Outfit of the Day - Floral Dress & Pink Heels

Okay I maybe cheating slightly as this is actually yesterday's outfit but it has been so cold, rainy and windy here today that I have lounged about in jeggings and a peach V-neck jumper - so not stylish! :)  This outfit includes my brand new bargain dress from Select.   I tried it on a few weeks ago in our local store but I sadly put it back on the hanger as I was being good for a change.  

Last week I ventured back in as it's always good to browse - (but never a good sign when the shop assistants start to recognise you and ask how you are lol!) and the dress was still there.  This time, I wasn't so virtuous and it somehow magically jumped onto the till.  Saying that, I thought £12 for a summer dress was a complete bargain and it is a dress that I will practically live in all summer if the weather holds out.

Floral Dress (Size 18 UK):  Select, Pink Cardigan (Size 16 UK): New Look, Pink Heels (Size 4 UK): New Look, Bracelet: Borrowed from Mum (Notice a theme here!?)

I decided to brighten up my new dress a bit with a bright pink cardigan which was originally from New Look and my fabulous pink heels, also from New Look a few summers ago.


Plus size summer 2013 dress picks from ASOS Curve

You wouldn't really think it was nearly summer here in my part of the UK.  Our weather is very changeable; one minute we have sunshine, the next rain showers.  Normally in summer I live in dresses.  I absolutely love them and my collection is ever growing!  Most of the dresses I own are just above the knee - plenty of floral prints, summer colours and a couple of nautical styles too which I'm sure will make an appearance as "Outfits of the Day" at some point soon...

I also have a couple of maxi dresses.  I have the gorgeous Simply Be one as mentioned in my previous post.  I can honestly say I think this is probably my favourite dress that I own now and it has made me want to order a bunch more from Simply Be!  Best wait until payday though.... lol :)

I decided to take a look at a few online stores which specialise in plus size / curvier girls to see what summer dresses they have on offer this year... Firstly, let's take a look at what ASOS Curve have to offer.  I've only bought one dress from them before - a slinky black lace number at Christmas time... so I still don't really know if their sizing is true to form or not.  I have to say I'm a little disappointed with their lack of Spring/Summer colours but I'd like to start my selection of summer dress picks with a pretty vintage floral style maxi dress. 

I really quite like this "Maxi dress in vintage floral print" because it has a very pretty print and has quite unusual colours.  The neckline is flattering with a slight plunge and although most of my dresses that I own have thin straps, I normally cover up my arms with a short cardigan anyway and this dress has slightly sheer short sleeves which I think would be perfect for covering up my wobbly arms!  At a price tag of £48, I do feel that it is possibly a bit expensive for me, but it's one to bookmark in case it comes up in the sale. It's available in sizes 20 - 26 UK, however the 20 is out of stock.  Boo!

Next up is a shorter dress from ASOS Curve (Bodycon Dress in Mirror Floral Print) which comes just to the knee.  I was a little unsure whether to include this one or not because even though I absolutely love it, I don't think I would be confident enough to wear a bodycon dress without some sort of floaty overlay layer.  Part of me really wants to order it to try it on though!  It's made from stretchy jersey fabric with a round neckline.  This one doesn't have any sleeves so it would definately be one for me to wear with a cardigan - I imagine a really bright pink, purple or yellow cardigan would look fantastic with this dress.  This dress is £45.00 and although again I think it's slightly expensive, to me it looks like you're getting a dress which looks better quality than the previous maxi dress from ASOS Curve.  A bonus to this dress is that it is available from a size 18 to 28 UK.  I'll be taking a look at other online stores offerings for Summer 2013 dresses over the coming weeks...


My Review of Simply Be

I have been super excited ever since I was asked to be a Simply Be reviewer, as I have never had the courage to order anything from their website before for fear of it not fitting;  I'm not very good at buying something without trying it on in the changing room first.  I must admit I have been a little worried that the items they were sending me wouldn't fit and that I would have to ask them for a bigger size... No one likes doing that!

After waiting around for the postman like a child on Christmas Eve, my parcel arrived today. That's only 2 days after it was dispatched, which I think is very fair considering I didn't pay for next day delivery and their website states that standard delivery can take 3 to 5 days. Safe to say, I opened it immediately (like I really was going to wait!)

The first thing that caught my eye was the gorgeous scarf print maxi dress. Its colour is very true to the photo on the Simply Be website and contains a black base colour with a beautiful floral / almost boho chic style print with pinks, turquoises, purples and oranges. The colour just pops out at you! The fabric itself is very lightweight which is perfect for summer, or holidays abroad (here's hoping I get one this year!).  It is made from a very silky fabric, but without the added shine that you normally get on silk. So far so good and I am impressed by the quality of how the dress has been made.  

The size is a UK size 18, however I possibly could have got away with a UK 16 because the dress is super stretchy, thanks to the shirred elasticated bust and generously floaty design underneath. I do like how the shirring doesn't look too taught over my bust line, so perhaps the 18 was a good idea. The length of the dress was perfect for my height too, I am 5'5" (1.65 m); I tried it on with bare feet and it didn't drag the floor. Perfect :)  This dress has a halterneck strap which is optional, so I just tucked mine into the dress as I didn't want to detract from the stunning print of the dress.

This dress is available in two colours and two lengths on the Simply Be website.  I think that being blonde, I prefer the darker version and that the "yellow" version would possibly not suit me. I think brunettes would get away with either version, you lucky things!  I also prefer the longer length as it makes the dress feel much more luxurious than the shorter version. With a price tag of £36, this dress is fantastic value for money and looks much more expensive than it actually is.

I teamed my maxi dress with a bunch of pink, purple and blue bracelets, which I borrowed from my mum, and a black short cardigan to cover up my arms. Barefoot of course, since this dress is so folk inspired, I thought it was the perfect thing to do and I think it's about time I bought some new sandals...

As you can see, the dress skims over my tummy area which makes me appear a lot thinner than I actually am. It is very flattering to wear.  I don't think I'm brave enough to wear it without a cardigan over the top just yet, but maybe one day...

Dress: Simply Be* Size UK 18, Bracelets: Borrowed from my mum, Cardigan: New Look

The second item in my parcel was a pair of light peach Jacquard trousers.  These are something that I would never normally wear, as I tend to stick to darker coloured jeggings or jeans to cover up my thighs. However the photo on the model really impressed me and I love pastel colours, so figured I would give them a go...

The trousers have a slight elasticated waist which I was very thankful for, as I was worried that they wouldn't fit me.  I tried on a size UK 18 again, and they did fit although they are very figure hugging!  If you don't like your thighs they maybe aren't for you, however they are cut very flattering, so if you don't have any issues with your legs they will be fine. They are very true to size and are fantastically made - thicker fabric than I had imagined, but not too thick for summer wear. The Simply Be website states that they have a rear zip, however this isn't the case with the pair that I had arrive - the zip was on the front and the label at the back. I'm sure they will resolve this when I contact them to let them know. At £40 they seem quite pricey for a pair of trousers and this is a bit more than I generally would pay. They are very well made and would probably suit a special occasion rather than day to day wear, so the price tag wouldn't necessarily be a problem. They have a luxurious embossed style pattern on them which adds to their charm.

One thing I particularly like about these trousers is the length. They come just to the ankle and would look really summery with a pair of sandals. Another, is how fabulous my bum looks in them! I didn't think I'd ever say anything like that!

I don't think I've ever worn an outfit that didn't contain some sort of black so I thought I would be a bit more daring with these trousers and team them with a white cami tank top and a peach coloured jumper, which is just the right length and thickness for this time of year.

Accessories wise I have selected a range of bracelets and a Swarovski pearl flower hair band from Vintage Blush*. All together, as an outfit, I really like it - but am slightly concerned about my tummy showing a bit much with the white top.  It's completely out of my comfort zone but am pleased with the results and next time maybe I will team the trousers with a baggier top, or a black tank top instead.


Peach Jacquard Trousers: Simply Be*,  White Tank Top: Select, Peach Heart Jumper: Next, Flower Hair Band & Selection of Bracelets: Hand made by me, available for sale soon

Overall, I have to say that I am impressed with Simply Be - the service has been fantastic from start to finish and they have definitely gained my trust, and a new customer too. I am very thankful to them for sending me these products to review and can guarantee that my review is 100% accurate and my own opinion. I think that their prices are fair for well made products, their sizing is true and photography on their website is very representative of their products once they arrive. Two big thumbs up from me :)


Oh what can I spend my River Island vouchers on?

I have just realised that I still have £35 worth of River Island vouchers in my handbag from Christmas...  I must admit it isn't easy shopping in River Island if you're plus size and curvy like me.  Some of their items do go up to a size 18, but they aren't very common in stores.  I have been lucky in the past with knitwear and some stretchy dresses but nothing has taken my fancy enough since January for me to spend my Christmas vouchers on.

I thought I would take a look at the River Island website and also their PR campaigns for Spring/Summer 2013 to try and get some ideas.  I'm reluctant to order online for fear of things not fitting so I am planning *fingers crossed* to head into the Cardiff branch in the beginning of June.  Another problem I have is that £35 won't get me far in store either - not like my bargain £12 dresses from Select that I picked up over the last few weeks!

The most logical place for me to start online is their dresses section.  Now the weather is getting warmer, I pretty much live in dresses.  There is only one problem - the only dresses that I really like the look of are the Forever Unique dresses which I think only go up to a size 16 and are all over £200!  The tropical maxi print dress looks absolutely stunning and I think would look really pretty with my blonde hair.  Although this dress doesn't come in a big enough size and is more than my quarterly phone and broadband bill I'd like to share it with you...

Okay, the River Island dresses are out for my vouchers (I hope they have new stock in the beginning of June!)  There is one skirt that I am particularly fond of on the hanger but that I don't think would suit me one bit and that is the "Cream Cat Print Belted Skirt" - I saw it a month or so ago in a local store and it has the same cat print as the blouse that I nearly bought near Christmas.  It's covered in little siamese looking cats just like my cat!  My fiance absolutely hates it but I'm tempted to try it on if it's in store.

Alternatively, there's always the jewellery and accessories section.  I'm not really one for a multitude of handbags but I absolutely love the River Island Jewellery.   It does seem a bit wasteful to spend a whole £35 on accessories though!  Does anyone have any suggestions or items they particularly like and think would suit a curvy frame? I'd love to hear from you!


I'm going to be a SimplyBe Reviewer! :)

Wow!  I can't express how excited I am at this moment in time!  Simply Be have contacted me asking me to review a couple of their Spring/Summer 2013 collection!  I'm always looking on Simply Be at their clothing range but I've never before plucked up the courage to actually order something in case it didn't fit...

So stay tuned as very shortly I'll be posting a review of my items and photos too!  In fact, this is my first official review and also the first time i'll be posting photos of myself on my blog!  Far long overdue! 

Thank you Simply Be! :)