Studio 8: Gingham Style

Hello lovelies! It’s been a while since I posted an actual fashion post on my actual fashion blog. Truth be told, I’ve been putting off shooting items as I didn’t believe my poor quality self-timed images were good enough for you! Thankfully, I’ve done a bit of networking and managed to come into contact with a wonderful local photographer. We had a shoot yesterday for this blog post, and I can’t wait for you to see the images below! I’d love to promote the wonderful Scott of Somerside Photography to anyone in the North West of England – he’s a lovely guy, a wonderful photographer, a true professional and a good laugh! I can’t wait to work with him again.

*Disclaimer!* I recently used the Knight and Wilson Colour Freedom hair dye in Green Emerald (available in Superdrug). I used it alongside the brand’s Pasteliser to create my signature mint green, and followed the instructions perfectly. This dye seemed to have a true green pigment, and when tested on white cotton wool (a trick my hairdresser taught me), it dried down as a proper emerald green. Well, 3 washes later, and my hair has gone BRIGHT turquoise. I hate it! The colour is beautiful but its SO not me, and I’m really disappointed that I’m going to have to have my entire head of hair lifted once more which will inevitably weaken it and cost extra. Avoid this colour at all costs, it will not work out well if you’re after green locks! So here I am, with bright blue hair. I’ll be back to my regularly scheduled minty programme soon, but in the meantime I’ve made it work.

Today, I have the privilege of showing you the Alice Gingham dress by Studio 8. I expressed my lust for it after seeing it in Hayley’s wardrobe in February, and the lovely team at Studio 8 kindly sent it to me. I’m a very lucky girl, and I’m super grateful that the brand wanted to see a colourful chunk like me in such a tasteful dress! Of course, the purpose of this gift is to review it for you all, and all opinions are my own.

I am wearing a UK 22, my usual size, and I’m 5’11 without the heels. The sizing is spot on, and this is something I can happily say about the entire Studio 8 brand. Their sizing is fantastic. Alice sits just on the knee for me, and I feel this is a great length with or without tights. For this shoot, I wore my brand new pair of Snag tights, and I was seriously impressed with them! Soft and luxurious, loads of stretch, high enough to tuck into my bra, and comfortable all afternoon. No awkward seams or resistance in the material when moving. At £6.99 a pair – I’m sold!

So why did I fall in love with Alice? Firstly, the cut. I don’t actually own a ‘true’ wrap dress, only faux wrap styles which cross over at the bust. Alice opens out flat, and has been cut with a small hole at the waist to feed the first tie through, meaning you can pull this tight against your chest and not worry about the fabric gaping and revealing your bra. The rest then wraps around your body and you can choose to fasten the ties at the back, or bring them round to the front as I have done. This creates a custom fit, allowing for each individual women’s chest to waist ratio, and providing a luxurious level of tailoring that most plus-size women are not used to achieving.

The dress is a cotton blend, with a little flexibility when it comes to the arms. I feel they are true to size, but I’ve also been told that I don’t have particularly ‘big’ arms. I couldn’t comfortably lift my hands above my head without the material feeling tight, but this will always be the case with tailored, minimal-stretch items. The sleeves are a lovely 3/4 length, and have a turned up style hem which really adds to the ‘smart-casual’ vibe this dress brings.

The skirt! Ahhh, the skirt. Of course it’s not a full circle, 50’s style number. But it does have more volume than a standard A-line cut. Due to the wrap style, there’s a fabulous amount of material which creates volume and shape, enhancing the waist and giving you enough to twirl with. There is also very little risk of the wrapped skirt flying open and revealing your undies, as the skirt layers double up from one side of the waist directly to the other. No awkward flashing on windy days!

I felt very comfortable in this dress. It’s elegant and tasteful, but easy enough to wear over a long day. To suit this time of year, I attempted to add a ‘Spring’ theme to the look. I wore my gorgeous bumble bee earrings from Mood by Jon Richard (sadly now sold out), and a couple of daisy flower clips in my hair. The weather may not realise Spring has sprung, but I sure have!

What about the pattern? For me, gingham will always provide a ‘vintage’ edge to an outfit. Whether you’re thinking of Dorothy in Oz, or a traditional picnic blanket, gingham has a classic and homely feel. The monochrome design of Alice means you could add a pop of colour in a number of ways, such as: a bright orange bag and shoes combo, a velvety red pair of heels, or a mop of blue hair like moi!

The dress features a ‘notch neckline’, which is what initially attracted me. I’m not a fan of collars and shirt styles, they make me look overly top-heavy and end up showing a bit too much boob unless I button them up to my neck. The neckline on Alice sat flat against my chest, avoiding any gapes and allowing a tasteful V-neck shape. The dress has been designed so well that, even when blessed with an ample bosom, I did not suffer with an unholy amount of cleavage on show. There was no gaping, no awkward side-boob, just a wonderful shape that showed off my figure perfectly.

For the purpose of ‘props’ I was forced to sip on a delightful Rhubarb Gin and Rose Lemonade in between shooting – it’s a hard life!

If I could ever pass for being lady-like, it would be in this dress. It’s entirely appropriate for a number of occasions, and is wearable both in Spring and Autumn. At the price of £130.00, I would expect a garment I can get many wears out of, and Alice does not disappoint in that department. The only downside? No pockets! However, as a huge accessories fan, I would never be without a cute bag anyway.

I’ve completely fallen in love with Alice, and she demonstrates the incredible design and quality that goes into a premium plus-size brand like Studio 8. They’ve begun to feature beautiful embroidery, beading, shirring and cut-outs in their designs, and I can’t wait to see what they bring out for the rest of 2018! They had a great feature at last year’s Curve Fashion Festival, be sure to keep an eye out for them at a plus-size event in the future!

Thank you to the Lane Ends, my local pub, who let us borrow a corner of their establishment for the morning and make ourselves at home amongst the lovely furnishings. I had a really fun afternoon shooting with Scott and I’m finally beginning to feel like a ‘real blogger’ now. The images we have created not only do the dress justice, but represent myself and Big Bawdy Burly Beauty in a more professional light. I can’t wait to shoot the next outfit I’ve been sent, keep an eye out for my next post with Lady Voluptuous!


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