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Diane's plus size fashion blog

plus size coctail dress

Oct 31st Cocktail Party - plus size cocktail dresses

Christmas is practically around the corner and within the next few weeks the rounds of Christmas Parties and Cocktail Parties will start. This week I have found 6 wonderful plus size cocktail dresses and have also recommended appropriate shoe options to wear with these dresses.

As recommended by Diane

Boden onxy lace plus size dress

Onyx Green lace overlay slash neck dress - 149 - available from size 6R - 22L

This dress from Boden is a truly stunning and elegant lace dress. It has a slash neckline to the front and a V neck cut to the back of the dress. There is also a back vent making this dress a good cut to "step out" in and move around. Waist definition is provided with a colour complement band. I particularly love the lace 3/4 length sleeves which are not only a very feminine and attractive feature but also serve to define and, in this case, reinforce the waistline. This dress would particularly look good on a typical hour glass shape lady who has a defined waist and wants to make that statement. The slash neck will also deflect attention away from a larger bust.

For me, perhaps the most interesting feature of all for this dress is the colour. Boden describe this dress as being an onyx green. This colour is just that bit different from the usual black cocktail dress which makes this dress all the more versatile for the wearer. This dress is versatile enough to also wear to a wedding.

The dress speaks for itself with its lace overlay and due to all this detail I would keep jewellery to a minimum. Simple earrings (not danglers) and only the addition of a watch on the arm. I recommend wearing this dress with a purple or burgundy court shoe (with a clutch bag to match). The onyx green and purple/burgundy hues are stunning together.

M&S Purple high heel suede court shoes

M&S Purple High Heel Suede Court Shoes - 49.50 - available from size 3 - 6.5

Burgundy court bow shoe M&S

Low Heel Burgundy Bow Court Shoe - 25 - Available from sizes 3 - 8

My next recommendation is this wonderful gold sequin leaf vintage inspired simple A Line cut dress. Also with this dress the fabric is "doing the talking" so jewellery should be kept to a minium and very simple e.g. a simple short gold necklet or very plain gold and small pendant drop chain to be worn around the neck.

plus size cocktail dress with gold leaf sequin design

Gold Leaf Sequin A-Line dress - 179 - Available from size 6R - 22L

Wear this dress with black opaque tights and black plain court shoes such as shown below.

M&S high suede courts

High Heel Suede Court Shoes - 59 - Available from sizes 3 - 8

I love this sleeveless dress from Curvissa with the sequin and rhinestone waistband trim. The sequin trim is defining a waistline whilst the fuller skirt deflects attention away from fuller hips. Wear this dress, as shown, with a simple contrast colour wrap.

Curvissa black cocktail sleeveless plussize dress

Black Sleeveless Waist Defining Cocktail Dress - 85 - Available from a size 14 - 32

Keep shoes Black with this dress for a steam-lined and slimming look. An interesting shoe look are these high heeled wedges with an elegant ankle strap. Note the wedge has a bowed effected making these shoes as slimline as traditional high heel court shoes.

M&S Autograph suede high wedge ankle strap shoes

High Heel Wedges with ankle strap - 99 - Available in sizes 3 - 8

For other cocktail dress options from Curvissa in sizes 14 - 32 click here.

Chesca Plus Size Red side ruffle Dress

Red Side Ruffle Dress - 160 - Available in sizes 14, 16, 18 only

Wearing this dress will definitely give you your "Lady in Red" moment. This cocktail dress is absolutely stunning and my personal favourite of all. This dress is a tummy minimiser with the side ruching and tassle like detail continued at the same side (deflecting attention away from the middle area). I love the full length sleeves and the ruching around a wide but high neckline. This dress is a statement piece so be very careful that you do not take attention away from the dress. If you want to give the impression of being taller then wear this dress with red high heels but make sure that the red shoes are the same shade of red as the dress. Do not confuse the eye with shades of red and therefore taking the focus away from the dress. Playing it safe, I would recommend that this dress is worn with a nude shade high heel court (try and get the same colour tights as the shoes).

Keep jewellery to a minimum. For the cocktail look wear a diamonte/silver bracelet and simple silver stud like earrings. If worn to a wedding again keep the jewellery simple but NO BLING - it would be preferrable to wear gold simple stud earrings and bracelet.

I also love this Aubergine side pleat dress from Chesca with the sequinned illusion of a slash side belt. A wonderful autumnal colour and versatile to be worn to a cocktail party or to a wedding. A very workable and practical alternative to the traditional black yet the dark colour of the Aubergine will also have the slimming effect of black. The simple lines present make this dress a bust AND tummy minimiser.

Chesca Aubergine plussize dress

Aubergine side gather and tassle dress - 180 - Available from sizes 14 - 24

My final recommendation this week is this simple but stunning black lurex wrap over dress from Marks & Spencer. The lurex woven throughout this dress leaves you in no doubt that this is a party dress and the wearing of it to other occasions is definitely a no no. It is only 45 and therefore not too expensive to keep as your dedicated "party dress". The woven material of this dress makes it easy to pack into a suitcase for travel. The dress will not crease and therefore needs minimum maintenance. Take it out of your suitcase and hang it in the bathroom. The steam from the shower should be enough for any creasing to fall out.

Again a simple cut so a timeless piece that can carry you from year to year. The dress sits below the knee so has a modest elegance whilst the wrap over will enhance a bustline and minimise the waist. The 3/4 length sleeves also draw attention to the waistline helping to define this area. Wear this dress as shown with black tights and shoes. The high heeled wedges or the black suede high heel courts shown earlier will also suit this dress.

M&S Metallic plussize dress black lurex

Black Lurex effect Cocktail Dress - 45 - Available in sizes 8 - 22

M&S Autograph suede high wedge ankle strap

HIgh Heel Wedges with Ankle Strap - 99 - Available from sizes 3 - 8

M&S high suede court shoes

Black Suede High Heel Court Shoes - 59 - Available in sizes 3 - 8

For other cocktail dress options from M&S click here.

Thank you for reading my Blog each week. I now also have a facebook page called Plussize located at and a Twitter account @plussizecouk where I post daily discounts and offers.

You can shop for all your clothing, lingerie, footwear, and beauty needs directly from this website by clicking on the relevant tab headings at the top of this page.

Until next Thursday 7th November 2013. Diane xxx


plussize bag

Oct 24th A Plus Size Woman's Dilemma - Stylish Shoes and Bags for The Rush Hour

For the last 2 weeks in a row I have been spending part of my working week in London and doing the commute from my home in Northern Ireland to Heathrow , and Stansted, and then the gallop and race around London on The Underground, The Overground, and on buses. I absolutely loved it. For a Plus Size country girl like me the escape to the City is always very exciting. I love London- it has a great buzz, - busy - busy - busy.

Packing my suitcase and considering what to wear for a variety of situations is always a dilemma (especially when I am mindful of baggage restrictions at the airport). The early morning commute, and the evening rush hour are not on my list of favourite things to do but they are necessary to get to work on time. I need to have a suitcase of options for both corporate and casual wear.

I am interested in fashion and looking the part to fit the occasion. I am not really interested in compromising on what I want or need to wear. Up until 2 weeks ago I had not been in London for almost 6 years. I therefore have seen changes in the dress sense of the commuters to and from work (irrespective of being a plus size or standard size woman). I have noticed that travel in The Rush Hour through London is getting more and more like New York. UGH- gh- gh ..trainers!!!!! Whilst trainers are comfortable and very good for your feet, they are styled for casual wear. Wearing trainers with your corporate suit, Burberry trench and accompanying Prada hand bag is a NO NO!!!! It just looks wrong and ill considered. I saw plenty of examples of this 'thrown together, style clash look' on the DLR to and from Canary Wharf (in particular). ((Financiers please, have you never heard of a simple low heel or wedge shoe? Yes you can wear your heels when at work. Leave them in your office drawer ready for the change over when in the office OR if preferred, carry a bigger bag that will hold your heels, your ipad, your folders, and your hard backed Securities and Investment text book. You can have comfort and style by choosing the right type of shoe. Trainers to work are NEVER an option)).

Here are my simple recommendations this week for stylish comfort travel in and around the City without compromising your stylish look (whether you are Designer/High Street the crime is the same - do not commit the 'trainers to work offence').

As recommended by Diane

Kurt Geiger suedette platform Plus Size wedge shoes

Black suedette platform and wedge shoes - 45 - available from size 36 - 41

I love these round toe suedette wedge and platform shoes from Kurt Geiger. For the lady conscious of her height, and streamlining and balancing her look with her hemline, these shoes fit the bill. The wedge heel and platform will give you added comfort and support and the price will not 'break the bank'.


I also similarly recommend these Navy wedges from Kurt Geiger. Whilst the platform (supporting the ball of the foot) is less pronounced than in the black suedette wedges above, the wedge heel in the Navy shoes are lower and therefore the overall feel of these shoes is still comfort.

Kurt Geiger NAVY Plus Size wedge shoes

NAVY low wedge heel slip on shoes - 45 - available from sizes 36 - 41


Here are the same shoes shown in a winter white colour-way with black trim.

Kurt Geiger winter white Plus Size wedge shoes

Winter White low wedge heel slip on shoes - 49 - available from sizes 36 - 41

You can view more of the low wedge shoes by Kurt Geiger by clicking here.

Here is another option that I like a lot. These shoes by Hotter Shoes are available in both a black leather finish and a black patent finish. They have a 2.5 inch kitten block heel and are in an extra wide fit. Hotter Shoes specialise in comfort fit shoes. Click Here for more extra wide fit shoes from Hotter Shoes. These shoes, expecially in the black patent, are a formal and dressy look and therefore are the epitome of corporate comfort.

Hotter shoes black patent extra wide Plus Size shoes

Breathable leather lining with super flex soles - 75 - available in sizes 3 - 9 (in half sizes

My final recommendations this week are large sized bags that are big enough to carry your heels for the office to work or an A4 Lever Arch file (along with all the other modern needs that a girl has each day). All 3 of the bags have been chosen due to their standard colours which will complement every look of coat type worn to work.

Hotter shoes black Plus Size bag

Leather bag H34.5 x W33 x D9.5cm - 79

The black bag is also available in brown.

plussize bag

H36 x W48.5 x D12cm - Leather bag - 99

This on trend leather with leopard print material insert is a fantastically roomy bag and will go with black and creams.

This nude and cream bag from Ben de Lissi at Debenhams is my favourite look and is trans-seasonal.

Debenhams Ben de Lisi block work Plus Size bag

Polyurethene large 3 compartment bag - 55 - H30 xW36 xD12.5cm

For all your plus size shopping click on the category headings at the top of your screen to see the range of retailers. I have now also started a Facebook business page called 'Plussize' located at I am putting special offers and discount codes on this page everyday. You can also follow me on Twitter @plussizecouk. Thank you for visiting my website this week. Until next Thursday 01/11/13. Diane XXX


Gothic vampire plus size costume

Oct 17th Plus Size Halloween Costumes

Hi folks this week I have found you my pick of plus size Halloween costumes. The selections this week come from Escapade, Jokers Masquerade, Angel Fancy Dress, and Asda. Most of the costumes featured go up to a size 22 and some go to a 24 and 30. Asda have a good value range of accessories to complement your Halloween dressing up outfits, and they have some costumes that go up to a size 14 only. I am keeping quiet this week and turning off the commentary. Halloween is about having fun and dressing up. Dress to impress, dress to dare or dress as if you don't care. No amount of styling advice given by me matters this week. It's up to you!!

As recommended by Diane

I have 12 Halloween costumes to showcase but there are many more options if you click through on the company names at the top of this page.

elegant witch plussize outfit

Available up to size 20 - 29.99

Wicked Witch plussize Halloween dressing up outfit

Available up to size 20 - 22.49

plussize Gothic vampire dressing up outfit for Halloween

Available up to size 24 - 23.99

Sailor girl plussize Halloween costume

Available up to size 24 - 39.99

olympic goddess plussize Halloween costume

Available up to size 20 - 34.99

school girl plussize halloween costume

Available up to size 30 - 29.99

Saloon Madame plussize halloween dress

Available up to size 22 - 44.99

Snow White plussize Halloween outfit

Available up to size 22 - 31.99

Dark Red Riding Hood plussize costume

Available up to size 22 - 42.98

Zombie prom queen plussize halloween dress

Available up to size 20 - 50.99

ladies 1940s naval officer plussize costume

Available up to size 22 - 27.99

50s sweetheart plussize Halloween costume

Available up to size 22 - 47.99

Until next Thursday 24th October 2013. Enjoy your Halloween shopping and party planning. Diane


large size sheepskin boots

Oct 10th Large sizes and extra calf width boots for the Plus Size Woman

Hello again. A noticeable coolness in temperature this week and I am noticing many women out and about in their boots. Autumn is now upon us. This week I bring you my recommendations for comfortable and classic styles of boots that are suitable for ladies requiring larger sizes and/or extra calf width boots. My selections this week come from Celtic Sheepskin, Castaluna, Cloggs, Hotter Shoes, Shoes International, Simply Be and The Shoe Tailor.

As recommended by Diane

large size sheepskin boots available up to uk size 9

Celtic Sheepskin Toscana Boots. Available in 4 colours/combinations up to size 9. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 185

I love this dressier look of sheepskin boots with the fur trim. Celtic Sheepskin are a British company and hand make all their boots in their factory in Cornwall. They also provide a resoling and repair service on all their products as well (so your boots can last you a life time). They also have a brilliant range of colour and styling options in their sheepskin boots. These are a supreme quality product and I have not found another similar type of sheepskin boot "out there" to rival their quality of craftsmenship and customer service. There are similarly priced sheepskin boots on the market but they are not the quality of these boots and do not provide the custom resoling and repair service that is provided by Celtic Sheepskin. I have 3 pairs of sheepskin boots (an ankle length pair, a mid calf length pair, and a full leg pair). The mid calf pair are from Celtic Sheepskin and I can honestly tell you that after wearing all 3 boot types over the past 3 winters, the Celtic Sheepskin ones have kept their shape at the heel area and still look like new boots. Whilst the other 2 types of boots are good quality products and where priced within a similar price band to Celtic Sheepskin, it is the Celtic Sheepskin handmade boots that are the superior quality boots and therefore overall better value for money.

Celtic Sheepskin also provide a range of care products to keep all your leather/suede and sheepskin boots and clothing in top condition. They also sell sheepskin insoles up to a size 13/14 that you can put in any of your shoes/boots. These are great value at only 9.00 and can be cut to size. The insoles are removable and are machine washable too.

Moira ankle boots Celtic sheepskin available up to size 9

Moira Ankle Boots from Celtic Sheepskin available up to size 9. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 112

I love these suede ankle boots also from Celtic Sheepskin with their rivet detailing along the top of the boots and the side suede tassel. These boots look great tucked in and worn with either skinny or straight leg jeans (as shown) or with boot cut leg jeans sitting out over the boots. The heel height is 2.5″ so not too high for tall girls and a better heel height option for all day wear.

black suede boots Castaluna available up to size 8

Suede full leg boots from Castaluna available in Black and Taupe up to a size 8. Click on photo for more info and to buy - 175


taupe suede boots Castaluna

Suede full leg boots from Castaluna available in Black and Taupe up to a size 8. Click on photo for more into and to buy - 175

I have also been very impressed with the range of wider calf boots at Castaluna and have found these gems which are available in both black and taupe suede.

TED BAKER boots at Cloggs

Ted Baker Full leg dressy black suede with gold heel and zip detail with top tip gold trim. Click on photo for more info and to buy - 179.99

There is also a great range of boots available from Cloggs. This company offer free delivery and free lifetime returns (which is exceptional) and also a 10% student discount. They sell a range of designer brands. I have selected 2 very different boot types from this company. The first pair is a very dressy Ted Baker black suede and gold full leg dress boot, and the second is a new design of a classic Rocket Dog suede boot.

Rocket Dogs at Cloggs brown leather

Rocket Dog distressed leather look boots. Also available in Black and Chestnut suede. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 69.99


Hotter Shoes have a good selection of extra wide boots and I particularly like the versatility of these full zipped and cushioned soled boots. The insole is removable allowing the insertion of an orthotic.

Hotter shoes boots with removable insole and wide calf fit

Wide calf fit boots with removable insole from Hotter Shoes. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 90. Boots come in 4 colour options



Black and Tan leather riding boots

Black and Tan Leather Riding Boots. Available from size 4 - 7.5. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 114.99

I am also excited by the considerable offering of boots and styles from Shoes International. The one great big find that I am excited to tell you about today is that I have found a pair of black and tan leather riding boots with Shoes International at a fantastic discount price. These black and tan leather riding boots are 114.99 yet are currently retailing elsewhere between 185 - 225. They are the ultimate "Home Counties" girl about town boot this season. I have been keeping my eye out for a great deal. Unfortunately these boots have now sold out of the size 8 (my size) but are available from a size 4 up to a size 7.5 (going up in half sizes - another great plus with this company). I have therefore awarded my Star Buy to these boots this week. (This is also the 2nd time that I have awarded my "Star Buy" and on both occasions to date it has been awarded to Shoes International).

star buy

Star Buy for exceptional value for money


black tan buckle boots

Ravel black and tan buckle detail riding boots. Available up to a size 8. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 89.95

Shoes International also have a boot by Ravel priced at 89.95 which is a variant on the theme of the "Star Buy" black and tan leather riding boots. These boots are also black and tan (although the tan is less vibrant) and they have the addition of buckle details. They too are great for the price.

SimplyBe shoe boots

Simply Be Grey suede shoe boots. Available up to a size 8 in a E fit. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 30

Simply Be do a great range of wide boots and also wide fits suitable for wearing to work and on dressier occasions. I particularly love these grey suede vintage inspired shoe boots and these black long leg boots.

Simply Be black riding boots E width fitting

Simply Be Black Leather Riding Boots available up to size 9 in a range of width fittings. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 85

The Shoe Tailor EEE black patent boots

Black leather patent boots from The Shoe Tailor in a EEE fit available up to a size 9. Click on photo for more info and to buy boots - 84

My final recommendation this week is from The Shoe Tailor who do an exceptional selection of boots up to a size 10 and in a 6E (EEEEEE) calf width fitting. I absolutely love these black leather patent low heel boots which I feel are versatile enough to wear to work under a beautiful full length wool or tweed coat. They can also be worn with smart jeans or jodphurs tucked in. Truly classic and refined.

I hope you have been inspired by my Recommendations this week. Follow me on Twitter @plussizecouk for daily discount and special offers. You can shop from this website by clicking on the category headings at the top of the page i.e. "Clothing", "Lingerie", "Footwear", "Accessories" where you will be presented with a range of Retailers all selling these products. Until next Thursday 17th October 2013. Best Wishes. Diane xxx

plussize knitwear

Oct 3rd Plus Size Knitwear for Corporate Day Wear

Well this week has seen varied changes in temperatures and weather patterns and has got us all thinking about warmer clothes for Autumn. I have a briefer Discussion for you this week to show you my favourite pieces of plus size knitwear that can easily be worn for corporate day wear. (All of these pieces can be worn with a vest/cami/thermal vest underneath for extra warmth without compromising on overall bulk).

I have a real weakness for knitwear, especially as it is easier and takes less time to iron than blouses/shirts. All of these pieces have been selected due to their formal and elegant looks so that you can maintain your corporate look whilst keeping warm at work. The recommendations today come from Chesca, Eastex, and Woolovers.

As recommended by Diane

plussize knitwear

Chesca Black ribbed Gilet. Click on photo for more info and to buy Gillet - Available in sizes 14 - 18 - 75

I love the styling of this waistcoat/gilet with the deep V neck line and flap back collar detail. This design and structure of garment means that you can easily wear a classic white blouse or scoop neck long sleeve top underneath. The gilet sits on the hip area so can easily be worn with trousers or a pencil skirt.

plussize knitwear

Chesca scoop neck jumper. Click on photo for more info and to buy jumper - 65. Available in sizes 14 - 24


I love the mink/white and black pattern on this fine knit long sleeve top. This top can be worn on its own with trousers or a pencil skirt and can also be worn under the black ribbed gilet to make a complete ensemble.

plussize knitwear

Chesca Navy bow cardigan. Click on photo for more info and to buy cardigan - 65. Available in sizes 14 - 24


Well this cardigan speaks for itself. It has 3/4 length sleeves (which is an elegant and slimming feature for the arms) and an elegant blow detail pattern at the neckline. The bow pattern detail on this cardigan draws attention to the neck area which has a dual effect of minimising a larger bust, and helping to create a narrower waist. This cardigan will take you through all seasons. In the Autumn and Winter it can be worn with Navy or Red trousers OR pencil skirt. Whilst in the Spring/Summer it can be worn on cooler days with white trousers/skirt.

plussize knitwear

Eastex Daisy print jumper. Click on photo for more info and to buy jumper - 59. Available in sizes 10 - 22

This is a very pretty and fresh white and camel daisy print long sleeve jumper from Eastex. The jumper can be worn with camel trousers or a pencil skirt.

plussize cap sleeve tank top

Woolovers cap sleeve tank top. Click on photo for more info and to buy jumper - 27. Available in sizes S - XL(20/22)

This wonderful cap sleeve berry coloured tank top is exceptional value at 27 for a cashmere/merino mix (from Woolovers). The tank top comes in a range of other vibrant colours. Likewise this top can be worn with blouses or other long sleeve scoop neck tops. Have a look at other cashmere/merino designs from Woolovers.

Thank you for your continued interest in this Blog and reading my Recommendations each week. Until next Thursday 10th October 2013. Diane


Oct 2013 blogs, click here - Oct 31st Plus Size Cocktail Party Dresses, Oct 24th Shoes and Bags for Rush Hour, Oct 17th Plus Size Halloween Outfits,Oct 10th Large & Wide Calf boots, Oct 3rd Knitwear for Corporate Daywear

Sept 2013 blogs, click here - Sept 26th Coats for Corporate Daywear, Sept 19th Scarlett & Jo at Evans, Sept 5th-13th Outfits of the Day, Casual, Work, Smart Casual, Partywear.

Aug 2013 blogs, click here - Aug 29th Woolovers Knitwear AW13, Aug 26 Petite-out and about, Aug 22nd Petite Office wear 2013, Aug 15th Walking shoes, Aug 8th Wardrobe Planning AW13, Aug 1st Ample Bosom

July 2013 blogs, click here - July 25th - Designer bargains AW'13
19th Dresses for a big middle, 13th - Maternity essentials, 5th Focus on size 28+

June 2013 blogs, click here - June 28th - Tall Summer Story
27th - Legs Eleven, 20th - Tea at The Ritz , 15th - Welcome to my blog !

diane marshall, plus size model, in red skater dress