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)!

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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

Christmas Day Style!

If you are anything like me, Christmas Day is the perfect excuse to buy a new outfit. A new dress, some summery shorts, perhaps a cute pair of heels to show off at Christmas lunch; there are lots of options! But also many variables to consider, where are you going? Will there be physical activities involved (games etc)? Are you with family or friends, or in-laws?! If you are having all of these dilemmas and have none of the answers, read on, because I’m here to offer some insight.

For me, I want to make sure that I am going to be comfortable allll day. It’s Christmas and I live in Australia, which means summer – which means HOT. I’m a plus size girl, so if the weather is hot that means I am hot. I like to wear things that will allow me to keep cool, and also (in case I do start burning up) won’t show marks or get sweaty. Paired with this pre-assumed uncomfortable heat, the last thing I want to be worrying about is my strapless bra digging in and falling off, so there’s another prerequisite for my outfit of the day; supportive bra friendly. For most families Christmas Day can start pretty early and carry through until the evening, which means I want an outfit that doesn’t require a lot of  touch ups or fiddling; also something that is going to hide my bloat from too much punch and Christmas ham. Finally, I want to make sure that I’m going to look nice in EVERY Christmas day photo, because let’s be honest, Grandma is going to be showing people those photos for the whole next year.

So, with those things in mind, I have put together a little collection of comfortable shoes, on-fleek earrings (because, they are the ultimate accessory) and fabulous outfits to help you survive Christmas day!

OOTDxmas3 Outfit one includes this beautiful Bohemian Trader’s Dreamer Dress (which may or may not already be hanging in my wardrobe). This dress is 100% rayon, which means it is super cool and perfect for a hot summers day! Available in a few different colours (check the website), this bright raspberry is the perfect festive/yet cool combo and a great alternative to the normal Christmas red. It comes with a waist tie which you can tie mid waist or hip for 2 different looks, you can also remove it completely to wear as a shift dress! Festive and  practical! The soft and floaty design means that you can go back for second helpings of that Christmas pudding and no one will know! Sitting at about knee length means you don’t have to sit out of Christmas afternoon games (cricket anyone?), and paired with these sparkly Palmaira flats and Bee Twomey Earrings makes it stylish and still perfect to chase the kids, dance with your grand dad and try out that new scooter your niece got for Christmas.

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If dresses aren’t your thing, never fear, this City Chic combo will take you from opening presents to your fancy Christmas lunch. Once again keeping in mind my outfit requirements, although fitted, the Cascade Sleeve Top is a comfortable wrap style, available in black to hide any evidence of summer heat. The stunning sleeve details tie in beautifully with the exaggerated fill on the bottom of these Palm Play Shorts. Further on the shorts, the high waist band and the loose leg make me feel better about shorts in general, as I like to avoid possible love handles or accidental flashing at family members. These are actually available in a range of patterns (I have 2 other pairs at home), so if the palm print isn’t you’r thing you can always change it up a little bit! This time I’ve paired the outfit with these super cute Espadrille Wedges from Diana Ferrari (which I am VERY in love with); I personally love a good heel and short combo, it feels so fancy to me. The Espadrille wedge on these helps to keep the outfit casual and also wedge heel = super comfortable and ideal for backyard Christmas cricket. I also recently found Rowdy Designs at my local Etsy market and her Oval Stud Earrings add just the right amount of summer casual to this outfit combo. Bra friendly, in law appropriate, dressy enough to be on mums wall for the next 12 months – tick, tick, tick!

OOTDxmas2This last combo is for those of you ready to shake up Christmas a little. Who doesn’t LOVE a good jumpsuit!? This Little Party Dress Floral Jumpsuit ticks all the boxes for me; straight away – the shoulders mean you can wear a normal bra, the colour will hide any awkward summer marks, no need to readjust anything all day it’s all tucked in there, and people will be asking about your outfit all year when they see the photos! Once again, a jumpsuit is a great option if you’ve got young kids or activities planned as part of your festivities as you can move and jump around as much as you please. The pattern in particular is nearly faux festive, with its floral theme and hints of pinks and oranges. I’m pairing this with a super comfortable pair of Novo shoes, a block heel will help see you through the whole day. And I’m also loving the slide style and the mesh design as it will also become the perfect summer shoe (see honey, multiple uses, totally worth the money!). Topped off with these gorgeous Liona Lee Dangles, which just happen to compliment the jumpsuit print, this outfit will be perfect for any Christmas day occasion!

I’m a big believer in the fact that being plus size shouldn’t hinder your fashion style, change your style or stop you from dressing up! I hope these outfits and handy hints help you prepare for your Christmas day, however you may celebrate, and if you’ve found them useful make sure you tag me #prettyforplussize in your fabulous outfits! As for me and what I’ll be wearing for Christmas, you’ll have to wait and see…

Love,

kate

You do you.

What a huge week last week was! If you’re playing along on Instagram you will have seen last week I took some time off to spend with my darling #instaboyfriend. And what a week we had! From musical theater, to birthday present, the ocean to poolside cocktails; we really took the opportunity to relax, spend some quality time together, and plan some epic blog content. We spent four whole uninterrupted days at the gorgeous Santai Retreat, and it was possibly the most relaxing  and beautiful trip away we’ve ever had. The team at Santai were absolutely divine; with the staff being so helpful and friendly, and the venue looking so tropical and picturesque,  it really does make you feel like you’d stepped into your own exclusive paradise. I even had a friend ask on my return, was it actually as good as the pictures?! YES! It definitely was, there was not one thing that we could complain about or have wished to be better, even the rainy weather for 1 day was filled with baths, in house movies and cocktails.

In all honesty, I didn’t have this weeks blog content planned, and while sitting on our balcony looking at the ocean, sipping our freshly popped champagne and nibbling on cheese I got inspired. See, from our balcony, I could see a young couple swimming together in the pool, no one was around, so it was just the two of them enjoying each others company. After a while I realised this lovely young lady was swimming fully clothed, so conscious about her body, that she was in a big baggy t-shirt and knee length board shorts. Granted, perhaps this was just how she chose to dress and had no reflection on her self confidence. But the way she uncomfortably pulled the wet material off her body every time it stuck, made me think different. I decided it actually made me so mad, that she felt so bad about her self in a beautiful location like this, that society and the media had programmed her to feel self conscious and like she wasn’t worthy of swim wear because of her size. And it just got me to thinking, of all the things young women feel like they ‘can’t do’ or ‘shouldn’t do’ because of their size. The things that society says you have to be skinny to do, or to be worthy of – which let’s be real, is a huge load of bullsh**. So, in honor of that darling young women, I decided to put together a little list of all the things I did in the last few days that I’m sure mortified the haters, and made me feel better than ever.

1. WORE A BIKINI! Oh my lord, how offensive! That’s right, I rocked my size 18 body in not one, but TWO actual bikini’s! Not a one piece that covered my from head to toe, not with a pair of board shorts or shirt over the top, and not wrapped in a towel the moment I got out of the water. In fact I walked through nearly the entire resort, from the pool to my room, with my towel over my shoulder and my bikini body on display. And you know what, I felt fabulous! I had 2 new bikinis to show off and that is exactly what I did. With a little encouragement from #instaboyfriend (bless him), I even got down in the sandy ocean and rolled around in the water a little to take a few photos. Was my stomach a little bloated, yep. Could you see my cellulite, sure. But actually, the universe didn’t implode, my rolls didn’t start a world war, and actually, I don’t think anyone even looked at me twice.

2. WENT FOR A MASSAGE! Naked! You heard it here first. I got my whole kit off (got under a towel of course) and let a stranger rub me down, and it was totally amazing. I’ve had conversations before with women who are worried about getting their gear off, or even not fitting on the bed, but I can tell you that was the last thing on my mind about 30 seconds in. This was the most incredibly relaxing and rejuvenating experience I have possibly ever had. Sure, I had a moment of ‘oh she can see all my rolls and back fat’ and ‘oh gosh my hips are nearly wider than the bed’ – yes I have many moments of self doubt too. But at the end of the hour, I cam out of that room feeling more relaxed and at ease then I have in years, and knowing that these beautiful stressed and run down women miss out on that feeling because they feel their cellulite may offend someone, is basically a crime.

3. ATE ALL THE FOOD AND COCKTAILS! Does anyone else sometimes feel like every one else is looking at what you’re eating and judging you. Hands up, me! And of course, everything in moderation, but I was on holidays, and I sat there, in the sunken lounge next to the pool, testing the cocktail list and eating delicious tapas for hours, twice! In all honesty, people came and went the whole time we were there, but the food was so damn good I don’t think anyone looked up from their plate! It was one of my first Thai food experiences too, and it was absolutely divine! I’m pretty sure I am obsessed with Thai food now, something I would of missed out on! The horror! Life is about living, and enjoying yourself, and sometimes, that just includes food.

4. DID A MINI PHOTO SHOOT! As a bigger girl I’ve spent years trying to make sure people aren’t looking at me. But if you’ve ever been to Santai Retreat you will understand that you can not leave that resort without wanted to photograph everything! Oh, the perfection! It really is like a mini paradise. And I couldn’t let that opportunity pass, so, I pulled out a few nice dresses I had packed and dragged #instaboyfriend through the resort shooting photos at the pool, against that wall, with those green plants, and sitting down, everywhere! At one stage I accidentally started posing just outside a family’s balcony, where their baby was quite amused in watching me. In another instance, I looked up and realised there was a woman peeking through her curtains watching me. That one hit me, I immediately stopped taking photos and felt stupid. Was she laughing? I don’t know. Smiling? Not sure. Making fun of me? Maybe, that’s how I felt. But that’s the point, why should I feel silly? I wasn’t hurting her, or anyone else for that matter. And if she wanted to watch on at my poses, then actually, that’s fine, maybe she wanted some pointers.

My point, is that you can’t let anything hold you back. Live your life. Go out with a bang, you do you girl. Your curves aren’t hurting anyone, and definitely aren’t offending anyone that matters.Rock that bikini, strip off (when appropriate), order another cocktail on your holiday. Just be.

Love,

kate

*Please note this blog post is in no way sponsored or associated with Santai Retreat or any othre associating company, this was a personally selected location and the views are my own.

RACE DAY READY

As a plus size women, events and functions can be a daunting experience. With race season fast approaching (or basically already here), it dawned on me that the races are not exempt from the feelings of anxiety and awkwardness that many plus size women feel. Uncomfortably shuffling through a crowd, sweating body parts and chafing thighs,  unhealthy food and drinks that result in bloating; how good does going to the races sound right now! I know, pretty terrible, why would you go? Well if you’re anything like me, AN EXCUSE TO GET DRESSED UP! Woo! My favourite thing!

So basically, I spent a little time shuffling through my wardrobe trying to find the perfect races outfit to share with you beautiful ladies, because also, going to the races shouldn’t send your broke before you even get there! (Take note younger me) That said, if you feel like a new dress is on the cards, I’ve made some suggestions below. The two looks I’ve come up with, while you may not be able to replicate perfectly, I hope you can take the tips and tricks behind them and apply it to your own perfect race day look!

1My first look was built around this gorgeous last season Sheike dress that I had in my wardrobe from a Christmas party. Sheike is a great place for those inbetweenies looking for beautiful pieces (I’m more around an 18 at the moment and I can squeeze into some of their more generous size 16 pieces).  Although this particular dress is not available anymore they have very  similar styles online (and instore) now in the Spotty Satin Dress, Night Noise Maxi and Exclusive Dress. The reason I’m backing these styles is because I find them sooo forgiving for many different shapes. They all draw in at the waist (on a stretchy band) creating a faux waist and then flow out over those gorgeous womanly hips we’re carrying around, creating a beautiful shape on the body. Also they are more of a straight cut style that many women like, however because they have that flow and don’t sit directly on the skin you can fit in a few more champagnes and canapes without worrying about bloating (that’s a big one for me! 😉 ). If you find a few drinks does make you bloat, or your prefer not to wear fitted clothing, these dresses are the perfect shape while still looking feminine and giving you shape.

I paired this dress with nude accessories and a bright lip! A good lip on race day can act as an accessory in itself and you can use it to tie your accessories into your dress by using a complimentary shade to a colour in your dress. I picked these Novo shoes up a few months ago for a photo shoot and have worn them with everything since! You can find a similar pair online. The best part about these heels is the wedge, my biggest races outfit tip is always, always, wear a wedged or thick heel. There is nothing worse then trying to walk through the grass in a stiletto heel and sinking into the dirt! For my fascinator, I like to match it back to either my shoes or with my dress (and then wear different complimentary coloured shoes). In this case I have stuck to the nude theme with this beautiful Max Alexander leaf headpiece. I personally love that it is on a headband, not something you have to pin in, as this gives me piece of mind for the entire day!

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My second look was a little more ‘sultry’. This City Chic dress is one I picked up from one of their outlet stores during winter, figuring it would come in hand for many occasions during the warmer months. Right I was, it’s the perfect races dress! I love the style of the fitted bodice with the big A-line skirt, for those ladies who don’t like things clinging to their hips or just feel more comfortable that way, this is the perfect style. I love the flower/leaf detail in this dress as it makes it appear nearly transparent underneath, and breaks up that full on block colour.

4For this look I have gone with classic black accessories that I had in my wardrobe. If all else fails black is always a good way to go accessory wise, and if you are struggling to match your black staples to a dress try to tie them together by using a colour/black combo earring, or adding a black belt into your dress. Again I’ve gone with a pair of Novo shoes from last season that I had in the back of my wardrobe, falling back on my ‘solid heel’ theory these ones will keep my feet comfortable all day. Underneath (both dresses), I am rocking my most attractive pair of spanx, it’s important for me to stay comfortable (and as un-sweaty) as possible on a long day out, so a good pair is worth the investment (and avoiding the embarrassment of a visible panty line!).

My beautiful black fascinator is a trend I love at the moment, with the lace pattern built up all over it. It also matches this particular dress perfectly! Once again, this Morgan & Taylor headpiece is on a headband to keep it secure on my head all day without having to worry. While some might object to having a headband covering your entire head, you can always style your hair to sit over the top so it is less noticeable. I’ve pulled my hair up and into a flat bun for this particular look, this way I don’t have to worry about curls dropping or humidity wrecking my straightening efforts. Also on a day out in the sun and crowds this is an easy and subtle way to keep your body temperature down. Personally, I over heat very easily, and there is nothing more mortifying then getting sweaty at a classy event, so by having my hair pulled up and off my neck I’m already keeping myself just a tad cooler.

So if you are heading off to the races in the coming weeks, I hope this has been slightly helpful! But the most important thing is that you feel amazing about yourself! Use the excuse to dress up, have fun, and embracing your own #prettyforplussize. Show me how you’re dressing up for the races by commenting or tagging me on IG!

kate