Ok, so I’m not quite Kat Slater, but I wouldn’t say that I’m ‘fashionable’. I don’t buy the latest magazines with the latest trends and collections, and there are very few high end fashion designers that I pay attention to. I have a sweet spot for Vivienne Westwood’s tartan and punk edge, and Alexander McQueen’s use of skull imagery and gothic twists would appeal to any alternative girl, but my budget doesn’t reach to ‘designer’ level. But…
*weep* incidentally, this would have looked great with the outfit I’m about to show you!
Anyway…I don’t pair a top and a bottom in a certain way because it was worn like that on the catwalk last year, or a celebrity has been sporting a similar look. So there, I’m not ‘fashionable’.
I admit I use past fashions, but not what people would refer to as current ‘fashion’. I do however have a large collection of clothing that comes from high street and modern online retailers. I like to think I put my own ‘Patti flair’ into things, and one of my latest offerings was wearing a leopard print wiggle dress to a christening. Not such a cardinal sin right? It turned out to be the most traditional catholic ceremony imaginable, and when I rocked up late with green hair, black heels and dark burgundy lipstick, the leopard print dress was just the cherry on top! Not being a christian, I was slightly uncomfortable, but I was there for my friend and her beautiful new baby girl. Her family and our friends were not at all surprised or offended by my appearance (why would they be, I’m freekin fabulous?!) but from my new acquaintances and the priest himself, I may have earned just a few more horrified stares than usual. It was an absolutely gorgeous day and we had a fab time at the ‘do’ afterwards in a gorgeous local country pub.
Ask any plus size girl how she would prefer the cut of a tight dress. Almost all of them will mention a ‘wrap’, ‘ruched’ or ‘twist’ detail. For any figure (plus size or not), this will always accentuate the feminine curve, and provide not only a distraction for certain bumps, but a highlight for others! Take it away ladies…
(I NEED Melissa’s dress to wear every single day!)
When I first saw this leopard print twist front dress on Simply Be’s website, I instantly thought it was a perfect wardrobe staple, and also quite reasonably priced. Let’s be honest, we don’t always have the budget for Simply Be, unless we are using our credit account (oops!…), however this dress I actually bought with my own hard earned cash (and a quick google search for a discount code, win!).
“Twist-front jersey dress with new elbow-length sleeves. A real figure-flatterer with clever ruching to disguise your tummy and elbow-length sleeves giving great arm coverage. Fully lined.”
You can see by the stock picture that the dress looks like a lovely length, with a really obvious knot detail and generally quite a bombshell style.
The main selling points for me were the print, the length and the lining. I thought I could make it look quite 1960’s, and teamed with black tights it seemed to fit the bill. When I first tried it on, I was happy enough with the fit, although I quickly became frustrated with the fact the ‘twist’ detail did not sit at my waist, but rather under my boob. This made the knot barely noticeable, and the ‘flattery’ of the cut much less dramatic.
This is an issue with the torso length, rather than the full length, as it still sat on the knee for me and I’m 5’11. This created more of an empire line, and although it was still flattering on my tummy, it did not really do it’s job of ‘accentuating my smallest part’ like most waist-detail dresses do. Sizing up wouldn’t have helped, as although usually a 22, it was still quite roomy. To be honest, this issue ruined the fit of the dress for me, and therefore I don’t think it fits my style at all. I was happy to wear it for a formal occasion, but it won’t get half of the outings I intended it to, as it has now been relegated to office wear! Here’s some photos taken in my gorgeous garden!
The ‘elbow-length’ sleeves are basically elongated T-shirt sleeves, and although I wasn’t unhappy with the length, I do feel they look less sophisticated than a 3/4 length. For bingo-wing conscious ladies, they will be a winner. However, I find there’s something very childish about my arms, I think my elbows remind me of chubby baby arms! Does anyone else get this feeling with T-shirt sleeves?!
Another angle of my bangin’ ass and fat-baby-elbows
As I mentioned, the dress was quite roomy, and didn’t really cling from the hips down like I wanted it to. The quality of the fabric was lovely, and I found the colouring of the print to not be too garish compared to some leopard prints I have seen. I was happy enough with the overall length, as I’m used to dresses sitting above my knee purely due to my height.
I teamed it with some black and gold accessories, a beaded leaf embellishment detail I cut off a charity shop top and turned into a hair clip, and some little chain detail dangly earrings from Forever 21. I slept in my ‘bouffant’ rollers and I thought I looked sophisticated. The priest obviously thought otherwise.
Throughout the day, one of my ‘selling points’ proved to be the most frustrating thing about this dress. The lining would not stop twisting! I wasn’t exactly dancing about, and a great amount of the time I was actually sitting still! It felt like there wasn’t one moment where a seam wasn’t sitting in the wrong place, and the lining was only attached to the dress from the armpits upwards. This meant the lining would twist one way, then the top layer would twist to the other, creating a lot of unnecessary fidgeting and faffing for me throughout the day. I guess the only way I could have reduced this would be by buying an even smaller size, but that would not have helped my ’empire line’ problem.
I loved my outfit on paper. It was my kind of print, with my kind of shape, my kind of accessories and just a touch of Patti. In real life? I ended up feeling uncomfortable, like I had bought an ill-fitting dress from and clung to the fact that because it was leopard print, it had to work for me.
It really is a great shame that this dress didn’t float my boat. I’ve seen recently that Simply Be have actually released the same cut in many different colours and prints, including velvet and lace *swoon* as well as this cheeky embellished number which I would have originally thought to be a lovely addition to any curvy girl’s wardrobe. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a Simply Be girl through and through, this has just been a lesson learned for this particular cut.
My advice for this dress would be that you can easily size down, but it won’t sit right unless you are 5″8 or under. My advice to plus size designers? Maybe offer us more lengths! Luckily, plus size designers and brands now understand we don’t want something designed for a size 10 body to be made in our size, but rather we want something designed for our size body made in our size! However, the road is long and we still have a way to go. I’m a 22, but at the height of 5’11, I hear nearly every day “Oh I wouldn’t have said you were a 22”. A woman of 5’2 at a size 22 would probably hear different. I know a lot of shorter plus and non-plus size ladies that spend a fortune on altering lengths of clothes too long for them, yet I am left without those few inches spare to make a garment fit correctly. Essentially, we have different bodies entirely.
If brands care so much about creating better sizing for a better fit, please consider height in that too!