1970s, Alice & You, ASOS Curve, long line dresses, look what you could have worn, Modcloth, Monki, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized fashion, Simply Be

Look What You Could Have Worn: Elle’s long dresses edit

Look What You Could Have WornSo, I’ll admit that I was slightly taken aback by how well received the last ‘Look What You Could Have Worn’ was. While Emerald Street never did respond to my questions as to why they didn’t add plus sized options to their clothing picks (Hiya guys!) it made me even more determined in my goal to show that fat women want a more size inclusive media. While I love seeing fashion editorials in magazines aimed towards the plus sized community (such as Slink and Volup2), I don’t want our clothing, politics and style to just be shoved away into one corner of the internet.

Which brings me to Elle. I rarely read Elle, because it is a magazine which is very much not aimed at (fat) women like me. I’ve always viewed it as being one of those media outlets which will occasionally pay lip service to plus sized women by featuring a size 18 model every now and then (always toned, and always with a flat stomach of course), but never shows us clothes which we can actually wear. But, this month they were giving away an ASOS 20% gift card with every issue, and I am a sucker for discounted pencil skirts and heeled sandals and…I think you know where this is going.

There’s a great editorial in there showing a number of ways to style long dresses (page 158 – 162 if you’re interested.) Longer, 70s-style dresses look set to be a huge trend this Autumn/Winter season, and I for one cannot wait to float around in them while pretending to be Stevie Nicks. Here’s five of my favourites.

Alice and You Patchwork Print Maxi Dress

Alice & You Patchwork Print Lace Up Maxi Dress (£42.00)

This dress is like a magic eye picture. When I first saw it, I thought it was hideous. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. It’s a great mix of different types of print, and as 70s as a glam rock record. However, this is an item which could very easily veer into fancy dress territory, so I’d wear it with simple accessories and a pair of ankle boots, otherwise it could look a little OTT.

ASOS Curve Maxi Dress in Knitted 70's chevron

ASOS Curve Maxi Dress in Knitted 70’s Chevron (£42.00)

This looks like something my (remarkably stylish) Mum would have worn around Florida in the 70s. It’s casual enough to wear to work, but dressy enough to wear out to dinner afterwards. I’d team this with a belted long-line coat and heeled sandals (or a pair of wooden clogs.) Elle says that wearing ankle-tie sandals will help draw attention to your lovely slim ankles, but if people are looking at those instead of you while you’re wearing this dress, tell them to shove off.

Ilva dress Monki

Monki Ilva Dress (£30.00)

While Monki doesn’t do a plus-sized range, their sizing is remarkably generous and their larger sizes tend to easily fit us chubs. I’m a huge fan of their clothing, and this is my favourite dress of the bunch. It’s less dressy than the others, but I love the shape and the pattern is superb. It’s the kind of casual dress I’d throw on with a pair of brogues or Dr. Martens before heading out to the pub.

Modcloth Fiore Your Entertainment Dress in Floral

Modcloth Fiore Your Entertainment in Flora ($99.00/£63.00)

Modcloth’s stuff continues to be great, as does their range of sizing (their stuff goes all the way up to 4XL – the only retailer I’ve ever seen do this.) The only downside is the shipping costs from the USA, so I’d recommend clubbing together with a friend on an order so it doesn’t cost mega bucks. This little number is delightfully floaty, and would look fantastic worn with some knee high suede boots. I’d also add a slim brown belt to give it a bit of shape and contrast.

Simply Be Printed Long Line Shirt Dress

Simply Be Printed Long Line Shirt Dress (£45.00)

When Simply Be get a trend right, they get it right. Their new collection contains a whole heap of 70s inspired gems (think lots of suede, lots of fringing and lots of fake fur), but this dress totally stood out to me. The bold paisley print is just fantastic, and I’m dying to wear this out and about with a giant afghan coat while pretending to be Angie Bowie.

Will you be wearing long line dresses this Autumn? Which ones are your favourites? Let me know in the comments!

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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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