How to brighten up your Winter

We all have our favourite seasons. I find most people love summer – personally, I’m a winter baby. Give me layers and snuggling under blankets and a hot chocolate any day over being hot and sweaty and sun burnt. One of my main winter preferences is the fashion! Growing up I would always prefer a boot over a bikini, or a scarf over a singlet. That said, as I’ve developed my style, I’ve also found that I love summer dressing more and more. So much so that it’s nearly disappointing when winter rolls around I can’t show off my colourful dresses and sparkly sandals.

So it was this year that I decided I didn’t have to give up my sometimes OTT favourites during the colder months and that I was going to step up my winter style from black dresses and boring boots. Just in case you want to embrace the chill in fabulous style, I’ve included my top tricks on how to embrace your winter wardrobe and still express your style under 18 layers of clothing.

Add Colour. 

Adding bold colours is the perfect way to brighten up your dreary winter wardrobe and have your dreamer of warmer times. The best part is you can go as bright or as subtle as you want depending on your own personal style! Choose something bright and pair it back with other monochrome pieces, or if you’re game try layering colour on colour. Think neon pants, busy patterns and bold blazers, winter really is the best time to pull out those statement pieces and style them any way you like.

Pair a bright skirt (like below) with a plain long sleeve top and a denim jacket to keep it casual. Or add a bold pink blouse to these blue palazzo pants for some serious colour blocking. Pair this a busy and bright patterned dress back with simple black tights and boots for an easy standout look.

Create Texture.

Being able to wear so many layers (if you live anywhere cooler than it is in Brisbane) in winter, means that you can layer different textures and finishes for and interesting and exciting outfit. If you’re just dipping your toe into the world of a ‘non-black winter’ try adding this with your accessories and smaller details – before you jump all in with head to toe glitter.

Finishing your look with a textured rattan bag can be a great way to tie together a simple jeans + tee outfit. Or you could swap the boots for a sock and sandal style… but not just any old socks (you can check our the gorgeous @curvycartel absolutely rocking a sequined sock look). Speaking of sequins, a sequined jacket it the BEST way to combine all 3 ‘step up your winter’ tips, bright, sequins, layers – tick tick tick.

Embrace Exciting Layers. 

Winter is the perfect time to be able to print and colour clash as much as you like. Depending on where you live will depend on just how many layers you need, but luckily as long as there is a cool breeze, you will definitely be able to add a little something exciting to your winter look. Wearing multiple layers also makes it a lot easier to get away with mixing and matching bold items together (refer to trick 1), mainly because people are so cold and miserable your rainbow inspired outfit will make them so happy they’ll forgive you if you’ve fashion faux pas’d. 😉

If you’re embracing your new winter style, a bright or patterned coat is a fun start. Don’t be afraid to layer your bright colours it with other colours underneath or stick to a tonal trend and layer your colour of choice in shades! Once again adding a fun pattern to your layer is a great way to break up your comfortable muted style. You can slowly embrace your new winter style by layering a patterned cardigan over your black base, with a dark layer on top. Alternatively, spicing up you bottom layer is also a great option! Colourful yellow tights are the perfect way to add some sunshine to your day.

No matter how you prefer to inject some fun into your winter styling, there’s definitely options for the brave and the faint-hearted.

Happy Winter!

Kate xx

Product Review: Chase away the Chafe

As a curvy gal, I’ve had my fair share of uncomfortable moments. Trying to squeeze past people on the bus, trying to comfortably sit in a airline chair, trying to get a drink at a bar when the male bartender is ignoring me, and trying not to die when my inner thighs catch on fire from chafe. While some of these things are beyond my control and unfortunately probably never going to change, I’m happy to tell you that I am no longer going to catch alight from the friction between my legs (hint: it’s not the good kind).

Enter, Sonsee. A made in Italy, designed in Australia hosiery and intimates company founded by boss babe Vanessa. Coming from a background in pattern making and product development, Vanessa found a gap in the market for plus size women in with struggles of ill fitting and terrible quality items. Appearing in the first Australian episode of Shark Tank, the idea of Sonsee won the support of Red Balloon founder and entrepreneur Naomi Simson, and the rest is history – and now available for you to add to your wardrobe! 

Vanessa approached me to give the Sonsee Anti Chafing Shorts a try, and I was more than thrilled to be able to take them for a stroll. I have been following Sonsee as a company for over 12 months now, and always been intrigued to their curvy magic and unparalleled quality, but had not yet taken the plunge to purchase. Once receiving these shorts, I cannot believe I waited so long! *instantly adds half the products to my cart.

The product description claims below:

  • made from lightweight and breathable fabric, that smooths, but doesn’t shape.
  • made to wear in comfort all day long with a supportive waistband and leg bands.
  • zero ugly panels and no digging.

I popped my shorts on for a day that I knew was going to involve lots of walking and running errands, as I know this is when my love of dresses lets me down, by the end of the day my thighs burn! It was also a weekend and I had #instaboyfriend and my two beautiful step kids in tow, so full run around mode.

The first thing I noticed was that they were no where near as tight or as uncomfortable as a normal hideous pair of ‘suck me ins’. I put them on easily and without resistance and they sat at about belly button height to mid thigh on me (note: I have seriously short legs, so they may even be a little shorter on a regular vertically proportioned human). This also meant they were really easy to wear all day long with out digging in or being uncomfortable, and super easy to get on and off for bathroom breaks. I found the fabric and design, paired with  the length of the shorts gave me a great line. I wore a relaxed tee dress that would normally cling to my hips a little when I move, and found I had no visible lines or bulges under my dress. I found the length would sit comfortably under most of my dresses (excluding maybe a couple of mini party dresses that I might own), and there would be no reason I could not LIVE in this product for ultimate comfort.

My number one concern and aspect that I wanted to put to the test was if the ‘shorts’ part of the shorts rolled up. I always find with regular shape-wear or intimate style shorts, that because of the shape of my legs – chunky right the the top, with an indent where they meet my pelvis (welcome to my anatomy) – that the bottom hemline in this sort of style always seems to bunch and roll up my thigh, over the chunk, and then sit in my bikini line, which creates a worse line than if I had metal armour underneath my dress. However, I am pleased to report I did NOT have that trouble with the Sonsee short! This is actually my favourite thing about this product. They did not move. All day. I went to the grocery store, did some house work, even went to the park and played on one of those spinning merry-go-round things. The shorts stayed exactly where I put them on at 8am, and did not roll, bunch, or catch on fire due to rubbing, at any time until I took them off at 6pm. And in the Queensland heat I had them on all day and didn’t feel like they were effecting my body temperature at all.

In an official review capacity, I am giving them exactly 5 stars, as I could not fault them at all! In fact now I simply feel like I need every other Sonsee product that I was dreaming about, because they’re all going to be just as life changing. If you’re a girl suffering from chafe – and let me stress – chafe is not exclusive to the curvy community, it’s just one step closer to being a mermaid; this product is definitely worth a try.

I’m wearing a size GORGEOUS 14-16 (which my hips measurement falls at the bottom of the size guide recommendation) for the purpose of this review.

 

*The views expressed in this product review are 100% my own. I was gifted product at the retail value of $49.95 for the purpose of this blog post, I was not paid to provide a positive product review, or forced to submit my content for approval from the brand.

 

This is a blog about hard work.

This is not a blog about weightloss.
This is not a blog about dieting.

This is not a blog that is magically going to make you fitter, smarter or healthier. Because all of those things take hard work. So if you’re interested; this is a blog about hard work.

If you have been following me regularly on my social channels (mainly Instagram), you may have noticed I’m cutting a slightly slimmer silhouette these days. Have I been questioned about surgery? Yes. Have I been questioned as to why I’m losing weight? Yes. Have I been questioned on my place in the ‘plus size’ community? Also yes.

But the big one. Why did I decide to change my lifestyle. My answer is really simple. It was time.

I’m verging on 27 and I have a list of health conditions that are suited to a 45 year old. I have blood sugar results that were through the roof, and other test results that just kept getting worse and worse. My fasting glucose reading (this is part of a diabetes diagnosis) was at it’s highest 8.0, after making some massive changes it was 4.6 at my last test. For me this was REALLY about my health. It was time to make a change; for myself, for my family, for the family I want to have. People keep asking me what I’ve done, or how I’ve done it; and writing this isn’t so much for me as it is for you. It’s for that woman who feels like she could never lose weight, the one that feels she’s too far gone and there is no point in trying, or that she won’t be able to do any of the workouts at the gym anyway, or could never give up wine. I was that woman, and I did it any way. Hard, yes. But worth it.

I made the decision to focus on my health at a time of desperation. I was desperate to look after myself, to feel comfortable with myself again, to feel good about myself again. I realised I needed to seek out a Dietitian who was going to be able to help me take the first step towards living  a healthier lifestyle and was lucky enough (through a friend’s recommendation) to find Amie at Target Nutrition. I vowed to myself that I would be 100% honest with her on how terrible I was eating, what my REAL eating habits were (including all the secret snacking) and how badly I really just needed help. I remember saying to her on my first appointment ‘I just don’t know what to put in my mouth anymore’. After years of dieting and food plans and cutting out food groups, I felt like I had forgotten what types of food valuable nutrition even came from, and what my body actually needed. Amie’s careful listening and planning meant that she was able to provide me with a curated meal plan (with several options for meals at each time of day), that was perfect for me and my lifestyle. Her support, understanding, and realism (a Dietitian that can acknowledge that sometimes chocolate falls into your mouth, is one every women needs), was exactly what I needed to convince myself that I could commit to the plan that she had provided. In my mind it was the thought process of ‘this may be hard, but living life the old way is harder’. In the first 3 months I made the decision to completely cut out chocolate, alcohol and take away meals, and found this ‘cold turkey’ approach, the easiest way to manage my cravings. Coming from a serious choco-holic, this was a pretty serve change to my life style, and yes, there were days when it was extremely hard and all I wanted to do was demolish a block of chocolate, but as I said, this is a blog about hard work. So I went cold turkey on the good stuff, but for me, this was the best way to resist temptation; I have one piece of cake and ‘oh, another won’t hurt’. I have one row of chocolate and ‘oh, it’s open now, I may as well finish it’. After the initial first few months I became easier on myself, and now still include wine and sweet treats in my diet.

One of the most life changing pieces of advice I received from Amie, was to change up my exercise. That for my types of conditions (PCOS and Type 2 Diabetes) and the type of fat I was trying to move, I needed to be exercising in a way that combined cardio with weights to really see results. Now, for someone who was walking around at a size 20/22, and hadn’t been to a gym in many years, this was a terrifying prospect. But that’s the point, terrified or not, I needed to make a change. I had heard of the 12Rounds program through friends and felt like maybe this style of working out was the style Amie had mentioned. So I signed up for a trial week with a induction appointment the coming Wednesday. Wednesday morning came around, I’d barely slept as I was so riddled with anxiety, I turned my alarm off, cried, and went back to sleep. That night I spoke with my partner about how I couldn’t do it and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to step foot in that gym, that people were going to laugh at me, and I wasn’t going to be able to do the exercises. The next night I went in to the gym, sat in my car for twenty minutes and gave myself a stern talking to, forgot to change my shoes as I was so stressed (I ended up doing my first workout in a pair of Frankie4 Nat’s, instead of sneakers), and I walked into 12rounds Greenslopes and went through a whole workout with one of the trainers. Looking back now, I was right about the exercises, there were definitely some I couldn’t do. But also, no one was laughing at me, no one was looking at me, and I’d completed my workout without dying (dramatic but true). Now, I aim to exercise at the gym at least 4 times a week, and I aim to run myself ragged every time I am there. I wen’t from a girl who couldn’t get out of bed at 7.30am to one that now gets up at 5am, do I like it? NO. I hate mornings. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

I get a lot of questions about my experience at 12rounds and the type of workouts that I do and how hard it is. The beauty of it is that it is as hard as you want it to be. When I first started, it was so hard! I could barely breathe at the end of each round (there’s 12 x 3 minute rounds). But again, this is about the hard. Now, I make sure I pick up a heavier weight, I run a littler further (lol jks, I hate running, but you get the point), I do the harder version of the exercise to push myself just a little bit further each time. It is always hard, but that’s why I’ve seen such a great turnaround in my strength and body shape.

For those who are extra curious, I even filmed today’s workout, to show you what it is all about. You can check it out the full version (in super fast forward so you’re not sitting through 45 minutes of workout) below. I’ve included the first minute of two of each round, so you can see the different exercises. I’m aware that my videography is atrocious, this is a super unflattering angle, and I look like a hot mess when I’m working out; but this is real life, this is what I’ve been doing behind the scenes, and this is what has been working for me.

My goals now, are to keep going. I still have a little way to go to reach my ‘ideal’ waist measurement (this is where I store a lot of my fat, and it can be dangerous for my organs) and of course I would love to bring all of my blood levels back into normal ranges (we’re so close!). I want my body to be in it’s best possible shape to start a family, and to encourage myself to live a long and happy life. I’m not exactly sure what any of these goals look like physically, but I suppose I will find out when I get there.

This is my story, so far. I wanted to share it just in case you were curious, or just in case you needed to believe in something.

kate

 

How to have a beach body.

What’s your favourite thing about summer? Mangoes? Camping? Cricket? While I’m partial to any of the above (albeit the latter two are preferred in small doses), mine is the beach! I love the ocean, I love being in the water and lying on the sand. My family spent nearly every holiday break at the beach, and still do to this day! So imagine my confusion as a young girl when I realised that I (according to the media and social expectation )didn’t have the perfect ‘beach body’. That swimwear didn’t look all that great on me. And that I should probably be ashamed to be on the beach because I wasn’t a size 8. Oh the turmoil inside my little adolescent head.

As a women, there will come a time in your life, whether it’s with friends, family, a prospective partner, or even (gasp) with complete strangers; that you will have to put on swimwear. I personally, love a good swim suit, bikini’s, one pieces, you name it and I’m in to it. I can hear you asking; how do you love swim wear as a plus size woman!?

The first step: reassuring yourself that your body is beach ready.  I’m glad to say that I am at a place that I have decided; I don’t care, I will have fun, and I will wear super cute swimwear pieces to live my best life in. Sadly, I know many women who still don’t feel that way. Women worry about what other people are thinking of them in their swimwear or miss out on all the family fun in the water because they don’t want to take their top off. It really is time to stop missing out, to stop caring, to embrace life and summer and everything that is on offer and just enjoy yourself! I normally enjoy myself a lot better when I look great, so I’ve pulled together some of my favourite swimwear brands and styles to help you rock your body on the beach this summer.

Active Truth. Swimwear designed by active wear enthusiasts who know how to create garments that can withstand the toughest workout? You can guarantee that these babies will hold and mould you exactly where you want it to. I personally cannot choose between their Zip Up Swimsuit 2.0 and the High Waisted Bikini/Zip Up Crop combo, so naturally I have both. Both of these styles are super flattering and give great shape to your body particularly in the waist. The high waisted bottoms are similar in design to their tights so they have great stomach support. I also really love the zip feature as a detail, so you can make them as ‘va va voom’ as you like (or as is appropriate depending on your company). Both of these styles go up to a 3XL (or AU size 26) and a super stretchy and flattering.

SunSoaked Swimwear. Sophisticated flattering swimwear and resort wear that also provides sun protection. That’s a huge YES from me in our Aussie summers. Think fabulous prints and flirty style swimsuits. I love that these provide just that little bit of extra coverage on the shoulders while still being super cute and feminine. The Bree Half Sleeve One Piece and the Janie Ruffle Sleeve One Piece are just two of the gorgeous styles available from this brand and both have detailed ruching across the stomach which is perfect for those of us who like a slimming silhouette across our middle.

Lilly & Lime. Calling all bigger busted ladies! Marketed as ‘swimwear for a D-cup and up’! Now that’s a tagline. Lilly & Lime is founder by 2 fabulous Brisbane ladies providing cute swimwear for big boobies. They have plenty of mix and match options both in colour and style, so you can choose exactly the shapes that work for you. My pick is definitely the Full Cup and High Neck Tops, paired with the High Waisted or Full Brief. I love the ability to pick exactly the right style to suit you and your personality, and they do virtual sizes checks through their website, it really is a one stop shop!

Curvy by Capriosca Swimwear. Specifically design with curvy women in mind, Curvy swimwear is your godsend. Clever details such as a lower leg rise, wider shoulder straps, panelling and rushing means that these styles will enhance your natural figure. THey’re massive range includes pretty pastel florals, bold sports chic designs, retro shapes and much more. I have been drooling over this Luxe Sport Mesh Tank One Piece (the red one please, if anyone needs a last minute Christmas idea for me 😉 ) for months, and adore the high neck mesh to keep the ladies in for a big day at the beach. Their stunning Geo Stripe Long Sleeve One Piece is also a winner for ladies looking for a little extra coverage while staying stylish!

So weather you’re headed to the beach, pool, creek or sprinkler in your backyard. Make sure you put on a swimsuit, enjoy time with your family, and have a little fun this summer. All of these swimsuits also go really nicely with a cocktail in hand once you’ve gotten out of the water.

Happy summer! xx

kate

 

One Dress : Three Ways

How many dresses do you own? 3? 15? 108? Although I haven’t counted exactly, I can guarantee you that I am leaning towards the latter number. The good news for you is: 108 dress is totally unnecessary and my collection is verging on ridiculous. The bad news for me is: 108 dress is totally unnecessary and my collection is verging on ridiculous.

Among these many, many dresses taking up space in my walk in wardrobe are casual day time dresses, date night dresses, dresses for work, dresses for after work drinks that are still appropriate to wear to work, family function dresses, getting dressed up with girlfriends dresses – basically, a new one for every occasion. But what if I told you that actually, I’m excessive (see point in paragraph one). And really, if you can find yourself fitting, flattering and gorgeous dresses that you can wear over and over again, that is the real winner.  Luckily, I’ve recently had the pleasure of working with the beautiful ladies at Leina Broughton, who just happen to be a leading designer in these mystical fitting, flattering and gorgeous dresses that we seek. Not only are their dresses Australian made, they’re designed in gorgeous soft jersey fabrics meaning they hug and slim your curves in all the right places. With sizes ranging from a 8 – 22, these styles are exactly what you need for that dress that you can where any where and every where – and turn heads every time.

From the LB collection, I managed to choose (from an impeccable selection) the beautiful Jada Dress, which ticks all my boxes for a versatile dress. Colour. Shape. Detail.

  1. A colour you can wear any where. For me, black is always a fail safe. If you’re a curvier lady, it tends to nearly always be a flattering colour, and I find black a versatile colour for day or night, professional or party.
  2. A flattering shape for your figure. Each to their own on this one, but personally I find a pencil skirt super flattering between my waist and my hips, and feel that you can change the style quite dramatically by layering other items over the top.
  3. A fun design detail. Something that catches your attention, that you can make a feature of or dress down if necessary. The sleeves and neckline on the Jada dress mean that you can wear them ‘as is’, or add a vest or jacket to style it differently.

So, while all this talk of 1 dress to rule them all is very inspiring (I’m sure), I’ve also styled it up so show you how I do 1 dress, 3 ways. 

Casual. To dress this down I’ve added sneakers and a denim jacket, you could also do this with a cute slogan t-shirt, knotted at the waist. I love that you can still see the neck detail through the jacket (or you could add a long line vest), and that the slim line skirt paired with sneakers creates a bit of a sports luxe look.

Workwear. This is the perfect style to take you from desk to dinners any day of the week. I’ve changed it up by layering a patterned a-line skirt on top, to create contrast and a completely new shape for the style. By styling it as more of a ‘top’ the beautiful flutter sleeves make a huge statement, and matched with the flowing skirt are super flattering on the arms.

Dinner. On this occasion I felt that the Jada really could make enough of a statement on it’s own. It’s the perfect date night dress (my boyfriend agreed), flattering, elegant, and super comfortable so I could have 2 desserts (note: important). I’ve styled it back with matching black heels and some sparkly earrings to keep it classic.

Now I’m going to go clean out my 108 dresses in my wardrobe.

kate

 

 

 

 

(This content is not paid or sponsored in any way. This dress was kindly gifted to me on a ‘need to use’ basis for the purpose of content. )

When to wear a jumpsuit.

Question: When do I wear a jumpsuit? Answer: Always!

In my books, it is always the right time for a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits are the power suit of street style; they demand respect. Every woman wants to be the woman ‘in that jumpsuit’. They walk the line between casual and fancy, you can dress them up with heels or throw on sneakers to run out of the house. Basically, I think jumpsuits are the best! Yet, I feel like they’re one of those styles that curvy women are scared of! Well, good news! Spring is just around the corner (perfect jumpsuit season) and when the ladies at Pretty Little Thing contacted me about getting my curvy self into some of their jumpsuits, I thought there was no better time. So, I’m going to hold your hand through the world of jumpsuits and give you my best tips and tricks on when to wear them, and how to make sure they’re the most flattering for you body type.

I’m very picky about my jumpsuits, so like anything piece of clothing I choose, it has to meet my very important criteria.

It needs to be:

  • Long in the body (there’s nothing worse than seeing a jumpsuit ride all up in your lady bits)
  • A flattering length in the leg (don’t choose something the awkwardly cuts you off)
  • Not too fitted in the stomach area ( this is where I carry most of my weight, so that’s a personal choice)
  • Easy to get in and out of when I need the bathroom (cause, duh)
  • The trick is simply finding one that ticks all these boxes! And when you do, the possibilities are infinite.

The Daytime Jumpsuit.

Perfect for a casual lunch, shopping trip, or day trip with the girls, the day time jumpsuit is an easy to wear thigh to calf length style. It’s something you can easily wear with sneakers, layer with a denim jacket and pair with you favourite sunnies or straw bag. I’ve chose this PLT Ice Grey Wide Leg jumpsuit as the perfect daytime option. The wide leg means that it looks great with flats, I like the thick straps so I can wear a supportive bra underneath, and the lace up front adds just the right amount of fun! Also this grey/lilac colour is perfect for spring. I did find this clung to my middle just a tad, however with some great underwear everything is right in the world. I also sized up to a 26 (going off the Pretty Little Thing size guide), as buying jumpsuits online can be risky business. which was slightly big in the bust area so I did have to alter it to sit correctly.

The Event Jumpsuit.

Stuck on the perfect dress for your ladies lunch, fundraising event or high tea. Easy, choose a jumpsuit! Something that pulls in at the waist to accentuate your figure, with feminine details like bows, frills or ruching is a perfect choice. I went with this Polka Dot Split Leg style. The black and white creates a classic look, and by belting it in the middle I’ve pulled the details in at my waist to accentuate my curves. I also love the split as the front, as I have very short legs, wearing something from neck to ankle could make my body look super short, but with this front split my legs actually look longer! (Which is always a win) I also ended up wearing this (in a 26), but had to wear it a lot higher than the model because I found it so long in the body. Wearing it with a super high neckline made it for my body just a little bit better, don’t be afraid to alter your clothing to suit you!

The Wine Time Jumpsuit.

Heading out with girlfriends, or got a Saturday night date planned? Go a jumpsuit. Be daring. Take a risk. Be able to dance the night away with no worries in the world. Whether it’s a bright pattern, a fun colour or a new style, a jumpsuit on a night out just gives me that piece of mind that I’m not going to flash the entire club when I’m dancing like my life depends on it at 2am. (Jks. I’m never out till 2am, just call me Cinderella and tuck me in by midnight). I took a chance, I went with the Black Floral Tie Playsuit, and it was RISQUÉ! But boy oh boy am I loving it. I love the way it shows off my curves, having the waist tie means in pulls in the accentuate my shape. I played it safe with black but I love the pops of colour from the floral pattern. It took a little work (and a lot of strapping tape) to keep the girls in and up, but I can assure you it was worth it. This style is definitely a head turner and so much fun!

So go on, get spring ready and get yourself into a jumpsuit. Make sure you chose styles that are both flattering and comfortable, but have fun with it! Don’t let your size keep you out of the jumpsuit game!

XX

kate

Disclaimer: These three jumpsuits from Pretty Little Thing we’re kindly gifted to me. I adhered to the PLT size guide and selected a 26 in each style. Please remember these are mass produced garments and this size is not reflective of your worth. I definitely could of sized down, however I made the decisions to alter the styles so I felt more comfortable, instead of worry about them being too small.

To knit, or not to knit?

If you’re anything like me, then you love everything about winter; the chilly air, the extra night time, the awesome fashion! Winter is the perfect excuse to wear a good blazer, or an awesome pair of distressed jeans, and to find that perfect ankle boot. But for many plus women, winter dressing can be difficult. There’s a lot of layering, jackets, cardigans, coats, scarfs… and it’s a common concern (for anyone) that these extra layers can make you look extra bulky. Not something that curvy ladies need.

To help work around this, I’ve pulled together a collection of some of my favourite knits and cardigans, to show you how to wok them into your outfit without adding extra bulk to your body size.

The draped cardigan. This is great for adding some serious style to your basic winter layers or if you’re in warmer climates, adding over a dress. The draping style means it won’t cling to the parts of your body you don’t want it to, which also means it simply changes your silhouette as opposed to making it look like you have an extra layer of body. I’ve paired this gorgeous blush pink Shein Curved Dolman Cardigan (kindly gifted) over a midi dress that pulls in at the waist. By pairing this Cardigan over a dress that skims my body shape, it flatters and adds warmth without making my look like I have extra lumps.

The thick knitted jumper. This is the one many women steer clear of, however the trick is to find a style the sits close to the skin, and I also prefer one that is longer in length. Because it is a more fitted style, adding extra length to the hemline means that it is adding length to your body, creating a slimming illusion. That’s a win to me! I love knit’s like this in bight colours; just add a pair of jeans or leggings and you’re good to go! I picked up 3 of the same style (in different colours) this year from Katie’s that I am wearing with absolutely everything from denim skirts, to jeans, to leggings (yes leggings count as pants if your top covers your bum).

The long line cardigan.  I love love love a long line cardigan, it’s something I purchase new every winter depending on my style. Once again, a cardigan is the perfect item to throw on over your basic outfit, or change your style through out the day depending on the temperature. I personally love a long line style that has a pattern or open/loose style knit to it to create more detail in an outfit. This is the best of both worlds, a long line style will create a new silhouette on your body without adding that extra bulky layer AND because it is ‘long’ will give the illusion of height, instantly slimming your style. I found this years long line cardigan at Autograph, with an open weave knit, I love that you can see through it to get a peek at the patterns or colours underneath.

The snuggly jumper. Perfect for those chilly days when you just don’t want to get our of bed but have to. A fluffy snuggly jumper will make you feel like you brought your bed with you! To ensure you’re avoiding looking fluffy yourself, choose a soft style knit, that is a loose weave in a thick knit. The lack of structure in this style is flattering as the jumper moulds to your body, not the other way around. My pick for a snuggly jumper this year was the Shein Oversized Sweater (kindly gifted) in a warm mocha colour.

The fashion knit. This is a knit with style, for me personally this is normally in a thinner jumper material. The purpose of the fashion knit is to have something different, and to be creating a statement (however big or small). Depending on your body shape (i personally fall in the ‘bigger busted’ category), can depend on where you prefer to wear your detail or pattern. My detail of choice is a shoulder ruffle, of any size or colour. I find that adding that extra ruffle over the should balances out my chest by creating ‘fuller’ shoulders, and distracts the eye. I picked up this gorgeous Katies ruffle jumper in black, as I opted for exciting detail in a simple colour. You could however pick up a striking pattern in a similar style!

So in answer to my questions, do you knit or not? I love to knit, in ways that suit my own personal style. I hope these tips can help you find your knit style too! If you’re loving my gorgeous SHEIN knits, you can get your hands on them too by using my DISCOUNT CODE: PRET20 for 20% off. (Based on original price and valid for orders over $59 from the plus size range).

kate