Monday, September 19, 2016

Pretty in Purple: Studio 8 Imina Printed Fit and Flare Dress



My first piece from Studio 8's Autumn Winter collection is this Imani dress. It's got that classic shape that I love in my dresses, but the unusual print and gorgeous colours have meant it's been playing on my mind since I first got a sneak peek of it back in the spring.
Studio 8 really love to play with patterns and prints. They don't shy away from bold and unusual, and the shadowy beauty of the purples and mauves in the Imani dress just captured my attention from the get go. Something about the shades and print remind me of a Gothic forest (that active imagination again).






Recently I got the opportunity to give a talk with Studio 8 and Danie Vanier at The Curve Fashion Festival. We wanted to talk about common plus size style conundrums. Danie and I posted out to our followers to ask what they wanted to wear, but felt they couldn't. We got loads of responses, many along the same themes. To be honest, I was somewhat saddened by how many rules we plus size women feel society have imposed on us and how many we still blindly follow even though we want to try something different. There were some definite themes we uncovered. As plus size women it seems we have the same concerns about how to wear certain items, feeling that there are some styles we just cannot wear. Indeed there are many that women are not even willing to try! I want to do a full post on this topic, but for now the Imina dress is perfect to address a couple of points.


A lot of women responded that they were unsure how to wear bold prints. That they were more comfortable in block colours, because prints are "too much" and "aren't flattering". Well, balls to that! I don't know who came up with this nonsense rule, but I think prints are fabulous on bigger figures. In fact sometimes I think bold patterns can be quite swamping on smaller frames, but having more body means you have more space to display gorgeous prints, hell yeah! The joy of brands like Studio 8, who are making clothes expressly for plus size bodies, is that they are thinking about important things like pattern placement. So for example, on the Imina dress the pattern on the bust was hand placed and is the same on each and every dress. This ensures that none of the dresses have unfortunate pattern placement across the bust (how horrible to have one giant boob and one little one, just because of the way a print randomly ends up on a bodice). A lot of the fear around patterns is really just a fear of standing out. And that's down to believing that because you are a plus size woman you should expend all your energy fitting in, making yourself smaller. Well, pattern or not you will take up space. Might as well look fabulous doing it my darlings!
One of the styles a lot of women mentioned struggling with was the fit and flare dress, much like our Imina here. This is a battle I can really relate to because I honestly didn't think this style would suit me for a long time. But the ridiculous thing - I had never tried it! And so many women revealed that there were styles they loved but wouldn't even try. How can you know if something will suit you, or make you feel fabulous if you haven't tried it? The first time I tried a fit and flare dress, it was a wardrobe game changer, and I was pretty pleased to find that I had been completely wrong. I honestly think there are few styles as gorgeous on a plus size figure as a skater or fit and flare style dress. And just because one style might not work on you, remember to try versions from a few different retailers - the joy of increased choice means that now you can shop around and find a fit that works. Personally I wear my fit and flare dresses higher than my natural waist usually, as I find belting them almost under the bust can work better on my figure, so wear styles in a way that suit you best, and don't believe something isn't for you until you've really tried!


Me in my Imina dress at CFF


The Imina is a perfect fit in a size 22. Fully lined with lilac satin, the dress feels really high end. The heavy cotton, with a satin sheen finish, sits beautifully, and while I wouldn't mind the neckline a smidge lower (love a hint of cleavage) it is beautifully demure. The Imina is sleeveless, but as the weather has turned a little nippier I have been wearing it with my ever faithful Wingz (they're like sleeves you can add under a dress). While wearing Imina at The Curve Fashion Festival I added a black ribbon belt to define my waist a bit more, but it's not necessary. I think this dress would be gorgeous for a winter wedding, or any event where you want to feel comfortable but wear something a little special. The pattern is certainly stand out and unforgettable.
So what are some of the styles and looks you'd love to try, but haven't or won't? Let me know, because I would love to cover some of these in an upcoming post...
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12 comments

  1. Hi Hay´ley, I came across your blog in the plus size blogger babes facebook group and oh my I'm hooked! Firstly I love the combination of the blue/cool shades of the dress together with the your fiery red locks! Looks amazing and I love the black strappy heels too. You covered very well on the issues many plus size women struggle with, keeping alive assumptions like "As plus size you can´'t wear print, you can't wear short dresses etc' which is absolute bull...But thank you for proving yourself right in these amazing looks :) I think I would like to see more high street labels just wideing their plus size ranges, or simply sizing up their clothing lines...I would also like to see what are you going to wear during Christmas/Holiday season but maybe you'll cover that bit later in the fall? Xxx Pauliina

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    1. Aww Paulina thank you so much for your super lovely comments. I really appreciate it. This dress is such a winner! And yeah I will definitely be doing some seasonal looks - I've got a lot of stand out occasion wear looks coming up soon on the blog. Fancy stuff is what I live for! Keep reading hon x

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  2. And the graphics of you´r site is absolutely BEAUTIFUL <3 Pauliina

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  3. I love love love the print of that dress!

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    1. Thanks sweetie. Been in love with it since the beginning!

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  4. Thank you for introducing Studio 8 to me, I love the styles. This dress was made for you; the colours, shape and the fabric! The clothes are a little on the expensive size but I found some very good reductions online.

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    1. Awww thank you so much lovely. That's such a great tip. Sometimes brands can be a little out of our reach financially but it's totally worth hunting around the sales for the ones we love. I do that too. I must say - the quality of Studio 8 is certainly worth the price tag! Xxx

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  5. So gutted I missed Curve and your talk but I'm loving this dress on you. The colours are phenomenal!

    C xx
    CurvyGirlThin.com

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    1. Thanks sweetie. Wish you were there. As for the talk, the whole thing's a blur I swear! But it was good fun.
      Lots love x

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  6. It was great to see you at the Curve Fashion Festival, really sorry we didn't get more of a chance to chat!

    I LOVE the print of that dress and it looks amazing on you both in the pictures and on the day. Having tried it on at the Studio 8 stall I was gutted to find that it really didn't fit me very well - too small across the bust, too large at the waist. I ended up trying the red Studio 8 jumper dress with the geometric patterned skirt and loved it so bought that instead - can't wait for cooler days so I can wear it to work!

    I really love the Studio 8 designs, great quality although pretty expensive...!

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    1. Oh my goodness those events are always so fun but always so overwhelmingly busy. Impossible to have a proper conversation! The jumper dress is so yum can't wait to see it on you! Studio 8 are one of my faves and for me the quality really justifies the prices. Always keep an eye out for sales too honey xxx

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