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

20 Ways To Wear: Stripes

Stripes are a wardrobe staple all year round; big stripes, vertical stripes, coloured stripes, striped shoes, stripes with patterns. Unfortunately, as with every trend, stripes seem to be something that plus size women are cautioned against! A stripe going one way will make you look wide, a strip going the other way will make you look square! There’s a lot of rules and regulation as to how we are meant to wear our stripes.

Luckily, I think these rules are absolute rubbish and have trolled my favourite online stores for a multitude of  different styles and stripey patterns to share with you. A good stripe can be any colour, going in any direction, and on any part of your body! (I love a good stripey skirt) Stripes can be a great way to dress up an outfit (think jeans and a ‘nice top), add some dimension or variation to your day wear, or help you stand out in a crowd in a bold and loud colour.

So contrary to the ‘nay-sayers’, I seem to have found all these wonderful stripes that do not make you look wide or round or short, just fabulous!!

 

(L-R)  ASOS Junarose Striped Woven Top $70.00 (16-28) |  Bohemain Traders Sand Strip Flyaway Top $105.00 (XXS-3XL) | Little Party Dress Marayna Stripe Skirt $64.95 (6-18) | Adrift Elsa Poncho $69.99 (O/S) | Coral & Co Dress Deep Water $190.00 (XS-XL) | Misguided Curve Floral Stripe Shirt Dress $74.95 (16-24) | Kennedy’s Boutique Everyday Droppies $89.00 (S-3XL) | Birdsnest High Low Midi Dress $89.95 (6-22) | Bohemian Traders Ruffle Wrap Skirt $159.95 (XS-4XL) | Little Party Dress Gemma Floral Dress $59.95 (6-18) | Atmos & Here Tamara Maxi Dress $79.95 (18-26) | Atmos & Here Cassie Lightweight Knit $49.95 (18-26) | Little Party Dress Rodeo Drive Stripe Floral Dress $69.95 (6-18) | 17 Sundays Striped Maxi Tee Dress $129.95 (PLUS XS-XL) | MERI by Design, Strip Boho Top $160.00 (S-L) | City Chic Stripe Playsuit $129.95 (PLUS XS-XL) | Bohemian Traders Striped Dandelion Top  $149.00 (XXS-4XL) | Lula Soul Lisa Tunic $99.95 (S-3XL) | ASOS Relaxed Pants in Stripe $54.00 (18-28) | 17 Sundays Wrap Shirt Dress $59.95 (12-26)

Tag me in your stripey creations!

kate

 

The PLUS side of Shein

People seem to be wired to like fast things; fast food, fast cars, fast internet. But how much do we love fast fashion? For the masses it’s great, think Supre, Ally, Kmart. But what about for us plus size ladies? Many of these ‘fast fashion’ outlets simply don’t cater above a ‘size 14’ (which really is usually small size 12), leaving us curvier ladies spending the big bucks when it comes to trends and themes. Luckily, the online market is on our side with many ‘fast fashion’ companies expanding their range to cater for curve sizes.

Before starting this blog I was always uncertain about ordering online at all! My biggest concern was because of sizing and the inability to try items, but luckily (with the rise of online shopping) many companies now have very simple returns processes that means I can do ALL the online shopping I want! However I still do tend to stick to major retailers and plus specific brands, which can be rather costly. A company that is now catering both for curvy sizes and to satisfy our need for fast fashion (and is relatively inexpensive), is SHEIN. I had seen a few other plus and inbetweenie bloggers wearing SHEIN before, and had always been curious as to the sizes/quality/was this too good to be true? So when they offered to send me a few items to try, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to test it all out.

I spent a lot of time on the SHEIN website trying to pick my 2 items, it definitely helps if you know what you are looking for, otherwise you could get lost in there! For example, I knew I wanted to stick with dresses so I just stuck to that section. Being my first time with SHEIN, I also wanted to stick to styles that I knew would be ‘safe’ and relatively flattering on my body shape, so things with a fuller skirt and not too short (just to avoid that dreaded ‘way too short’ moment). I ended up choosing the Layered Bardot Dress and the Lantern Sleeve Dress, and stuck to the on-trend red/wine colour theme for autumn. My biggest recommendation for shopping with SHEIN is to STICK TO THE SIZE GUIDE!

Every item has a different size measurement, so I did find that in some styles I would be a 1XL, some a 3XL, some a 5XL ( I’m cutting those tags straight off, I don’t need that silly mentality in my head). So number one rule, check the size guide for every item you buy. I sized up slightly, just to be extra safe (particularly with a wrap dress) and ended up in a 3XL in both of these dresses. I received my parcels relatively quickly (within 10 working days), and have to admit I was quite impressed with the style, quality, and accuracy to the image in the dresses I received. Remembering , this is fast fashion which is reflected in both the price and quality, so sure they may not last as long as some other pieces in my wardrobe, but overall, I was impressed!

 

I absolutely love the colour of this Layered Bardot Dress and feel like it is a perfect autumn addition to my wardrobe. The elastic waist means you can wear it comfortably any where you want, I pulled it up slightly higher on my waist so the top would have over a little bit. In all honesty, I felt like a gypsy, and it satisfied all my nostalgic ‘Hunchback of Notredam’ Disney vibes. The bottom of the sleeves were elasticised too, I had them pulled up at my elbow (on this particularly warm Brisbane day), but you can wear it full length to the wrist. The fills, the tassels, I am definitely digging this style.

The Lantern Sleeve Dress has these gorgeous detailed sleeves, and I adore the frill around the bottom. I was a little weary of it being a wrap style (and not covering my chest properly), so I sized up. I’m definitely glad I did, and I will admit I did still have a few issues with how it sat across my chest. For wearing out I will probably pin the inner side across more, to keep the girls in. But overall, I feel like this dress was another win that I can wear to so many events! It also comes in a really fab blue/bird combo print that I’m obsessed with( I found out after I’d placed my order).

Have you tried SHEIN or any other fast fashion outlets? I think I’ll definitely be sharing more SHEIN with you, and keeping my eye out for those one season pieces that I just need to have. The price is affordable, and I was impressed with the fit and the quality for what you’re paying. If you want to give it a go to, you can use my discount code PRET20 for a 20% discount (off all original priced plus size orders over $59).

Till next time,

kate

 

 

Skincare, what skincare?

Any one who knows my normal nightly routine knows that it consists of bad reality television, cold showers and a lot of insta stalking. Perhaps an extra wipe of my face with a make up wipe after my shower routine. It does not however, contain excessive moisturising, peeling, baking, soaking, scrubbing or any other techniques to aggressively improve my skin. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good exfoliant every now and again (when I remember), but I am definitely not one of those people who have a carefully planned skin care routine every night.

41fUIPIoDRLAs a women in her mid twenties, half of my friends are getting botox, and the other half  are still getting teenage style pimples when they eat too much chocolate. Me, I’m dealing with some serious hormonal cystic acne (which I believe, was caused by using the Mirena as a contraceptive), sunburn and just looking tired 99.9% of the time. So when I was approached by Nerium International, the concept of having to follow a skin care routine was both daunting and intriguing. Once I decided that looking after my skin for once definitely wouldn’t hurt, I jumped on board their 90 faces in 90 days campaign, meaning that I had access to the Age Defying Day & Night Cream (Optimera® Formula)(2 separate products) for 90 days. Although these products are both listed as ‘anti ageing’ products, that wasn’t the main focus for me; (although always bonus points for looking younger, right?!) I was drawn to the promises of hydration, reduced discoloration and fixing uneven skin texture. As mentioned above, I struggled with cystic acne along my chin and jawline, something that I still believe was a side effect of certain medications I was previously on, so the hope that these products could possibly help with reducing that scarring this had left me with (and was continuing to, as I hadn’t yet found a solution to control the acne) was my main motivation.

The 2 products I used, can be found here. I used them for a total of 90 days/ three months over the New Year period (new year, new skin yeah?). The Age Defying Day Cream (Optimera® Formula) is designed to hydrate, smooth fine lines and wrinkles and reduce discolouration and is for everyday use. I applied it first thing in the morning, so it could sink into my skin before I put my make up on, and found it quite light weight to wear all day. It contains peptides, COQ10, jojoba, green tea, shea and cocoa butter and many more fabulous ingredients. From my previous experience in the cosmetics industry I knew that jojoba in particular was hypothetically going to be good for keeping my skin hydrated and reducing my acne marks and scars. Paired with the Age Defying Night Cream (Optimera® Formula), these products were working around the clock to keep my skin fabulous. The Night Cream boasts Castor Seed Oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice, SAL14, and the companies very own patented SIG-1273® extract. All of these are designed to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and promote brightening and hydration. I applied this each night after a shower (they recommend on damp skin); this one is a heavier than the Day Cream and definitely has a much stronger smell, it is one I had to get used to. However, after 90 days, ta da!

My before (white singlet) and after (green tshirt)!

IMG_8767img_2609

In my 90 days (okay, maybe i missed a few days here and there), you can see how much my redness has reduced! I actually never realised what a red face I had! These images are both make up free and taken (probably about) 100 days apart. A lot of the dark red marks on my face from the before image are scarring and marks from acne that I just could not get rid of, so I was more than thrilled to see when that long term scarring started to fade. I also feel like the skin on my cheek bones and under my eyes is a lot plumper and fuller, it basically just looks happier! Overall I feel like not only does my skin look better, but it feels better too! Hydration was always a big thing for me and my face and I feel like these products definitely help to keep my skin smoother than before.

You can see other peoples before and afters with various Nerium products on their website. I also can’t finish this post about my skin without shouting out also to The Petite Stork. While Nerium products have definitely smoothed, recolored and repaired my skin, for the last month I have been using a custom acne essential oil blend from The Petite Stork and can confirm that it has attached my actual acne to the point it has nearly disappeared! For more info or your own blends, you can contact Jade on Insta or email.

Have you found any awesome skin care products lately, let me know below!
Sending love and good skin vibes,

kate