Outfit of the Day - Paisley Print Maxi Dress

Today's outfit of the day is my birthday present from my mum from Simply Be.  This paisley print split leg maxi dress is the one that I saw on a review by MrsBeBe and I loved how she wore it with a denim jacket.  When I saw it in the sale, I knew that it would be a great buy for just £20 - and would also save my mum some money too for my birthday.

This dress is still available on the Simply Be website, however I don't think it is in the sale at the moment.  I haven't got a denim jacket or gilet as I haven't found one that suits me yet, plus I can't really copy someone elses outfit of the day (as tempting as it is!) so I have combined my maxi dress with a peach floaty cardigan and bracelet from New Look, a delicate peach necklace from Primark and some comfy low wedges which are quite old and I haven't a clue where they were from.

Split Leg Paisley Print Maxi Dress, Simply Be, Currently £40.00, Cardigan and
New Look, Necklace: Primark, £1 - bargain! Shoes: Unknown

What I particularly like about this dress is the print.  It does look a bit different to the website photos, but I think that it is very fashionable and perfect for the festival season.  It would work for daytime or evening wear, however I think that it looks better as a day dress. I have bought a new brown belt to wear over the elasticated waist with a different cardigan or jacket too for a completely different look.

Simply Be have a 60% sale on at the moment, which includes a similar paisley print dress, however it is higher necked and doesn't have the split leg, but it does look very pretty.  At only £18.50, you could achieve a similar look - I am tempted but I don't want to be in trouble with Mr FH for all my recent purchases when we have a wedding to save for! :) 


My birthday outfit of the evening...

It's my birthday!! :) My actual birthday, not my blogs birthday... and I have been fretting for weeks about what to wear as I knew that I would be going out for a couple of hours in the early evening to Chiquitos so although I really wanted to wear one of my new Paper Dolls dresses, I decided I might look a bit overdressed with everyone leaving work or wearing jeans and t-shirts. 

After trying on all of my new clothes which I will post about in a minute, I decided on the AX Paris Curve animal high to low print dress because it has wow factor without being too formal.   This dress is from Just Curvy and was a complete bargain at £22.50 and after the success of my AX Paris Curve floral dress from Simply Be I didn't have any worries about sizing or quality so I decided to order it.  It came the very next day which was pretty impressive as I paid for standard delivery and ordered it in the afternoon.  

What I like about this dress is that you can dress it up or down.  I will admit I did get a few weird looks when I was in Asda on the way home but for the meal itself it was perfect.  I wore my dress with a black cardigan as although it has removable spaghetti straps I wanted my upper arms covered up.  Jewellery wise I finally got to wear a necklace that was a gift from my sister a few Christmases ago.  A beautiful black velvet and crystal statement necklace from a boutique store and I also wore a brown bracelet which I borrowed from my mums stash.  A black patent belt was added to give my shape a bit more definition, but it also looks equally good without a belt.

Dress: AX Paris Curve @ Just Curvy, £22.50, Heels: Next,
Cardigan: New Look, Jewellery & Belt : Unknown

Please excuse the squinty eyes - it was really sunny!  I took these photos before I actually left and did decide on a last minute shoe change so although in the photos you'll see my killer black heels, I changed for a safer option and wore kitten wedges, again in black.

Finally, a quick little note that ASOS is currently having an up to 50% sale including many of their really lovely Curve range...  I am trying very hard to resist but getting closer to ordering something every day!


Recent purchases that will appear here soon :)

Hi everyone! I am so excited about a couple of recent purchases that I wanted to make a quick little blog post to show you them before I get to take pics in them.  My birthday is coming up next week so I decided to treat myself to a gorgeous high-low leopard print dress from Just Curvy.  The dress is with the AX Paris curve brand and is currently on sale with Just Curvy for £22.50 which in my opinion is a complete bargain for this dress.

The reason I decided to buy an animal print dress is due to trying one on in Select and it being a bit too figure hugging (they only went up to a size 16) but I liked the overall look of it and thought it would be great for daytime or evening wear depending on the accessories I wore with it.  That afternoon I trawled the online shops for another animal print dress that I liked, and that is when I stumbled across the AX Paris Curve version.

AX Paris Animal Print Flowing Chiffon Dress in Brown, Just Curvy - £22.50

It arrived yesterday while I was at a Bruce Springsteen concert in Coventry so I ended up trying it on at 2am in the morning when I got home! I was too excited to leave it until the morning.   As soon as I can, I will get some decent photos of me wearing it, although I haven't really got any accessories to go with it yet.  

The next purchase I'd like to share with you is a maxi dress from the Simply Be website.  It was on sale the day I ordered it and it's going to be my birthday present from my mum (she likes me to choose things so she knows I love it).  This dress hasn't arrived yet but it's expected any day now.  I first saw this Paisley Print maxi dress on a review by MrsBeBe where she absolutely rocked this dress and it looks stunning with the denim jacket she matched it with.  I can't wait for it to arrive so that I can try it on.  I'll try and get some high quality photos to go with this blog post.

Thirdly, this is kind of cheating, but I do tend to "borrow" clothes from my mum a lot.  My mum ordered herself the feather print maxi dress from Simply Be when she ordered mine - she is a similar size to me, just a different shape so if she keeps it, i'll be borrowing it! ha! :)  I know this will look great with thanks to the Maxi dress that Simply Be sent me to review.  It's identical apart from the print :)

What would you wear with these dresses?  I'd love to hear your views :) x


OOTOD (Outfit of the Other Day!) - Turquoise Floral Dress

I seem to have a habit of cheating a little and posting outfits from the "other" day, however with our weather being so topsy turvy at the moment and my hectic schedule I take my photos whenever the sunshine lets me! I was meaning to post this on Sunday when I wore it, but real life took over so you can have it today instead :)

"Today's" outfit of the day consists of an AX Paris Curve dress which is exclusively available over on the Simply Be website.  I've never tried on any AX Paris branded clothes before but I have been lusting after their sequin skirt prom dress as seen on What Laura Loves since Autumn last year.  This turquoise floral dress is really vibrant in real life compared to the photos - but that makes this dress a very pretty summer dress.  I would say it is more of a day dress than an evening one because it isn't as exquisitely made as the Paper Dolls dresses I recently had the chance to review.  That said, the price tag of £32 makes this dress very affordable and is perfectly on trend for Summer 2013.

This AX Paris Curve dress is made from very lightweight fabric making it extremely cooling for hot weather.  The stitching isn't as neat as some other brands that I own, but the zip really makes up for this.  The amount of dresses I have broken from flimsy zips is unbelievable due to my broad back.  This zip is a really heavy duty bronze coloured zip which compliments the turquoise colour of the dress.  

Floral Dress: AX Paris Curve @ Simply Be*, £32, Cardigan: New Look, Heels: River Island

I am wearing a size 20 dress - I went up a size because I was aware that this dress didn't have any kind of shirring or elasticated waist, however the dress is a little roomy which I think it possibly a good thing as it kind of skims right over my tummy.  I would say that this dress is possibly cut a little bigger than usual, but in order to tell for certain if it is a brand wide feature, I would really need to try on a few more dresses.  It doesn't have any stretch in it at all, however so if you are between sizes it would be worth ordering the bigger version. It does need a good bit of ironing, and I am not that great at it... as you can probably tell from the photos!

This AX Paris Curve dress comes just to the knee which makes it safe for work or old relatives!  Overall, I am pleased with my first experience of AX Paris Curve and would definitely like to try more of their garments.  I have matched this turquoise floral dress with a pink cardigan from New Look, Jewelled Heels from River Island from many seasons ago and I'm not 100% sure where my bracelet is from.  I think that the colour of the cardigan and accessories really compliments this dress and my skin tone.

This dress has extremely low stock at the moment - and sold out in some sizes, but generally comes in a UK size 12 to 32. 


What am I reading at the moment?

Before I started blogging myself I was an avid reader of many plus size fashion blogs.  I was completely inspired by many of the women featured below and they helped me to appreciate my body for what shape and size it is and to embrace it and dress fashionably rather than trying to wear black for every occasion.  I have these ladies to thank and I hope you'll show them some love and check our their blogs if you haven't already... 

I have been reading Victoria's blog for a while now.  Recently she has undergone a pretty amazing transformation and although I think she looked just as stunning before, she looks incredible and has fantastic fashion sense.  I really enjoy looking at Victoria's Ebay "wishlists" where she showcases things that she is fond of at that time and also her outfit posts.  She has so many cool outfits!   Finally, she also has 2 gorgeous kittens so I'm sold! lol :)

Cupcakes Clothes
Run by Georgina, I have been lucky enough to win a competition on her website.  I have been reading Georgina's blog for many months and am particularly interested in her outfit posts.  I think she has a very quirky dress sense but I love it - and would love to wear more pastel colours.  I like how she combines her outfits with plenty of accessories and also the fact that she can sew her own clothes.  I'm always super excited when there is a new blog post on Cupcakes Clothes so that I can have a good nosey at what clothes Georgina has been making :)

What Laura Loves
I guess in a way I can relate to Laura as we are both blonde and I think we have a similar style in clothes.  On Laura's blog, she not only posts OOTD posts and her new purchases (awesome taste by the way!), she also posts beauty related posts that I find really interesting.  My beauty regime has stayed the same for years and I generally don't venture off it with new products but Laura's blog does have some great tips that I would like to try for skincare and makeup ideas.  She has also just designed a dress with 2 other bloggers for Simply Be which will be for sale this week, so I am a bit in awe about that! :) 

Other blogs I am reading that I think deserve a mention...

Curvy Girl Chic - http://www.curvygirlchic.com/
Messy Carla - http://www.messycarla.com/
Forever Fabulous in Bows - http://foreverfabulousinbows.blogspot.co.uk/ 
Pocket Rocket Fashion - http://www.pocketrocketfashion.com/
A Rose Like This - http://aroselikethis.blogspot.co.uk/
Diamonds N Pearls - http://www.diamondsnpearls.co.uk/


Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping


Wedding dress shopping can be a scary thought, let alone when you are plus size. I have been through this experience and come out the other side unscathed, so I thought I would share my tips with you for a Stress free experience.
With most wedding dresses from bridal boutiques you generally have to go up 2 sizes. Sounds scary right? My wedding dress ended up being a size 22, even though I'm only a size 18 - but remember it doesn't matter what the label says as long as you look fabulous.

The first bridal boutique I visited was one that offered a specialist section for plus size brides. I had heard horror stories of bridal boutiques squeezing brides into smaller dresses, which in turn didn't give a great representation of how the dress would look in the right size. The first dress I tried on was quite a plain looking dress, but because it was the first wedding dress I had ever tried on, it was a very emotional moment all round especially with my mum.

I tried on 4 dresses at the first bridal boutique... And was certain that I had found the dress of my dreams. A corseted Amanda Wyatt dress with a near £900 price tag.  I already had another appointment booked at a more local bridal shop however they didn't have a plus size section.

"Sookie Wedding Dress" - Amanda Wyatt

The next day I visited the second bridal boutique with my mum. You always need to take someone who will give you an honest opinion, and my mum is always spot on with hers. This shop didn't have any dresses in my size and true to the rumours, I was squeezed and prodded into size 14 and 16 dresses. I personally didn't find it offensive, it was more a challenge! But I was worried I may rip the dresses and have some major repair bills to pay for. All of the dresses I tried on at the second appointment made me forget the Amanda Wyatt dress, however I hadn't had "The One" feeling. There was a stunning dress from Mark Lesley And Mori Lee (Julietta Range) But I wasn't 100% sure on anything I had tried on.

3112 - Mori Lee (Julietta Range) 

I made an appointment at another branch of this store where they had a selection of plus size dresses and again I still didn't have that wow feeling about a dress. None of the dresses I tried on looked bad, but not spectacular either.

This is when I noticed an actual plus size brides weekend for bridal designer "Maggie Sottero", where all weekend the bridal boutique had a selection of wedding dress from her, in sizes 18 to 28. This appointment was the best idea ever. I tried on 3 or 4 dresses and immediately fell in love with one. It was my size, looked absolutely stunning and I just knew it was the right dress for me. I can't really go into detail on which dress I actually chose in case Mr. FH decides to read my blog, however if you haven't had "The Dress" moment yet, don't give up looking. In total I tried on around 15 to 20 dresses!

"Lorena" - Maggie Sottero (Not my dress - but an example of her work)

My one recommendation for plus size wedding dress shopping is to find a bridal boutique which has plus size ranges in stock. You will only truly know what a dress looks like when it is in a size true to the one you'll need. It is worth traveling around until you find the right place. I know there are a few specialist places within the UK, in the North, London and Weston Super Mare. I have included the links to these boutiques at the bottom of this post.

The second thing I would like to mention is that most wedding dresses made by designers have built in corsets in their dresses. My dress has a built in corset and you can't see that it has one, so when pulled right in, it gives me the most fantastic waist ever. Now all I need is to set a date and finally get to wear my dream dress!

Most importantly, don't panic about the costs of a wedding dress. There are dresses from £100 upwards so if you have a budget to stick to you can still look like a Princess without breaking the bank.  I am very lucky that my mum wanted to treat me to my wedding dress otherwise I would have had a much smaller budget. 

The following wedding dress designers provide wedding dresses for us curvier girls:

Maggie Sottero
Maggie Sottero dresses are absolutely exquisite.  "
Maggie Brides not only experience innovative designs, but luxurious fabrics, Swarovski crystals, hand-sewn embellishments and the renowned, slenderizing fit known simply as the "Maggie Magic," the result of meticulous attention to, and scrutiny of, design and fitting details." - I know this first hand because of the super waist my dress produces!

Ian Stuart Bride
Ian Stuart Bride dresses are the most unusual wedding dresses I have ever seen.  I think they have a vintage feel about them but also scream extravagance. "
Renowned for his glamorous, luxury creations this international multiple award-winning designer has always had a passion for making women look and feel glamorous."

Ronald Joyce
Before I finally settled on my dream dress, I had it in my head that I wanted a Ronald Joyce dress but I couldn't find any local stockists that stocked the sizes I needed.  Ronald Joyce dresses are sparkly, big, fun and fit for a princess.  

Mori Lee
"Mori Lee offers beautifully designed, feminine dresses.  Searching for an embellished A-Line, a modern Fishtail or a delicate Chiffon design, Mori Lee has your dream dress." - I tried on some really unusual fishtail dresses that I thought wouldn't suit curvier girls but they looked completely flattering on me.

Amanda Wyatt
Amanda Wyatt dresses make me think of Fairytales.  I only managed to try one Amanda Wyatt dress on which was the "Sookie" dress.  I noticed the attention to detail with fabric roses and tulle fabric draped across the dress.  A really beautiful collection of dresses.

...And not forgetting the new Simply Be bridal range.  I have not tried any of these dresses on, however with prices starting from £90 and the ability to try on in your own home, why not give them a try! :)

And the following bridal boutiques are specifically for plus size wedding dresses:

Heavenly Bodies Bridal, London

The Big Day UK, Castleford, West Yorkshire

Curvaceous Brides, Somerset

Curvy Bridal, North Yorkshire 

Amore Plus Bridal, Rugby

Daisy Love Bridal, Berkshire

Finally, enjoy your experience! It doesn't last long enough and every second of it is magical! X