It’s time for a slightly different – and very special – post with a special guest!
A while back, when this site was still Big Girls Browse, I featured the lovely range of wedding dresses from Simply Be. This was a collection I felt really passionate about the moment I saw it. Wedding dresses are expensive, and plus size women get a very raw deal when it comes to their big day, often having to shell out for really expensive made-to-measure pieces, or settling for the very few cheaper off-the-rack options, most of which are pretty ugly and old-fashioned. Simple Be managed to produce a capsule collection of pretty, simple and non-frumpy styles in sizes 12 – 32, all costing £100 or less. They felt modern, chic and special, but fit a tight bridal budget. I knew they’d be popular, but I didn’t realise quite how popular! My post about the range quickly became one of the most visited on this site, and perhaps one of the loveliest moments of my entire blogging career so far was discovering that, in a tiny little way, I helped a bride have a brilliant wedding day.
With no further ado, I’ll pass you over to Rebecca…
Today as part of Dressember I’m looking at some of my favourite dresses from one of the brands that has supported Big Girls Browse since the very beginning, Simply Be. I wore a Simply Be dress for one of the very first days of my first Dressember, so I think there’s nice synergy in this post happening now!
I love the label for offering a great combination of classic styles and trend-led pieces in a really good range of sizes. I know that a lot of my plus size friends rate Simply Be as one of if not *the* best when it comes to UK plus size retailers, because they have such a big range and some great collaborations. I also love seeing the clothes on models with bodies like mine – Naomi Shimada and Laura Catterall can sell ANYTHING to me! Here are some of my top dress picks from the Simply Be Winter collection…
Words can’t begin to explain how excited I am about Simply Be’s new plus size bridal range. I don’t have plans to marry any time soon, I’m not looking at these with my big day in mind, but I’m hugely impressed at the quality and variety that they’ve managed to pile into such a small range. There are only four dresses so far, but if they’re a sign of what’s to come, this could be the start of something very special.
This could have gone so wrong. It could have been a pile of horrible, frou-frou strapless numbers and ugly toilet roll holder shapes with cheap embellishment. Instead, I really feel like the Simple Be team have done a wonderful thing; they’ve created a capsule plus size range of wedding dresses that will genuinely make people who wear straight sizes go ‘wow, I wish they did that in my size’.
I have a huge soft spot for the parka. It goes against just about everything that I love in fashion – it’s quite masculine, oversize and screams ‘utility’ not ‘pretty’, but there is something about the artful way in which a really stylish woman can pull off such a functional piece of clothing that I really love. This stems back to about 2007, when The Sartorialist posted a picture of a glam woman in killer heels topped with a massive parka. It’s not a look I could pull off, but ‘Parka on Heels‘ became a bit of fixation of mine. There was even a sequel…
The team at Simply Be have always been really supportive of Big Girls Browse and I was really happy to be offered a bit of an exclusive on one of their Spring / Summer ranges. The ‘Angel Ribbons’ collection won’t be available until next week, but you can have a little sneaky peek at some of the pieces right here. I saw some of the samples a month or so ago at the launch, and this was definitely one of the ranges that really stood out for me. I do love a bit of girly glam! Keep reading for all the pics…
This week I left London for a couple of days and headed to Manchester for the long-awaited final of Simply Be‘s ‘Face Of Plus Size Fashion’ modelling competition. I was absolutely honoured to be asked to join Alison and Natalie from Simple Be, Jackie from Best Magazine and Sarah from 12+ UK Model Management as one of the judges, though I don’t think I realised until I got there just how difficult it was going to be to pick just one woman from the group of amazing ladies who made up the final 16!
The rules of the competition were left wide open, with no restrictions other than the fact you had to wear size 14+. The finalists (who’d been preselected by the team at Simply Be) were a really wide range of sizes, heights and ages, which I thought was fantastic. It was so wonderful to see women of all shapes and sizes looking gorgeous – and not shying away from fitted shapes, tricky trends and bold colours – but it also made choosing an eventual winner really difficult, because I loved so many of the girls for different reasons…
Just a quick note to say that I’m honoured and excited to be involved in the latest project from UK-based size 14+ retailers Simply Be. I’ll be helping out as one of the judges of their search for the new Face of Plus Size Fashion.
This is an amazing opportunity for all those women who feel they could give the current crop of plus size models a run for their money (and I know there are a lot of you). There are no height or weight restrictions except that you need to be at least a size 14 (and over 18 years old). The prizes are amazing; you’ll become the face of Simply Be’s Style Files, you’ll win a massive £10,000 to spend at Simply Be and you’ll get a consultation with 12+ Model Management.
Click here for everything you need to know to enter. And good luck!
It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of shapewear. I love the 1950s nipped-waist silhouette and wear a lot of wiggle dresses that benefit from a good foundation (and no VPL). That said, I see shapewear as a smoothing, shaping garment, not a miracle fix. I don’t really subscribe to the whole ‘magic pants will make you thin’ idea – this is about creating a shape with the curves you have, not making them disappear completely!
In the past I’ve tried – and been impressed with – pieces from the previous Gok Wan collection for Simply Yours. I was recently offered the chance to try something from the new range, and I jumped at the chance to see what they’d done to improve it.
Bohemian, Homespun, Mexican…they’re just three of the trends that UK plus-size specialists Simply Be are pushing this season to their size 14 – 32 customers. Eschewing the usual elasticated waists, sack-like shapes and oversize t-shirts of most plus sized mail order catalogues, the brand has a more trend-lead approach that’ll have larger ladies in the UK giving their skinnier counterparts a run for their money in the fashion stakes.