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

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!

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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)

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

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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 🙂

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

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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

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