There’s 3 things you should always consider when choosing garments:
- Does it fit and flatter my shape?
- Is it versatile?
- Is it going to last (more than one wash?!)?
If you can answer YES to 2 out of the 3 questions above, a garment is definitely worth investing in.
Early last month I published a realistic & identifiable garment review which generated a lot of interest and sales of that beautiful dress, in fact many readers commented that the review had helped them see how the dress could work for them on their body shape and helped them purchase where they otherwise might not have taken the punt.
Many retailers and brands offer online reviews of garments to compliment the images provided of each garment, usually on a mannequin and/or garment model. Of course as we all know, most advertising of garments is done in the “sample” size on a “sample” model (in the plus-sizes a sample size is usually a 14-16 and occasionally an 18) that often doesn’t give us a good indication of how it will actually look on our own figures. Now you may argue that this is true for all garments, and I would agree, but for a curvy figure things can get a little complicated when trying to determine if in fact a garment is going to work for you with just a “sample” image to decide upon. It gets even more complicated when you are shopping online (but that’s another post!).
I invested the help of my readers and put the call out for interested ladies to submit their interest in “road-testing” a designer garment via my Facebook page, as usual this generated a huge response.
Rachel responded ” I’m a full time stay at home mum and a casual TV/Movie Extra. I’m passionate about fashion and spend my days trawling the Internet for stylish clothing and fashion inspiration. I would love to be part of this project as I love fashion and have slowly developed a love for my shape and knowledge on how to dress it. I’m also keen on new fashion labels that are on the rise. I’ve never been one to put myself out there but since turning 40 I’ve turned a corner 😀. I’m sure you’ve had a huge response and I wish you the best on your search, Rachel”.
I packaged up the beautiful Cleo dress from Alison Dominy Designs, a dress I knew from Rachels’ measurements and photos she submitted of her body shape, would work for her shape. I had the pleasure of spending some time with Rachel over a Skype styling consultation, and enjoyed hearing about her thoughts and ideas on the dress. Thanks Rachel, you did a fantastic job, and I was thrilled that you had already considered and come up with the options I was going to suggest during our styling session, great work and you look fantastic.
Here’s Rachel’s review of the Cleo Dress:
As like any girl, I love to receive little surprise especially if they come in the form of clothing. Upon receiving my Cleo Shirt Dress I was not to sure on what to make of it at first as it is not really my style and it reminded me of business attire or even a uniform. The material felt divine and the quality was there, so I quickly tried it on. To my surprise it fit really well and felt lovely on!. I was very impressed with the press stud in between the buttons to stop gaping (this showed high quality and attention to design detail). I however was challenged on how I would style this dress as it is grey/charcoal in colour and not a colour I have owned before.
My first though was to brighten it up with what I already own. So I went with the bold yellow rope necklace and yellow shoes, after all it is spring. I used the sash belt that comes with it and also a slim black belt.
Then I felt inspired to use it like a trench paired with white top, white jeans and a long necklace in silver, I just tied the sash belt at the back as you would a trench. This was my favorite look for the Cleo dress and more like me.
After playing with ideas I ended up very happy to receive the Cleo Shirt Dress as you can style it in a number of different ways. Would I buy it? Not in this colour but I have however jumped on to Alison Dominy website and Instagram so I can follow this designer and love that this dress comes in a lighter colour. The price is on point for the quality and cut of this dress and the Australian market. I love that I got to be a part of this project and now have another Australian designer I can look out for.
Rachel, Berwick, VIC
As you can see, the Cleo Shirt Dress ticks all the boxes I listed above, it fits & flatters, is versatile and is made of premium hard-wearing fabric that will last.
Jaylene responded: “Having been a plus size gal my whole life I totally get the frustrations of finding awesome clothes that fit and make you feel great, so I am 100% for supporting new ranges/designers in getting their work out there. I myself run an awesome little shop on Sydney rd, Brunswick selling independent/local clothing and jewellery. I totally embrace fashion that is young/fresh/fun and really unique and love coming to work just so I can dress up. I often photograph the new clothes in store on myself, to share on our Instagram and Facebook pages, not because I think I’m a model, far from it, but I think I represent the average Aussie plus size Gal and my customers love seeing the clothes on real people. Ordinary everyday girl next door. Someone they can relate to, who gives them a real idea of what it would look like on them. So that’s why I would to trial the new range. To support a new designer, to share fashion that fits on real people and of course because it’s all so much fun”.
I selected the packaged up the beautiful Emily Cotton Sateen Pants which I felt suited Jaylene’s body shape from the measurements and photos she submitted of her body shape. Once she’d received her package we enjoyed a lovely Video Skype Styling Session to discuss the review.
Here’s Jaylene’s review of the Emily Pants:
A few weeks back Janine put the call out for any size 18’s interested in reviewing a garment from a new Australian plus size designer. There were a few things that appealed to me in that call out. I’m a size 18, body positive plus size gal and someone who actively strives to support Australian designers. So of course I expressed my interest in a heartbeat.
I am such an advocate for plus size fashion, working in both design and retail myself and I happily spend money on clothes that make me look and feel good today, because you only live once! The item I received for reviewing was the ‘Emily cigarette pant’.
Sadly the 18 was just too small and we had to organize one size bigger.
There is always an uncertainty ordering a garment online as to how it’s going to fit and knowing these are a pant with a fitted waistline I should have really taken my measurements to compare against the size chart when choosing.
Sometimes you can get away with a few cm’s here or there, when you are shopping for a t-shirt or dress made out stretch fabric, but the ‘Emily’ pant has no give around the waist, so you need to make sure you find a measuring tape and get the right size.
I carry my weight around the middle and found that I was in between sizes on the chart.
I needed a 20 for the waist and an 18 for the hips. So in this situation, and quite often when shopping for a fitted garment I need to decide if I’m going to squeeze myself into the smaller size and risk a muffin top or go bigger for ease around my waist at the expense of it being not so figure hugging on the hips and thigh.
Personally I prefer a pant to be shaped but not hugging, so I opted for the size 20. The ‘Emily’ pant is a medium weight cotton sateen. A little thicker than your average work pant and with a lovely soft sheen making it suitable to wear at the office and for a night out on the town. The pockets are fully lined and the darts and shaping at back give it a really nice definition. The waistband is an optimum thickness, so it doesn’t cut in or fold over, sorta holds its own.
I would usually wear my tops out loose over my waist, but the tailored finish of these pants deserve to be seen so I went for a belt and tucked in top, to show them off.
On me they sat just above the ankle which I find is the perfect length for Spring/Summer. They were so easy and comfortable to wear and I can see me living in them, not just for work, but on weekends too.
How great would they be with sandals and a tee for a casual look, out to coffee with friends.
These are such a versatile pant, an absolute classic style that every girl needs in her wardrobe.
I’m delighted to have a pair of my own.
Jaylene, Reservoir, VIC
There you have it, realistic & identifiable clothing reviews of an Australian plus-size designer brand that ticks all the boxes. THANKS to all the ladies who took the time to submit their interest in being part of the review. There will be more review opportunities coming. If you are a brand that would benefit from my help, or would like to tap into my incredible readership of ladies size 16+, please contact me.
Love your shape!