…Otherwise known as… plus-size window shopping! Actually that’s rather unfair, and I’m going to try and keep my bitching to a minimum. Wish me luck!

Recently the workhorse of British plus size, Evans, held a twitter conversation with their web-savvy consumers asking them what they wanted to see in the new autumn collection. This was a brilliant idea and it’s great to see a brand interacting with their customers in this way. Inevitably we asked them to tie in more closely with catwalk trends – at the moment these are the tough vs romantic combinations: studs, zips, structure and mesh jostling for space with feminine drapes, chiffon, and nudes. To Evans’ credit, they have incorporated on trend elements in to their clothes. But like Simply Be before them, they’re only in context of their usual tunics. Here are some examples (please excuse my exhausted post gym face and hair, by the way!):

Trend 1: Structured Shoulders

This particular tunic/dress has a special tag on it exclaiming “straight from the catwalk!” And yes, power shoulders have been present throughout the year on catwalks and, increasingly, in the high street. But even with the eyelet design in the back, there’s nothing particularly striking about this garment – it does look and feel like someone’s sewn a couple of shoulder pads into a t-shirt. Of course this makes a great base for accessorisation, I understand that, but surely it’s not such a stretch to create a statement piece in itself? Or am I asking for too much?

I did turn the tunic round to see if that made a difference:

Slightly better – if a little risque in the cleavage area!

Trend 2: Studs

Sorry, ignore my bare legs!

Being brutally honest here: when I picked this top off the rack, I let out a large groan. But, happily, it looked much nicer and more sensical on my body than on the hanger. The material was still viscose, but unstretchy. It still had no form to it, however.

Admittedly the photos here don’t do the draping of this tunic justice. One thing I will say in Evans’ favour is that while they use jersey and viscose far too much than is neccessary, it is least of a decent quality! Not quite sure what the parachute leads are for, but overall this did look rather nice. I also turned this around to see what it looked like – unfortunately to stop it from being NSFW I ended up strangling myself a bit. Ha!

Sigh. I do feel immensely guilty ragging on Evans in this way. They have the thankless task of catering to plus size women of all ages and all tastes, all over the world! No wonder they have to dilute trends down to something accessible. But on the other hand, they are the elder sister of the Arcadia clan – surely they can emulate some of their trendier siblings‘ apparel fairly easily?

I’m not sure what the answer is. Perhaps more capsule ranges? The sales figures aren’t in for the Ditto range yet, but I’m guessing it was incredibly successful…

I did venture into other stores (even a non-Arcadia one, gasp!) although I still looked thoroughly miserable! Here you go with some pics:

Dorothy Perkins:

Military Dress/Knitted Dress

New Look – Inspire

Studded Bandau/‘Beaded’ Bubble Top/Colour Block Tunic

What do you think? Is the curse of viscose something us plus sizers have to just deal with? Am I being really whiney for no good reason? Should I just suck it up and start wearing leggings?

…If any of you are members of the Fatshionista livejournal community and need some new dresses, I’m having a clearout! Clicky!

Hello, peoples! My stats shot up recently due to a few recent links – thank you so much! I’m all honoured, and stuff. Sadly I’ve been incredibly boring and broke so haven’t really been able to regale you with pretty outfit pictures. Boo, I know!

Instead, here’s an old (well, a month old – that’s decades in the fashion world, right?) 2010 resort collection that makes my heart race. Good old McQueen.

Mindboggling prints, asymetricism and silhouettes that appear to have been constructed in steel. Lovely.

If you’d like a closer look, head over to the Style.com page!

A flurry of exciteable blog posts are emerging in the fatosphere about the runway show for for Aussie plus-size retailer City Chic, and I’m happy to be adding to it!

I’ve heard mixed things about the brand: that the quality isn’t as good as the prices dictate, and the looks aren’t particularly on trend. But from the looks of this show, they’re at least trying to rectify one of these things. According to this article, their target demographic is 18 – 28 year olds, and as a result they’ve provided a selection of cute floral dresses, mini skirts (and I do mean mini, not 5mm above knee length!) and biker studs. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s still pretty awesome!

Here’s a selection of my favourite outfits – in the meantime I suggest you check out Corpulent’s report as they were in the audience!

Is that a peplum I spy? Fantastic!

Major, MAJOR belt lust.

Love the colour blocking on this!

This isn’t particularly trendy, but the prom fit, polka dots and combination of black/white/pink are just totally me!

Gorgeous, and bang on trend, too!

And… what’s this? Haute-plus? I would pay so much money for this skirt. It’s utter decadence.

Other recaps on the web:

Young, Fat & Fabulous
Musings Of A Fatshionista

What do you think? Have City Chic gotten it right?

Hello everyone! Thanks so much for your comments on my last post – I want to throw a party with you all so I can wear it, haha! Unfortunately the dress only went up to a UK20, US18, but I’ve just come across this Balmain interpretation by Simply Be:

Available in sizes 14 – 32! Awesome.

I have to be honest however, this is a classic example of my biggest niggle with plus size brands: when they do embrace an iconic catwalk look, they tend to only take certain elements and pin them on the same overflowing jersey tunics that are omnipresent all year round. That said, this tunic is quirky enough that with the right styling and the right fit – not to mention a couple of shoulder pads – could still be completely fabulous and edgy.

I also wandered in to the Evans store in Romford this morning and this caught my eye:

I’m loving the punkiness of the eyelets, and am really pleased Evans is dipping its toes in to more on trend looks. This in particular reminds me of Zana of Garbage Dress. (If only I had enough money for one of her harnesses!) Pretty sure it’ll go perfectly with these boots from the Caryn Franklin range at Simply Be, too:

Man, I’ve been lusting over these for weeks. Both the Evans tunic and the boots come in purple versions, too, so you could totally mix and match! I need to get me a winning lottery ticket…

You remember that outrageously holographic F/W09 collection from Balmain, and how it looked on the UK’s most overrated model of all time, Kate Moss? No? Here’s a reminder:

Well in case you were wondering, here’s what the £16 Asda rip off version looks like on a morbidly obese fatshionista:

Thanks to Deena for the heads up! I have to say, as much as I enjoyed parading round the house wearing this, I’m not sure I have the confidence to wear it out in public. I feel I would be a glutton for verbal abuse! But hey, I might throw a house party for an excuse to wear it… In the mean time, I’ll stick with these bad girls From Dorothy Perkins, which I’ve owned for a while. I will attend the structured-shouldered ball, dammit!

Meanwhile, I gotta curb this pun habit of mine.

Xtina of The Musings of a Fatshionista (one of my favourite fashion blogs right now, plus or not) recently posted some items from the autumn Carmakoma collection. Carmakoma is entering its third season, and its most recent lookbook has that same strong aesthetic running through that it burst on to the plus fashion consciousness with, just over a year ago.

What makes me positively giddy when it comes to Carmakoma – more than other plus size brands, anyway – is down to more than the clothes themselves, although the clothes themselves are, of course, fab. It’s just so utterly refreshing to see a plus fashion brand actually showcasing their collection as exactly that: fashionable.

Flicking through look books for other companies, I always feel they’re catering to a demographic that doesn’t include me. The appeal is almost certainly aimed at an older, suburbanite, post-children market. Not that older mums don’t deserve to look great, quite the opposite! But the lack of detail, restrained styling and budget-luxe settings seem to reach out only to those who consider themselves too busy to really invest in fashion, happy to touch on the outskirts of a latest trend but not particularly interested in expressing themselves.

Carmakoma are the first to present their clothes in way that speaks to me on a base level. There is an edge, a youthfulness and aloofness present in their styling that has more in common with the austerity of the likes of Alexander Wang than the “responsible working mum” aesthetic so adored by all other outsize brands. Seeing fashionable clothes on models that are not only young, but genuinely plus size and cool to boot, is absolutely empowering for me as a consumer.

So, Carmakoma, I salute you. May you continue blazing a trail through the plus size fashion market for a long, long time! My only request would be that the sizes eventually go even bigger – but until then, I’m saving my Euros for that super hot one-shoulder ruffle dress.

NOTE: If you dislike pink, or flowers, please look away now. ;)

My mum is a former dressmaker, so whenever I needed anything altering she would whip it up in no time as it was quicker for her to do it than teach me. I used to be cool with this, but recently I’ve found myself getting envious of my friends’ ability to get crafty with their clothes and make things fit perfectly – not to mention realising what a valuable skill it is as a plus size yet petite fashion victim. What with the lack of clothing choices available anyway, I have the added annoyance of being drowned in dresses made for more statuesque frames. (Of course, it does have its plus points – I can get away with most tunics as dresses, for example.) If I could get up to speed with a sewing machine all these problems would be diminished, because I could make, sew and mend as I pleased!

Last year I began a dressmaking City and Guilds course. I enjoyed it so much, but then they moved the time and place to somewhere I could no longer get to and I had to leave. Gutted! Since then I left sewing to a distant pipe dream and concentrated on other things, but it was always nagging at me in the back of my mind. So I started nagging my mum for lessons. It took me 9 months but she finally relented, which leads me to this little beauty:

I bought this vintage dress on eBay the day after watching an episode of Pushing Daisies that featured an amazing dress on Chuck, even by her impeccable standards! I expected the colours to be more muted in real life, but as I opened the package even I was shocked at the loudness of the colours and the print!

The top fitted perfectly – polyester is the most forgiving of fabrics, although it might get you electrocuted – but alas, the bottom frill began underneath my bum, ending up a good two or three inches under my knee! So in my wardrobe it sat for over a year, until my mum suggested altering it as an easy first sewing lesson.

In the end, I lobbed off 7 and a half inches of fabric, and reattached the bottom ruffle. It’s not perfect by any means, but it’s a start, right? Next lesson: taking apart an old dress to make a fresh pattern, and building another from scratch. Yay!

Dress: eBay
Tights: Marks and Spencer
Shoes: Evans

I figured the look might as well be turned all the way to 11, so I added bright pink tights and trashy white heels. Now the sun needs to come out so I can actually wear it and offend a few people. Good old British summertime…

Since my introductory entry was a little on the dry side, I figured I should show my mug as soon as possible. Lucky you! A couple of months ago a friend of mine did a project on individual style for Platform Magazine. It featured pictures of people in their favourite outfits, followed by a few questions on where they shop, etc. Here is the picture used of me:

LBD: Additions Direct
Maribou feather stole: oli.co.uk
Leopard print stack platforms: Linzi
Purple tights: Marks and Spencer

Choosing an outfit was initially difficult. As it stands my fashion sense is quite an emotional one, and thus my answer to the question “What’s your favourite outfit?” will differ depending on a variety of factors: what time I woke up, how my last date went, what film I watched last night, how long it’s been since my last chocolate bar and so on.

So after a while faffing and panicing about what I could wear that would reflect me and my sartorial tastes, I hit a brainwave. Instead of choosing an outfit that showcased merely one aspect of my look, I could pick out a variety of pieces that together would collude to that one elusive goal I have in mind while getting dressed: glamour, darling!

Ever since I started being more adventurous with my clothes, all I’ve ever asked for is a little glamour. It doesn’t matter how it presents itself. Obviously I don’t strut around in heels and feather stoles every day, but I always find a way to add a string of pearls, a diamante brooch or an ornamental hair grip to whatever I’m wearing. I never feel comfortable unless I’m slightly overdressed.

So… there you have it. Maybe the end result was terrible and I’m not even qualified to be a fashion blogger, I don’t know. What do you think? Is there one specific look you strive for – glamour, edginess, romance – no matter what?

And just how many blogs have begun with that particular pun, I wonder? Oh well. I’m here now, and that’s what counts I suppose! So… hello. I’m Lauren. I’m 25, I like cardigans, prom dresses and sci-fi. Usually at the same time. I live a little outside London, UK, which is nice. I’ve decided to finally take the plunge and start a little plus fashion blog!

Adding yet another plus size blog from my small corner or the globe has been on my agenda for a while, but laziness and shyness have usually prevailed until now. I’m not intending to keep up with the big guns or anything like that, but I’m looking forward to having a space that I can use to share my thoughts on all things fashion-plus. Especially now that more and more opportunities appear to be filtering through for us – what with the much-blogged Beth Ditto for Evans collection and the odd on trend pieces finding their way into stores such as Yours and Simply Be. Baby steps, but steps nonetheless, and that’s all the matters!