WHAT I WORE IN EUROPE: AUTUMN(ish) 2019

Like many Australians who struggle to make it through winter (too cold for the beach! only one public holiday in 3 months! have to use the heat feature on the air con!) I went to Europe for an adventure! I wanted to avoid the gross busy-ness of the summer peak season so decided to go in September – kinda autumnal in the UK but got some very warm days in France and Italy.

I am terrible at packing so this is by no means a blog post with advice on how to pack for your Europe trip. However, I thought it would be nice to have one place where I can direct people who ask about what I wore in September in Europe – which is basically white sneakers, loose pants, lightweight tops, and travel-friendly dresses. Everything is linked (with affiliate links fyi) and I’ve stated what size I wear, plus you can reference my ‘About’ tab for more detailed sizing information.

At least one other post will be coming soon, detailing what I did, where I ate, and what my recommendations are for London, Paris, Venice, Cinque Terre, Florence and Rome! Now onto the clothes – I’ve ordered them roughly chronologically, though I obviously wore everything more than once I didn’t necessarily photograph myself in them more than once so I’ve noted where I am in each photo!


BirdsnestSerena Maxi Dress Painted Waratah – Size 22
Cinque Terre and London
Little Party DressFraser Polka Dot Pants – Size 18
London
Marks and SpencerDitsy Floral Waisted Midi Dress – Size 24
London and Rome
ASOS – Vero Moda Curve Raincoat – Size 22
London ( Warner Bros Studio Tour)
Monki (ASOS link for non-Europeans)Belted shirt dress in Artsey Eyes Print – Size M
Hannah is wearing the Monki Belted Shirt Dress in Green Polka Dot
Paris
Little Party DressFrances Blue Floral Shirt Dress – Size 18
In the right photo, I’m wearing the Frances Dress tied up as a shirt over my Black Jumpsuit (below)
Paris
BirdsnestThe Easy Day Jumpsuit – Size 22
Paris
Cotton OnCurve Paper Bag Culotte in Silver Sage – Size 22
Blouse on left is from Marks and Spencer and shirt on right is Cotton On Curve
London and Venice
Marks and SpencerPure Cotton Striped Straight Fit T-Shirt – Size 24
Marks and SpencerPeg Cropped Trousers – Size 24
Fun fact: this is the exact same outfit that all the Gondoliers wear so maybe avoid this lewk in Venice!!
Venice
Shein – Plus Random Tropical Criss Cross One Piece Swimsuit – Size 4XL
Cinque Terre
Monki (ASOS link for non-Europeans)Oversized button-up dress in Artsy Pink – Size XL
Rome
Monki (ASOS link for non-Europeans)Short-sleeved woven top in pure peach – SIze XL
Rome
BirdsnestPrinted Maxi Skirt – Size 22
Rome
Birkenstocks Arizona – Size 39
Saltwater Sandals – Size 6
Bared Footwear – Thorntail White Leather and Gold Stars – Size 39

THREE PINK VALENTINES DAY OUTFITS

Though I’m aware that Valentine’s Day isn’t a real holiday (and definitely has a low profile in Australia) it’s definitely the time of the year where people are talking about cutesy romantic things they have planned, and as always, I’m here to deliver you with some cute themed outfits for your cutesy romantic whatever. This is essentially a post to show you a bunch of ways to wear pink, and I’m ok with that. Plus Boohoo really came through with some adorable Valentine’s Day themed outfits and I’m nothing if not a sucker for a cute themed outfit.

I’ve organised my three outfits into arbitrary themes/locations, but honestly, I think these are all really versatile pieces that can be worn year-round and in lots of different scenarios – all of them can be work appropriate, casual or dressy depending on your styling. Even when buying cheaper clothes, I love it when they are versatile and can be worn with many other things I own.

I spent $112 on boohoo and bought five items, all of which can be styled together.

valentines day items

Plus Woven Stripe Midi Dress * – Size 24 – $28
Plus Tie Waist Blazer * – Size 22 – $29
Plus Tailored Trouser * – Size 24 – $22
Plus Rib High Neck Lettuce Hem Top * – Size 24 – $11
Plus Stripe Pleated Skirt * – Size 24 – $22

If you’ve seen my previous post about boohoo, you would know that I always err on the side of sizing up – since that post, I have almost exclusively bought Size 24 from boohoo despite being a size 20/22 everywhere else I shop! I’ve just found that things are more likely to fit comfortably if I size up to a 24, and honestly I don’t care what the number on the tag says as long as it fits well.

OUTFIT 1: OFFICE VALENTINE

Coloured suits are having such a trend moment, and no-one is happier about that than me. This blush pink jacket and pant combo, paired with a soft white turtleneck, could totally be worn to the office, but isn’t so corporate that it couldn’t be worn to dinner or broken down into separates (white top and blazer with cute jeans, pink pants and a patterned jumper or white button-down shirt – heaven!).

Pink Suit.jpg

Blush pink boots are from Marks and Spencer, earrings are from Lovisa.

OUTFIT 2: FROM BRUNCH TO DINNER VALENTINE

No outfit could be simpler than chucking on a cute patterned dress and some white sneakers. Pair it with a trend bamboo or straw bag, and a belt to cinch the waist and this is the perfect dress for a brunch date, whether it’s with your valentine or galentines! This dress has a bold stripe and a cute fluttery hem and sleeves, and the modest v-neck means it could be dressed down for the office with a black blazer, or up for a fancy dinner with some heels and statement earrings.

pink and red dress

OUTFIT 3: THE ALL-OCCASIONS VALENTINE

Midi-length pleated skirts are not only comfortable as heck, but are such a versatile item to have in your wardrobe. Paired with the simple white turtleneck, it’s truly an outfit that could take you anywhere – chill brunch, fancy dinner, or colourful work outfit. Change up the shoes and accessories for a completely different look! I love it paired with the tie-waist blazer from outfit 1 and this sweet merino wool hat from Epitome Hats, which gives it a totally different vibe.

pink and red skirt

 

Which is your favourite? Outfit 1, 2 or 3? Sound off in the comments below, and tell me what you’ll be up to for Valentine’s Day!

 

Katie xx

 

(Disclosure: Asterisk (*) indicates an affiliate link, meaning I earn a small commission if you choose to purchase these items. However this post is not sponsored and all opinions are my own.)

ONE ITEM FIVE WAYS: NYATA, JUNE 2018

Hi all, long time no blog post!

Coming to you with the first in an exciting (well, exciting for me, and hopefully for you!) series of blog posts I’m going to be doing every month in collaboration with Nyata. For those who don’t know Nyata, it’s an amazing Australian-designed, ethically-manufactured line, catering to sizes 8-30! I highly encourage you to go on their website and read about the founder, Amber Gwynn, and their ethos of body positivity and ethical fashion.

I was approached by them to do an ongoing collaboration, where I would feature one of their items every month, styled in a number of different ways. For me, this sounded like such a fun challenge, as I think it can be easy to fall into complacency in reaching for the same items or styling things the same way! So I wanted to show you how versatile one piece can be in your wardrobe, taking you from work, to casual, to night, and everything in-between! So read on and let me know what you think.

The June Item

For June 2018, I was sent the Better Angle Bayi Top ($109) in size ‘Gorgeous’ – this is something I love about Nyata, rather than size with numbers, they size using statements about the kinds of women we all are!! (Handy conversion chart below). The item is definitely intended to be a tunic top, but as you can see in the featured image, if you’re on the shorter side (or just daring!) you could definitely rock it as a dress!

NYATA BAY TOP JUNE 2018

Screenshot 2018-07-01 17.25.04

Style 1: Casual Cool

Style 1

My first thought when I saw this top was that it would look AMAZING with my current obsession, these studded and ripped jeans from City Chic. The blousey style suits being tucked in, and the fabric is fine enough that it doesn’t bulge or bulk out the hip area where tucked. Continuing the studded theme with these white Spurr ankle boots finished the outfit off.

Rock Stud Skinny Jean – Size 18 – City Chic (seems to be unavailable on their website!)
Gorgina Ankle Boot – Size 8 – Spurr Shoes – $25.50 (on sale).

Style 2: Girls Night Out

Style 2

I think this is the perfect way to wear tunic length tops – black leggings, leather jacket, cool shoes. Can’t really go wrong! The silver sequins pick up on the silver hardware on the jacket, and the shiny, chelsea-style boot keep things fun and a bit unexpected. A classic and easy Friday night outfit.

Supplex Full Length Tight – Size 18 – Running Bare – $74.99
Frankie PU Biker Jacket – Size 20 – Atmos & Here Curvy – $99.95 (I recommend sizing up)
Erina Ankle Boots – Size 8 – Spurr Shoes – $25.50 (on sale)

Style 3: Weekend Vibes

Style 3

There is nothing that says ‘relaxed weekend’ as much as a denim pinafore, in my humble opinion. This one is an absolute staple in my wardrobe, looks good with so many different tops, and is really fun and trendy. It makes the top look casual and the sneakers keep the whole outfit relaxed and ready for anything!

Denim Bib Dress – Size L – City Chic (not available on the website)
Kmart Sneakers (unavailable, no tag)

Style 4: Office Chic

Style 4

I feel like grey is such a great alternative to black when you’re looking for an office neutral. There’s a lot of tonal and shade variety to be found in grey, and it looks great worn all-together as a monochromatic outfit. To balance the loose and flowy style of the tunic top, and let it really shine as the ‘hero’ of the outfit, a fitted grey jersey skirt (midi length!) and some patent heeled boots make this a fun but office-appropriate look.

CottonOn Skirt (unavailable, no tag)
Betts Shoes (unavailable)

Style 5: Boss Babe

Style 5

This final look may well be my favourite. Even though black isn’t a colour I reach for too often, there’s no denying that it works with everything. This tight, ruched knee-length skirt is professional yet sexy, and the relaxed blazer keeps it comfortable. Chuck on a pair of classic black pumps, and you’ve got yourself a bangin’ work outfit on days you really need to shine!

Final Thoughts

I really loved styling this top – it’s not an item I would have chosen for myself, but seeing all the different ways I can wear it makes me excited to pull it out of the wardrobe throughout the next few months. I think it’s going to make a great trans-seasonal piece in my wardrobe, and this styling challenge has got me thinking about how I can get more wear out of other things in my closet!

all-styles.jpg

Which was your favourite look? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Love,

Katie xx

 

Disclaimer: While this item was provided to me for the purpose of styling and review, all opinions are my own. I was not paid for this post.

BRAND FEATURE: ATMOS&HERE CURVY

If you’re a plus-size online shopper, I’d say there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Atmos&Here Curvy. Sold exclusively on The Iconic, Atmos&Here has an inclusive size range, with many items sold in both the regular (Size 6-16) and plus size (Size 18-26) categories. They sell casual, professional, and dressy clothes, which suit a broad range of body types and fashion preferences. They’re also one of my favourite brands, so I wanted to show you some of the different items I own, what sizes fit me, and if I’d recommend Atmos&Here Curvy to you!

For each item I’ll include: name, size, RRP, price I paid, and a link to the item if it’s still available. Scroll to the bottom for my final thoughts! (And as always, please head on over to my ‘About’ section to see details on my measurements and normal clothing sizes)

raven.jpg
The Atmos&Here ‘Raven’ Dress on a straight and plus model!

Note:  It’s worth saying that one of the things I like the most about buying Atmos&Here Curvy is that The Iconic has hands-down the best shipping and returns of anywhere I’ve shopped online. If you order before 3pm and live in metro areas, your delivery will arrive next day (with delivery options that include leaving at the front door! Yes!). Returns are as simple as re-sealing the delivery satchel the items came in, filling out an online form, printing the package return slip, and popping it in the post!

CURRENTLY AVAILABLE

Olivia Ruched Sleeve Top – Size 20 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $41.97
Veronica Ponte Pant – Size 22 – RRP $49.95 – I paid $29.97

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Lola Jumpsuit – Size 22 – RRP $89.95 – I paid $53.97

 

Veronica Ponte Pant – Size 22 – RRP $49.95 – I paid $29.97

veronica-ponte-pant-size-22-e1527495887567.jpg

Harlow Frill Sleeve Jumper – Size 20 – RRP $59.95 – I paid $35.97
Priya Tailored Pants – Size 20 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $59.45

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Leila Faux Fur Jacket – Size 22 – RRP $119.95 – I paid $95.96

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Adele Wrap Top – Size 22 – RRP $44.95 – I paid $26.97
Priya Tailored Pants – Size 20 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $59.45

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Margo Wool Blend Cocoon Coat – Size 22 – RRP $139.95 – I paid $111.96
Sandy Check Pant – Size 20 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $62.95 (No longer available)

Margo Wool Blend Cocoon Coat - Size 22

Loriel Longline Blazer – Size 22 – RRP $99.95 – I paid $84.95

img_5300

Priya Tailored Pants – Size 20 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $59.45

Priya Tailored Pants - Size 20

Lydia Belted Pants – Size 22 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $62.95

Lydia Belted Pants - Size 22

NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Haven Eyelet Wrap Dress – Size 22 – RRP $79.95 – I was given this by a friend 🙂

Haven Wrap Dress - Size 22 - 1.JPG

Sandy Check Pant – Size 20 – RRP $69.95 – I paid $62.95

Sandy Check Pants - Size 20.jpg

Marie Wrap Pencil Skirt – Size 20 – RRP $59.95 – I paid $41.96

Marie Skirt - size 20.jpgSugar Me Tee – Size 20 – RRP $39.95 – I paid $27.96

Sugar Me Tee - Size 20.jpg

Frankie PU Biker Jacket – Size 20 – RRP $99.95 – I paid $89.95

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Lani Belted Longline Coat – Size 20 – RRP $139.95 – I paid $69.98
Angelica Tartan Wrap Dress – Size 20 – RRP $89.95 – I paid $80.95

IMG_7336

Raven Pencil Dress – Size 20 – RRP $89.95 – I paid $80.95

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Polly Paper Bag Waist Pant – Size 20 – RRP $69.96 – I paid $69.95

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Darling Wrap Dress – Size 20 – RRP $99.95 – I paid $99.95

Ada Wrap Dress – Size 20 – RRP $79.95 – I paid $39.18

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FINAL THOUGHTS

As you can probably tell by the sheer number of items I own from them, Atmos & Here Curvy are genuinely one of my all-time favourite brands. I love that they have professional items that I can wear at work, fancy items I can wear to events, and cool basics/casual wear that are great weekend pieces.

Some notes on sizing: I’m very consistently a size 20 in tops and dresses – while I do have some size 22 pieces, I find that these are roomy and I could easily have gone down to a size 20. When it comes to pants, I’m normally a size 20, but I should note that I tend to size up on pants because sometimes I buy Atmos&Here Curvy pants in a 20 and they absolutely do not fit. So if I want to be sure that it will fit, I size up. I also prefer sizing up to a size 22 for jackets and coats, because I feel like they fit better, and I like to be able to wear jumpers or thicker layers with these items.

My general suggestion when it comes to this brand is to just be unafraid to buy stuff knowing it might not fit. The returns process is so good that you really have nothing to lose, and I’ve found that the more pieces I buy, the better sense I have of what is going to fit me, what I need to size up in, etc. Sizing is variable between items, so keep that in mind, but don’t let it stop you from trying things! I find that I can very consistently order things I love from Atmos&Here Curvy, so it’s definitely a brand I recommend for plus size women!

Lots of Love

Katie xx

BRAND FEATURE: LITTLE PARTY DRESS

One of my favourite Australian online stores that caters to a variety of shapes and sizes is Little Party Dress, run by the lovely Kelly Purvis. Full of gorgeous items (not just dresses!) in different prints and cuts, Little Party Dress carries sizes 6 to 18 and is currently restocking with new pieces every Monday night – though depending on when you’re reading this, best to check their instagram page for the most up-to-date information!

There are a few things that make LPD unique to me, the first being that Kelly is a “selfie model” for each and every item on the store, meaning that when you purchase anything, you can see it on a real person (she describes herself as “173cms tall & a size 12-14, top heavy. I wear a 12 in my standard fit/big make styles, and a 14 in the small make/small bust styles“).

Kelly.jpg

Under each item, she also links to instagram photos of customers wearing that style, so you can see how the different colours and sizes look on different people (can you spot someone familiar below?)

Screenshot 2018-04-01 21.15.31.png
Screenshot from the ‘Soul Mate Navy Floral Dress” – I’m featured 5th from the left!

Probably my favourite thing is the ‘length, fit, fabric’ section on each and every garment she sells. In this section, she provides information specific to each item on the exact length, and whether it is a ‘small, standard or generous’ fit. As someone who is more of a size 20, I’m always cautious about buying a size 18 from an online retailer, but I can consistently buy any size 18s that are listed as “generous fit”.

Screenshot 2018-04-01 21.26.52

Note: this is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive any of these items for free. I paid for everything listed here myself (with Afterpay, which LPD offers!), and all opinions are honest and my own. I just wanted to help other plus-sized women figure out what things might fit them!

WORK APPROPRIATE (or at least, appropriate at my work. See my ‘About’ page for more information)

Soul Mate Navy - Size 18

Soul Mate Navy Floral Dress – $64.95, polyester, generous fit

This is a newer release, and one of my favourites. I think it’s timeless and could be worn to a wedding or event, thought I felt perfectly comfortable wearing it to work as well.

Arlo Geo - Size 18

Arlo Geo Print Dress – $69.95, polyester, generous fit

This one is borderline too tight across my stomach, but the busy print helps distract from that (just something to note if your tummy area is particularly pronounced or something you’re self-conscious about). I got SO many compliments at work on this day, and I know this print comes in some of their other popular cuts, so if you love it, there are plenty of styles to choose from.

 

Frankie Pink Leopard - Size 18

Frankie Pink Leopard Dress – $69.96, polyester, generous fit

Easily one of LPDs most popular styles (this and the Gemma, which I don’t have) the Frankie dress is comfy, stylish, and appropriate for many different events and environments. I’ve work this to work and also casually a number of times, and I always feel fantastic in it. It’s a go-to dress, and always in rotation.

Green Floral - Size 18

Brave Green Floral Dress – (Sold Out) $45, polyester (semi-sheer), generous fit

Unfortunately this particular dress is sold out (I bought it on sale), but I thought I would feature it anyway since it is a different kind of cut to the others I own. The wrap/tie sections is quite unusual, and I love the retro wide lapel/collar area. Such a fun dress.

Mandy Wrap - Size 18

Mandy Pink Stripe Wrap Dress – $59.95, polyester, standard fit

The two wrap dresses I have (see below) are the two standard fit items I have and while they do both fit, as you can see in the photo, I did have to wear this one with a singlet underneath to avoid flashing a lil too much cleavage at work. However there is plenty of wrap in the skirt, so I felt pretty comfortable on the bottom half (and truthfully wear a singlet under most wrap items no matter how well they fit). Such a great colour combo too.

Frankie Abstract - Size 18

Frankie Abstract Print Dress – $69.95, cotton/polyester, generous fit

Another version of the popular Frankie – I did wear this to work as styled above, but honestly the print just felt too casual for me. I might wear it for a casual Friday again, but probably will keep it for non-work wear. Also, pro-tip, with dresses and tops that have buttons down the front, I tend to get boob-gape no matter how well it fits, so I recommend just hand-sewing a couple of stitches from the bottom button to your usual level of ‘unbuttoned’. Super simple and works a treat.

NOT WORK APPROPRIATE (in my personal opinion)

Fiesta Wrap Dress - Size 18.jpg

Fiesta Geometric Print Wrap Dress – $64.95, polyester, standard fit

As I said above about the Mandy dress, as a standard fit item, this did fit me, but when I tried it on as a dress I felt it was a little too revealing, so thus far I’ve only worn it as a kimono/cape with pants and a top underneath. I think I’d wear it as an actual dress with a slip underneath to an event or something though.

Monique Pink - Size 18

Monique Pink Dress – $69.95, polyester/cotton, generous fit

This is such a cute dress (and another very popular style) which comes in pink and black. It’s very soft and comfortable, and super on trend with the flared sleeves and embroidery. It is also quite short, just FYI (I’m only 165cm and it was short on me) and after I washed it, I found it shrunk somewhat. I think I could iron it back out to a better length, but just be cautious when washing it.

In Love Stripe - Size 18

In Love Stripe Shirt Dress – $64.95, polyester, generous fit

This is definitely a short shirt dress, so if you’re tall or not comfortable in shorter dresses, this might not be for you. I really like how it looks with leggings or tights, so it wasn’t a huge issue for me, but I probably wouldn’t brave it without something else covering my legs. This is probably the only item where I had an issue with the fabric, I just wish it was a cotton or similar, since the polyester just feels unexpected in a shirt-style dress.

 

 

Frankie Xmas Pets - Size 18

Frankie Xmas Pets Dress – (Sale) $40, cotton/polyester, generous fit

The frankie style in a Christmas print was a winner for me – I did actually wear this to my work Christmas function,  but wouldn’t have worn it on a regular December day to work. While obviously not the most versatile since it’s a festive print, I found it comfortable and cute for the season!

Eddie Lemon - Size 18

Eddie Lemon Print Dress – $69.96, cotton/polyester, generous fit

I probably could wear this to work on a summery day or casual Friday, but I personally don’t like spaghetti straps at work. This is another dress where I recommend sewing the buttons shut for more security, though as you can see I like wearing it with the top button undone and folded over. It’s such a cute print, and has ruching on the back to fit people with different bust sizes. It also looks cute with a thin brown belt around the waist.

 

 

So there you have it, a number of different Little Party Dresses that I own that fit a size 18-22. Even though LPD doesn’t go beyond a size 18 at this time, there are definitely plus-size friendly options at an affordable price. If you get anything, don’t forget to hashtag #LittlePartyDress on instagram so that Kelly can see you rocking your LPDs, and you can get 10% off your order by signing up for her email newletter.

Is there anything here you want to get? Let me know which style is your favourite!

Lots of Love,

Katie xx

 

WHAT IT’S LIKE SHOPPING AS A PLUS SIZE WOMAN

If you’ve had a look at my ‘About‘ page, you’d have seen that I normally wear something between a size 18 to a size 22, depending on style, fit, and what store I’m shopping in. You might also have noticed that most of my clothes come from online retailers. Here’s why…

Clothing Racks
The size options available at LOTS of retailers – apparently everyone is a size 8, 10, 12, 14 right?

As far as plus size women go, I’m actually lucky, as I’m what a lot of our community would call an ‘inbetweenie’ (check out this fantastic post by iCurvy where Jo talks about what that term means to her). For me, it means that I can shop in a lot of standard size stores, or at least the ones that go to a 16/18/20 (such as Katies, Crossroads, and Trenery – and weirdly, Gorman Size 14). However I also fall very firmly into the plus size category insofar as I feel MUCH more comfortable shopping in plus size stores, especially for trousers or fitted items.

I want to talk about clothes shopping as a plus size woman for a few reasons. One, I’m a clothes shopping fanatic, and am obsessed with buying new clothes and styling interesting outfits. But beyond just my own selfish enjoyment of buying clothes – I’m part of an beautiful online community of Australian plus-size women called ‘Curvy AU’ (find us on Facebook!) and the most common posts on there is ‘Where can I buy X in a plus size?’ or ‘Has anyone purchased X  from Y store, do they go up to my size?’. It’s conceptually something I’ve found that people just don’t understand if they’ve never been plus size. And I don’t just mean, “I’m bigger than all my other friends at a size 12 while they’re a size 8”. I mean, “Buying the plain undies in Kmart because the cute ones stop at a size 16 but at least I can buy undies here unlike at Bras & Things or Victoria’s Secret”.

Let me explain.


The other day, I really wanted to buy an fitted, but comfortably roomy, white button down shirt to wear to work. I’ve put on a bit of weight and had packed my work outfit without checking that everything still fitted, and lo and behold, when I got changed after the gym my shirt was gaping at the boobs and tight around my stomach. It wasn’t hugely noticeable to anyone who wasn’t me, but I still was feeling pretty uncomfortable so figured I would take an early lunch break and pop out to the city to grab something to wear for the rest of the day. And here’s the issue – in Hobart where I live, there are almost no plus sized stores in the city centre. Most of them are out in a shopping centre called Eastlands, a 10 minute drive from the city. So I try Target, normally a pretty safe bet since they go up to a size 20 and also have an ok plus sized range (if you only want basics); no luck there, the white button down shirts they had weren’t fitting me properly, so there was no point in substituting one poorly fitting shirt for another. I then went to Myer, again, a safe bet for work wear; again, they only had ‘fancy’ white shirts (what is the point of this? I don’t want diamantes on my shirt), nothing that met my ‘plain, white button down’ criteria. Shirts are a tricky beast for lots of women, but I find that being plus size, most of them pull very tight across my stomach and hips, and rarely fit across the shoulders and bust.

And that was it. There wasn’t anywhere else I could go that would have a shirt that would fit me that was also in my price range. (In the interest of transparency, there are two other plus sized shops in Hobart CBD, however they both cater to an older demographic, and have nothing that costs less than $100)

I don’t know how to explain that sensation to someone who hasn’t experienced it firsthand. This wasn’t a matter of me being picky – there was literally no where else I could get to in the Hobart CBD that STOCKED MY SIZE IN A PLAIN WHITE SHIRT.


I (and many other women who wear a size 18 and above) can’t just waltz into any old shop and expect to find things that fit me. I can’t just grab a cheap blazer or pair of jeans in a fashion emergency. I can’t shop for formal wear in the shops that cater to on-trend items or currently popular styles. When helping a friend look for a dress for an event she had to go to, I picked something out for her to try on and when I passed it to her, she said “Oh, I thought you picked that up for you to try on?”. What she didn’t realise was that nothing in the shop we were in would have come close to fitting me. This is the reality of shopping in a world that is socialised to hate fat people – things aren’t made to fit you.

You need to go to a special store, with a limited selection of items, and hope there’s something there that you like. You also need to hope that when you go into a ‘standard size’ shop that the sales assistant isn’t going to look you up and down with that pitying “oh you are SO not going to fit into anything here”. Or wondering if you’re going to rip the seam on pants as you try them on or get stuck with a zipper on a dress. Or worse, having the assistant actually saying to you (and this has happened to every plus size woman I know, including me), “I don’t think you’ll fit into anything here, sorry!”. (Notice how it’s me not fitting into the clothes, rather than the clothes not fitting me? That’s because, if you haven’t figured it out already, society is socialised to demonise fat people. But that’s a topic for another post altogether). Common variations on this theme include “I’m not sure we have anything in that size” and “this is one-size-fits-all so it might work”. Or if they’re really trying to up sell you into buying something, they steer you towards stretchy/loose knitwear, accessories or shoes.

Is it getting better? Yes, I’d argue so. Shops like Crossroads, Katies, Kmart and Big W have extended sizing in lots or all of their items. Online stores like Showpo have started extending their range up to size 20, and using both a ‘standard’ and ‘plus’ model to advertise their clothes.

But to be honest with you? There are few things that make you feel worse, as a plus size, fashion-conscious woman, than to be desperately trying to do up the zip on an item that you know isn’t going to fit you and to hear the sales assistant ask if they can “help you with sizes”. No, you can’t help me with sizes, because everything I brought into the change room with me is in the largest size you stock.  

Here’s what I want to say to all the brands that stop their sizing at a size 14 or 16. You are not doing this whole ‘catering to the market’ thing very well. If you aren’t interested in being a brand with a social conscience, at least be good at your core business of growth and profits and capitalism. Because there are a lot of women out there who make a good or great income, and they want to spend money in your stores – but they can’t. So get your act together and start making things in sizes that everyone can fit into. 

Lots of Love,

Katie xx

WEEKLY ROUND-UP #2

I’m a little late on the round-up post this week, but I feel like Tuesday is still pretty good (once you hit Wednesday do you just give up on the week before)? I missed a few days of outfits this week, plus Monday was a public holiday so I was in pyjamas and painting clothes all week! To account for the missing outfits, I’ve included a few other highlights from my week!

Tues-Wed

Tuesday:
Target – Blazer – Size 18 (unavailable)
Big W – Dress – Size XL (unavailable)
Betts – Autumn Boots (Grey) – Size 9 – $79.99 (unavailable)

Wednesday:
Atmos&Here Curvy (The Iconic) – Ada Wrap Dress – Size 20 –  $79.95
Target – Suede Mules – Size 8 (unavailable)

Thur-Sat

Thursday:
Adrift – Aarna Dress (Salt’n’Pepper) – Size 3XL/4XL – $25 (on sale)
Dr Marten – 1461Z (3 Eye) – $200

Saturday:
Gorman – Curious Ladies Dress – Size 14 – $229
Wittner – Sandals – Size 39 (unavailable)

Desk Project
(L) The desk as a work in progress, with the handles removed. (R) The finished product!

So I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my spare room since I moved into my house, and it has honestly just been a ‘box I can’t be bothered unpacking’ room. However, I recently decided I wanted to do more sewing, so decided to make at least part of the room into a little sewing corner, where I could store my fabric and patterns, and have my machine permanently set up. I didn’t want to buy a cheap and flimsy desk, but I also don’t have the dollars to splash on a super fancy one either – the solution, of course, was scouring the local tip shops to see what gems I could find! What I ended up finding wasn’t very pretty to begin with (and I WISH I had taken a ‘before’ photo) but after a few coats of white paint, it came up an absolute charm for only $25!

Food
(L) French Toast with Pears and Berries at The Picnic Basket. (R) Homemade pizza with 2-ingredient dough. 

Two little food favourite of last week – brunch and pizza! On Saturday I caught up with some old school friends and hit up Taroona haunt The Picnic Basket for a delicious French toast and berries. I’m thinking of doing a ‘Best Brunch in Hobart’ post, so comment below if that’s something you’d be interested in reading. The pizza is featured because I have been OBSESSED recently with this 2-ingredient bread dough that has been going around the internet and sounds too good to be true. To make a pizza-amount of dough (I usually split this in half and eat the other part for lunch the next day), you will need: 1 cup of greek yoghurt and 1.5 cups of self raising flour. THAT’S IT! Just combine and add flour as required while you knead into a dough consistency. Then just spread and cook for about 5 minutes or until brown, and use as you would any other kind of pizza base! I like to mix smoked paprika, salt, pepper, and mixed herbs into the dough to add a more savoury flavour, but you definitely don’t need to do that. It’s so delicious, and super quick and easy!

 

So that’s it for last week! Hope you’re having a great week, I’ll see you next time.

Lots of Love

Katie xx

HOW TO: MONOCHROME OUTFIT TREND

So often when I’m trying to put together a quick outfit for work as I rush out the door, rather than going for contrasting or complementary colours (the classic for many office workers is black pants/skirt and some kind of top – nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s not very me!) I tend to reach for monochrome outfits. For me, keeping everything in the same tonal family is a super easy way to quickly put together an outfit that looks very curated and thoughtful. Since this isn’t something everyone feels comfortable with, I thought I would put together a few tips that I use to make sure the matchy-matchy looks cool not kitsch! I’ve used examples pulled from my instagram, so if you’re interested in more looks like this, go check it out.

For those who don’t know, a monochrome outfit is when you stick to one colour or colour variants within the same tone. And it doesn’t just have to be black and white!

TEXTURE

This is a really nice way to break up a monochrome outfit – introduce texture! This could mean mixing fabrics, a fun earring or necklace, or a fuzzy jumper. I don’t do this one as often as some of the other tips I’m going to talk about, but I’ve included some ways I’ve worn textured monochrome below. On the left, I’ve kept the grey very tonally similar, but gone for this pleated skirt dress and patent grey boots to keep things interesting. On the right (also an example I will be using for my ‘pop of colour’ tip below) I’ve got for a LOT of pink, but added pom pom earrings, a fuzzy cardigan, and shiny-toed shoes in a rose gold. Both very different looks, but still using monochrome as the basis of putting the outfit together.

Texture - Monochrome

PRINTS

This is easily my favourite way to rock the monochrome vibe, as you can tell from how many examples I was able to find from my instagram archive! Sometimes trying to match prints can feel overwhelming and end up looking kitsch or not very together. However, I find that matching prints to otherwise cohesive tones or colour palettes allows the print to do all the talking, but keeps the whole look quite purposeful – these are often my ‘most complimented’ outfits!

If you’ve a sharp eye for detail, you will also notice that this is how I wear a lot of my Gorman prints – 4/6 outfits below have Gorman items in them! But you can see how keeping one piece bold and the others in the same tonal range makes everything look really thoughtfully put together. I particularly like the plaid grey pants in the bottom left and the subtle red print on the top right!

Print - monochromePrint - Monochrome - 2

POP OF COLOUR

This probably isn’t how a purist would recommend you tackle a monochrome outfit, but I find that just breaking up similar tones with a pop of something else can really ‘make’ the look. These are three examples where I’ve stuck to a relatively monotone colour palette, but just added something else to the outfit to ‘oomph’ it up – a maroon/purple skirt for the pink outfit, the grey skirt to the white outfit, and the black pinafore in the pink outfit.

Pop - monochrome

JUST GO FOR WHATEVER MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

This isn’t so much a tip as it is an encouragement to just wear what makes you feel good! For me, I adore pink and often just want to wear as much of it as I can at one time. So the monochrome look works well for that, as long as I match my pink tones and keep things in the same colour family (ie warm pinks/blue-tone pinks). Find what works for you and wear the heck out of it!!

Just Do It - Monochrome

 

Which look is your favourite? Have you tried the monochrome trend? Let me know in the comments!

Lots of Love

Katie xx

WEEKLY ROUND-UP #1

Welcome to my weekly round-up! Rather than blogging about my individual outfits each day (which normally I post to instagram anyway), I’ve decided I’m going to do a regular Sunday evening round up of my whole weeks outfits. I’ll include links where items are still available, as well as sizes, brands, and prices.

In future weeks, I may expand this to a kind of weekly favourites, covering food, beauty, books or whatever else I’ve been loving that week. I apologise that not all of the below photos are the best quality (I’m looking at you, bathroom outfit selfie…) but I just wanted to make sure I had a photo of each outfit from the week.

mon-tues

Monday:
City Chic – Wild Animal Top – $20 (on sale, no longer on website) – Size M
Atmos&Here Curvy (The Iconic) – Lydia Belted Pants – $69.95 – Size 22
Henk Berg – Catie Bag – $198 – Natural Brown
Wittner – Black Leather Shoes – size 39 (unavailable)

Tuesday:
Gorman – Sugarbush Flannel Dress – Dana Kinter x Gorman AW17 Collaboration – $299 (unavailable) – Size 14
Kmart – Brown Sandals – Size 8 (unavailable)

wed-thur-fri

Wednesday:
Kmart – Striped Shirt – Size 22
Love Your Wardrobe (The Iconic) – Cropped Soft Cargo Pants – $59.95 (on sale) – Size 18
Betts – Leather Boots – Size 9 (unavailable)

Thursday:
Gorman – Stripe Top – Mireia Ruiz x Gorman SS18 Collaboration – $149 (unavailable) – Size 14
Atmos&Here Curvy (The Iconic) – Marie Wrap Pencil Skirt – $59.95 – Size 20
Luca & Marc (Harris Scarfe) – Pineapple Cardigan – Size XL (unavailable)
Betts – Black Velvet Mary Jane Heels – Size 9 (unavailable)

Friday:
Trenery – Blue Dress
Henk Berg – Catie Bag – $198 – Natural Brown

sat-sun

Saturday:
Kmart – Long Sleeve Shirt – $19 – Size 26
City Chic – Denim Bib Dress – $99.95 – Size L
Rivers – Sandals – Size 39 (unavailable)

Sunday:
ASOS – Playsuit – Size 20 (unavailable)
Saltwater Sandals – Classic SWS Silver – Size 6 (Australian Size 9) – $89.95

 

There you have it! Tomorrow is a public holiday in Australia, so my work week doesn’t start until Tuesday. Enjoy your long weekend, if you have it off, or if you’re working I hope the public holiday pay is excellent!

Lots of Love

Katie xx

ONE OUTFIT, THREE LOOKS

One thing I really love about clothes and styling is how an outfit can change with a simple tuck or different accessory. To me, the best pieces in my wardrobe are the most versatile – the ones that go with these pants, and that skirt, and can be tucked in or worn loose, to the office or to a smart-casual event. This capacity to be versatile is what I look for when I’m buying more expensive items, such as this Gorman x Mireia Ruiz top (past season, not available online), which I often wear to more formal events with the matching pleated skirt.

However, on this occasion wearing it with a black pencil skirt and black heels to work, I was struck by the fact that I could really change up the ‘tone’ of the outfit with a few simple changes. So I wanted to show three different ways I would wear this outfit at work, only accessorising with things I had in the office or my handbag. Obviously, these aren’t three starkly different outfits, but I think it shows how you can go from kooky and informal, to colourful and corporate with a few minor adjustments.

Head on over to my ‘About’ page to learn more about my work dress code and fit measurements. Item details and links are at the bottom of the post.

OUTFIT #1

This is how I planned on wearing this outfit when I packed it this morning – the matchy-matchy pink socks and ruffled top countering the stark blackness of the pencil skirt (one of my favourite flattering work staples, with a wrap piece to cover visible tummy lines). I felt work appropriate, but still relatively casual, and the bright stripes and peplum/ruffle made it an interesting outfit for work.

 

OUTFIT #2

It’s still a soft and not-too-corporate look, but just tucking the ruffle into the skirt and adding a simple cream cardigan has upped the formality of this outfit. Taking the ruffle out of the equation, and just tweaking the black-to-colour ratio of the outfit gives it a very different vibe. I also find that tucking in tops always takes your look up a notch, though of course not all skirts and pants look good over the stomach when you’re a plus sized gal. That’s what I love about this skirt, as it’s tight, but the wrap front just gives you that bit of confidence when sitting or going for the tucked-in look.

 

OUTFIT #3

To me, this is how to do colour in a more formal office. I was pinched for time getting this photos, but you could also take off the pink socks and add stockings, and you’ve really taken the outfit from casual to corporate. Again, it’s about tweaking your black-to-colour ratio a little further to the black side, and eliminating distractions from the sleek lines of the top to the skirt. You could also chuck on a black blazer, and really make this look appropriate for any corporate workplace. I love these sunglasses too, they’re so classic that they really tie this outfit together.

 

DETAILS

I went with a strong and structured hammered gold earring from Lovisa, a rosy/bronze eye make-up look, and my classic Bailey Nelson (prescription) sunglasses to finish off this look.

So there you have it! My take on transitioning an outfit from smart-casual to corporate, just by tucking in, adding a cardigan, or streamlining the look.

Lots of Love

Katie xx

Featured items:

  • Gorman – Stripe Top – Mireia Ruiz x Gorman SS18 Collaboration – $149 – Size 14 (unavailable)
  • Atmost&Here Curvy (The Iconic) – Marie Wrap Pencil Skirt – $59.95 – Size 20
  • Luca & Marc (Harris Scarfe) – Pineapple Cardigan – Size XL (unavailable)
  • Betts – Black Velvet Mary Jane Heels – Size 9 (unavailable)
  • Bailey Nelson – Emery Sunglasses – $145
  • Lovisa Jewellery – Earrings