ASOS, ASOS Curve, Elle, look what you could have worn, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, women's media

Look What You Could Have Worn: Elle magazine x ASOS

Look what you could have worn - ASOS x Elle

Every time an email lands in an inbox from a women’s media outlet, showing a ‘fresh and funky fashion edit!’ my heart drops a little bit. I know they mean well, but there’s something a bit galling about gazing longingly at items I’ll never be able to wear because they don’t come in my size (and probably never will.)  But the siren call of 20% off ASOS is strong – even more so when you’ve spent far too much time recently wondering if you’ll suit a denim jacket or if it will make you look like a chub member of a Bananarama tribute band (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

This is how I found myself picking up a copy of Elle last week. The discount card is burning a hole in my wallet and the magazine is languishing on my dining table. I seriously doubt that there will be any clothes featured in it that plus-sized girls can wear, so I thought I’d put together a quick post showing a spring outfit I’d feature in its pages if I could.

It’s still pretty cold and blustery here in the North West of England, so I’m thinking longingly of pastel colours and bare legs. The midi prom skirt (3.) is a great transitional item, the kind of thing which will look super cute worn with tights, but won’t cause your knees to freeze if you dare to bare. I’m drawn to silver shoes like a magpie is drawn to shiny objects, so I’m swooning over the silver brogues (4.). They’re femme enough to be worn with skirts, but would look equally as good paired with cigarette pants or a pair of slim leg jeans. I’m unsure about whether I’d look good in a denim jacket (1.), but 2016 may be the year I finally take the plunge and buy one – mostly so I can cover it in patches and pin badges. Wolf & Moon are one of my favourite independent jewellery brands and their  Little Sun necklace (5.) is beautifully simple. Regular readers will know that I love me some big earrings, so these bar hoops (6.) are just ostentatious enough. I love their hint of pink, it makes them girly without being too sugary. Perfect for work and play.

Which ASOS Curve items have caught your eye recently? Let me know in the comments!

  1. ASOS CURVE Denim Girlfriend Jacket in Midwash – £40.00
  2. New Look Inspire Tee  – £7.99
  3. ASOS CURVE Midi Prom Skirt with Box Pleats – £32.00
  4. ASOS ORIGINAL Loafer Tassle Heels – £40.00
  5. Wolf & Moon Little Sun Necklace – £16.00
  6. ASOS Precious Bar Hoop Earrings – £6.00
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It me, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, women's media

I’m at The Pool!

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Normal service (i.e.poorly taken outfit selfies in train station toilets) will resume here soon, but I just wanted to highlight the fact that I was featured on The Pool yesterday talking about the new River Island plus sized collection and fat fashion in general. I highly recommend you read it, if only to read about my teenage dress sense – or lack of it, as the case may be.

One of the things I’ve been struck by is the amount of people who messaged me on Twitter to say how refreshing it was to see a piece about plus-sized fashion on a women’s website. Which is both flattering and a bit depressing. As more retailers embrace this market, it’s a shame that women’s media isn’t following suit. After all, it’s not like there’s a lack of fashionable items out there (unless you’re over a size 24 which is utterly shameful.) Fat women are just as stylish (if not more so) as ‘straight’ sized women and our spending power is increasing.

Huge props to The Pool for allowing me to write for them, and I hope that this is just the first of many plus-sized fashion piece I see on there. I also hope that more outlets follow their lead. I can only speak for myself, but I’m far more likely to read and interact with fashion edits when they feature clothes than I – and my plus-sized peers – can wear.

I realise that I talk about this topic a lot, but it’s one which is very important to me. And I’m ‘lucky’. As someone who is on the smaller end of the fat spectrum, I have the luxury of being able to buy a lot from the plus-sized items put out by high street brands. So it’s vital that plus-sized women keep blogging, tweeting and pitching women’s websites and retailers about these issues. Our voices are powerful and we deserve to be heard.

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ASOS Curve, Carmakoma, Evans, look what you could have worn, Modcloth, plus sized bloggers, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, summer dresses, white dresses, women's media

Look What You Could Have Worn: Emerald Street’s White Dresses

White dress collage

When you’re a fat woman, you soon come to realise that a lot of women’s media isn’t for you. On the outside, it looks inclusive, with its talk of wonderful books to read, delicious recipes to cook and expensive accessories to buy. But dig a bit deeper and you soon see that it’s designed with a very different (by which I mean ‘thinner’) woman in mind.

I snapped yesterday after seeing an email from Emerald Street which included details of five gorgeous white dresses, none of which I could buy because none of them went over a size 16. For a women’s media outlet designed to appeal to my demographic, they appear to be very reluctant to feature anything that a plus sized women can wear. I asked them about it, and I’m still waiting for a response. I’m not singling out Emerald Street here –  I’ve lost count of the amount of clothing edits I’ve seen on major women’s websites recently which don’t feature one item from a plus sized retailer, or an item which goes goes over a size 18. But it all feels incredibly exclusionary – and more than a little depressing.

Fat women aren’t some kind of homogeneous blob which you can appease with the occasional patronising article about how ‘fashionable’ we are. We want to be stylish and wear nice things, and lord knows that many of us are able to spend just as much on clothes as our thinner counterparts. So, inspired by other plus sized campaigns like Debz’s fantastic #hereswhatiwouldhavespent, I’ve decided that every time I see a list of clothing on a women’s website which doesn’t feature one plus sized option, I’ll put my own pick together. And, because I love a good Bullseye reference, I’d call it ‘Look what you could have worn.” In homage to Emerald Street, here’s five of my favourite plus sized white dresses.

Alice & You Lace Maxi Dress

Alice & You Lace Maxi Dress (£50.00)

You’d be right to exercise a fair amount of caution when you see the words ‘lace’ and ‘maxi dress’ together in a sentence. Get it right, and you look floaty, feminine and ethereal. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up looking like you’re wearing your Nan’s net curtains. This gorgeous dress is lightweight and casual, and the perfect thing for summer. You could easily wear this down to the beach, or to a wedding. The stretch waistband and v-neck neckline is great if (like me) you’ve got mega-boobs, providing enough stretch to keep them at bay, while showing just enough cleavage.

ASOS Curve Bodycon Dress with Mesh inserts

 ASOS CURVE Bodycon Dress With Mesh inserts (£30.00)

ASOS are the masters of bodycon dresses, and I love everything about this. It’s crisp, clean and minimal, meaning it can be styled as simply (or as OTT) as you like. You can jazz it up with a big statement necklace and heels, or with a pair of chic little sandals. It would also make a great summer dress to wear to the office (just try not to spill coffee down it on the train into work.)

Carmakoma Jersey Layered Babydoll Dress

Carmakoma Jersey Layered Babydoll Dress (£75.00)

Danish brand Carmakoma specialise in creating beautiful, minimal clothing and I love the unique shape of this Babydoll dress. It’s almost-but-not-quite a peplum, with a really interesting geometric design. If you’re not keen on the idea of getting your arms out, I’d recommend keeping it simple, and pairing it with a simple tailored blazer or leather jacket.

Collection Ivory Embellished Shoulder Layer Dress

Evans Collection Ivory Embellished Shoulder Layer Dress (£55.00)

Evans doesn’t always get it right, but when it does, it can produce some really beautiful items of clothing. This is from their Design Collective collection, which is comprised of more ‘fashion forward’ pieces than its usual array of ditsy dresses and butterfly prints. Just looking at this dress makes me think of summer holidays and sipping cocktails on a beach somewhere. The jewel embellishments on the shoulders add a nice bit of bling, meaning you can keep it simple with the accessories. I’d wear this with nothing more than a (big) pair of sunglasses and some sandals. If you’re not as comfortable with the idea of getting your legs out, it would also look great worn over a pair of black leggings.

Modcloth Tea's Company dress

Modcloth ‘Tea’s Company’ Dress ($104.99/£68.72)

One of the best things about Modcloth is its inclusiveness – most dresses listed on there are suitable for all shapes and sizes. The price of shipping to the UK can be a bit of a pain in the neck, which is why I’d recommend teaming together with some friends so you can buy a few items at once and split the cost between you all. I love everything about this Bettie Page dress, from the simple 1940s inspired neckline, to the subtle polkadot print of the fabric. It’s so wonderfully femme, and would be the perfect thing to wear to a summer wedding (hey, it would even make a good wedding dress if that’s your thing.)

Do you have a favourite white dress that you’re thinking of wearing this summer? Let me know in the comments!

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