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. )

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

 

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)!

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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

Love those killer curves, with Zest Lifewear

There’s only 1 thing I love more than a local brand, and that’s a local active wear brand! If you haven’t heard of Zest Lifewear, you are already missing out. Started in Brisbane, Sassii (the creator) was fed up with not being able to find attractive active wear in plus sizes (PREACH), so she decided to create some!

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The Zest Lifewear brand is an empowering, versatile, sexy machine; and their goals of empowering curvy women, standing up to body shamers and promoting confidence is one that I support whole heartedly! So I was more than excited to be able to try out some of their products and get involved in their brand. On looking through their range you can easily tell that this activewear does not shy away from the curvy shape (yay!), better yet it embraces it! With designs that skim the waist and accentuate the booty, this range offers a nice change from the baggy and unflattering plus size active wear that’s in the main stream market. Personally, I love active wear! Do you remember when all those parody videos hit the internet about females doing everything in their active wear? Yeah, that was me. Active wear to breakfast, on the weekends, to go to the shops – I totally did that phase. So another thing that really appealed to me about Zest was that these designs also count as fab street wear! Not only are they perfect for the gym, but you can definitely rock them out for your morning coffee or onto the street.

The gorgeous ladies at Zest Lifewear sent me 2 items to take to the streets (and the gym), so I chose the ‘Bitch Please‘ top (I love a bit of sass with my morning coffee), and the ‘Werk It‘ leggings. I followed the size guide on the website, which I found really accurate and got a 18/20 in the top and 22/24 in the leggings.

 

 

For me, I like to steer away from figure hugging tops in the gym and 18 was a perfect fit. The style and cut meant it was easy to move around in and comfortable to work out in. I also love this cut for every day wear, you could team it with some denim shorts and sneakers for a super chic look!

The leggings were also a perfect fit for me, super comfortable and easy to wear. After a few workouts I did decide that my next pair will probably be a size smaller, but that is just because I prefer my tights to be quite fitted on my little belly pouch. I tested out the tights in all sorts of compromising gym positions, running, squats, lunging. And I am proud to report that they survived (my leg muscles however barely made it through)! The smooth fabric of these tights allowed me to bend, stretch and squat while they felt like a second skin. Best of all, they definitely didn’t go see through. I absolutely love the mesh detailing on the bottom of these tights, as it gives them just a little bit of on edge over a plain black pair. I can’t wait to add these to my street style also as I know they’ll make a great statement.

So after giving my Zest Lifewear a bit of a run around and a serious workout, I’m so excited to have found a new Brisbane brand to add to my wardrobe! You can read more about the Zest story and products on their website, and to add some of their pieces to your wardrobe you can use my code PRETTY15 for a 15% discount!

Love,

kate

Treat yo’self (and him!) this Valentine’s Day!

Warning: Risky content ahead 😉

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, perhaps you have suddenly realised you forgot to make plans or buy a gift for your significant other. (Or perhaps you are well organised and have no idea what I’m talking about, in which case, just skip this and check out the cute lingerie below). Making plans is hard, let’s be honest; Feb 14th is a Wednesday, you’ve probably got a load of washing to do, school lunches to make or that second job to get to. So, if you’re looking for a little pick me up, something to both spoil yourself and make him feel like you haven’t forgotten him on Valentine’s day for the 5th year in a row, what is better than a sweet new set of lingerie!!

Lingerie + plus size. It’s a scary thought for many, but my question is why? Why shouldn’t you flaunt your curves? If you are putting lingerie on for someone, that is someone that already loves you and adores you and I bet would love to see your new outfit. There is nothing better than finding some super cute lingerie and watching your man drool a little (no, just me?). When it comes to lingerie (just like swimwear), it’s important that YOU feel comfortable, even sexy; so picking the right set is the hardest part! With that in mind, I find the easiest way to decide on your V-day style is to pick a part of your body that makes you feel un-sexy (this might sound counter productive but we’ve all got something), and then work with that to cover it up or wear something that makes you feel better about it. If you hate your waist, perhaps a soft baby doll style that skims over the top of it is best. If you wish your boobs were bigger, find something with extra padding for that extra oomph! Whether you prefer full coverage, lacy, high waisted or anything in between there is definitely something out there to make you feel fabulous (and that’s the most important bit!) To help out, I’ve picked out some of my favourite Valentines Day themed sets, outfits and lingerie to help you  treat yo’self and feel good!

Passions Corset and Stockings – ($99.95) Curvaceously Yours. I love this corset set with the nude lining as it implys lots of nude for him, with extra comfort for you. The bodice of the corset runs bust to pelvis giving a beautiful shape (adjustable with a lace up back), and with underwire support built in it’s great for a bigger bust.

Elomi Flirt Set – (Bra $94.95, Brief $49.95) Big Girls Don’t Cry. For the perfect combinations of ‘Will you be my Valentine’ and ‘I am so comfortable I could nap’, I can’t go past this set. The matching harness detail on the bra and brief paired with the full cup plunge style and high waist is ideal if you’re self conscious about your stomach while still being super fun!

Anika Plunge Set – (Bra $69.95, currently on promotion with a free brief) City Chic.  If you are after something a little more romantic this Anika Set has beautiful detailing and gorgeous lace lines (also comes in black if you’re more a 50 Shades of Grey type gal). This soft cup bra features a lace up front for a little extra cleavage and I love the extra strapping on the thong (there’s also a matching brief if you prefer).

Wonderous Baby Doll – ($54.00) Unlucky Lingerie. The baby doll is one of my all time favourite styles! Flattering on nearly all body shapes it’s fitted in the bust and then just glides over everything else. This one has that little bit of extra X factor with the lace cups and sheers dress and comes in Valentine red, sultry black and all year round, no need for a special occasion blue!

That’s it! I hope you have the best Valentine’s day (or any other day for that matter) and cupid is kind to you. xx

This post is not sponsored or paid for in any way by any of the mentioned brands, these are simply my own personal purchasing/wish list choices.

Love,

kate

A quick guide to Curvy Workwear

As much as I wish I could spend all day every day blogging and taking beautiful photos for IG; most days I stumble out of bed and go to my desk job, after picking out an awesome outfit of course! Dressing for work can be difficult for any women, and there are so many influencing factors that may deem your outfit appropriate or not, and a skirt that might be nice for one work place will not be tolerated in another. For us curvy gals, that pressure is then topped with trying to find brands who cater to our size, style and fitting preference.

We spend most of our lives at work, well I seem to; so the idea that we aren’t dressing to show our personality or in something that oozes confidence is distressing! My biggest, number 1 recommendation for finding work clothes is to invest in some key staple, standout items (and maybe pay a tiny bit more for them), to mix and match with simpler, less expensive pieces. Another quick tip is to add statement jewellery or shoe, a big necklace, some fun earrings, or a sparkly pair of ballet flats is a quick and easy way to to jazz up a simple black dress or otherwise boring work attire.

Finding those few staple pieces really depends on your own style. For me, those staple pieces include a blazer, a patterned skirt and a plain coloured dress. My personal style, can be any where from feminine to grungy but in the work place I like to keep it a little girly professional. So for me, spending a little extra cash on these items pays off in my wardrobe, and then I can fill it with less expensive pieces to swap in and out. To try and help find YOUR professional style, and spotlight some great brands (for all budgets), I’ve put together a list of my favourite (wishlist) work pieces to help inspire you – with a few tips on styling too!

Skirts. I love both floaty and straight skits, and I like to keep at least 1 of each in my wardrobe. Finding a patterned skirt that you love also makes it so easy to match with simpler, different coloured tops to change the look. My favorite of these is probably the Crawford Asymmetric Skirt; I love the flirty cut, and would style it quite simply with a plain coloured black top and simple studs. (The colors in it make it easy to match with different colored tops!

Crawford Asymmetric Skirt – Cooper Street SALE $64.98 (normally $129.95)

Belle Skirt – Studio 8 $196.00

ASOS Curve Longline High Waist Pencil Skirt – ASOS $40.00

Pencil Skirt – Lost Ink Plus $59.95

Dresses. If you follow me on IG you will know I LOVE a dress! I don’t have to think about matching a top and bottom and they’re super easy to dress up with a pair of heels! If you’ve got cash to splash this Leina Broughton dress is my absolute favourite with it’s cute little cut out sleeves, and easy to accessories with a different colour belt or chunky necklace to change the look entirely!

 

Valerie Dress – Leina Broughton $239.00

Kylee Midi Dress – Atmos & Here $79.95

Raven Pencil Dress – Atmos & Here SALE $53.97 (normally $89.95)

Vintage Veronica Dress – City Chic $99.95

Pants. When it comes to pants my number 1 requirement is that they’re comfy! For a professional look I also prefer to tuck my tops into my pants, which means I need a nice waistband that flatters my curvy (sometimes particularly round) shape. I find pants with a high waist and noticeable waistband or tie are best for this. I’ve also found ASOS one of the BEST places to shop for work pants. This Asos Peg Pant with Obi Tie is my absolute favorite as I can pair it with any thing from a company branded, to high neck, to no sleeve, to button up, to frilly top!

ASOS Curve Woven Peg Pant (Obi Tie) – ASOS $50.00

Bengaline Pull On Trousers – DP Curve $59.95

Cross Front Woven Pants – 17 Sundays SALE $35.00 (normally $99.95)

ASOS Curve High Waist Tapered Pant – ASOS $50.00

Tops. Go Simple! If your pants or skirt is patterned, pair is with a plain colured top. Add a big statement necklace or earrings. Put a blazer over the top for a corporate vibe. I find tops are the easiest thing to purchase on sale, or are more inexpensive then other items, which means you can mix and match them really easily. While I adore this Bohemian Traders Blazer as a statement piece; stores like Crossroads, Katies and Target are my go too for tops on sale.

White Blazer – Bohemian Traders $189.00

Double Frill Top – Target $30.00

Flutter Sleeve Top – Katies $39.95

Cold Shoulder Wrap Blouse – Crossroads SALE $30.00 (normally $39.95)

If you have found these styles aren’t for you, never fear! I have tried to include a range of brands in my listings and perhaps you will find something else you love! My styling is based on my own body shape and styling interests, but I hope you can take a little inspiration from the pieces I’ve put together. The main thing is to dress in a way that makes you feel confident in the workplace and create a positive vibe for yourself to get through the work day!

Love love,

kate