There have always been certain shops that are absolutely off limits for me; those that may not have catered for my fuller bust or curvier behind, those who think lycra is a pre-requisite for every kind of fabric, and those who make me feel like I’m forcing myself to be ‘on-trend’ just for the sake of being ‘on-trend’. It’s become a subconcious habit to begrungingly walk on by (or as in recent times, scroll on by) these store fronts and not even face the inevitable frustration that comes with finding nothing that works for my age or my shape, but over the last few years things have certainly started to change.
More and more retailers are expanding into curve collections, understanding that fashion shouldn’t stop at a size 14. The average dress size in the UK is a 16 and plus size clothing is due to account for 22% of the UK clothing market by 2022, growing at a significantly faster rate than the rest of the fashion market; that’s something not to be ignored or undervalued.
Gone are the days when curvy fashion concious consumers are an afterthought, serviced with a few butterfly cold-shoulder tops or hanky hemlines; they’re here to make a statement, rock the latest trends like their smaller sisters and spend their money on clothes that make them feel good. And finally, we can do so without compromise thanks to more high street names like Karen Millen expanding up to a size 24.
Can I get a hoorah?!
At the age of 38 this is the first time I’ve ever been able to comfortably wear a Karen Millen outfit, and I’m so excited to finally be able to slip into their exceptional quality designs and luxury fabrics. For years I envied my friends who could shop their beautiful designs with ease, but now they’ve created a range of plus size dresses, coats, tops, tees, trousers, shirts and so much more that I can finally enjoy – and isn’t this beautiful dress and coat combo just the perfect look for spring?
The floral midi dress is cut with just the perfect amount of flare to hug my curves in the most flattering way, without a bulge or bump in sight; the detailing around the neckline just adds an extra special detail, while the chunky waist belt elegantly finishes off the look in a way that makes it perfectly suited for Friday night drinks as much as a casual Sunday lunch with the fam.
It’s the coat that I’m utterly in love with though. The pleated skirt makes this feel like a look in itself, while the flare fit and trench detailing keep it fresh and feminine – it’s the perfect cover up for any springtime weddings or events you may already have in the diary. It’s quite heavy for a trench coat too, providing just the perfect amount of warmth, while the colour and texture of the fabric ensure it’s the absolute in transitional dressing.
Together they’re undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, and this duo will inevitably see me all the way through the season and beyond. All I need to do is swap the chunky belt for a slimmer style, slip on a pair of heels, add a clutch bag and I’m ready for my diary to return to its former glory. I’m all for investment pieces that I can cherish and re-wear for years to come, and even more so for those wardrobe additions that can be dressed up or down in a multitude of ways to suit my mood; and these are just the ticket.
Karen Millen have certainly delivered when it comes to plus size party dresses and beyond – and I can’t wait to see what’s next from them.
SHOP THE LOOK
Check out my post on 20 other places you can shop for plus size fashion here.