, Miss Bebe, says shoulders are the new boobs, and I think she's right) while slits up either side of the dress flash some leg as you walk. The waist is drawn in with elastic, and is finished off with a fabric belt. The frill is clearly inspired by vintage looks from the 50s and 70s and the whole dress has an old world charm to it that I love. This dress is a statement, but is also easy to wear. A great combo. 

I'm wearing a size 22 here, which is my usual size, but I think I could have sized down for a slightly more fitted silhouette. However I often struggle with maxi dresses being too short (I'm only 5'8 so how ridiculous is that!) and this one is perfect with flats, but I'd feel it was too short in heels sadly. 

When it arrived I put it on, and to be honest at first I wasn't blown away. I had seen it on so many ladies before me (occupational hazard of a plus size blogger I guess) and I couldn't help feeling they just wore it better than me. I put it on and I kind of wanted to see my body transform to look more like their's - the first time I'd felt like that in a long time. I felt less sexy than some of the women I'd seen in it. And it frustrated me. To me the plus size community largely feels like a safe space, and one where my body isn't pitted against other women's and found lacking. 

It's been a while since I've so keenly felt that my body wasn't what I wanted it to be. And that wasn't the dress. It was my head acting up. I've been a bit stressed out and a bit down lately. And when I get a bit down my brain does this thing where it picks on me. A lifetime of body hate means that having a go at my body when I'm down is pretty much a no brainer. And so I realised that this wasn't about the dress. It wasn't about my being not enough, or other women being better than me. It was essentially about self harm. I was stressed out, and I was beating myself up in a way I have been my whole life. By telling myself that I'm not enough. That my body is bad. And that I don't deserve good things. 

This time I was strong enough to tell the bad vibes to fuck off. I wore the dress anyway, and throughout the day I felt more and more awesome in it. Sure I didn't look like everyone else in it, but that's okay. I was rocking it my own way. Fuck you bad vibes! So, I think this dress is going to be a pretty key item in my summer wardrobe. 


  1. It's reassuring ( in that warped way of thinking) to hear you compared yourself negatively to other women wearing the same dress. You look great and always do. I also do that futile 'comparison' thing all the time, it is insidious and makes it very hard not to believe in your own judgement.

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. But it is good to know others feel like that, and just how pointless it is.

  2. So I completely love this dress on you and I so wanted to steal your style but I'm 5ft10 so it's no go for this one - booo!

    C xx

    1. Dammit! Tall girl maxi dress issues are so real!

  3. This dress is so gorgeous and is made even more gorgeous by seeing it on you! I love the way it compliments your frame and your hair too. You always look babely, but today you look like the dancing lady emoji and I am so here for that!

    Lottie xx

    1. Looking like the dancing lady emoji is one of the best compliments ever!!


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