Simply Be Shoot

Image: me mid-pose, in my bright prink and yellow ice cream print dress.

This post has been many months in the making, I keep putting it off and putting it off – there’s so much I want to say that it feels insurmountable. But it’s getting ridiculous now, so I’m going to attempt to muddle through what is, pretty much, the pinnacle of my time as a plus size/fatshion/whatever blogger.

In November of last year, I got an email from Simply Be. This isn’t unusual as I’ve been to a few of their events, and am in contact with the team there (they’re all lovely) – but this time, they wanted to know if I was interested in taking part in a blogger collection, and designing an outfit.


From there, I went up to Manchester for a meeting with the team, which included their buyer Natalie, and Mark the designer. Everyone was so lovely, as you can imagine! They emphasised that they wanted us to be as bold as we could – they didn’t want us to water anything down or worry about whether things would sell, etc. Then each of us (myself, Laura and Georgina) talked about what ideas we had. I brought up a sketchbook I’ve had for years, which I sometimes doodle designs on that I swear I’ll make when I learn to sew. I also created a mood board on pinterest here:

Simply Be Shoot

Image: a screengrab of the colourful and kitsch inspiration I had for my dress.

I wanted something kitsch and colourful. I have a real problem when it comes to prints, as you can probably tell. If anyone hears of a Prints Anonymous group, by all means, let me know! I wanted something that the badass babes of tumblr and in my own real life would be proud to wear and put their own stamp on. At the same time, I wanted it to be accessible and wearable in every day if needs be – a knit fabric (also so it could stretch and those above a size 32 could wear it), light and an easy shape. I considered an a-line shape and initially was against the skater shape – but I suit that shape so much, and so eventually I decided to go for it even if it’s a bit ubiquitous at the moment!

After the meeting, I kept in touch with Mark who sent me over possible print options. We’d talked about heart print, lightning bolt print and lip print, but nothing seemed quite right. And then he sent me this:


A mock up of the dress shape and possible patterns, including the final ice cream print in pink and yellow.

As soon as I saw it, I knew. As much as I liked the green and pink, the pink and yellow just popped so much more. It was just… perfect! I mean, look at the fabric swatch from later! ARGH!


Image: a close up of the fabric swatch.

After that was finalised, we were kept in the loop of how things were progressing manufacturing-wise, and later myself, Laura and Em (George sadly had to drop out – we missed her, but it was so she could do the awesome Evans campaign so yay!) for a follow up to try the test garments and iron out any changes that needed to be made before final production.

The next time we all met up, it was shoot day. With the final dresses. Aaaah!

Simply Be Shoot

Image: left to right Laura’s dress; my dress; Em’s dress on the rail.

Each of us was made up then shot individually over the course of the day. I have to be completely honest here: the team were absolutely lovely and wonderful, but I found shooting really difficult. I know that might sound odd since I have a website full of photos taken of myself, but the difference is that when I take outfit photos I’m in my bedroom by myself. My camera’s on a self-timer and that’s it. So to go from that to having a team of people photographing me in the middle of Hoxton was quite a departure! Em also touched on abuse she received, and I also got nasty comments from men in vans, schoolboys and various office workers. I’m not strong like Em, so I didn’t answer back. To the one girl who whispered “you look beautiful” as you walked past though, whether you meant it or not, thank you!

Simply Be Shoot

Image: getting “touched up” in the street by the lovely MUA.

Simply Be Shoot

Image: the crew. Look at all that equipment!

The shoot and how I look in it isn’t really the point, though – what I’m most excited about is seeing other awesome fatties wearing it and how you’re all going to style it! There’s also going to be a launch party that bloggers and possibly customers can attend, so more info on that when it comes. I can’t WAIT!

I really still can’t get my head around the fact that this has happened. It’s SO mind-blowing! Hannah, Natalie, Mark and the Simply Be team have been so, so amazing. I literally can’t thank them enough. And I’m so happy I got to do this with women I consider my friends as well as fellow bloggers: Laura, Em and George. I love Laura and Em’s dresses as well, and I’ve seen their photos and they look stunning! I’ll be buying both of them, for sure.

The dresses will be available in June. It’ll be in sizes 14-32 (UK). I really hope you like what I’ve come up with. <3

  • Carla

    Lauren, there are no words as to how excited I am for your dress! (Sam is going to buy it too – though she’s a size 10 so is going to have to have it tailored haha!) Pink, kitsch pattern, skater fit, sweetheart neckline…ERM, SOLD I THINK! :D Well done, so proud of you. xxxxxx

  • Jamie Royce

    Amazing! That dress is all my dreams come true!

  • Jappelke

    Oh Lauren that dress is awesome and so you! I hope hope hope that it will be available from the Simply Be Euro web shop as well, or I will cry…!

  • Louise P.

    Oh my God, this dress is amazing! I can never resist a quirky print and some colour. I also love that it has sleeves. I hope I manage to get my hands on one! You look amazing in it, so I hope you didn’t take the begrudgers to heart. What an amazing opportunity :)

  • Vicky Jones

    It s a beautiful dress loving the print!! If you like a funky print check out Vampire Bunnies on Facebook she is brilliant and she will do custom sizes!!!!! As for the spiteful souls who made the comments F em all, you look beautiful and are inside, unfortunately the wprld is full of utter tools at times!

  • Rachel

    I can’t wait for the dress it will be mine! It’s such a fab design and you look gorgeous xx

  • emma dunn

    Looks amazing think I may buy it!

  • Jocelyn

    I love the dress! This sounds like a great experience :)

  • Elena Davies

    Bloody love it and I cannot wait to get it on my fat body when it’s available! xx

  • Sian Morgan

    This is amazing, such a gorgeous dress and an awesome opportunity for you! You deserve it, babe. Cannot wait for your dress to come out, buying it & rocking it. The print is too fabulous.

  • Aimee L’amour

    Your dress is AMAZING! I’ll definitely be buying! Congratulations :)

    Aimee x

  • Joule

    That dress is AMAZING and it looks SO GOOD on you!! I can’t wait to buy it in June! I’m super excited about dresses that are actually designed for fat people, much less stylish dresses in pink and yellow and ice cream prints like you dreamed up.

  • Mel C

    Argh its nice to see a close of the swatch, was hard to make out the print in other photos I’ve seen. Not that it makes any difference cos I was gonna buy it anyway, so perfect that it comes out in June… gonna wear it for my birthday!

  • Big Fat Betty

    This dress is so many levels of awesome I cannot put it into words! I can’t wait for it to be on sale. I agree with you about the pink, though it’d be awesome to have it in other colourways ;) I love prints at the moment but this one is extra amazing as it’s so unique. Congruwelldone! :D x

    PS: To this day the ‘general public’ still really put me off/make me nervous about shooting on location. It’s a hard thing to deal with…I hope they didn’t get you down x

  • Lillian Low

    You are so so amazing. This sounds like such a fantastic experience and I am pathetically jealous. The dress is absolutely gorgeous, that print!!! I will be buying it as soon as it comes out. And the whisperer on the street is right, you are beautiful! <3

  • Elisa

    You do look beautiful! And that outfit is totally awesome! That black with the multicolor lip print is already calling my name :-)

    • Lauren

      Aww, I’m so sorry but the lip print isn’t being made – just the pink and yellow ice cream print. Sorry!

  • Lucy

    I love the sleeve length! I’m so fed up of having to choose between long sleeves and no sleeves. I might just have to get myself one of these!

  • Beka Stuffy

    It’s so pretty and bold!
    Beka x

  • Fat Girl Clothes

    You are a total BOSS. I want to just HUG YOU. This is SUPERB!!!! Well done you! *beaming!*

  • Buttercup_Rocks

    That dress is beyond adorable. I hope it’s a huuuge bestseller so that they can bring out the lip print too!

  • Stylewar

    You got so nice chance to show your gorgeous talent,I like it very much..You are looking so stunning.

    Men and women clothing

  • Natalie Mulford

    Ahh, congrats! I’m so loving the look of the dress. Pink and yellow and ice cream, YES PLEASE! I totally understand what you mean about the shoot being hard. As soon as I have to step in front of someone elses camera, I tend to freeze and feel so awkward! Can’t wait to see more!

    • Lauren

      Yeah, it’s really difficult! I’m a bit of a control freak over how I look, haha!

  • Lauren

    Thank you all for your wonderful comments, you’re all so kind :) xx

  • Melissa Jolley

    I’ve just found you, because of my simply be catalogue, and I’m so in love with your dress but my husband will kill me if I spend more money on clothes! lol You look gorgeous in it. X

  • kappapsichica

    I ordered your dress this morning before Simply Be even announced the collaboration – I just saw it on the website and had to have it! Then I followed the trail to your blog. Just wanted to leave a quick note that I loved your creation!!

  • Mama Syder

    Lovely creation! I spotted this on Simply Be and have hinted to Hubby that it would make a lovely Christmas pressie. Adorable!

  • Pingback: Main Sponsor: Simply Be | Plus London()

  • Pingback: Pizza Never Lies: the Dominos onesie competition - Pocket Rocket FashionPocket Rocket Fashion()