Blog archive '13- June . July . Aug . Sept . Oct . Nov . Dec.
Blog Archive 2014 Jan . Feb . Mar . Apr . May .
Diane's plus size fashion blog
May 30th - Ivory Bridal Dress (vintage 1950s style) from Monsoon to size UK22 - £299
OMG!!!!! I just couldn't resist telling you about this wonderful 1950s style vintage short Ivory wedding dress. Monsoon do a fantastic range of wedding dress styles all at very affordable prices. This show stopper is only £299 and is sized from a UK8 - UK22.
I love the simplicity of the off shoulder styling and immediately I am thinking garden or beach wedding in sunnier climes. The detailing in this dress is superb and certainly looks much more expensive than the £299 price tag.
The Tulle appliquéd layers with cordonnet trimmed flowers lend romantic detailing to this 1950s style vintage dress. A boned bodice, with covered-button detailing, creates structure, further enhanced by a waist-cinching, peach-soft, silk band. The dress is lined in satin layers, with stiff tulle petticoat and flounces - creating fullness. There is a concealed side zip with inner corset support to define and maintain your shape throughout the day.
To view the dress
and a video of the model in the picture wearing the dress click
To see other bridal dresses from Monsoon click HERE
Until next week,
May 22nd - The Return of the Trouser Suit
Wool mix Trouser Suit from Next (Tailored Premium Range) £185
Watch and listen
to what I have to say about the Wool Trouser Suit from Next
Another styling type blog posting this week and about a favourite wardrobe staple of mine - The Trouser Suit. I absolutely love this 88% wool mix mink (beige) light weight trouser suit from Next. You can buy the jacket and trousers as separates or wear this as a suit. Suit price £185.
The jacket is £115 and is available from a UK8 - UK20. The back length is 26" so is a perfect length for corporate day wear in that it sits comfortably and down from the waist and skimming the profile of the bum area. It is figure flattering for ladies who (like myself) have a thicker middle area and/or a larger belly area. I recommend wearing your jacket open and (with this suit colour) wearing a darker shirt/blouse/top to minimise the impact of your centre torso.
This is a modest and professional look for all day office wear. It's no surprise that we are now seeing a return of the trouser suit and a return to simple style dressing for corporate wear. The suit has always been the attempt at being the equaliser in the workplace. The trouser suit is not frivolous. If anything it is the sensible, modest, almost uniform standard and statement of conformity. It says..'I want to be taken seriously'.
The beauty about the styling of this suit is that the jacket will also look very smart with jeans (worn as a separate) giving you the option of having a smart casual look. The jacket is £115. The cut of this jacket complements both bootcut and straight leg jeans very well.
The trousers are sized from a UK6 - UK22 in the Regular leg length (31") and from a UK8 - UK22 in the Long Leg Length (33"). I am wearing the 18L and have found these to be a great fit. The elastane and other fibres (12%) within the wool mix composition give them just that little bit of extra give for all day comfort. There are also belt loops for wearing a smart belt. I hadn't considered a belt when I was presenting these trousers to you BUT since I have watched the video and looked at this photo I think I will buy a smart belt to wear with these trousers (for cosmetic purposes only) to hide the waistband tab.
The trousers are £70
A trouser suit says professional, considered, together. It has to be the easiest of day wear OR work wear outfits to style. You do not need to think about accessorising, complementing nor combining as you would with wearing separates. Wear the suit - change the top/blouse. Your look is complete.
The trousers and
jacket are light weight so are perfect for Spring/Summer and into
September. This suit will not date. It is a classic corporate day
wear cut. The colour is also perfect for the season and very easy
to wear with other colours due to the neutral shade. I think that
a suit of this quality and under £200 is a real find, especially for
a wardrobe staple that can be worn year in year out.
Agricultural Show or County Fair - Practical Styling Advice
What I wore to The Balmoral Agricultural Show - Tuesday 14th May 2014
We are now fast approaching the County Fair and/or Agricultural Show season. This week I wanted to talk to you about what to wear to 'The Show' to ensure all day comfort. Yesterday I attended The Balmoral Show (Northern Ireland). The Balmoral Show is the largest Agriculture and Food Show in Northern Ireland (lasting 3 days) and second (in terms of occupied acreage) to The National Ploughing Championships (which are held in September at different locations within the Republic of Ireland).
When you commit to attending an all day event such as an Agricultural Show you need to be mindful that a lot of walking (and standing about) is involved and that you have to be prepared for the changes in weather throughout the day. You need to be practical and you need to plan to be as comfortable as you possibly can be.
1. Always Check the Weather forecast before heading off for the day
2. Wear comfortable shoes
Yesterday I wore my M&S Value Range Jeans, a jumper (with tee shirt underneath as an insulating layer), a navy gillet (for added warmth), a scarf around my neck (to prevent me getting chills/draughts when standing around the Rings and main Arena), my Across Body Bag (for hands free comfort and storage of my raincoat) AND my walking shoes.
Most Showgrounds have many different types of ground coverings - all of which can have an impact on your overall foot and leg comfort. The Balmoral Showground is no different and has gravel, shale, concrete, bark (which is a sticky mess when it has been raining), grass, straw bedding, timber slats etc all to contend with. As most of these surface coverings have the potential to damage your heels I bly suggest that you wear a walking shoe, trainer or flat boot. Do NOT wear your UGGS or other boots/shoes made with suede or a suede like material as you can potentially damage them and certainly affect their appearance permanently.
In the picture at the start of the post I am seen standing on a shale type surface. Shale is a form of gravel but due to the large size of the stones has even greater potential to scrap and damage heels due to the sharp and uneven surfaces of the stones. Gravel (finer stones) will also do similar damage but the stones are not as sharp, however, the chip marks to your heels (particularly if they are dyed to be the same colour as the main body of your shoe) will be very obvious. Once your heels have been marked you have ruined the overall look of your shoes.
Here is an example of the bark surface covering. You can see from this photo that it had been raining previously and the ground is wet. Imagine this mess sticking to the sides of your suede boots.
To overcome these problems I chose to wear my walking shoes. Shoes such as these have a b rubber like sole and surround (with added treads on the soles for grip). They also have an excellent arch and ankle support so will minimise any discomfort potential from being on my feet all day.
When the day warmed up a little I was able to take off the scarf and tie it on to the side strap of the bag. When it got a little cooler I was able to put it back on again and also put on my fingerless gloves (which had been lurking in the pockets of my gillet). Towards the end of the day it started to rain quite heavily. Thankfully I had my raincoat packed neatly in my Across Body Bag. As it was a pac-a-mac wind proof type raincoat it was easy to pull on on top of my gillet. I had dressed for the seasons without having the burden of carrying around extra clothes and feeling uncomfortable and tired carrying unnecessary items of clothing or bags.
Another great year. Another great Show. Left feeling fit and well to do it all over again today.
Until next week
when I am going to talk about the Return of the Trouser Suit.
May 7th Boot Cut Jeans from the Value Range @ M&S
As Recommended by Diane
Hear and see what I have to say about these Jeans - Click HERE to see a video presentation of my Review
I wanted to talk to you this week about the exceptional quality and value I have found in the 'Value Range' Boot Cut Jeans from Marks & Spencer. I bought these jeans about 2 months ago and have washed and tumbled dried them umpteen times. They still look as good today as they did when I first bought them. They come in both Indigo Blue and Black. I am seen here wearing them in Indigo Blue. I also have these jeans in Black. I paid £15 for them but I noticed today that M&S are having an online sale and these jeans in black are now £10 (the indigo colour is still £15). I couldn't resist doing a Review Type Blog Post this week, especially as the jeans are an exceptional find.
They are sized from a UK6 - UK24 and come in Short, Medium, and Long Leg Lengths. I am seen here wearing the Long Leg Length. I am 5'9" tall and have a 33" inside leg. The Long Leg Length are perfect with my M&S Chelsea Boots.
You can either wear these jeans as an everyday casual look (as I am doing here) or dress them up with heels and the addition of a smart blouse and jacket. They keep their shape well and are a very comfortable and true to size fit. I hope you are lucky and get your size now that they are in sale.
Look in again next week when I will be talking about what to wear to the County Fair or Agricultural Show. Here's a big hint- ..I will be wearing these jeans to the Balmoral Show (the biggest Agricultural and Food Show in Northern Ireland).
Until next week.
May 1st The Plus Size Revolution - Curves take Centre Stage £ $
Centre Stage AND the New Normal - a return to womanliness and curves in celebration of the Plus Size Fashion Market
I take my work for www.plussizeclothing.co.uk & www.plussize.co.uk very seriously. I want my websites to be the No.1 Resource for Shopping and all things Plus Size within the UK Plus Size Industry. This is no mean feat. A huge task lies ahead. I am trying to bring to you the most relevant and timely information and content and in a way that you want to hear and see it. I have engaged in some Action Research to try and improve the Blog that I post each week and the feedback that I have received from those of you who took my online survey at PlusSize.co.uk, from the 5 women who comprised my focus group and from 2 of my peers who very kindly gave me constructive feedback has been fantastic and very encouraging.
My approach to the work that I do is to promote Normality and Womanliness. I hope that my opinions and the message that I have attempted to put across each week in my blog suggest fairness and balance. If I am against anything it is EXCESS (in whatever guise it presents itself).
Life sometimes puts obstacles in our way. The stresses and strains of everyday living can result in many of us putting on weight (and it is a stubborn beast to shift at times). What we must all do though is support each other to be the best healthy normal woman that we can be. Don't despise and don't criticise other women who may be struggling in their journey to their ideal weight. Be supportive of each other. Our weight can and does fluctuate. What we want and are saying to the clothing industry is that we exist and we mean business too. We want fashionable clothes in a range of sizes to fit. We want to feel and look good. When we feel and look good, and we feel accepted for who we are, we can be motivated to get back to what is our healthy normality (whilst not compromising on our womanliness).
Being a plus size woman has taken on a number of meanings of late and to many the whole area is so confusing. I want to clear this up now. If you are a size UK16 you are a plus size. Sizes 8 - 14 are Standard Sizes. All that plus size means are the range of sizes above Standard. It is only within plus size modelling that models are engaged at a size UK10. Don't beat yourself up about this. I understand many of the sentiments that I have been reading of late on Facebook and other bulletin boards. It is not helpful when some Retailers have chosen to describe some of their clothing lines as plus size and then start this line at a UK12. What they are doing is scrambling to get on the band wagon of the plus size industry, chasing the plus size £ or $ without any actual thought to either their potential standard size or plus size customers. Retailers are now getting the message that the Plus Size £ and $ is b, the market is there, and, The Plus Size Revolution is challenging conventional thinking. Almost every Retailer and (to a lesser extent) Designer worth their salt is now increasing their size range. Don't be dismayed if, along the way, a few Retailers make advertising or editorial gaffs. You may forgive their awkwardness when you read the graphic below about the potential of the plus size clothing industry in the USA. The UK is hot on the heels of the USA and our stats now make us a very considered Pressure Group (let alone a market niche). Boy are we an economic force to deal with!!
Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research, Mintel - Report Clothing Size UK, July 2012 says it all here- .
"The plus-size clothes market now finds itself in a taste revolution for two main reasons. Firstly, older consumers are becoming more confident and experimenting with fashion in a way they never did before. Secondly, there are increasing numbers of younger customers who need plus-size clothing and still want to wear the same fashions as their slimmer friends. In general, there is a huge desire among non-standard sized consumers to be able to enjoy fashion and to dress well in the same way as those who fit within standard sizes. Allowing them to do this, while making the right adjustments in terms of styling and specifications for plus-sized customers, is the skill required of retailers and brands if they are to be successful in satisfying these consumers."
May 2014 blogs, click here - May 30th Ivory Bridal Dress (vintage 1950s style) from Monsoon. May 22nd - The Return of the Trouser Suit. May 14th Agricultural Show or County Fair - Practical Styling Advice. May 7th M&S boot cut jeans May 1st Plus Size Revolution - money counts.
April 2014 blogs, click here -Apr.27th The Plus Size Revolution - Curves take Centre Stage. Apr.20th Travel Clothes Apr.4th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Dynasty.
March 2014 blogs, click here - Mar 20th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Curvety. Mar 14th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Jane Watson.
Feb 2014 blogs, click here - Feb 27th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Dea. Feb 14th Diane Marshall Plus Size Model London Fashion Week. Feb 7th All weather fitness clothing
Jan. 2014 blogs, click here - Jan 30th London Fashion Week, plus size modelling opportunity. Jan 23rd Plus Size Acceptance vs Weight Loss. Jan 16th Plus Size Weight Loss - an expert approach. Jan 9th Plus Size, what size of fit are we describing?
blogs, click here