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2013 Blog Archive
Blog archive 2014 - Jan . Feb . Mar . Apr .

Diane's plus size fashion blog

April 27th The Plus Size Revolution - Curves take Centre Stage € $

Centre Stage AND the New Normal - a return to womanliness and curves in celebration of the Plus Size Fashion Market

I take my work for & very seriously. I want my websites to be the No.1 Resource for Shopping and all things Plus Size within the Plus Size Industry. This is no mean feat. A huge task lies ahead. I am trying to bring to you the most relevant and timely information and content and in a way that you want to hear and see it. I have engaged in some Action Research to try and improve the Blog that I post each week and the feedback that I have received from those of you who took my online survey at, from the 5 women who comprised my focus group and from 2 of my peers who very kindly gave me constructive feedback has been fantastic and very encouraging.

My approach to the work that I do is to promote Normality and Womanliness. I hope that my opinions and the message that I have attempted to put across each week in my blog suggest fairness and balance. If I am against anything it is EXCESS (in whatever guise it presents itself).

Life sometimes puts obstacles in our way. The stresses and strains of everyday living can result in many of us putting on weight (and it is a stubborn beast to shift at times). What we must all do though is support each other to be the best healthy normal woman that we can be. Don't despise and don't criticise other women who may be struggling in their journey to their ideal weight. Be supportive of each other. Our weight can and does fluctuate. What we want and are saying to the clothing industry is that we exist and we mean business too. We want fashionable clothes in a range of sizes to fit. We want to feel and look good. When we feel and look good, and we feel accepted for who we are, we can be motivated to get back to what is our healthy normality (whilst not compromising on our womanliness).

Being a plus size woman has taken on a number of meanings of late and to many the whole area is so confusing. I want to clear this up now. If you are a size 16 you are a plus size. Sizes 8 - 14 are Standard Sizes. All that plus size means are the range of sizes above Standard. It is only within plus size modelling that models are engaged at a size UK10. Don't beat yourself up about this. I understand many of the sentiments that I have been reading of late on Facebook and other bulletin boards. It is not helpful when some Retailers have chosen to describe some of their clothing lines as plus size and then start this line at a UK12. What they are doing is scrambling to get on the band wagon of the plus size industry, chasing the plus size € or or $ without any actual thought to either their potential standard size or plus size customers. Retailers are now getting the message that the Plus Size € is b, the market is there, and, The Plus Size Revolution is challenging conventional thinking. Almost every Retailer and (to a lesser extent) Designer worth their salt is now increasing their size range. Don't be dismayed if, along the way, a few Retailers make advertising or editorial gaffs. You may forgive their awkwardness when you read the graphic below about the potential of the plus size clothing industry in the USA. Ireland is hot on the heels of the USA and our stats now make us a very considered Pressure Group (let alone a market niche). We an economic force to deal with!!

Neil Mason, Head of Retail Research, Mintel - Report Clothing Size UK, July 2012 says it all here :- .

"The plus-size clothes market now finds itself in a taste revolution for two main reasons. Firstly, older consumers are becoming more confident and experimenting with fashion in a way they never did before. Secondly, there are increasing numbers of younger customers who need plus-size clothing and still want to wear the same fashions as their slimmer friends. In general, there is a huge desire among non-standard sized consumers to be able to enjoy fashion and to dress well in the same way as those who fit within standard sizes. Allowing them to do this, while making the right adjustments in terms of styling and specifications for plus-sized customers, is the skill required of retailers and brands if they are to be successful in satisfying these consumers."

The facts about the strength of the plus size fashion market in the USA


20th April Travel Clothes

Clothes to Get through Airport Security with comfort and convenience

Travel clothes that offer both comfort and convenience to get through Airport Security and for your onward journey are key to starting your holiday off as you intend it to proceed - stress and hassle free. This week I have reverted back to a Personal Styling blog post type and think it now timely to suggest clothes that are comfortable, convenient and affordable to achieve those getting through Airport Security moments and comfort travelling, particularly if you have to make a long journey. All the clothes and accessories this week come from Marks & Spencer.

Diane Marshall wearing clothes suitable for travel all from M&S

Click on picture to see a brief video of me wearing the featured clothes. You can see that the hip pocket of the trousers is suitable for your passport AND the bag big enough to carry on board all your personal needs (the bag is large and deep enough to hold a few baby's bottles)

I love this ensemble that I put together from M&S. I am wearing a pair of cropped chino style trousers €24, a boyfriend type cotton mix cream with speckles cardigan €40, a loose tee shirt €17. The look is accessorised with a cream with mixed colours scarf €30, a tote style hand held bag €65 and multi-coloured moccasin style flat shoes €35.00. The entire look costs 124.00 and is versatile enough (in terms of colour and fabric weight and type) to mix and match with other separates from your existing holiday wardrobe.

The trousers are available in both black and stone (I am wearing the trousers in stone) and come in a range of sizes from 8 - 22. I am wearing a size 18 in this picture (with a belt). I must admit I am between sizes at the minute. If you remember back to a previous blog post I did in February I had set myself a target to get back down to a size 16 by May (luckily for me I did not specify when in May). I have taken my weight loss slowly and steadily and have lost 10lbs. At the moment a size 18 trouser at M&S is slightly too big but the size 16 is tight. I hate wearing tight fitting clothes so I have sensibly opted for the size 18 for comfort. Women often get obsessed with the size on a garment. Remember the size is just a number and not all retailers adhere to the same sizing dimensions. Always wear what fits you rather than forcing yourself into a set size. You will always look heavier and more uncomfortable in the wrong fitting clothes. I my case I also have a 'problem middle area' as a result of abdominal surgery 14 years ago. I permanently have what I feel looks like a pregnancy profile. I prefer to size up and also to wear looser fitting tops over the trouser waist to also avoid drawing attention to this area.

These trousers are great value for money at €24. They have 2 front side pockets and 2 rear pockets (which are deep enough to carry a passport - see video)

Travel clothes showing cardigan and scarf from M&S

Cream Boyfriend Style Cardigan and Cream and colour mix scarf

The boyfriend style cardigan and scarf are perfect for not only layering and adding 'colour interest' but also when the temperature gets cooler in summer evenings.. Again I am wearing a size 18 cardigan but due to the styling of this cardigan type I feel that you could go up a size if you wanted that extra looser feeling.

The fact that the cardigan is cream makes it neutral enough to go with all outfits and tops. The extra bonus to this particular cardigan that I love is the speckled flecks in different colours which will help to bring out the colours of your other tee shirts and tops.

I am wearing this cardigan with a mint green tee shirt but this will equally work well with other colours of the speckled flecks as your guide. This Tee Shirt is also available in a range of 12 other colours (to include the on trend summer shades of yellow and candy pink).

The scarf contains all the colours of this summer season (and even has a silvery shimmer - which is great if worn in the evening sun).

I am wearing flat moccasin style shoes (size 8) for comfort and ease of removal at airport security. No time wasted - just slip on and off to get through all those security checks. The multi-colours in the shoes work well with the overall ensemble PLUS that metallic shimmer glow (again a nice effect for wearing on a summer evening) and with practically everything you will wear in your summer casual wardrobe this season.

Raffia Metallic Style flat low heel Shoes from M&S as worn by Diane Marshall, Blogger for

Raffia Style low heel moccasin metallic shimmer multi-coloured shoes - €35

The look is finished off with this Longchamps inspired tote bag (which is this season's current rage). A more affordable version is provided by M&S in a range of sizes from large shopping size, to 'across the body', and to this bag (which is big enough to carry on board your flight (now that an extra hand bag is allowed in addition to your handheld luggage)). This particular bag is large enough to carry a few baby bottles, all your medication needs, travel documents, wallet and/or your packed lunch etc. There is a compartment inside for your mobile phone and an inside zipped pocket (for extra security). There is also an addition zipped pocket in the outside of the bag (rear side). The look is 'hand held' but it can be worn on the shoulder.

Tote Bag from M&S as modelled by Diane Marshall, plus size fashion blogger for

'Longchamps inspired' Tote Bag - available in 5 colours - €65

I hope you have been inspired by this post this week and enjoy a return to a styling type blog post. I aim to continually improve my blog and would appreciate any feedback. All feedback - both positive and negative is very valuable as it lets me know just what it is you really want from a plus size fashion blog.

For those of you about to head off on holidays I hope you all have a stress free and brilliant time. Until next week. Diane xxx


Dynasty London - plus size

April 4th British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014 - Dynasty - The Viviana Plus Size AW14 Collection

Dynasty design luxurious and sumptious Evening and Cocktail dresses that flatter and fit in a range of sizes from UK14 - UK28. Their AW14 Collection was recently showcased at British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014 in London. This Collection is NOT YET available to purchase directly from their website but being forewarned is forearmed. There are 3 or 4 dresses (in particular) that are real showstoppers and I predict will sell out fast once they are available to purchase. To view a video of The Viviana AW14 Collection click here.

garnet red lace 1950s inspired plus size dress from Dynasty UK, The Viviana Collection AW14

Garnet Red Lace 1950s Inspired Dress - The Viviana Collection AW14 - Collection not yet available to purchase - To see the current Viviana Collection click on photo

This dress has to be the Show Stopper of all Show Stoppers. Absolutely magnificent. Stunning. Beautiful. Feminine. Pretty. Figure flattering. What else can I say. When this dress presented on the Catwalk at British Plus Size Fashion Weekend in London the gasps of Awhh!! from the Audience were quite audible. Never before have I ever wanted a dress as desperately as I have this one. It has Red Carpet Event written all over it. You could even get married in this dress. Imagine a December Wedding wearing this wonderful seasonal impact colour! It also has to be the dress to suit all sizes and shapes of plus size woman. Firstly there is the flattering boat cut neck line softened with the use of a garnet red mesh type fabric. The use of the mesh fabric extends down the arms and gathers momentum with the embellished lace detailing. What a brilliant way to flatter and lengthen the neck and cover up any problem arms. A waist is defined with the ribbon bow detail drawing the eye to the body centre and then the free falling semi full skirt of the dress (extending to a 3/4 length) has to be the final expression of perfection and fit for all. I do not have a price yet for this dress but dresses within the current SS14 Collection are ranging from 200 - 400 so I would expect this dress to fall within a similar pricing structure. Should this be the case this dress offers a remarkable bargain for the occasion, with the quality, styling and individualism inherent.

You can view the current Spring Summer 2014 Viviana Collection here where you will also see some wonderful dresses (both full and shorter length) and 2 piece trouser and top creations. You have no excuse for nothing to wear to that formal occasion or that Day at the Races. Your choices are many and varied with Dynasty.


March 2014 blogs, click here - Mar 20th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Curvety. Mar 14th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Jane Watson.

Feb 2014 blogs, click here - Feb 27th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - Dea. Feb 14th Diane Marshall Plus Size Model London Fashion Week. Feb 7th All weather fitness clothing

Jan. 2014 blogs, click here - Jan 30th London Fashion Week, plus size modelling opportunity. Jan 23rd Plus Size Acceptance vs Weight Loss. Jan 16th Plus Size Weight Loss - an expert approach. Jan 9th Plus Size, what size of fit are we describing?

2013 Blog Archive
June 15th 2013 - Welcome to my blog !
June 15th 2013 - Welcome to my blog !

diane in red skater dress