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Wednesday 13 February 2013

Plus Size Shopping: Lady in Red (dresses)

What is that you say? Tenuous Valentine's Day reference where it's not needed? Well, perhaps I am feeling sightly swayed by the time of year, but really this post is more about tackling a genuine problem in the plus size industry, not deliberately picking red because tomorrow is V-day. Sort of.

The problem? Too many plus size dresses are black.

Now, there's nothing wrong with black. It's timeless, suits everyone and hides spills. But the plus size industry is rife with black because it's supposedly 'slimming' and God forbid a larger woman would want to wear anything that draws attention to her body rather than hiding it.

So in the name of not dressing like you're at a funeral every day of your life, I have picked out some killer red dresses in plus sizes. You don't have to wear these tomorrow...but there are 364 other days of the year when they'd be excellent.

Who said red was just for eveningwear? This wrap dress from Castaluna (£45, up to size 30) would be great for daytime as well as night. I love the adjustable belt that you can wrap however you want to suit your body type.

If you prefer a slightly darker red (or a less shiny fabric) this baby from ASOS Curve (£25, up to size 26) is a great bargain. Curve may be controversial for using models who are obviously not a size 20 to advertise a range that starts at that size, but if you want trend-led fashion for plus sizes at affordable prices, it might be worth overlooking that and giving the range a go.

Retro and rockabilly fans are catered for by Domino Dollhouse, a reasonably-priced US retailer that ships internationally and stocks some fab frocks. The Dancing Dame dress (US sizes 14 - 28) comes in at around £50 including shipping.

This Scarlett & Jo dress (£40 at Evans in sizesa 14 - 26) has been doing the rounds of the plus size blogs ever since Evans' 'Shape Studio' event when loads of ladies tried it on. If you're not sold on the product shot, check out Georgina and Caroline modelling it for a better idea of how it fits and makes the most of boobs, waists, bums and everything in between!

Finally, for those who prefer a slightly longer length, Yours Clothing offer up something a bit more feminine in this dress for a bargain £13.60 (sizes 16 - 32). Plus size women are often told to avoid anything fussy around the neckline, but that can end up being a bit boring. If you want to wear frills, wear frills!

ps. If you're not sure you want to show that much shoulder and / or need to hide a bra underneath, don't forget to check out my last column for ways to add sleeves!


  1. ASOS Curve's sizing is so unbelievably inconsistent it really puts me off purchasing anything from them. The first dress I bought that I thought would fit round the bust was like a tent, a 6 man tent.So I went radical and ordered 2 sizes smaller and it's still a touch large. Whereas a different style dress also bought in the larger size was like the skin on an onion!

    1. Yeah I've seen a lot of this - it's a good thing they have free returns. Annoying when you don't even know where to start though.

    2. To be honest, I think this is ASOS all over.

  2. Nice Evans frock though - finally a winner of an item with me. Awaiting payday...


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