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.)

TESTING: REVOLUTION MAKEUP

I’ve been curious about Revolution Makeup (Revolution Beauty? Makeup Revolution? I Heart Revolution? They have so many different names??) for a long time. Super affordable products, great shipping costs to Australia, and they’ve collab’d with some of my favourite beauty youtubers. Combine that with the fact they’re cruelty free and mostly vegan (not all products but there’s an option on their website to shop only their vegan items), AND that they’ve been getting crazy hype on youtube for their concealer that is supposedly a dupe for Tarte Shape Tape concealer.

For clarity, all prices mentioned in this post are in Australian dollars. I’m gonna run you through the ordering and delivery process, swatches and photos of the products, and a few looks I did with the items. At the time of writing (5 September 2018) I’ve used all the items, though I don’t have pictures of everything in use.

ORDERING & DELIVERY

I decided it was time to take the plunge and just order some goodies. They often have perks or freebies, ie. spend over $50 and get a free palette, or brushes. I was impatient and ordered during a time they didn’t have a freebie special, but generally I think you may as well wait until they are running a promo and get extra product. I spent $162 all up, and got 17 items, plus a free lipliner. Plus, because I spent over $50 shipping was free. If you’re spending less that $50, shipping is only $2.95! Which is crazy good, considering that shipping costs to Australia from international retailers can be incredibly pricey.

I ordered on 21 July 2018, and my parcel arrived on 6 August 2018, so it took 11 business days/just over two weeks to arrived. That’s pretty slow, but I think for the cost it’s not unreasonable. Just don’t order anything that you desperately need! Everything was wrapped securely in bubble wrap, and packaged tightly together, so no breakages.

PRODUCTS

Revolution Eyeshadow Palette Soph Eyeshadow Palette * – $18 – Collaboration with YouTuber SophDoesNails

Soph X Palette and Swatches
Revolution Eyeshadow Palette Re-Loaded Palette – Iconic Fever  – $7 – dupe for Urban Decay ‘Naked Heat’ palette

Iconic Fever Palette and Swatches
 *- $7

Newtrals 2 Palette and Swatches
Revolution Eyeshadow Palette Re-Loaded Palette Velvet Rose * – $7 – dupe for Anastasia Beverly Hills ‘Soft Glam’ Palette

(I just wanted to make a note about this palette specifically – while the mattes are beautiful and blend really nicely on the eyes, I’m not very impressed with the shimmers/pressed glitters. Even with a wet brush or a finger, I feel like they don’t show up well, and require a lot of effort to look good. I still think it’s worth the $7 for the matte shades, as the shimmers can be made to work, or you can use a single eyeshadow or a shimmer from another palette.)

Velvet Rose Palette and Swatches
Obsession Eyeshadow Palette Love Every Shade Eyeshadow Palette * – $9

Love Every Shade Palette and Swatches
Revolution Eye Glitter Pressed Glitter Palette Midas Touch * – $18
Revolution Eye Glitter Glitter Glue * – $8

Midas Touch Palette and Swatches
With and without glitter glue

Revolution Eyeliner Renaissance Flick  – $9
Revolution Liquid Lipstick Nudes Collection Gloss – Boudoir  – $5
Revolution Lipstick Soph Nude Lipstick Cake  – $8
Revolution Lipstick Rose Gold Lipstick – Chauffeur  – $5

Eye and Lip Products
L-R: Chauffeur, Boudoir, Cake, Renaissance Flick, Red Lipliner (freebie)

Revolution Concealer Fast Base Concealer C2 * – $9
Revolution Concealer Conceal & Define Concealer – C3  * – $7
Revolution Foundation Fast Base Stick Foundation – F2  * – $9
Revolution Pro Foundation Foundation Drops – F3  * – $13

(For shade matching reference, I use Mont Blanc in NARS Sheer Glow, Fair in IT Cosmetic CC Cream, and Alabaster in Hourglass Vanish Stick Foundation)

Complexion Products

Revolution Blusher Blush Palette – Blush Goddess  * – $11
I Heart Revolution Bronzer Bronze and Glow *  – $11

(The highlighter in the Bronze and Glow duo is absolutely stunning, but it’s worth mentioning that the bronzer/contour shade is very pale and quite sheer. Even on my super fair skin tone, I could go in very heavy-handed and it still looked quite subtle. I like it, but if you have anything darker than a tan complexion I would give this one a pass.)

 

collage

 

LOOK 1: Pinks

Base Products 1

Bronzer, Highlight, Eyeshadow 1

Complete Look 1

LOOK 2: Reds/Browns

Base Products 2

Eyeshadow 2

Eyeliner Pen 2

Lip Products 2

Complete Look 2

FINAL THOUGHTS

With the exception of the comments I made on the Velvet Rose and Bronze and Glow palettes, I was absolutely astounded with the quality of all the products I tried. I ended up not doing a detailed breakdown on my thoughts for each product because I feel like the swatches and photos basically speak for themselves. I was pleased to see that the shades C2/F2 and C3/F3 all worked for me, so there is a bit of flexibility in trying to choose a shade that will match you. I would 100% recommend Makeup Revolution to anyone who has been curious about trying their products – they are always coming out with new things, and there are plenty of reviews circulating the internet if you’re curious about what to get.

Lots of love

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.

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 🙂

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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

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

BAXTER BLUE: TESTED

There are very few jobs these days that don’t require some level of screen-time, especially if you work in any kind of office environment, you’re probably like me and spend 8+ hours a day under fluorescent lighting staring at a computer screen. I’m sure I’m not the only one who finishes work at the end of the day and just feels totally wiped, with sore, tired eyes and headaches. While I know that some of this strain relates to my on-going neck and shoulder tension, which I get from carrying stress in those areas, I have wondered whether the bright and harsh lights at work and from staring at screens is partially to blame for my tired eyes and sore head. Enter Baxter Blue.

never click on Facebook and Instagram ads. Generally, they’re just rubbish products like SkinnyTea or Sugarbear Hair Vitamins, but when I saw the ad for Baxter Blue on Facebook I was really intrigued. Glasses that could help with my eye strain, designed for people who work with screens all day? Colour me interested! Taken directly from their website, Baxter Blue glasses are intended to be “a fashionable range of non-prescription eyewear for those who use computers and digital devices, importantly protecting their eyes from the dangers of blue violet light and alleviating the symptoms of digital eye strain”.

Now this all sounds awesome, but I was admittedly sceptical, so did a bit of internet research on blue light glasses and whether or not they work. For all my google sleuthing, I couldn’t find any definitive data either way about the impact of blue-light glasses (Popsugar, The Sydney Morning Herald, and Business Insider Australia all had different views), so proceed at you own caution is the take home message I guess.

Despite this, I wanted to see for myself if this would be something that could help with my headaches and strain, so I purchased a snazzy pair of clark / gloss black for $89 and decided to test them out. For the purpose of trialling them, I wore them for two consecutive days (Monday and Tuesday), didn’t wear them for the rest of the week, and then wore them again for a few days the next week, so I could see if there was a noticeable difference. I also knew I would have to wear my regular, prescription glasses a fair bit during the testing period, and would also be away from my desk at meetings, etc, so thought this would help account for that.

Test Day 1

Baxter Blue - Day 1

My first day wearing them was actually my first day back at work after a 10-day holiday over the Easter long weekend (nothing like using 3 leave days to get 10 days off!) so I figured it would be the perfect time to put my new Baxter Blue glasses to the test. While I’ve been a glasses wearer for almost 14 years, I’m short-sighted and normally only wear my glasses while driving, at the movies, etc. For this reason, getting used to having glasses on that a) didn’t improve my vision, and b) were meant to be worn for close-up work on computer screens, was a big adjustment. They’re also slightly too large for my head, so I found that they slipped down my nose constantly, so that was slightly annoying, although fixable if I went for a different style I guess. It’s too early to tell whether they’ve reduced eye strain, neck/shoulder tension, or were the reason why I didn’t have a headache at the end of the day, since I don’t experience these symptoms every day at work. However, I feel relatively accustomed to wearing them constantly, so I’m interested to see if I feel like they’ve made a difference as the week goes on.

Note: I did take them off for about an hour over lunch while in the lunchroom aka a screen-free environment.

Test Day 2

Baxter Blue - Day 2

I think I’m over the weirdness of wearing glasses for close-up/computer work today, since it felt totally normal to sit down at my desk this morning and pop my Baxter Blue glasses on. As the day wore on, I was still getting a bit frustrated that they were sliding down my face and needed to be continually pushed up, but as I said, I think that would be fixable with a different style. I also found today that I’m a bit over wearing glasses all day – normally with my prescription pair, I’m only wearing them for short-ish stints, and I take them off relatively frequently, so I’m not used to such consistent wear. However, I’m still getting fairly positive results, and have been headache and eye strain-free for the last two days.

Test Day 3 (the next week)

Baxter Blue - Day 3

I put my Baxter Blue’s on at lunchtime (ish) as I had been away from my desk and computer for most of the morning. It felt quite comfortable and natural to sit down and chuck my glasses on, and I do think that my eyes have adjusted to wearing them for close-up work. It potentially helps that they’re quite a bit more bulky and ‘noticeable’ on the face than my prescription glasses, which are wire-rimmed and very light – maybe my brain kinda goes, “thick black rim glasses for computers, thin wire-rims for prescription”. Either way, I happily wore my glasses for the rest of the day, headache free! I noticed that yesterday I wasn’t wearing the glasses and I did have a bit of a headache by the end of the day, which could have also been due to lack of sleep/an early morning wake-up, but either way, I wanted to chuck them back on today to see if they could help mitigate the eye strain.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Aside from the three days I’ve talked about in detail here, I’ve worn my Baxter Blue’s on and off for the last 3 or so weeks. I’m not an optometrist, doctor or scientist, so if you want an opinion from someone qualified in those fields then I’m not your gal. However, as a regular, computer-using layperson, here’s what I think – whether it’s the glasses or placebo affect, I didn’t get a headache or suffer from eye strain on any of the days I remembered to wear the Baxter Blue glasses. While I’m an irregular sufferer of headaches and eye strain, it happens often enough that if these glasses help mitigate or removed those symptoms, I’m happy! However, if you’re really concerned about persistent headaches and eye strain, rather than trying a pair of these glasses as the first step, I’d recommend you talk to your doctor and/or optometrist, as there may be underlying health issues causing that pain.

If you’re like me, and work in an office or tech-industry, I think these are worth the $89 splurge to have a test and see what you think! Plus they have a 30-day return or exchange policy, which is plenty of time to wear and test them to see if they work for you.

What do you think, are you interested in trying blue-light reduction glasses? Have you tried them before or do you think they’re a gimmick?

Lots of Love

Katie xx

Disclaimer: I purchased these glasses with my own money, and this review is 100% my honest opinion. I was not sponsored or paid for this post.

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“).

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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?)

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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”.

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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