Gorgeous and Curvy? How to navigate the highstreet brands by Sarah Lilly

One of the biggest pleasures of my job is I get to work with women of all shapes and sizes. The highstreet can be overwhelming and some times intimidating to navigate. We’re all guilty of writing off a brand based on ‘oh they’re too young for me’, ‘too expensive’ , ‘too girly’, but what if we’re writing them off because we’re too scared the brand wont go up to our size? Sound familiar? Not a very pleasant way to shop, is it? I’m here to guide you through some places to go, what to look for and best buys on the highstreet right now. Some you may know, some may surprise you!

New Look: Sizes 18-32. Best for ‘Edgy’, ‘Girl Next Door with Edge’ and ‘Boho’.

Although not in every store, New Look Curves is stocked widely, and ranges are listed online in Store Finder to help you find your closest. This is the place to head for edgy and cool pieces, with this season’s offering being full of boilersuits, slogan tees, camo jackets and acid wash denim.

New Look also stock a great range of shoes that go up to a size 9 and come in wide fittings. 

John Lewis: Please note brands may vary from store to store –

Max Studio: Sizes 18-24. Best for ‘Edgy’.

Hands down my favourite of the curvy ranges, Max Studio have the best range of high-end, good quality pieces ranging from fabulous wide legged culottes to team with blouses, loafers and blazers for chic corporate looks, or with a slogan tee and biker jacket for an edgy daytime vibe. 

Kin: Up to size 20* . Best for ‘Parisian’.

Kin is in a nutshell, achingly cool! Beautiful pieces made from  good quality fabrics, the vibe is slightly scandi and deconstructed in shape, the prints are fab and the colours muted and neutral. Look especially for their shift style maxis, printed poplin tops and shirted waisted tops.

*Kin is generous in fit, with pieces made with oversized and deconstructed tailoring that often works for sizes up to 24.   

Modern Rarity: Up to size 20*. Best for ‘Parisian’.

Another fabulous brand, exclusive to John Lewis, Modern Rarity are great for their tailoring, creating dramatic pieces such as floral print blouses and long line cams and shirts which look fab teamed with a smart trouser or a pair of jeans.

* Modern Rarity is another fab brand that creates beautifully crafted and tailored pieces which can comfortably fit sizes up to 24.

Evans: Sizes 14-32. Best for ‘Girl Next Door’, ‘Girl Next Door with Edge’ and ‘Edgy’.

Evans hides a fabulous little secret in store – and that’s the shoe gallery! As well as stocking some amazing clothing pieces and accessories, if there’s one thing that needs to be on your radar it’s the shoes.

Stocking sizes 4-10 in wide or extra wide fits, the styles are varied, fun and really reasonable! The brand is also great for tailoring, think cigarette trousers and long line blazers, wide strap camies and printed blouses. Team with sandals or a brogue for a stylish autumn look.   

Yours: Sizes 16-36. Best for ‘Girl Next Door’ and ‘Girl Next Door with Edge’.

Yours is a store I desperately want to re-merchandise… The layout is cluttered and confusing and as a result the clothes can look uninspiring and unappealing. But look past all this and there are some real gems to be found – great for stylish culottes, animal print midi dresses and tropical florals – a great destination for some key season pieces that will flatter and accentuate your gorgeous curves.   

Monsoon: Up to size 22. Best for ‘Boho’.

Monsoon is your one-stop destination for feminine and boho chic styles – full of floaty maxis, linens and funky paisley prints. Look for hanky hems – great for flattering the legs. Sleeves are either cap or wide cami straps – great for covering those bra straps. Monsoon also have a great online curve range, stocking sizes up to 24. 

Best of the Online stores

John Lewis I.Scenery: Sizes 18-28.

Amazing for corporate wear with a twist, check out their polkadot suit for a cool and edgy workwear update.

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M&S Curve: Sizes 18-32.

I’ll be honest, M&S are in my bad books at the moment. They’ve recently pulled their Curve range from in-store, which, to my mind, is unbelievably frustrating and short sighted. Their current range is a little on the safe side. They’re great for basics: look for tailored trousers, simple shifts and shirts. Put your own stamp on the pieces with oversized necklaces and chunky bracelets from their accessories range.

Mango Violeta: Sizes 14-22.

Best for edgy pieces, think animal print, camo and lace. Current pieces include lace trimmed or coated jeans to team with slogan tees and chunky trainers.

River Island Plus: 18-28.

I love this brand! Think bold and brave pieces, abstract prints, oversized houndstooth and faux leather pleated skirts.

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H&M Plus: Sizes L-4XL (16-24).

Edgy, cool and chic – best for wide legged culottes, printed blouses and bardot dresses.

Apricot: sizes 20-26.

In a nutshell, Girl next door! Think pretty floral dresses and kimono style tops to wear with pretty sparkly plimsoles and a denim jacket.

Lindy Bop: Up to Size 26.

The place to go for retro, glam and feminine pieces. Channel your inner Marilyn with their 50’s inspired swing dresses, Rockabilly dresses and funky hair accessories.

 

And finally…

There are too many amazing brands to go into detail on. I don’t want to be the cause of decreasing bank balances everywhere, so I’ve focused on the ones I think are the best right now! But some others to note are:

Simply Be, ASOS Curve, Flora Day, Elvi, Studio 8 and Dorothy Perkins Curve.

Remember, its all about experimenting. The above is aimed to inspire and encourage trying brands you might have overlooked or written off.

Happy shopping gorgeous ladies xxx

 

Trends – Autumn/Winter 2019

I know you’ll all be groaning, seeing these words, as you haven’t even gone on your summer holidays yet, the kids haven’t broken up and you’ve only just bought your summer sandals.

However, in our world, we are already thinking about the season ahead!

Ideally, it’s always good to start planning next season’s clothes, a few months before. My clients in March, looked at me like I was crazy when I was encouraging them to buy their shorts and sandals. Not so crazy now, as when we actually hit summer, there are no shorts or sandals left!

I have been researching the emerging trends for next season, and I have been keeping an eye on things over the last few months, to see what patterns are forming.

Here are the main trends slowly emerging, and that you should keep a look out for.

SUITS:

Yellow Pants And Jacket With White T-Shirt | Plus Size Fashion Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, standing and phone Loving Always Judging blogger in a simple black suit worn with a windowpane blouse and brogues. Perfect office look.

I remember buying my first business suit in 2002 when I had my first office job. It was from Next, it was powder blue, and should probably be forgotten! However, at the time, I remember how awesome I felt whenever I wore it.

Suits can now be worn casually and don’t have to be saved for corporate office wear. You may have seen my shorts suit last week from Sainsbury’s which I wore with white trainers.

The beauty of buying a trouser suit is that you can get a few different wears out of it. Firstly, you can wear it as a set and switch out trainers for loafers or brogues, depending on your taste. Secondly, you can use just the jacket with a pair of jeans for a smart, casual look.

Thirdly, you can wear the trousers with a fine knit jumper in winter, loafers or brogues and a biker jacket. So in short, you get three different looks just from one suit, and that doesn’t include the many combinations you can put together using different tops and footwear.

You can go for a black, navy or grey suit, if you want to keep things simple and understated. If you have a more colourful personality, choose a brighter hue, such as green!

The catwalks have been increasingly non binary, with designers sending the message that the same fashion items can be worn by any gender. There are more and more unisex lines being produced, and the silhouettes this season reflect this change.

STATEMENT BAGS:

QUILTED TOTE BAG   Image 2 of XXL LEATHER TOTE BAG from Zara  Big black tote bag goes with everything. #totebags #bagsandpurses #handbags

I saw a bag the other day in Zara, that looked exactly like a puffa jacket. It was so bizarre!

Big bags are flattering if you are curvy, and you can fit lots of crap in a big bag, which is my favourite thing about them!

Choose prints or patterns to jazz up a dark winter coat, or a neutral hue to go with more outfits.

FEATHERS:

Satin Shorts  Rita Ora looks wows in dramatic black feathered dress | Daily Mail Online

I think this is a trend that I will be leaving alone, as I could just imagine it getting my feathers matted on a drizzly school run! Keep an eye out for feathers on shoes (how very 90’s) and on Christmas party frocks later in the year.

It’s also been lovely to see a few designers creating synthetic feathers to keep their lines cruelty free. Others have been sourcing feathers from farms that have naturally molted, to avoid cruelty to birds.

NEON SHOES:

Stunner: And his wife Hailey Baldwin arrived in style to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beve... #haileybaldwin  Bershka x PANTONE trainer in neon green | ASOS

Hailey Bieber caught my eye with her neon heels, distressed jeans and blazer, earlier in the year. A pop of colour can dress up a dark winter outfit, and if you’re wearing a black dress to your Christmas do this year, let your feet do the talking with some brights!

Alternatively, go for some neon trainers that would look fab with coated or skinny jeans, this autumn.

Neon colours look best on dark skintones as they really enhance their naturally deep tones.

WAIST BELTS:

belted sweater dress Trouva: Laura Dress Super cute dress. Plus it has pockets!! Love!

These went out of fashion a few years ago but they are back with a bang. I’ve always loved adding a belt to my outfits as it gives my shape definition. You can have fun with a thin belt or thick one, or even a chain style!

Try mixing prints by adding a leopard print belt to a patterned dress or jumpsuit. This is a trend you could start experimenting with this summer. In winter, start adding belts to shift dresses, skater dresses and shirt dresses.

Cinching in a waist works for all body shapes. Experiment with belts of different widths and have fun with this look!

Alternatively, go for a classic trench coat, which works for all body shapes. It’s so chic and you’ll give the little nod to the cinched in trend!

TARTAN:

Dapat lagi tartan pants dari @fortuna_com !! So happy 😍🤩🍒 . . Lagi musim yang tartan tartan gini lo , go check di @fortuna_com  #verdementablog #outfit #tartan #curvy #curvyblogger #curvygirl #red #black #lips #benetton #sweater

90’s grunge isn’t leaving anytime soon! Tartan is great for Autumn/Winter and looks great with thick black tights and ankle boots. If you love the rock chick look, branch out with some Dr Marten boots or some studded biker ones.

If you’re a Strawberry or Apple shape, have fun with some tartan or checked trousers next season.

Every shape looks great in a tartan dress!

LEATHER:

Carmakoma Faux leather trousers in Black Helen Mirren Leather Jacket - Helen Mirren's leather biker jacket provided a tough contrast to her sexy skirt.

Get those coated jeans back out girls, because leather is staying here for a while! Coated jeans (or leather look jeans) are a great alternative to skinny jeans. You can dress them down with a hoodie and trainers, or dress up for evening drinks with heels and a blouse.

If you haven’t got one already, start looking out for a biker jacket next season. I prefer pleather over leather, because I find it less bulky (and it’s cheaper). A biker jacket will be the hardest working item in your wardrobe as you can wear it with absolutely everything. It updates any outfit you’re wearing and looks great with a chunky, warm scarf.

DOUBLE DENIM:

Holly wowed in double denim while presenting I'm A Celeb. Her shirt was by ba&sh for £165 and her Madewell mini skirt cost £43.65. She teamed her look with a pair of Grenson Nanette boots for £277.  This season there’s no way around the famous denim boiler suit.

Is that the sound of B*Witched playing? Yes, double denim is back, particularly the darker shades of denim such as indigo and black.

With this in mind, you can keep wearing those denim boiler suits throughout the winter months, to get the same effect. Denim boiler suits are so comfy because they are warm and their oversized nature, allows you to pop an extra layer underneath to keep you cosy!

POCKETS:

Chanel Resort 2020 collection, runway looks, beauty, models, and reviews.

I’ve kept the best one for last – POCKETS! Yes we all love a pocket don’t we?! I see so many clients leap with joy when they try a dress on with pockets. I love them because I am so awkward, it’s somewhere to put my hands when I am talking to someone!

Pockets are getting a supersized makeover and you’ll see them on coats and blazers in particular.

AND FINALLY….

As always, you can skip a trend or jump on it, depending on your personal preference.

Use the trends to work for your shape. As an example, if you’re a Strawberry shape and you have a broader top half, look for tartan or leather on your bottom half, and keep your top half nice and simple.

Play around with it and have lots of fun – that’s what it’s there for!

Come and let me know on Instagram or Facebook, which trend you’re going to try out next season!

Love, Susie xxx