Banish Black!

I mentioned in an earlier blog that I am glad that the plus size clothing retailers have moved away from black shapeless clothing that covers our curves without flattering them. It would appear that not all plus size beauties agree with me though.

I had a conversation with a colleague this morning about a gorgeous Cadbury’s purple top that she is wearing, as I complimented her on it she advised me that she feels really self-conscious because it isn’t black and loose which is her usual choice of clothing.

Being me, I asked her why she felt like this, she told me that she wants to blend into the background and not be noticed. She said that she feels that when she wears a bright colour, she stands out and people will notice her. I responded by pointing out that there is nothing wrong with standing out and that she should embrace her curves, clearly this made her uncomfortable and she returned to her desk.

 This makes me so sad.

 Yes, as part of the plus size community, we’ve all been the subject of offensive comments and negative feedback, but do you know what I’ve learnt over my 32 years on this earth? If you are the person that’s covering up in baggy clothes and walking with your head down, you are more likely to be the person that is getting shit.

Confidence is the best way to beat the bullies (because that’s what they are) as it is almost impossible to find something negative to say to someone that clearly doesn’t give a fuck what you think and is happy in their own skin. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, there are times that I have a bad day or have too much to drink and get over-sensitive but 8/10 times I can brush off idiotic bullies without a second glance.

I was surprised by a conversation that I had with someone I know recently. This bloke can actually be a bit of dick and is definitely someone that I have always approached with caution. However, in this exchange he shocked me, he told me that he thinks that my confidence is stunning and that he admires me for being who I am. He is, in his words, ‘ a massive fan’ of me and can’t wait to meet the man that can keep up with me!

 I honestly believe that black shapeless clothing is a disguise. A tool that fat people use to hide behind to make themselves feel better. Well guess what? You don’t blend into the background and it won’t stop you getting noticed. You are not the ‘norm’ and if you think about it, would you really want to be?

It took me a long time to get here, but I am finally happy in my own skin. I’m not saying that I won’t get thinner, but I’m not saying that I won’t get fatter either. I will do whatever makes me happy. This confidence has meant that I have tried out clothes that I wouldn’t have even considered before and means that my wardrobe is evolving into something quite exciting!

If you are reading this and are thinking that you have an excess of black clobber in your wardrobe, then check out some of my favourite colourful items that you can buy right now …

Evans  

Orange Sunflower dress

 

Clements Ribeiro Red ‘Joan’ Dress

 Rust Coloured Jeans

 I love these Jeans! They look so good on (apart from the saggy arse on me because I have no butt!)

 Simply Be

 Kimono Sleeve Top

 I have this in Red and I LOVE it, the tie makes it really flattering and the sleeves are really dramatic.  

Frock and Frill Bell Sleeve floral dress  

You can see the gorgeous Naomi’s review of this here

 Anna Scholz 60s print Tunic

I LOVE this tunic and it’s only £35! I get so many compliments when I wear it.

 Cobalt Blue Jumpsuit

Trust me, Try one – you might surprise yourself!!

 Yours Clothing

 Leopard Leggings!

LOVE!

 ASOS Curve (Even though I can only buy bottom half clothing! Boo!)

Flower Print Pencil Skirt

 Chain Print Dress

Want! So depressing!

 Domino Dollhouse

 Birthday Bash Dress

I love this SO much!

Meringue Petticoat

I am ordering one of these!

Curves can wear colour!!

I hope that I’ve given you some ideas of how to brighten up your wardrobe!!

 Love and Kisses

 Lyss xxx

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Plus Size Fashion

I am the first to admit that plus sized fashion has moved on leaps and bounds in the past 5 years. Gone are the days of my only choice being black shapeless tunics and elasticated waisted jeans, now I actually have choice and boy does my bank balance know it.

However, there are still some things that the plus size clothing manufacturers do that drive me insane and I just wanted to have a little rant about it.

1. Dual Sizing

Now, I’m no expert but I’m pretty sure that clothing sizes are measured and created based on ‘real’ women. I have done some research (Ok, I googled it) and it says that UK sizing is mostly based on body dimensions.

WHY oh why then do retailers insist on making certain ranges in dual sizes?

If you are a size 28 that means that you do not fit into a size 26, so where does the logic come from that it is a good idea to make clothes in a size 26/28 which is essentially a size 27?

I would be all for clothing being made in mid sizes (Ie: 26, 27, 28, 29 etc) but the nonsensical dual sizing just upsets me.

2. Pear Bias

I am not blessed with a buxom derierre.

I have a totally flat non-bum that my friends do take great delight in mocking me about.

Some of the larger plus size retailers (I’m mostly looking at you Evans) clothing really does have a bias towards the pear shaped lovelies among us.

I am unable to find a pair of trousers that fit me well as they all seem to be cut for a more voluptuous bottom, which means that I end up with a big old saggy ass of material – really not flattering.

Another problem with the pear bias is the assumption that because I’m large, I must have a small bust. I don’t. I have a very large bust that, quite frankly, I want to show off.

Dresses have a tendency to be cut towards a smaller bust and a larger bottom half which means that I can be swimming in material from the waist down and unable to breath from the waist up in a lot of designs.

Evans are the prime culprit for both of these faux pas, however, I notice that there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon as they have introduced a new ‘shape’ range that caters for different body types.

I would definitely fall into the ‘Busty’ category and have looked at all of the items that have been recently listed with excitement … only to be sorely disappointed in the items they have selected for this range.

I was ecstatic that the Clements Ribeiro range catered for the larger bust perfectly, to be honest, every item that I tried on felt like it had been tailored specifically to my measurements. (I should point out that I avoided anything in dual sizing)

3. Below the knee

This pet peeve is about the fact that the majority of plus size retailers insist on making dress/skirt length sit just below the knee. This is just not a flattering length on most people.

I have pretty good pins, I have shapely calves, ok knees and a slender ankle so I want to show them off. The ‘below the knee’ cut makes me look dumpy and round and totally counteracts anything positive about my legs as the garment ends at the most shapely part of my calves.

The ASOS ‘Curve’ collection have been a godsend against the war of the skirt length. unfortunately I am only able to order things that fit from the waist down  as the tops do not fit me  (please start catering for a larger bust size!)but I have brought a lot of skirts from them that I love.

4. Recycling

I spend a lot of time browsing websites, looking at catalogues and reading all the pamphlets that come through my door. If you have released an item a few years ago, then I will know about it and I will not be impressed.

There isn’t much more to say on this particular rant but I just think that if retailers are going to ‘recycle’ an old look, they should at least have the courtesy to acknowledge that they have done so because it’s so popular (or they’re too lazy to design anything new)

Oh and Evans, I am looking at you again, the black and white spotty prom dress has been resurrected in various (ever so slightly different) re-incarnations TOO many times now.

5. Model Madness

Finally, I just wanted to have a little moment to beg the designers to start using actual plus sized models to advertise their ranges.

ASOS curve are the worst culprits, I’d say that the models they use are a healthy size 12-14 at the most. This does not give us any idea what the clothes will look like on someone with real curves, lumps and bumps.

Evans have recently appointed models in the various body shapes that they are now doing their promotion around. Frankly, I struggle to see the difference between them.

I guarantee that if you started using real plus size models (24-26) then you would increase your online sales as women would have a true reflection of what the clothes would look like on them.

In the meantime I guess all the wonderful plus sized bloggers out there will do this for you, I know that I certainly check to see if anyone in the bloggosphere has brought something I like before I buy it!

Anyway, that’s enough ranting from me!

Love and Kisses

Lyss xx

I have mentioned the following retailers www.evans.com.uk and www.asos.com during this post.

Swan Collection by Clements Ribeiro @Evansclothing

Like most of the plus sized fashion obsessed community I have been awaiting the release of the Swan range by Clements Ribeiro since the sneak preview pictures a couple of months ago.

I was not fortunate enough to be invited to the launch at Evans HQ, but I made sure that I had a prime spot on the website at 7am Saturday morning to get the key items that I had my eye on!

So, iPhone poised I browsed the collection. I knew that I definitely wanted the ‘Peggy’ Purple Pansy print dress so that was first in my basket and the first thing that I tried on when my collection arrived this afternoon.

What do you think?

Image

I love the cut and the shape of this dress, it is very flattering and I am pleased to see that the larger bust has been catered for (this makes a change for Evans) although I will need to either wear a lower cut bra or a vest top underneath it.

The colour is really very unusual and is complemented perfectly by the brightly coloured Pansy’s. I have this dress earmarked to wear to my friends outdoor wedding in May as I think it will look fabulous against a springtime background for photos.

Next into my cart was the fabulous Heart Print ‘Betty’ Dress.

Cue another dodgy photo …

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Now, I am not usually a fan of a high neckline on a dress, but this is cut so exquisitely that I really do love it. I adore the heart print design and have already decided on a gorgeous long heart necklace that I have made to accessorize it with!

I should say that both dresses sit just above my knee (I’m just over 5ft 6″) which is the perfect length for me, but you can’t really see that in the pictures. If you were any shorter than me then I think you would probably need to have them taken up a bit.

The final item added to my basket was the ‘Intarsia’ Black and Red Heart Cardigan.

Final dodgy picture … I promise

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Now, this is my favourite piece! I admit i’m a bit of a sucker for a cardi (What fat girl isn’t? Bingo wings anyone?!) but this is such a perfect fit and cut that I adore it.

In the picture I am wearing it over my black wrap work dress from Simply Be that I brought last season and I think that it finishes off the outfit perfectly. I ordered this in a size 26/28 as I like my cover up cardigans to be more fitted and I am delighted with my choice.

The only negative things that I have to say are;

There was a very beautiful black and gold dress in the promotional adverts for this range, to my disappointment this has not appeared on the website yet. I was hoping to have ordered it on Saturday but it was not available to buy

I cannot order any of the tops as they are all made in dual sizing. This frustrates the hell out of me.

 Evans promised the first 500 customers a ‘special treat’ with their order – However, despite ordering at 7:27am on Saturday morning, I did not receive any such treat.

Overall, I am ecstatic with the choices that I made on the website and think that the range has brought some much needed pizazz into the Evans range, which has been stagnant and boring for a good 6-8 months now.

I hope that my review has been helpful to you, please feel free to post any questions in comments – I will be happy to answer them!

You can buy the collection here: Evans Clothing

Love and Kisses

Lyss xx

PS: Apologies for the photos, they were taken in the disabled toilets at my work!!