Aussie Curves {Bodycon}

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So, popping my cherry with my first ever Bodycon dress for this week’s Aussie Curves challenge.

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I’m going to get the photos out of the way up front for this one, as I’m am going to do a little review of Ashley Stewart where I bought the dress from…

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I saw this dress on Instagram and had never bought anything from Ashley Stewart before… Postage was $32.95 which is not bad for a US website. I got a 15% off discount by signing up for their newsletter, so the postage paid for itself! Winning!

Jeans and bras were also on sale, so I purchased one each to see how it went – the bra is the most interesting bra I have ever worn. It is called the butterfly plunge bra, and has a double back-strap (you should have seen my poor husbands face when he saw me unpacking a bra with 8 clasps!) so it’s back smoothing, and specially designed for big boobie beauties. The engineering of this bra is quite astonishing – there is padding on the straps of the bra, but it really doesn’t need them as the bra lifts and shapes without any pressure on my shoulders… I’m starting to sound like an advertisement, but I love this new bra 🙂 I ordered a 38DD and it was perfect size. Here is a piccy of the bra. On the model…

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The jeans were a good length. I ordered a size US14. Similar size to a CC16, or UK18. The quality is thicker than jeans by newlook or Dorothy Perkins. In line with CC or Torrid jeans in terms of quality. I found the sizing a little weird, very tight around my waist, but the right amount of room in the bum and thighs. I have been told that Ashley Stewart tends to cater to African American ladies, so it would make sense that the cut is a little off for me. Still, happy with the jeans and will wear them.

Now to the dress. The front of the dress is a printed Ponte stretch fabric (black is a separate price of material) and the back of the dress is a ribbed white fabric. Not sure why they would change the type of fabric from the front to the back – I’m still happy with the dress, it’s just a strange choice. If I was designing the dress, I would have made the pattern symmetrical. I thought that the pattern made a sweetheart neckline, which was awesome. I don’t know if its meant to, but it’s like it was cut a little bit off – and is slightly off centre. Still, overall effect of the dress is great, and I’m super happy with it as my first ever Bodycon – I’m definitely a fan of the black side panels, and will be seeking out similar styles in the future. It was true to size. I am wearing a size US14 which is on par with a CityChic XS, maybe a little more stretch in the thighs than CC. Feels like a AU18.

Postage too about three weeks to come, and overall I’m happy with my purchases. For the right item, I would buy again, but I don’t think it will be a regular stop for my online (window) shopping.

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Dress: Ashley Stewart
Heels: New Look

Anyway, that’s my take on Bodycon week – I can’t wait to ‘do the rounds’ and see what the other girls came up with…. Aussie Curves is a weekly fashion challenge for Australian and New Zealand bloggers, sizes 14+. Join in the fun!

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Aussie Curves {Yellow}

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When I was a poor backpacker living in London (ok… That’s an exaggeration, I did have a good job, so not technically poor – but I did spend a lot of my money living the London lifestyle aka drinking and going to concerts, and buying cheap clothes) I could not afford dresses from Monsoon. Sometimes – especially when I was in my suit for work I would go in there at lunch and try on the beautiful dresses just to see what it felt like to wear one. As a frequent Primark shopper – Monsoon dresses felt like heaven. The fabric was always luxurious, cut and made to perfection… Their dresses go up to a 22UK, their sizing is not exactly generous, but at least they bring out their beautiful dresses in plus size – and it’s not a separate range – everything they have in a size 8, they also had in a 22… Well, if you were quick!

I’m gushing a little, but this history helps to explain my LOVE of this dress. My Monsoon-lust lasted long after my return to Oz, and I always keep an eye out on eBay for second hand Monsoon dresses. Only a couple of months ago I came across this beautiful maxi dress. Gorgeous summer colours, a chevron – so many things were perfect! It was totally worth staying up until 3am when the auction closed to secure this beauty for only $35 including postage from the UK!

I have paired it with some flats that mum gave me for my birthday.

I have to apologise about the lack of photos… And lack of makeup… I wore this dress out while selling off my wardrobe at the markets this morning, so only a very few happy snaps 🙂

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Dress: Monsoon
Sandals: Regatta

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Anyway, that’s my take on Yellow week – I can’t wait to ‘do the rounds’ and see what the other girls came up with…. Aussie Curves is a weekly fashion challenge for Australian and New Zealand bloggers, sizes 14+. Join in the fun!

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Instagram Decides…

One of the lovely #aussiecurves ladies alerted me to the fact that Kmart was stocking a leather-leather look A-line skirt for $15. It’s a look that I have wanted to try for ages, but didn’t want to make a big investment as I didn’t know if I would actually wear it or not. So I rushed down there early one morning before work… And I went a little cray-cray picking myself up some bargains…

Everything I bought was an 18 in their straight size lines. About 18 months ago, I found Kmart’s plus size range to be full of hidden gems – but since their brand overhaul, the plus size range has really suffered. I find all the tops to be the same – baggy cut t-shirts with big printed design (and maybe some diamantés) and baggy elastic waist pants. It’s really disappointing.

Lets be honest, the quality is not outstanding. I think Kmart’s clothing line is much more like Primark in the UK now – disposable fashion. Great to buy something bang on trend, super cheap, and chuck it out after a couple of wears. It’s not environmentally friendly, but sometimes I can’t help myself 🙂

Leather Look A-Line Skirt

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So, first up is the leather-look skirt. It’s super stretchy. I maybe could have gone the next size down. Sits OK – there is no substance to the waistband, so if you wanted to go the tucked-in or crop top look you could be in trouble. Although the elastic back of the waistband means you probably couldn’t do that anyway.

Leopard-face Tee

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Another look I waned to try and wasn’t sure it was me – but for $7 I don’t mind experimenting 🙂 The top is nice and long – BIG tick. V neck – another big tick. Cap sleeves – tick. Material is not too thin – very surprising. Only downside is that for a big-boobie lady like me, the leopard’s eyes sit on the underside of my bust – so you can’t really see them. If the print was slightly higher or lower it would be perfect. Still – very happy with this one.

Sheer Floral Top with Stud Collar

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Ok, it’s not great quality. It didn’t come with a singlet underneath. But neither of these are deal breakers for me. The last time I bought a sheer floral top, I loved it, wore it three or four times and now it’s way too big. Not the best $/wear ratio for a $70 Autograph top. I’m going to get better value from this $15 beauty even if I only wear it once! Arm holes are big enough – which is nice to see – this is one of my issues when I buy straight sizes – they don’t adjust the arm holes when they go up sizes and I and up with strangled armpits. Also – high-low cut – I like.

Sheer top with contrast Peter Pan Crotchet Collar

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It’s the cut that has been holding me back from trying this style. I hold to my ‘shape’ rules pretty strongly these days, and with zero waist definition, these trapeze tops couldn’t be further outside my rule. But, this cheapie won me over. I still don’t think it’s the most flattering thing I could wear – but given how sheer it is (probably through quality of material rather than actual design) you can still see the shape of the singlet underneath – although not really in photos. Anyway, it’s good to step outside your comfort zone sometimes 🙂

The Neon Cardigan

Instagram Decides…

$15 and one HOT colour for autumn winter, this was the very first item I picked up. Not usually a cut of colour I would go for, I made an impulse decision and bought it.

But, then got home and started to chicken out. While I love the colour, I was concerned about wearing the equivalent of a great big NEON sign screaming “Fat Chick Coming Through!!”… So I let Instagram decide…

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Loads of positive comments later, I realized that it would scream whatever the hell I wanted it to scream.

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The Lust-list March

I do A LOT of online window shopping. If I see something I like on Instagram, I immediately try and find it online. I put everything I like into my cart. I rarely follow through with purchasing, but I figure If I keep a Lust-list of all the things I really really love, When I win Lotto, it will be easier to pay someone to get me all the things I want… 🙂

So, here are my favorite things out right now…

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ASOS Galactic Dress $42 up to size 18. I saw this on Instagram on @danievanier and knew I wanted it

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So, the next item on the Lust List comes from Fashion To Figure, who don’t ship Oz 😦 so its a little bit of torture window shopping their beautiful clothes…

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Fashion to Figure Cut the Line, Geometric Print Dress $34 sizes (US) 1X 2X 3X

I love the Aztec print, the mint is perfectly paired with the ice-cream sorbet bottom.

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Lane Bryant Ombré Sateen Jeggings by Seven7 $75 sizes (US) 14 – 22

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Tesco F&F Signature Floral Peplum Dress. £28 sizes 6 – 22

This one is way out of my price range… But, they are having a 50% off sale on Monday…

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One One Three £139!!! Sizes 14 – 32

And the most frustrating piece on my Lust List is this swimming costume

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It was in the Swimsuitsforall runway show at British Plus Size Fashion week – but nowhere to be found on their website. I contacted their customer service, but got a generic ‘our stock changes regularly – keep a look out on the website’ response…

Aussie Curves {Military}

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To be honest – this one had me stumped. I trawled through my wardrobe for inspiration and came up with nothing. I’m having the same trouble with androgynous week (it’s still a few weeks away) – I’m a girly girl – when I was little I always wanted to wear princesses dresses everywhere – and when I look at my closet as an adult – it’s still 3/4 princess dresses!

So, how to do Military while still being me… Glam-ouflage!

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Part of me desperately wanted to go and buy one of those camo/stud jackets that are all the rage – but I’ve been down that path before – buying something that’s bang on trend but not-me – it sits at the back of the closet and I end up selling it on eBay two seasons later, with pangs of regret about what could-have-been. Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching a lot of Gok Wan repeats on the lifestyle channel, maybe it’s because my husband just moved his clothes to the spare room so I could have both sides of ‘our’ walk-in-robe… But I am actively trying to curb my over-buying ways of the past and invest in clothes that are ‘me’ (cut/style/shape).

So, confession time: my entire outfit this week… Is brand new. BUT, each piece is still me, and will get a lot of wear.

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Tried a middle part and straight slicked down hair for this look

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Last week I did a review of my shopping stop at the Virtu Clearance Store (read it here) and today’s outfit showcases some of my bargains… This grey sweater-dress ($20) has nice button details on the shoulders and cuff, which reminded me of the military look… After a couple hours wearing a knit dress, I always find that it looses its shape a bit – so I generally add a belt around my waist – and when I saw this khaki belt for only $5 at the checkout, I knew it was the perfect finishing touch to the outfit.

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The boots were a bit of a splurge purchase from Dorothy Perkins. They had a 25%off everything sale with free international postage – it was too good not to order these beauties. AND, they will get a lot of wear over the cold months as they are flat, comfy, enclosed and look pretty hot with skinny jeans…

Dress: Virtu
Belt: Virtu
Tights: Wetlook tights from New Look
Boots: Dorothy Perkins

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Anyway, that’s my take on Military week – I can’t wait to ‘do the rounds’ and see what the other girls came up with…. Aussie Curves is a weekly fashion challenge for Australian and New Zealand bloggers, sizes 14+. Join in the fun!

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Strangely disproportionate

I’m about to be a real whining princess, so consider yourself warned.

I have always had trouble fitting into pants. Big bum, bigger thighs and my saddle bags have always been my most difficult area – I’m forever adding bulk to my shoulders to try and balance myself out. I have lost a bit of weight this year, and was so excited that I was facing the prospect of going down a pants size.

This brings me down to a 20 in straight sizes and a 16/18 in plus sizes. Yay for me right? Well, my new size of pants fits all my problem areas great … But now I have a new very unlikely problem area.

My Calves!!

Wtf??

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Not my ass, or thighs, or juicy saddle bags – but my CALVES (?!?) are preventing me from wearing a smaller size in pants.

At first, they were chinos and I blamed the pants – silly cut.

Then an old pair of skinny jeans which were baggy everywhere except the calves – again I blamed the pants – how silly of them to stretch out of shape everywhere but the calves…

Then, this morning I tried on a pair of my ‘goal’ pants. You know – the ones you bought, even though they were not in your size because you loved them so much? Well, mine fit. Sort of. This should be a massive victory! I should be shouting from the roof tops! They glided over my thighs, they zipped right up, there’s no hanging muffin top – BUT they are so damn tight on my calves they my calves are single handedly (or double leggedly?) pulling down my jeans! Ridiculous, no?

I’ve always loved my curvy legs – that I had shape – not two sticks straight up and down. I long ago accepted that I would never be able to wear regular width boots, and was happy to pay that price for curvy legs – but this, preventing me from dancing in my victory pants – is beyond a joke.

Grrrr to you my unlikely problem area!

I didn’t have the energy to change into some wide-leg pants to fit my calf-bulk, so wore the outfit anyway.

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Top: Ribbed Peplum Tee from Dorothy Perkins
Pants: Black and Purple floral roses skinny jeans from Dorothy Perkins
Necklace: Rose Gold look – Diva
Earrings: Rose Gold ball studs – eQuip

Bonjour Bebe!

I’m joining in the Fox in Flats Style Dares for March. Im not being fanatical about it – but when its appropriate, im giving it a shot… sometimes its nice not to have to think of what to wear from scratch – start with a theme and build from there!

Here is my outfit for Day 4: French

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Jumper: Forever21 plus Oh La La pink polkadot jumper
Jeans: Dark Rinse Torrid skinny jeans
Jacket: City Chic crop open leather jacket
Necklace: Crossroads Nude and black triangle necklace
Ballet Flats: Black lace flats from Kmart

And Day 5: Cuff’Em – I went for Shoes with Silver toe-cuffs…

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Top: Grey Dorothy Perkins Peplum stretch Tee
Skirt: Knit Pencil Skirt from Target
Shoes: Silver tipped flats with pointed toe from Target
Necklace: Bought on a trip to Egypt back in 2006. The man tried to convince me it was “Real Camel Bones” but was quick to reassure me it was just plastic when my face was disgusted 🙂