Diane's plus size fashion blog
Autumn/Winter 2013 (AW13) promises to be a visual excitement! We can look forward to colour, with hues and variations of purple/berry/teal and pink. Garments have structure, and fabrics have texture; displaying interesting motifs of tapestry, and other embellishments.
The Cocoon coat is back, skirts have kick-flare pleats, waists are nipped, necklines accentuated, trousers are slouchy, and vintage Hollywood styling is high on the Agenda. Fabrics include tweeds such as Herringbone, and checks such as Houndstooth, and Prince of Wales, and Pinstripes. Whilst the overall look is complemented with the sumptuous additions of Cashmere, Mohair, and silk.
What an array of styling options to accessorise and complement your look with the right shoes, handbags, separates, and jackets.
This week I am focusing on High End Designer Retailers Anna Scholz, and Forzieri. I have found some great bargains in their Sales that will lead you into and through your AW13 at a fraction of the cost. I have 2 dresses (both suitable for parties, and other formal occasions) and a 2 piece smart top and skirt (which can be worn as separates or together to give a structured suit style) all from Anna Scholz.
I have also included some great shoes, bags, and scarves (in the new AW13 colour combinations) from Forzieri.
As recommended by Diane
This beautiful party dress from Anna Scholz has been reduced in the sale from £175.00 to £53.00 and is currently available in sizes 16, 22, 24, and 26. The dress is fully lined. The neckline is embellished both front and back with the addition of black and silver sequins. Note the gathering to nip in the waist, and the wide shoulder effect to balance the frame.
Click Here to see a clearer picture of dress and to purchase – £53.00
I also love this
chiffon sleeved (cut out sleeve detail) dress which has been reduced
from £199 to £60 and is currently available in sizes
16, 18, 20, 22, and 24. The
dress is fully lined.
Here to see a clearer picture of dress and to purchase –
This beautiful grey flannel effect two piece suit will take you to business meetings. Both items can also be worn as separates with other clothing items. The top has been reduced from £159 to £48.00 and is currently available in sizes 22 to 26 inclusive. Whilst the skirt has been reduced from £125 to £38.00 and is currently available in sizes 22 to 28 inclusive. I would style this look with berry/wine coloured shoes and clutch bag.
………………… And now bargains from Forzieri…………………
These shoes are fabulous and great value
Click Here to buy purple velvet shoes – £104.16
Click Here to buy colour block suede shoes – £134.19
This beautiful and very interesting tonal patent eco-leather clutch bag (with detachable chain strap) by Julia Cocco has been reduced from £98.69 to £39.48
Here to buy tonal patent eco-leather clutch bag – £39.48
…and as we are talking texture - what could be more on trend that this Rocio Fiorentina Purple snake Wrap Clutch bag made from both leather and wood.
Click Here to buy Rocio Fiorentina Purple snake Clutch bag – £295.93
I absolutely love this 100% silk scarf from Fendi (purple) which has been reduced from £234.30 to £117.15. Scarf is 90cm x 90cm square. Would look great worn tucked in around the neck line of a camel cashmere full length coat, or to set off the neckline of a cream long sleeved silk blouse.
Click Here to buy Fendi 100% silk scarf – £117.15
This pink colour hue silk scarf from Robert Cavalli (with the on trend animal print) has been reduced from £134.19 to £67.10
Click Here to buy Robert Cavalli pink silk scarf – £67.10
…….and finally the Forziere pure wool multi-stripe long scarf which has been reduced from £93.72 to £46.86 (length 190cm , Width 33cm)
Click Here to buy wool scarf – £46.86
I hope you have been inspired by my bargain Designer suggestions this week. The full range of sale items from both Anna Scholz, and Forzieri can be viewed by clicking on their respective names. Until next week (when I will be dedicating my entire blog posting to retailer Ample Bosom). Thank you for reading. Contact me via Twitter with your comments and suggestions please. Diane--------------------------------
July 19th. A Middle problem, but I want to wear a Dress
I hope you are all enjoying the wonderful summer weather.† I can't believe that it has almost been 2 weeks now of wonderful non-stop sunshine.† This kind of weather puts me in a really good mood to enjoy dressing for occasions and thinking about endless summer evenings.† The timing is also great in that most Retailers have now put their stock into Sale.† This week's post is a review of some excellent value and quality Sale Dresses from Retailers such as Boden, Fashion World, Wallis and Daxon.† Click on the Retailer names to be taken to their Sales pages for Dresses.
When you look at the pictures of me wearing these dresses please note that I am a UK Size 18, 5'9" tall with a 33.5" inside leg.† By being aware of these facts you may get some idea of† where the dress may end on your legs.
This post has been a wonderful exercise for me in trying to establish what style of dress is the best for my body shape.† We all have parts of our bodies that we would like to change.† For me it is my Middle.† Thirteen years ago (when my youngest daughter was only 10 months old) I had a Cancer scare and had to have part of my bowel removed.† Traumatic at the time but thankfully all was well and I am in good health and grateful to be here to 'tell the tale'.† The down side of this is that I under went surgery on my abdomen,† leaving me with a 12" vertical scare running down my Middle.† Since then I have (what I feel is) a permanent pregnancy profile.† When I gain weight it all goes to my Middle.† When I lose weight and/or tone up IT DOES NOT COME OFF MY MIDDLE.† It stays PUT!!!† Horrible dilemma - but not the worst that could be imagined.
If like me your problem area is your Middle, it has always been accepted wisdom to wear separates (to take attention away from the middle area).† This I have duly done over the years.† Dresses however are very much in fashion and showing no signs of going out of fashion.† I want to be fashionable and this wonderful weather is telling me- "wear a dress!!!!!"† So here it is -† my self discovery of the best dresses suited for a problem Middle.
I am offering my honest opinion of my experience of wearing these dresses.† You may or may not agree with my verdict on what best suits my build.† I am NOT a model.† I am not the main feature of these photos – the dresses are.† I am not wearing special support underwear, just my own (which should give you some idea of how things could be improved with the addition!!!).† My husband took the photos and he is NOT a photographer.† None of these photos have been photoshopped.† The angles presented are not complementary to me either as they are my worst possible angle – side on showing my Middle.† I do feel however that this is necessary to present credible evidence on which to base a reasoned judgement.
Dress No. 1† Shirt Dress – Boden
Click Here to buy Shirt Dress from Boden – £39.60 – Available up to size 22L in 4 colour options
I love this on trend shirt dress from Boden.† I feel a very elegant length and fit.† I am wearing the 18L.† This could be worn to formal occasions.† I deliberately chose this mustard colour to review to check what the true colour was like against my skin tone and hair colouring.† I love it and the print is very interesting as well.† The dress is quite roomy and the sleeve length and overall fit spot on.† I am wearing this dress with a half slip (as it is not lined).† I feel that the collar frames my face, minimises my broad shoulders and the breast pockets effect add an extra point of interest to the overall design.† I would recommend this dress.† In my own case I would wear some support underwear, but for other builds and shapes of women this may not be necessary.† Overall verdict - this is a great bargain.
Dress No. 2† Jersey Dress – Boden
Click Here to buy Jersey Dress from Boden – £53.40 – Available in 4 colour options up to a size 22L
Fantastic colour and fit.† The dress is fully lined (which is a wonderful addition) and there is a shiny sheen off the jersey which makes this otherwise casual day dress into something that bit smarter.† I also love the detailing around the breast line.† I think this dress has a slimming effect on me and the Middle is minimised.
Dress No. 3 Pink Dress – Fashion World
…….and as this is a shorter dress the Sitting Test was also done!
The photo shows the petticoat lining sitting comfortably on my Knee.† When the floaty chiffon layer sits down over the petticoat this dress passes with full honours.† The overall look is modest, elegant and becoming.
Click Here to buy this Pink Dress from Fashion World – £42.00 – Available from size 14 to 30
What can I say.† This dress is sensational.† The colour is a vibrant pink (which is also a key colour for AW13).† I felt like the Dancing Queen in this dress.† The fit is perfect (unfortunately my husband accidently deleted the side profile photo shot for you to see the Middle area).† I can assure you this dress is a Keeper.† The detailing right around the neck line is superb.† The number of occasions that this dress is suitable for are many and varied.† I am going to an outdoor production of a Midsummer Night's Dream next week.† Here's hoping the weather holds.† I would like to wear this dress to the Event.† With the addition of a pashmina this dress can take me from early evening theatre to after Event Party/Dinner.† Love, Love, Love this dress.
Dress No. 4 – Colleen Nolan Dress – Fashion World (unfortunately this dress has now sold out)
Click Here to be taken to the Dress Sale pages of Fashion World
This is a wonderful dress and is fully lined with that all important tummy control support.† I am wearing the 18L.† The dress was available in both a R (Regular length) and L (Long Length).† It is so comfortable to wear that I would have no hesitation in recommending other Colleen Nolan dresses (with tummy control support).† I can't wait to see what she brings out for AW13.† In the sale this dress cost only £25.20!!!!† Yes!!!!† Keep your eye on her new collection.† Great quality and value for money.† I am not surprised it sold out so quickly.
Dress No. 5 Taupe Polka Dot Dress – Wallis (unfortunately this dress has now also sold out)
Click Here to be taken to Sale Dresses at Wallis
I loved the colour of this summer fresh dress and the large off white polka dots.† I am wearing the dress with a half slip as it is not lined.† The overall fit was perfect for me.† The neck line has dart detailing whilst the addition of the self tie belt provides the option to either wear this tied at the back (as in my photo) or at the front or to the side.† Generally belted garments should be avoided for larger Middles.† This is why I tied this to the back.† I feel that† the rounded neckline does not suit me as well as a v neck.† I would love this dress, in this colour and style, with a V neck or a collar.
Dress 6 Black over lace dress – Wallis (unfortunately this dress is also sold out)
Again another great dress and a good overall length.† The dress has a lace effect outer, over a full length black petticoat like fitted strappy dress.† I feel that due to the fitted nature of this dress I should have moved a size up.† I am therefore not showing this dress off to its best advantage.
As the dress is shorter I also did the Sitting Test
Click Here to to be taken to Sale Dresses at Wallis
When sitting and moving about the chair I felt that the dress was too short for me.† Possibly if I had of had the larger size on, it may have made a difference.† I am pictured here in both photos showing 2 different angles of me sitting in the dress.† As the dress is black it may be hard to see the full detail.† The under dress is sitting well above my knee and I am holding the over lay dress up.† I may very well be called prudish as the length is not immodest, and I am not used showing my legs to the world - however - the 'Mother of 2 teenage daughters' in me is saying, this is too short for you Mum!"† I think that this dress style and length would look great on a lady 5'7" and smaller, OR a much younger Gal!!
Dress No. 7 Raspberry Expert Design Dress – Daxon
Click Here to buy Dress from Daxon – £19.00 – available up to size 32
I can't believe the value here.† I first featured this dress in my 2nd blog post – Tea at the Ritz.† The dress is fully lined with a body con style lining helping to minimise tummy and hips.† I love it!† I love the summer fresh colour and print, the V neck line, and the overall fit.† I feel that this dress has the desired slimming effect on me.
In conclusion of the 7 wonderful dresses profiled here my Verdict for my problem Middle are the 3 dresses below.† In all of these dresses the key design point to minimise problem Middles/Tums is to wear dresses that are cut and fall from the bust line (skimming the middle).† In my own particular case I feel that V style neck lines also draw the eye down to the hem line.
I hope you have enjoyed this Review this week.† Please let me know via Twitter @plussizecouk what you think and what you would like to see featured on my blog post.† Until next week.† Diane
July 13, Your Affordable Maternity Essentials
This week I am delighted to talk about the essentials for Maternity.† I have some very interesting and affordable products featured† from Bumps Maternity, Fun Mum, Bra Stop, Figleaves, and Simply Be.† Click on each of the business names to browse their full Maternity product range at your ease.
It is an exciting time waiting on the arrival of your baby.† Many changes will take place to your body during your confinement, and emotions experienced!† Having had 2 children myself I can say that there is no need to spend ridiculous amounts of money on your wardrobe and essential needs.† The retailers listed above and throughout this Post all have products that are very good value and quality.
In terms of clothing I feel that expectant Mums need a couple of pairs of decent trousers, a few tops, a pair of jeans, and a couple of dresses (for more formal and work settings), with a longer length cardigan to wear over dresses, and with a trouser and top combination.† DO NOT burden yourself with very high heels either.† As time progresses, and perhaps…your feet and legs start to swell… you will appreciate the merits of a low block heel.† This is sensible advice!
As recommended by Diane
1.† Have a look at this innovation below – the Belly Band.
Belly Bands are available up to size 22/24 with prices ranging from £12.95 to £14.95 with deals on sets of two.† They also come in a range of colours and have either a ruched or plain smooth effect.† Click here to see the full range available at Bumps Maternity.
These are great and enable you to continue wearing your own pre-pregnancy tops by placing the Belly Band either over or under the edge of your top.† They can be worn throughout the duration of your pregnancy but are particularly useful in the last stages of pregnancy if you do not want to buy loads of new maternity tops that (perhaps) you may not wear again.
2.† Following on from this idea is the Belly Belt which allows you to continue wearing your own pre-pregnancy trousers/shorts etc. during pregnancy and immediately after delivery.† Dare I say that these are a good idea for non-pregnant women to ease our way back into our favourite trousers/shorts again.† With a top worn out over them who would know!!!
Click here to buy Belly Belt – £14.95
3.† As pregnancy advances it can be difficult to position yourself to sleep comfortably.† Here is a great idea – a support pillow to relieve pressure as you sleep on your side.
Click here to buy support pillow – £9.95
4.† Essential for summer a pair of white linen trousers.† Available up to a size 18 with an inside leg of 31"
Click here to buy trousers – £32.30
5.† ….and for the taller lady here is a pair of maternity skinny jeans available up to size 20 in both a 31"and 34"inside leg.
Click here to buy – £38.00
6.† These classic indigo jeans are perfect for an at home relaxed look.† These are available up to a size 20 and in 3 leg lengths – 28"petite, 31"regular, and 34"tall.
Click here to buy – £36.75
7.† I absolutely love the freshness and feminine design of this nursing top from Fun Mum with the collar and wider neck line.† This is available up to size 22 and would look great with jeans or more formal black trousers.
Click here to buy top – £28.05
For other colours and styles of both maternity and nursing tops up to a size 22 click here.
8.† For a beautiful selection of nursing bras and knicker sets I love this selection from Bra Stop (available up to a size 42† in a range of cup sizes).† They are even better value now that they have been discounted in their sale.† Click here to view the range of Nursing Bras from Bra Stop.
Here is a glimpse of some of the selection of sets and nursing bras available.
Click here to buy Bra £29.00 and Knickers £12.50
Click here to buy bra £19.95
Simply Be also have a very impressive selection of good value and quality nursing bras and bra sets too.† To view the range of nursing bras at Simply Be click here.
Click here to buy Bra – £28.00. † Available from size 30D to 38GG (with range of cup sizes in between).
9.† Simply Be also do a very affordable Maternity Fashion range.† Click here to view Maternity Fashion at Simply Be.
I love this Maternity dress and think that this is smart enough to wear to the office.† Available up to size 22.
Click here to buy Maternity dress -† £35.00
10.† and as we are in Summer, this Maxi dress is very eye catching.† Available up to size 32
Click here to buy maxi dress – £36.00
11.† It is vital to keep fit during your pregnancy (being fit will also benefit you during your Delivery).† A very good and gentle form of exercise during pregnancy is swimming.† I have found some very well priced and fashionable swimwear from Figleaves.† Click here to view the swimwear range at Figleaves.
I particularly like this swimsuit and think it is a great price at £28.00 (available up to size 18)
Click here to buy swimsuit – £28.00
and this black swim suit (available from size 30C to 42C (with other cup sizes in between)
Click here to buy black swimsuit – £42.00
I hope you like my selection of Affordable Maternity Essentials and/or are inspired by the full ranges available from all the Retailers mentioned above.† Until next week.† Diane
July 5th Curvy, Gorgeous & Voluptuous
This week I am focusing on my curvier ladies who are size 28+ .† I have found some wonderful key trends for the larger lady.† I have 6 looks to take you from a relaxed and casual look right through to being a blushing bride!
As recommended by Diane†
Look 1 – Summer Evening Socialising with Friends
I love this top from Curvety in vibrant colours.† It is available up to size 32 (with a body length of 31")
Click here to buy top – £71.25
These white 7/8 trousers will look great with the top above but will also form a staple in your summer wardrobe which can also be dressed down by wearing a tee shirt or summer jumper for a more casual look.† Trousers are available from Curvissa and are available up to a size 32 (inside leg 25 1/4" (64cm)
Click here to buy white trousers – £42.00
Complete your summer evening† look with these fabulous silver shimmer low wedge sandals available from Castaluna.† The sandals are available up to a size 8 (42) and in 7 other shimmering summer colours as well (why not mix and match your look with different colours of sandals).
Click here to buy silver shimmer wedge sandals – £15.00
Look 2 – Smart Day Look
I love this leopard print top from Curvety (available up to size 32.† Body length 27.5").† This top is also available in other prints and patterns.
Click here to buy leopard print top – £43.50
Wear this top with these fantastic black wide leg trousers (a particularly good buy for ladies who are smaller in the hips than in the bust.† The wide legs will help to balance your profile).† The trousers are available from Curvissa up to size 32 with a choice of 3 leg lengths – 30", 32" and 35"
Click here to buy black trousers – £42.00
complete the look with these low heel height shoes (2 1/4" Heel).† Available up to size 8 in a EE wide fit.
Click here to buy black patent shoes – £53.96
Look 3 – Lady in Red
Say no more!† Gorgeous dress from Curvety available up to size 36 (length from shoulder to hem 41" – 44").† On trend white polka dot all over print in this fully lined dress providing extra support.
Click here to buy red polka dot dress – £105.00
Red leather patent shoes available from Sarenza up to a size 8 (heel height 10cm)
Click here to buy Red Shoes – £75.00
Look 4 – Wedding Guest or Cocktail Party
This dress is available to pre-order from Curvety up to a size 36 (body length from shoulder to hem 49" – 50" and is fully lined).
Click here to buy dress – £122.00
and how about these co-ordinating shoes to complement your look.† Shoes available from Simply Be up to a size 8 in an E fit (4" heel).
Click here to buy shoes – £15.00
Look 5 – Blushing Bride
This wonderful white bridal dress is available to pre-order from Curvety up to size 36.† The shoulder to hem length 59" – 62"
Click here to buy White Bridal Dress – £350.00
and of course the shoes ……White bridal shoes available up to size 8 (42) heel height 8cm.† The platform provides support for the ball of the foot whilst the peep toe maintains the femininity of a bridal shoe.
Click here to buy White Bridal Shoes – £79.00
Look 6 – Relaxed Casual on your day off!
These blue chinos from Curvissa are available up to size 32 (inside leg 26 1/2") in a few other colours.
Click here to buy blue chinos – £35.00
To complete your relaxed casual look I think these loafers from Shoes International are a great find.† Shoes are available in 5 colours (red, navy, olive, fushia, and tan) up to size 9 in a range of E width fittings.† A cushioned leather sole can be removed to allow for the insertion of an orthotic.
Click here to buy loafers – £64.00
hope you have been inspired by the looks that I have put together
this week.† Until next week, Diane
June 27th - Tall Summer Story