REVIEW: D+K EMBRACE ACTIVEWEAR

Throughout my journey to discover the best activewear available in plus sizes, I stumbled across D+K, an Australian brand dedicated to sustainable and ethical production, and who have a dedicated curve range called Embrace. They have sizes 18-24, and a fairly limited range of staple pieces at the moment though new items will apparently be releasing soon!

I tried a number of outfits from the range over a two month period, so I could give you my full thoughts and feelings! If you like any of the items featured and want to snag some for yourself, you can get 15% off full-priced items (in their straight size and curve ranges) using code KATIEP15

(Disclaimed: D+K provided me with items to wear and review. I am not, however, under obligation to provide a positive review. All opinions contained within are my own.)

Remi Tee in White (Size 20)

As you can see, I tried two full outfits (Sports crop, top, and leggings) from the Embrace range, all in Size 20. I usually wear a 20 in activewear, and you can compare that to my measurements in the About Me section if you want to know how that might correspond for you.

Overall my experience wearing D+K Embrace activwear was a really positive one – I love that they’re providing an ethical, sustainable product at a similar price point to other (non-ethical/sustainable) plus size retailers, and at a similar price point as straight size retailers. While I didn’t love the shiny fabric in the Pace Tights, that’s just a personal preference towards matte-finish activewear. If you’re similar to me in that regard then I highly recommend the Wonder Tights and Unstoppable Crops. The cuts are definitely thoughtful with regards to plus size bodies, and I could have almost sized down to an 18 in the garments, which is great if you’re a size 24/26 and wondering if this line might work for you. I’ve worn them for a variety of exercise types, including high-intensity cardio, reformer pilates, and weights in a gym. They’re great all-round products, that I feel comfortable wearing around the house, to walk the dog, or in the gym.

For me personally, there are minimal cons to touch on with D+K. A downside to the Embrace range is that there are fewer products than their regular sized range, and doesn’t seem to have new products added as often. Additionally, the Embrace range is more of a ‘basics’ line, and I’ve noticed that many of the fun colours/prints/styles in the straight size range aren’t replicated in the plus garments. They’ve got great staple pieces, so this likely isn’t a problem for the regular consumer, but I am always on the look out for pieces that are in fun colours and prints and styles (as I already have a lot of those staple activewear pieces). In speaking to friends and followers, I know that a lot of people just want to be able to buy high quality activewear in black, navy and white – so maybe it’s just a ‘me’ problem, but I thought it was worth flagging!

Have you tried D+K activewear before? If so, what did you think of it? Comment below with your favourite size inclusive activewear!

~ Katie

SHEIN: SALE PICKS!

One of my most popular posts to-date is the one I wrote on Shein a month or two ago. Ever since then (and almost everyday on my instagram) I get questions about sizing and quality of the garments I have from there. I’m not going to go into sizing in this post (please refer to my previous post for that info), but instead just show you some great pieces I’ve picked up over the last few months that you might be interested in. Everything is linked and you can see what size I’m wearing as an FYI (spoiler – I’m wearing everything from a size 1XL to a 5XL, and it all fits).

I wanted to make another post showing off some of my favourite items, and now is the perfect time to do so because they have a special sale for an extra 15% off EVERYTHING with the code ‘shsale352’ until 14 April 2019.

To be upfront – I have an ongoing collaboration with the brand. They provide product in exchange for posts on my social channels. That being said, I have also purchased from them numerous times and will continue to do so. In this post I’ll show you things I was gifted and things I purchased myself, so you can feel confident that I’m being upfront and honest about sizing and my thoughts of the products. After all, if I didn’t like them, I wouldn’t wear them or spend my money buying them!

on to the clothes!

Plus Random Tropical Criss Cross One Piece Swimsuit 4XL

Search ID: 596054 Plus Knot Flare Sleeve Solid Top & Pants 3XL (gifted)

Search ID: 624074 Plus Drawstring Waist Striped Jumpsuit 3XL (gifted)

Plus Knot Hem Satin Lantern Pants 3XL andPlus Letter Print Tee 5XL

Search ID: 548970 Plus Knot Front Striped Pants 4XL (gifted) and Plus Single-Breasted Dip Hem Blouse 4XL

Search ID: 598380 Plus Floral Print Blouse 5XL (gifted)

Search ID: 531475 Plus Flounce Layered Neck Striped Dress 1XL (gifted)

Plus Flower Print Cami Top & Wide Leg Pants Set 3XL

Search ID: 597600 Plus Corduroy Pocket Decoration Solid Jacket 4XL (gifted)

Plus Colorblock Button Front Outerwear 4XL

So there you have it! Some awesome pieces that you can pick up with an EXTRA 15% off using the code shsale352 until 14 April 2019. After that, you can always use code parrott15 to get 15% off full-price, plus-size items (minimum spend USD$59).

What’s your favourite outfit, or item? I personally love the ruffled stripe dress and the matching sets!

Katie xx

ALLY FASHION: TESTING THE PLUS SIZE RANGE, YOU + ALL

I’m always really excited when I see brands expanding into plus size lines, especially when they’re an affordable retailer like Ally! A stalwart of the Australian fast-fashion scene over the last two decades (can you believe they’ve been around since 2001?!), in September 2018 they announced that they were releasing a new line ‘You + All’ to cater to sizes 16-22, where previously they only carried up to a size 16, and a pretty small 16 at that!

I’ve made two orders since the collection launched in late 2018, and have a made an effort to try most items they carry, including tops, dresses, jumpsuits, skirts, shorts and trousers! Let’s take a look at photos first, then I’ll run you through my pros and cons at the end of the post.

Outfit 1

Get Me Home Frill Sleeve Bandeau (Size 22)
Taurus Tortoiseshell Buckle Pants (Mustard) (Size 22)

I love how this outfit looks, I actually ended up buying both pieces because this is how they styled it on the model on the website. Both the top and pants are a loose and comfortable fit in a Size 22, but you can see in the first picture that the buckle part of the pants is a bit off. It ends up twisting as you wear it, so I think I’ll take off the buckle part and just tie the sash around my waist. (Unless I can think of a way to sew it flat!)

Outfit 2

Isabella Button-Front Cami (White) (Size 22)
Up All Night Double-Layer Shorts (Animal Print) (Size 22)

Again, I’d say the Size 22 fits me in a comfortably loose way, and with the shorts I probably would go down to a Size 20 as there is no way to tighten the waistband. The cami is loose through the body and is quite long (tucked in here), and I like that the straps are adjustable

Outfit 3

Sail Away Shirt Dress (Natural) (Size 22)

I didn’t realise that this was a ‘faux wrap’ style, so you have no control over how tightly it fits (beyond tightening the waist sash). I probably should have sized down to a 20 in this, as it was too large in the bust. That being said, the fabric is lovely and lightweight, and the style is simple and comfortable to wear, though would work in lots of different situations depending on how you styled it.

Outfit 4

Blaire Button Down Dress (Khaki) (Size 22)

Such a sweet and simple linen dress, I really love this one for an easy summery look. Coming in a few different colours, I’m not sure I’d describe this pastel green/blue as ‘Khaki’ but either way I love it! There’s enough room in the dress that the buttons don’t pull, so I felt flirty but secure!

Outfit 5

Roxy Relaxed Fit Jumpsuit (Size 22)

The jumpsuit is the epitome of chuck-on-and-go outfits, and this one is no exception. I’ve worn it on chilly days with a black turtleneck layered underneath, and on warm days with sandals. I love that it can be dressed up or down, and the elastic waist gives me definition without clinging.

Outfit 6

Billie Button Up Dress (Stripe) (Size 22)

This is one of the more unusual offerings from the You + All range, but I really love it. Layered with a button front shirt (pictured) I felt very comfortable wearing it to work, but also think it would make a cute brunch outfit with sandals and a hat! The straps are buttoned in the back and are very long, so I’ve worn it with them crossed here to correct the length. However you could easily just shorten them.

Outfit 7

Faye Frill Hem Top (Dusty Blue) (Size 22)
Anja A-Line Skirt (Size 22)

Another instance where I was sucked into buying both pieces because of how they model styled them. I thought this skirt and top combo were so dang cute, and they translate really nicely into real-life wear. Another versatile outfit that can be worn for work or play, and each piece has slotted nicely into my wardrobe to be worn with other things I already own.

PROS

  • First and foremost, I think it’s fantastic to see traditionally straight-sized retailers expanding into the plus size world. Putting aside the size range for a moment (we’ll come back to that in the con section!), it is only in the last few years that we’ve really seen an acknowledgement from retailers that there is a plus market just waiting to be serviced, so props to Ally for making the effort.
  • They’re releasing new things every fortnight (I believe) so there are always new garments just waiting to tickle your fancy! And they have a variety of lengths, colours and cuts, so there really is something to suit everyone.
  • There is a real mix of products and materials being used for the line, it’s nice to see so many natural fibre fabrics in use, like linen and cotton. A lot of plus size offerings seem to be that slinky polyester, which isn’t always comfortable to wear.
  • I’m normally a size 20 to 22, and I’d say that everything I tried in a size 22 is loose to the point where with some things I could have sized down. So it’s a true-to-size range, in my opinion.

CONS

  • Without a doubt the biggest drawback to this line (in my opinion) is the size range – I’m wearing a size 22 in all the above garments, and that is their biggest size. In my opinion, that’s really not good enough for a plus size range, when you consider that boohoo go to a size 24 (sometimes 26) and Atmos&Here Curvy go to a size 26.
  • They have recently announced that the You + All range will be available in selected stores. However, given that according to their website they have over 130 stores, carrying the plus range in just 13 locations is somewhat underwhelming.
  • There is nowhere near the same product range in the plus section as there is in the straight section. Hopefully this is something that will change over time, but it’s hard to get past the numbers – at the time of writing, there was 108 curvy items on the website compared to 1548 straight sized items.
  • The curvy range is more expensive. When you look on the website, it seems pretty obvious to me that they’re charging more for plus size items than for straight sizes, generally speaking. I don’t know why that is, but I hope they can equalise the prices across their two ranges!

Final Thoughts

All things said and done, I think Ally have made a great start with their curvy line. There are cute pieces for a fairly affordable price, and I find the quality to be quite nice. If you see something you like on the website, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed if you buy it! However, they need to address the size range, product range, store availability and price ASAP!

Katie xx

[Disclaimer: this post is not sponsored, and all product were purchased by me. All expressed opinions are my own.]

BRAND FEATURE: SHEIN

I have a confession… I’m addicted to trendy fast fashion. I know, I know, I shouldn’t be but for the longest time there really wasn’t any cheap and on-trend clothing available in plus sizes. Now that there are retailers like The Iconic, Boohoo, Pretty Little Thing, and Shein catering for all sizes, I find it hard to say no! My ethos is that if something is a classic piece that I’ll wear for years and years, it’s worth investing in something high quality and sustainable. But if it’s a trend item that I may only wear once or twice, it’s hard to justify a high price tag when there are affordable and accessible options like Shein. This was the main reason I wanted to try them out – I’d heard mixed reviews on sizing but have seen some gorgeous items on gals like icurvy and willowcurves on Instagram, so decided I wanted to try for myself.

(Full disclaimer: some of these items were bought by me, and others were given to me by Shein. I will note next to each item whether it was purchased or gifted.)

After spending many hours browsing the website and also looking at icurvy’s tips for shopping at Shein, I came to a few conclusions (which served me very well in the purchasing process):

  1. Since I wasn’t sure how good the returns process would be, I only purchased things I was sure would fit. By this I mean that I minimised the risk of something looking bad or not fitting by selecting things in tried-and-true styles that always look good on me, and sizing up where possible since I prefer a loose fit over something not fitting at all!
  2. I took fresh measurements of my bust/waist/hips and selected the size of each item based on those measurements. This meant that I bought things ranging in size from 1XL to 5XL but (spoiler!) they all fit! The size on the tag is irrelevant as long as it looks good I reckon. This is an important tip to remember though – all the sizes vary, so you have to go by your measurements!!

 

That being said, let’s get into the items! I’m going to start with the two pieces I was gifted!

Plus Polka Dot Surplice Dress – 5XL – gifted

I wore this during the Christmas/festive period and got SO MANY compliments! It’s a classic, beautiful item that is work and play appropriate. I also love that it’s festive but not too christmassy, which means I’ll get wear out of it year round. The sleeves are comfortable, and the belt gives nice shape to the waist.

polka dot dress

SHEIN Plus Frill Trim Plaid Pants – 3XL – gifted

These are lightweight and super comfy, with the high rise cut of the pant flattering my tummy and cinching in my waist. I love pairing them with this belt and brown boots!

grid pants

And now onto the things I purchased myself!

Plus Plain Corduroy Pinafore Dress – 4XL – purchased

While this is corduroy, it’s not too thick, which makes it the perfect all-season item. Paired with stockings and a thermal or turtleneck, it’d be a great winter piece. Worn with a cheeky crop top and sandals, it would work just as well in summer.

pinny

Plus Mixed Print Tunic Top – 1XL – purchased

This is such a bold and bright print, I wasn’t sure if I could pull it off. Paired with black pants and simple accessories, it was the perfect statement work blouse and would look equally striking with jeans for a more casual look.

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Plus Color Block T-shirt – 1XL – purchased

Just a simple tee – very cute design, and comfortable fit.

squiggly tee

Plus Cut and Sew Striped Knot Hem Sweatshirt – 1XL – purchased

I love this cropped sweatshirt vibe for all seasons. We get some cooler weather in summer in Tasmania, so I can wear it to get the cropped trend, but still get use out of it as the weather turns colder. Very comfy, and not too short in the torso.

crop top

Plus Dual Pocket Corduroy Overalls – 3XL – purchased

These ran slightly smaller than expected (I have big thighs though hah) but were still comfy and cute. I think they’ll look awesome in winter with thick stockings and a white turtleneck jumper!

overalls.jpg

Plus Self Belted Gingham Dress – 2XL – purchased

With this item, you’ll note that I have altered the garment slightly. The sleeves and bodice were a bit too small for me, so I let out the seams to make it a cape-style. For this reason, if you have larger upper arms/shoulders, you may want to size up in this style.

gingham dress

Plus Self Tie Ruffle Trim Striped Palazzo Pants – 2XL – purchased

MY NEW FAVOURITE SUMMER PANTS! Serious, all-caps was necessary. I love these pants, so loose and floaty, they’re the perfect hot-weather item!

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If you’re interested in purchasing from Shein, I do have a code you can use if you want. It’ll get you 15% off plus sized items when you spend over USD$59.

Code: parrott15

I hope this has been helpful, and that it inspires you to try out some Shein clothes! I know that some people have had not great experiences with Shein, but I can only comment on what my experience has been. For both the purchased items and the gifted items, shipping was fast (within 2 weeks) and items arrived in good condition. I find the quality comparable to other low-cost retailers such as boohoo, so do check the item description if you’re picky about fabrics (ie to see if it’s polyester, linen, cotton etc). Overall, they’re a brand I would recommend, especially if you’re looking for quirky low priced items.

As always, leave any questions you may have in the comments below!

 

Katie

 

(Disclaimer: some items within this post were provided for review. I have clearly noted which items were gifted to me, and which were purchased with my own money. 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)

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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

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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

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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 🙂

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

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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

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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

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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