plus size clothing
Blog archive - Blog archive - June 2013 . July 2013 . Aug 2013. Sept 2013 . Oct 2013

Diane's plus size fashion blog

plussize coat with fur collar

Sept 26th Plus Size Coats for Corporate Day Wear

Both New York Fashion Week and London Fashion Week have now passed and we have all had time to digest and sort in our minds the wearable from the fantasy, the practical from the superfluous, and more importantly, where we can source the right 'look' for our individual size, shape and frame of plus size at an affordable price.  This week I have found 7 amazing plus size coats to suit varying shapes and frames of plus size women which are on trend and are relevant and practical designs for Autumn and Winter 2013.  These coats are great finds for your plus size corporate day wear from retailers such as Debenhams, BHS, Curvissa, M&S, Simply Be and Minuet Petite.

In the past few weeks the catwalks of New York and London showed wonderful and inspiring styles of coats in tweeds, wool, wool with silk/cashmere combinations, military styling (where the detailing is all about the buttons, pocket flaps, cuffs, and the collars), vintage cuts (with fur collars and wide button up collars), to simple A Line cuts.  The cocoon coat was a big story but I would caution plus size women against wearing this particular coat as the overall cut is not flattering and adds too much bulk to the torso. 3 cocoon coats

cocoon coat with inverted triangle

Cocoon Coat - NOT recommended for a plus size woman

See how the cut of the cocoon coat is an inverted triangle (base of triangle across the widest part of the shoulders whilst the 2 sides meeting at the hemline of the coat).  This coat shape adds bulk to the frame.  The narrowing at the hemline suggests that the coat (especially when buttoned closed) has parcelled up or packed in all that it contains.  The impression is that the body is wider and larger than what it really is.  Only the very stick thin can carry off this coat and this is only on those who want or need to add that bit of extra bulk to their frame.  Stay clear of the Cocoon Coat!  Click this link to see a graphic visually explaining why the cocoon coat is not a flattering cut on a plus size woman. As you will see from the graphic the widest part of the coat is the shoulder (base of the triangle) with the sides of the triangle meeting (from both left and right) at the hemline of the coat.  This narrowing from the shoulder to the hemline is not complimentary nor slimming as the extra material from the side seams suggests that the coat (especially when buttoned closed) has packed in all that it contains.  More bulk is suggested than what is there.

As recommended by Diane

If you have been inspired by the cape and wide like cuts shown on the catwalks of late, and long for something akin to the cocoon coat I would suggest that a better and more complimentary cut is the cape/swing cut (particularly flattering on women with larger chests).  This coat falls straight down from shoulder to hemline.  The extra material giving the coat its swing/cape styling is just that - extra material.  The eye is not confused and there is no suggestion in this particular cut and styling of coat that torso has been packed in.  This coat is a stone colour so is very practical and smart for all work/corporate wear occasions and can be worn with either skirts or trousers.  It is lined and is machine washable.  A very practical and affordable buy for the AW13 season and costs just £65.  The button fastening is concealed behind a placket - only a single larger button is displayed at the neckline helping to accentuate the large and detailed styling of the collar.

BHS Stone plussize flare coat

Stone coloured cape like/swing coat style from BHS - £65 - available from size 10 to 22.  Click photo for more info and to buy coat

My 2nd recommendation is this wool coat with detachable fur collar also from BHS

plussize coat with fur collar

Berry Fit & Flare coat with removable fur collar - £69 - available in sizes 10 - 22. Click photo for more info and to buy coat

This is true vintage styling at its best.  I absolutely love the versatility of this coat given that the fur collar can be removed for a different look (especially if worn with a silk scarf) in cooler days.  The coat fits the body neatly with a slight flare from the waistline through the hips.  This coat would look particularly flattering on ladies with a classic pear shape (larger on the hips than on the waist).

The colour is also very practical as the warm berry shade is most definitely an Autumnal shade but this colour also works brilliantly along with black, brown, grey and navy so you are not limited to shoes/boot/bag colour nor with skirts, dresses or trousers.  Wear this coat with a pair of leather gloves matching your handbag and you have a very sleek and considered corporate/work wear day look.

plussize coat

Navy Maxi Coat (Length 48") - £93 - Available from sizes 12 to 32. Click on photo for more info and to buy coat

My 3rd look is this navy blue military inspired maxi coat from Simply Be (part of the Claire Richards range).  This coat has all the features straight off the NY and London Fashion Week catwalks (note the detailing of the buttons, leather like (PU) trims, and wide collar).  The coat is ideal for tall ladies given that it is 48" in length (from shoulder to hemline).  This means that this coat (depending on the height of the wearer) will sit either at the mid calf or skim the ankle.  It is a maxi coat so is intended to be long.  If you are 5'6" or smaller do NOT buy this coat.  The coat will drown you if you are smaller than 5'6" tall.

My 4th and 5th recommendations are these wonderful A Line cut coats from both Debenhams, and M&S.  Both coats have similar styling in that they are 3/4 length with a 3 button front fastening and side pocket flaps.  The Navy coat from Debenhams is a standard practical and typical Navy corporate wear coat.  It is a great price at only £55.

The pink A Line coat from M&S is available in sizes 26 and 28.  This coat is that bit more expensive at £99 but is a wool and cashmere mix so has a bit more of a luxurious feel to the texture of the coat.  The pink colour, in particular, also offers more colour styling options in that it will go with black, brown, navy, grey, and a range of berry shades.  You therefore have plenty of options to style this coat with shoe/boot/bag/glove/scarf colour.

Both coats are versatile enough to be worn for both a formal work wear look whilst also being suitable for a more relaxed smart casual look with jeans.  Both are a great buy.  The styling and cut of these coats will suit most shapes and frames of plus size women.

plussize coat

Debenhams Navy A Line 3/4 length coat - available in sizes 10 to 20 - £55. Click on photo for more info and to buy coat

plussize coat

M&S A Line 3/4 length wool/cashmere pink coat - Available in sizes 26 and 28 - £99.  Click on photo for more info and to buy coat

My 6th rcommendation this week is this plum bardot neck coat from Minuet PetiteThere is a 20% discount on this coat this week taking the coat down in price from £229 to £183.20.

If you are under 5'3" tall it is always wise to buy your clothes from a petite range or petite clothing specialist because the garment will be cut to fit and flatter your height in proportion.  By not keeping everything in proportion (from collar size, button size, length of sleeves, overall length etc) and trying to wear, for example,  your size in a standard fit garment you are squashing your overall height.  This coat from Minuet Petite is perfect for the varying shapes of plus size petite ladies.  It is a 3/4 A Line cut, has the wide 'on trend' collar (which is cut in proportion to the size of the coat).  The petite lady cannot wear a maxi length coat.  This coat is 92cm (approx 36") in overall length from shoulder to hemline.  A great season colour and a great great shape and cut on a petite frame.

plussize petite coat

Petite coat from Minuet Petite - Available from size 8 - 20. Click on photo for more info and to buy coat (20% discount available this week on this coat)

My 7th and final recommendation for your corporate/workwear coat is this black single breasted trench coat from Curvissa.  The black is a very slimming colour and the single breast cut also serves to narrow the frame.  Be careful though with the belt around the middle.  On women (such as I) with larger middles make sure you wear the belt neatly belted at the back of the coat.  DO NOT attempt to belt this coat to the front as this will have the effect of cutting you in two, and accentuating your larger middle (you will look bundled and packed in underneath the belt).  On the contrary, if you have a narrower waist to your hip size, and do not have a middle problem then this coat will look great belted to the front.

plussize trench coat

Black single breasted trench coat - £99 - available from sizes 14 - 32. Click on photo for more info and to buy coat

Thank you for reading my blog this week.  I hope I have inspired your plus size coat purchase for the Autumn and Winter.  If you would like to see the full range of plus size coats available from Curvissa, Debenhams, BHS, Minuet Petite, Simply Be and M&S click through on the links under each of the business names.

Follow me on Twitter @plussizecouk for discount and special offers daily.

Just one final point.  You can shop for all your plus size fashion, footwear, lingerie, and beauty needs by clicking on the Tabs at the top of your screen to see a full range of retailers selling other products not featured in this particular blog post.

Until next Thursday 3rd October 2013.  Diane xxx

plussize dress

Sept 19th Plus Size Dresses, AW13 Dresses from Scarlett & Jo @ Evans

Plus Size Dresses

I recently attended an industry Plus Size Fashion Event (Plus North) in Manchester on 7th September 2013 to view the new season AW13 range of plus size clothing from various UK Retailers.  Each of the main retailers presented their own fashion shows using ordinary plus size women to model the clothes.  I was there representing at this fantastic peak into the new plus size collections for Autumn and Winter.

The Collection that impressed me the most was the Scarlett & Jo label at Evans.  Their show was absolutely fabulous (taking on a 1940s vintage theme) and presenting a wonderful array of stunning plus size dresses for a range of occasions from Day wear to Evening Wear.

I spoke to the Artistic Director for this label (Angela Gilbey) to find out more about the new range.  Angela told me that her direction and inspiration with this label is guided by what plus size women want to wear to make the most of their curves, and to make them feel confident.  A Scarlett & Jo dress says ' hey I am in the room' .  This is certainly what these dresses do.  Dresses are cut to compliment, flatter and fit the typical body shapes and areas of concern that most women have in getting a dress to fit.  All the dresses are lined with Power Mesh lining providing secret support, and smoothing out the contours of the body. Dresses start at a UK size 14 and go up to a size 26 (or 28 in some dresses).  All the ladies modelling the new collection had nothing but compliments for the dresses.  I feel it was important to show these dresses on women of differing shapes and sizes to really judge whether or not the dresses could be recommended to potential customers.  The definitive answer to this question is a big YES. (I want to thank Betty Pamper for letting me use her photos of the Scarlett & Jo Fashion Show for this Blog Post).

As yet the 3 dresses that I have picked to show you from the new Collection are not yet available to purchase but will be very soon.  If you follow me on Twitter @plussizecouk I will let you know as soon as they become available.  I have given you a 'Heads Up' here as to what to expect.  I do not have actual prices for these dresses either but Scarlett & Jo dresses currently available on the Evans website are priced in the range £35 - £55.  I would expect these new additions to be priced within a similar affordable price range.

I am also delighted to tell you that if you purchase anything from Evans today (including any of the Scarlett & Jo dresses) you will receive 24% discount.  This offer is valid for a 24 hour period from midday today 19/9/13 - midday tomorrow 20/9/13.

I will start by talking about the 3 special dresses from the Show and then continue to talk about my favourite dresses that are currently available to buy.

Dresses from the Fashion Show

Take a look at this fabulous showcase red dress which was modelled by Betty Pamper (who is also a fellow plus size fashion blogger.  Her blog can be found at

plussize dress  plussize dress Scarlett & Jo at Evans

This dress is cut to flatter and minimise problem areas.  Firstly the ruching at the side of the dress helps to define a waistline whilst deflecting attention away from the tummy area.  Whilst the black mesh neck and shoulder line (as well as being a pretty and interesting detail on the dress) serves to establish a minimised width to the frame (i.e. the eye sees the black shoulder and this initial estimation of the shoulder width tricks the eye into seeing and expecting a slimmer overall frame as the eye moves down the length of the body).  The other clever detail here with this particular neckline is that both design and colour have also helped to minimise the bust area.  When looking straight on, the eye sees the point of contrast from the black and red first (which is above the bustline).  The size of the bust is secondary to the contrast point drawing attention to the shoulder and neck area.  The focus of this dress is the main colour block in Red (again a clever technique in presenting a slimmer torso, whilst the 3/4 length sleeves also flatter in keeping with the elegance and style of the dress whilst serving to streamline the arm width.

I have a friend who is 5' 4" tall and asked me the other day could I recommend a dress to her that she could wear to a Wedding in late November, and also have for a Christmas function.  I think that this is the dress.  This dress is elegant and with the addition of a black fascinator in the hair (a 1940s style 'up do' like Betty's would be fantastic), a black clutch bag and a pair of Mary Jane shoes she will be perfectly dressed for a winter wedding.  The red colour is a no brainer for the perfect Christmas look.

Take a look at these beautiful evening dresses (the lady in the foreground of the group photo with the long hair is the Designer of the Scarlett & Jo Collections at Evans).  Notice that in both dresses ruching is used to define the waist and minimise the middle area.  Also lace and mesh have been used to elegantly dress the shoulders and arms.  plussize evening dress

I absolutely love the diamond like necklace beading on the neckline of the mesh dress.  Only minimal jewellery are needed with this dress.

sexy velvet evening plus size evening dress

What better way to make the statement, 'Hey I am in the Room' than with this gorgeous vibrant blue lace overlay dress.  I feel that this particular dress could also serve as a Wedding Dress.  You can see Betty turning in the foreground wearing another beautiful creation but look immediately behind her and you see the blue dress.

plussize alternative wedding dress

And one final peak.  Take a look at this group photo of some of the other models.  The blonde girl in the front row is Emma Millard (who writes a blog called 'Meet the Milliards').  Look at the clever colour contouring in this dress drawing in and emphasising a waistline. plussize day wear dress


As recommended by Diane

I now want to talk about dresses that ARE currently available from the Scarlett & Jo Collection at Evans and also comment on the styling of these dresses and how these features will complement different shapes and frames of plus size women.

Every girl should have a black dress in her wardrobe.  This dress is a find at £35 (remember 24% discount for next 24 hours).

plussize dress

Note the styling flatter and fit features here.  The side ruching is employed again for waist definition and tummy control and minimisation but the wrap over effect and V Neck serves to maximise and define the bust.  This is the dress for ladies who are heavier on the bottom half of their body than on the top half of their body.

Whilst this blue dress not only says va va voom -  look at how the slight change to the styling of the neck line makes this dress a bust minimiser.  This dress would be absolutely fabulous on a blonde.  It could very easily be turned into an evening look with the addition of silver jewellery, shoes and a clutch bag.

plussize dress

A very vintage creation at £55.  This is another one of these ' Hey I am in the Room' creations.  This is an absolutely beautiful and elegant detailed dress.  Note the fuller skirt which is a great shape for hourglass shapes (ladies with smaller waists but larger hips).

plussize dress

My final recommendation is for those of us who are practically a rectangle in shape i.e. we are a similar width from shoulder to hip and with little definition of the waistline.

plussize dress

This dress is 38" in length so too short for me at 5' 9" tall but the shape is perfect for my middle area and broad frame.

Thank you for reading my blog each week.  Please feel free to leave comments, and to connect with me on Twitter @plussizecouk.

You can also shop directly from this for all you plus size clothing, lingerie, accessories, footwear, and beauty needs by clicking on the drop down tabs at the top of the screen.

Until next Thursday 26th September 2013.  Bye for now.  Diane xxx

monsoon jacket

Sept 13th My outfit of the Day - Bistro and Cinema - plus size casual smart clothing

Monsoon womens plussize jacket

Back detail of Monsoon jacket showing exquisite detail - Click on photo for more information and to buy - £89

Well the end of the week has arrived looking at my plus size wardrobe. It is Day 7 of 7. What a great way to end the working week with a meet up with "The Girls" to grab a bite to eat at our favourite Italian Bistro, and then off to the Cinema. For this occasion I am wearing an absolutely beautiful patterned and textured satin like jacket from Monsoon, a silk blouse (one I have had for about 3 years from Pure Collection) and my smart boot cut dark denim jeans (same ones I wore yesterday). I love this look. Note how I have not buttoned my jacket in this photo and have therefore deflected attention away from my problem Middle area. Here are a few close up photos showing the detail of the jacket.

Monsoon womens smart plus size jacket

Jacket from Monsoon - Click on photo for more information and to buy - £89

Monsoon woman plussize jacket

shoulder and collar detail - Click on photo for more information and to buy - £89

Monsoon womens plus size occasion jacket

Sleeve detail of Monsoon jacket - Click on Photo for more information and to buy - £89

Monsoon ladies plus size occasion jacket

Close up of textured sleeve detail - Click on photo for more information and to buy - £89

The colour of this jacket is a petrol blue with a leafy green design covering approximately 3/4 of the entire jacket. The bottoms of both sleeves, and the bottom area of the sides and back have a textured and raised embroidery like feel with creams, reds and yellows. I feel that this jacket is the statement piece so I would limit my blouse/top to a single block colour that blends into the main colour scheme. I am wearing a biscuit colour pure silk blouse that I bought from Pure Collection about 2/3/ years ago. This type of blouse is ideal as it also has a luxury feel and the colour does not "shout out" taking away from the artistry of the jacket. You can buy a similar silk blouse in plain block colours from Pure Collection. The jeans are the same ones I was wearing yesterday. Similar dark boot cut jeans can also be bought from Boden, M&S, and Long Tall Sally (for taller girls). NB Boden are offering 15% discount on all purchases from their site today plus free delivery and returns. Use code DIM5 at checkout.

My next blog post will return on Thursday 19th September 2013. You can shop of all your plus size clothing, footwear, lingerie, accessories, and beauty needs directly from this site by clicking on the Tab headings at the top of this screen. Please consider following me on Twitter to get daily discount and special offer codes. Thank you for returning to this site and following my blog postings. Until Thursday 19th September. Best Wishes. Diane xxx


ladies plus size jacket

Sept 12th My outfit of the Day – a mixed day of social & personal engagements followed by work (plus size day wear AND plus size work wear / office)

womans boden jacket

Tweed Jacket £149, Shirt £39, Bootcut smart jeans, and laced heeled brogues £109

Today is Day 6 of 7 of my "Outfit of the Day" postings showcasing my typical week of plus size wardrobe planning. As with all modern day working women my weeks run so closely in to each other that I am usually playing "catch up" by the weekend and wondering how and where the time in the week went by.

Acknowledging that I have a busy life I need to have a wardrobe of clothes that take me comfortably to all the functions and work situations/events, and personal downtime occasions that are required of me. For me I want clothes that are fashionable and on trend, but I also want minimum fuss, easy maintainance, easy co-ordination and complementation, practical ideas, good value for money, and clothes that I can get good wear out of and wear on different occasions. I want to justify my spend on clothes at all times so that I do not have "sole occasion only" clothes hanging in my wardrobe redundant.

Modern living now means that many women have to balance working either part-time or full-time in and around running their own family life. As is the case with many women, my working day "out of the home" is not set hours and the same each and every day. When I get up in the morning, and know what the day has in store for me, I want to have at hand a selection of separates in my wardrobe that can be put together to suit ALL the requirements of the day.

Today I have a Dentist appointment in town at 10am. I am getting my roots done at the Hairdressers at 11.30am, after which I am grabbing a quick bite of lunch and doing a few bits "n pieces of shopping, before going over to the local hospital to visit a very dear family friend. I then have to pick up my youngest daughter from school at 4.30pm and take her home and then return back to town to teach an Evening Class starting at 6pm. Yes it is a busy day and harder than spending an entire day in situ in the one place.

I need to wear an outfit that comfortably takes me through all these events of my day. As my evening class is all adults I can get away with wearing a smart casual look. I still need to appear "together and smart", but a very formal and structured look, especially to Adult returners, can be very off putting. I want to look approachable. I think this smart but casual look says and does it all!

My look today is a tweed jacket from Boden (£149)(which goes from a size 6R up to a plus size 22R), a shirt from Boden (£39)(which goes from a 6R up to a plus size 22R), a pair of smart dark coloured boot cut jeans (I bought these jeans months ago but similar smart bootcut jeans can be bought from Boden, and/or M&S, or Long Tall Sally (for taller girls), and a pair of tan laced brogues (also from Boden £109)). I think that this look today has me SORTED! If you purchase from Boden today (Thurs 12/9/13) you will get 20% off these prices and free Delivery and Returns (TODAY ONLY UNTIL MIDNIGHT). USE CODE DIM5 AT CHECKOUT (on Friday you will get 15% discount and on Saturday 10% discount - on all days free delivery and returns are still offered using code DIM5).

Boden ladies plussize jacket

Back view of Tweed Jacket - £149 - click on photo for more information and to buy

Boden women plus size tweed jacket

Sleeve of tweed jacket showing button detailing at cuff area. Click on photo for more information.

Boden womans plussize jacket

Close up detailing the tweed, and the collar area. Note the blue piping - click on photo for more information and to buy jacket

I am shown in the photos wearing this jacket buttoned closed. This is not how I would usually wear a jacket like this. I buttoned the jacket to let you see the overall effect. I love this jacket but would prefer to wear it open. My Middle is my problem area so closing the jacket like this adds inches to my Middle (which are not there in the suggested proportion of this photo). So another tip for minimising a problem Middle - do not button or fasten short jackets. If you button up, the eye is immediately drawn to the button detailing. With this particular jacket there are lots of interesting detailing on display from the piping along the collar, at the cuff area and the pocket tabs, and the scalloped cut edge at the front of the jacket. Buttoning a problem Middle in this or any short jacket is a NO NO!

The jacket has a good long back length (which is perfect for all ladies (tall or short) that have long backs). As you can see in the photo the jacket sits comfortably on my hip area. I am wearing a UK size 18. I am also 5'9" tall. The tailoring and detail in this jacket are superb, and the jacket is also beautifully lined with a colour co-ordinated print. This jacket is a quality product and a great price at £149. The jacket can be worn with jeans (as in my look depicted in this post) but will also work well with a more formal look of wide leg OR straight leg cut trousers and a silk blouse, or with a pencil or fan tailed skirt and heels. Take a look at the lining inside the jacket. The jacket also comes in 3 other colour combination and tweed looks. I find the jacket true to size and a great fit overall.

inside boden jacket

Colour co-ordinated lining in a complementary print - Click on photo for more information and to buy jacket - £149

Boden womens plussize shirt

Full view of shirt - click on photo for more information and to buy shirt - £39

I am wearing the jacket with this Boden Shirt which has a traditional shirt tail scallop edge. The colours in this shirt are wonderful and pick out the blue detail of the tweed jacket wonderfully. The cut of this shirt is also great for a problem middle as it can be worn (as here) out over the jeans (or trousers) when not wearing a jacket. The cuff of the shirt can also be worn back revealing a contrasting navy blue polka dot print.

Boden ladies plus size blouse

close up of turn back cuff detailing. Click on photo for more information and to buy shirt - £39

Boden ladies brogue shoes

Tan brogue heeled shoes - Click on photo for more colour options - £109

The final piece in this ensemble are these very "of the moment" vintage inspired tan brogue heeled shoes. These shoes are also available in a few other colour options.

I hope I have given you some inspiration today in this post and if you chose to purchase these or any products from Boden you will get 20% discount and free delivery and returns today using Code DIM5 at the checkout. Offer valid until midnight 12/9/13. Tomorrow 13/9/13 discount reduces to 15% and on Saturday 14/9/13 discount further reduces to 10%. On ALL days the offer of free delivery and returns remain using code DIM5 at the checkout. Until tomorrow for my final look of my "outfit of the day" for a week. Diane xxx

M&S Cardigan, and Black Crepe Trousers

Sept 11th My outfit of the Day - Work and after work - (plus size work wear, plus size party wear)

Firstly let me begin this Post with an apology.  Due to technical issues with my internet connection, and problems with the operating system of my computer I have not been able to continue in sequence with my 'outfit of the day' for a consecutive 7 days.  Today is therefore 2 days late but will be day 5.  My 'outfit of the Day' today will deal with an outfit suitable for workwear, and 'after work' wear.  Days 6 and 7 should (fingers crossed) follow on without a hitch!

I work as a Lecturer and travel by car around various campus site locations to teach different client groups.  It is important that I am well groomed in my job as I work and spend considerable time with my students (adults), alongside my colleagues, meeting various representatives of the Business Community, and also deal with members of the General Public.  At all times I wish to appear confident, authoritative, and (most importantly) approachable.  I need a wardrobe of work wear clothes that can project who I am and how I wish to be received.  This is in keeping with my personality which is 'open, to the point, honest and reliable'.

My wardrobe staples are black, navy, and dark grey trousers, worn with smart blouses, and knitwear (such as the cardigan below and, the cream jumper shown in a few posts back dealing with my profile of Woolovers).  I also have a range of jackets (in different fabric types and weights for each of the seasons).  I stamp my individualism all over this predictable 'workwear' sameness by accessorising and experimenting with colour (a trait that I am sure you will have come to expect from me by now).

inside leg

34" inside leg.  Black Crepe Trousers £35

M&S Cardigan, and Black Crepe Trousers

M&S Cardigan £35, and Black Crepe Trousers £35

I love this simple but smart casual look of an on trend printed motif cardigan and trousers (both from Marks & Spencer).  I like to keep things simple.  I hate ironing and find that smart knitwear (such as this cardigan) is quick and easy to look after and looks great time and time again.  The styling is simple with a long body length, buttoned front, and pretty curved neckline.  On colder days I can wear a vest/cami top underneath for extra warmth.

The design of this cardigan is good for me and other ladies who have a problem middle.  The neckline refocuses attention to the face and down the length of the body.  I have chosen to wear this cardigan with black wide leg trousers which are both slimming and help to balance out my frame.  This principle will also hold true for petite ladies with problem Middles.

I am wearing size 18L in the trousers but I have to point out that these are longer than the usual Long Leg lengths that I have been used to from M&S.  I am wearing these trousers with a 2" block heel.  When I laid the trousers out flat and measured the inside leg they are 34".  This is great news for tall girls but for smaller ladies be aware that you will have to turn up a hem on these trousers.  That being said these trousers are very versatile and have taken me from a smart work wear look to an after work wear look (worn with the chiffon blouse and cami (also from M&S) shown below).

The chiffon blouse shown below dresses the black crepe trousers to a more formal look for evening wear.  As I was at work I needed to make a quick change to turn my work wear look into something suitable to wear to a Retirement Party in the evening after working all day.  I chose this purple chiffon blouse (with cami vest underneath).  The styling is also simple but the print speaks for the blouse.  Accessories should be kept to a minimum with this look.  I feel that perhaps a simple strand type necklace/chain is sufficient so as not to out do the blouse.

M&S evening top

M&S Purple Reptile trend Print Reference Chiffon Blouse with Cami vest (included with blouse) - £35

back evening top

back view of chiffon blouse (with cami top underneath).  Cami vest is included with blouse - £35

neckline evening top

neckline of chiffon blouse (with cami top underneath).  Cami vest is included with blouse - £35

I hope you have been inspired by my recommendations today for both smart work wear, and evening wear (after work wear).  You can shop for any of the products featured in this Post by clicking on the respective photographs of the clothes.  You can also shop for other clothing, footwear, lingerie, accessories, and beauty products directly from this website by clicking on the category tab links at the very top of this screen.  For promotional codes allowing special offers and discounts please follow me on Twitter @plussizecouk.  Until tomorrow (when I am going to the Dentist, and visiting a family friend in Hospital during the day, and then teaching a night class in the evening to see the look that I have put together to say 'Approachable' in all these situations.  Diane xxx

boden top geranium

Sept 8th My outfit of the day - Time for Brunch - (plus size casual clothes)

Good afternoon it's now 2.30pm on Sunday 8th September 2013 and I have just got up.  I had a great party and dance last night but I am feeling very tired today.  I do not want to do anything but I have to motivate myself because I have 5 chapters of my book to read to finish it for tomorrow nights Book Club meeting.  My daughter is the photographer today whilst my husband is in the kitchen scrambling eggs and grilling bacon.  After Brunch I am installing myself on the sofa and no one is allowed to sit down.  I do not even want to talk.  Sorry folks - .this post is going to be short.

I am wearing my jeggings AGAIN (they are just easy to wear and pull on) and a beautiful top from Boden.  This is a smart casual top with beautiful navy glass effect detailing around the neckline.

Boden top geranium

Click on photo to buy top - £69 - available up to a size 22R

neck detail boden geranium top

neck detail showing flower pattern in navy glass effect

boots for women

Click on Photo to buy boots - £179 - available up to size 42

I intend to watch Vera at 9pm on ITV and then off to bed. Tomorrow I am back at work BUT I have a Retirement Drink after work to cope with. This shouldn't be a late night. Speak to you all tomorrow.  Diane


navy cashmere tunic

Sept 7th My outfit of the Day - a trip to the Farmers' Market AND a 60th Birthday Dinner and Party

Hi folks.  Today is Saturday 7th September and day 3 of my 'outfit of the day' postings.  A busy day for me today in that I am going to a local farmers' market with a friend, and in the Evening I am going to a 60th Birthday Dinner and Party along with my Husband.  I have tried on both outfits during the day to get clear photos for you to view.

To the Farmers' Market I am wearing my Navy Cashmere Tunic with Jeggings (same Jeggings as I wore the past 2 days.  They are just so comfortable and easy to wear).  I am wearing the Tunic and Jeggings with my purple boots, and should it get colder in the afternoon, I will also wear my purple mix scarf.

navy cashmere tunic

Click on photo to buy Cashmere Jumper - £99

ladies cashmere tunic

neck line of cashmere tunic. Click on photo to buy - £99

ladies cashmere tunic

pocket detail on cashmere tunic
Click on photo to buy - £99

Boden loganberry riding boots

Click on photo to buy boot - £179

M&S scarf

Click on photo to buy scarf - £22.50

larger jeggings size 28

Click on photo to buy Jeggings - £25.00

I love wearing cashmere because it is so warm and breathable yet not a heavy weight.  The V neck draws the eye down the body through the length of the tunic.  This is a complementary look on me as I am constantly trying to wear clothes that help to minimise my problem middle area.  The fact too that both the tunic and Jeggings are both a dark navy colour gives me a solid colour block to help create a slimmer appearance.

womans black devore dress with opaque tights

Click Here to buy Black Devore Dress - £49.50 - Available up to size 22

sleeve detail devore dress

Sleeve detail of dress. You can see the sheer sleeves contrasting with the devore pattern on the main body of the dress

To the 60th Birthday Dinner and Party I am wearing this black devore dress from M&S, along with black opaque tights and black patent high heel court shoes.

back neck view devore dress

button and loop effect at back neck of dress

front devore dress

Front view of neck of dress

I think the dress is good value for money at £49.50 but the one thing that I would like to point out is that although the dress is lined it is a very sheer lining and this dress looks best worn with opaque tights and NOT denier tights.  That being said however, due to the velvet nature of the devore I do think that velvet sheen opaque tights set the dress off better and this may well be what the designer of the dress intended.

I plan to dance the night away tonight.  Tomorrow is going to be a catch up day.  I plan to get up in the afternoon with Brunch at about 2pm!

Sept 6th My outfit of the Day - The School Run/Shopping - (plus size day wear clothing)

Today is Friday 6th September 2013 and the 2nd day in my 7 day 'outfit of the day' blog posting showing a typical week of plus size clothes in my life.  I am back into my regular routine of doing the 'School Run' and my Shopping.  Although the weather still is quite mild we have had a few showers over the past few days, giving me the excuse to wear my new hooded coat.  In preparation for the colder and wetter days I bought this brilliant anorak style coat from Boden.  The coat colour is described as Sage but to me this looks more of a brown than a green.  That being said the colour is very practical and will match all of the new Autumn/Winter season colours.  The coat is lined with a purple fleece lining, and the trims and zipper are also in the same purple colour.

back view of hooded coat

back view of coat showing hood.  Click on photo to buy Coat £119

Boden coat  and boots with M&S scarf

Click on photo to buy coat - £119 - available from size 6R - 22R

inside trim of coat

purple fleece lining and purple trim

zipper and button detail on coat

button details and purple zipper trim

Marks and Spencer

Click on photo to buy scarf - £22.50

larger jeggings size 28

Click on photo to buy - £25 - available up to size 24 std leg lengths AND 18L in long leg lengths

size 42 ladies boots

Click on Photo to buy Boots - £179 - Available up to size 42

I am wearing the coat with my dark blue Jeggings (from M&S), my purple leather boots (from Boden), and my purple blend scarf (also from M&S).  These are the same Jeggings, boots, and scarf that I was wearing yesterday for my casual day hanging around at home.  All of these colours blend well together and the colour of the coat (in particular) is plain enough to match other colours as well to include black, navy, brown, and denim.

The coat is very comfortable and a good size - with enough space to allow me to wear thicker jumpers on colder days.  I love the stylish collar which frames my face well.  The inclusion of a hood makes this coat a very practical and sensible buy.  Tomorrow (Saturday) I have 2 looks - The Farmers Market, and a formal look to attend a 60th Birthday Dinner and Party.

Sept 5th, My Outfit of the Day - a day in the life of a plus size woman - (plus size casual clothes)

Hi folks, a more challenging posting this week in that I am going to post my first ever 'Outfit of the Day' for an entire week.  Each day of the next 7 days I will post outfits that I typically wear for all the daily occasions in life (from casual - work - going out).

Today I am starting with an outfit that I recently bought from the new collections at Marks & Spencer, Boden, and Monsoon.  This is my casual, everyday, hanging around the house look.

monsoon top and jeggings The top is a denim blue cotton shirt from Monsoon, the Jeggings are from the Twiggy Collection at Marks & Spencer, and the boots are from Boden.

The shirt is a great fit as it is long bodied and this particular style (not fitted at the waist) is more complementary on my shape as my Middle Area is my main problem.  The middle bulge is still there but this style of shirt helps to minimise overall, and is by far more complementary to my build than a more fitted top worn with this style of trouser type (Jeggings or skinny jeans).  The 3/4 length sleeves are flattering on the arms, and the wide neckline (with the simple braid like border) give this shirt a very pretty look.  This shirt would also look great worn with white linen straight leg trousers.

This is the first time that I have ever worn Jeggings.  I absolutely hate leggings and therefore have, by association, unfairly written off Jeggings too.  I was very surprised to discover these Jeggings from Marks & Spencer.  They are so comfortable on, and keep their shape well.  What I particularly love about these Jeggings is that they are casual BUT smarter than skinny jeans, and I still also have the option to wear these with boots.  They are less bulky than skinny jeans to tuck into boots (which might be important for ladies with wider calves that want to wear this look but can' t because the bulk of the jeans is preventing the size zip of the boots from closing).  I also feel that this would be a smarter option for more mature ladies that want the look, but feel that the skinny denim look is not working for them.

The leather boots are available in a range of other colours.  I am wearing the loganberry ones (which are a purply colour).  This colour will go with navy, black, brown, grey, and denim so is a good colour to opt for.

Here are a few close up pictures showing details of the shirt, Jeggings, and boots.

womens plus size top

roll back 3/4 sleeve of shirt

woman plus size blouse

pretty neckline of shirt

Click Here to buy shirt - £35.00 (available up to size 18)

womans plus size dark Jeggings

back view of jeggings showing pocket.   These jeggings are styled like a jean.

Click Here to buy Jeggings - £25.00 (available up to size 24 in standard leg legs and up to an 18L in long leg lengths)

If you require larger sizes, then these Jeggings (also from M&S) are available up to size 28 - £22.50

woman plus size jeggings

plus size 22 - 28 Jeggings

ladies leather large size boots

loganberry colour leather boots

Click Here to buy leather boots - £179

When it gets cooler I like to wear a cosy cardigan and scarf for warmth and to dress the overall look.

cardigan with jeggings and boots The cardigan is a neutral linen like colour (so will match everything) whilst the scarf has the current colour trends of purple, brown/green mixed with cream.  In this look I am using the purple colour of the boots as my accent colour.  The scarf picks up this accent with the purple.

Here are a few close up photos of the cardigan and scarf.

woman plus size cardigan

a plain back with some gathering at the sides helping to suggest a waistline

ladies plus size long cardigan

You can see the side gathering detail clearer here. This feature makes something that bit more special about this plain style cardigan.

Click Here to buy cardigan - £39.20 (available up to size 22)

womens purple scarf

Click Here to buy scarf - £22.20

Take a look at the knitwear collection from M&S  and the full range of Jeggings for other options to complement your casual look.  Boden also have a great selection of Tops and Shirts that can be mixed and matched with the Jeggings (and with jeans).

I hope you have enjoyed this route around my wardrobe today.  Look in tomorrow as I am doing the 'school run' and then going supermarket shopping .

For all your other plus size shopping needs you can shop from this website by clicking on the relevant tabs (Clothing, Footwear, Lingerie etc) from the top of the screen.  Follow me on Twitter @plussizecouk for daily tweets of special offers and discount codes from all Retailers featured on this website.  Until tomorrow.  Diane xxx


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