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2013 Blog Archive
Blog archive 2014 - Jan . Feb . Mar . Apr . May . June . July . Aug . Sept . Oct . Nov .

Diane's plus size fashion blog

Oct 30th - Avoiding a "Miss Marple" look - accessorising with colour and texture is "How to wear Tweed" in the 21st Century

Chestnut Chevron Tweed Jacket from Joules is used in the discussion 'How to wear Tweed' on

Chestnut Chevron Removable Fur Collar Tweed Jacket - Available from size UK6 - UK20

How to Wear Tweed effectively and with pizzazz is not such the challenge that you might think.  The main thing to remember is NOT to make the tweed garment (jacket/waistcoat/skirt/coat) the main focus of your presentation.

The key to managing this trend and moving it into the 21st Century is to accessorise and experiment with colour and texture.  This will eliminate a staid or frumpy look and make for a younger and more modern wearability for all ages of woman.

Today I am presenting to you a Tweed Jacket and Skirt (both from Joules) which can be worn either as separates or together as a suit.  Tweed is very fashionable at the moment and it is primarily down to our obsession in the UK and Ireland with all things retro.  The 1920s design influence, especially coming through in period TV dramas such as Downton Abbey have excited a new generation to the wonderful styles and cut of quality and traditional materials.  Nothing quite says quality, tradition and craftsmanship like British and Irish Tweed.

So where does a girl start to bring her tweed forward from yesteryear?  Firstly the answer is in the actual tweed itself.  Examine the fine weave of the material and you will discover that the colour is made up of many other specs of colour.  Use these colours to base your glove and scarf treatment on.  For example this jacket could be described as a golden or light brown colour.  However upon examination of the fine weave there are specs of greens, pinks, reds and blues which all now give much more possibility to wear with the jacket.  Also the lining (of which Joules are complete experts at finish and colour suggestion) will also give big hints as to which colours to compliment your look.

Chestnut Chevron Tweed Jacket is presented in the main blog discussion on this week on 'how to wear tweed'.

Close up of Sleeve detail on Chestnut Chevron Tween Jacket. Note the quality velvet curved finish on the sleeves and the gold button.

inside lining of chestnut chevron tweed jacket from Joules

Note the dark blue lining with red piping and blue and green motive colouring offering suggestions for your accessories

Secondly wear your tweed with a thoroughly of the moment trend.  The metallic look is very popular and is perfect to add that veneer or gloss to lift any tweed garment from "quiet boring" to "louder and in the room".  I am seen in the main photo wearing the tweed jacket as a separate (with the fur collar) and worn along with my dark brown crocodile print inspired metallic skirt.  Picking up on the spec of the weave idea I have also decided to wear my dark green leather gloves (available from Marks & Spencer (€24)).  With this look I have incorporated texture and colour.  Colour and texture is easy to achieve because you have more possibilities to vary your look.  London Fashion Week AW14 was all about Colour and Texture.

I am now pictured wearing the jacket (without the fur collar) and the skirt together as a suit.  Again I have gone for the metallic trend (this time by wearing my Bronze LK Bennett Court Shoes, from Next, to just lift this suit up from the ordinary).  I am also wearing my green leather gloves and a fine silk neck scarf.  I would have preferred to have made more of a statement on the neck scarf (to co-ordinate with my gloves) but I did not have anything suitable in my wardrobe.  Instead I am wearing a quite predictable scarf that blends in with the overall colour and hue of the complete outfit.  This works but for me I am now on a quest to get a silk scarf with more greens in it to grasp that pizzazz opportunity and buck this trend.

Both the jacket and skirt are 100% wool and also both are fully lined.  These are quality garments with superb finish and styling.  The jacket and skirt are available up to size UK20.  (Please also check out the links on these products at the end of this page to avail of a special offer from Joules to buy these garments at a discount.

Chestnut Chevron Tweed jacket and skirt from Joules

Tweed jacket (worn without the fur collar) and skirt worn together as a suit

To hear what I have to say about "How to Wear Tweed" and to see further detail of the jacket have a look at the video below.

To buy the Jacket (note the fur collar is removable) click HERE

To buy the skirt click HERE

To buy the leather gloves click HERE

To buy the bronze metallic court shoes (late note - sold out in Ireland but available for N.I. delivery) click HERE

To view the entire range of tweed and other products from Joules click HERE

Please also note special offer from Joules on their Home Page which will give you discount on these and other products.

Until next Thurs.  Diane xxx


Oct 24th - M&S Waist Cincher Knickers provide tummy control and waist definition

Firm Control Sheer & Opaque Waist Cincher Knickers from the M&S Collection at Marks & Spencer

Firm Control Waist Cincher Knickers - €27 - Available in Fawn and in Black - Sizes UK8 - UK22

M&S Waist Cincher Knickers in Black

Firm Control Waist Cincher Knickers in BLACK. Available in sizes UK8 - UK22

For some time now I have been looking for the ideal undergarment solution which could give me both tummy control and waist definition.  There are many products on the market doing just that but I have invariably had difficulties with them all due to having a long torso.

I have found that "all-in-one" bodies are not long enough in the body (so track my shoulder and leg areas) and the top of tummy control knickers tend to roll down when I sit down (leaving me with an unsightly bulge that needs pulling up again).

The solution had to be a pair of control knickers that also had an elongated torso support.  I now have found my solution in these firm control sheer & opaque waist cincher knickers from the M&S Collection at Marks & and for only €27

I recently road tested this support garment at a party and found them very comfortable to wear (especially sitting down to eat, dancing and generally moving about all evening).  Not once did these knickers slip and I felt that the overall outline of my profile had been improved.

To hear what I have to say about this support under garment have a look at this short video.


To buy the firm control waist cincher knickers (available from sizes UK8 - UK22) click HERE

Here are a few photos of me wearing dresses that I have previously featured on and my site (without any under garment support) and then me in the same dresses again but this time wearing the Waist Cincher Knickers from M&S.  I am impressed with the smoother profile, No VPL and improvement to my waist definition.

This Lagoon (green) long sleeve dress from Artigiano was featured on 10th October 2014 on my site in Featured Product

Long Sleeve Italian Jersey Pleat Wrap Dress from Artigiano

Italian Pleat Jersey Dress - £79 - Available in sizes UK8 - UK24 (in both S and R Lengths)

Artigiano dress worn with waist cincher knickers from M&S

Artigiano Dress now worn WITH WAIST CINCHER KNICKERS

Bodycon Dress from Lipstick Boutique (available at House of Fraser) was my main blog post on Thursday 16th October 2014.

Lipstick Boutique Bodycon Dress available at House of Fraser

Lipstick Boutique Bodycon Dress - £65 - Available from size UK18 - UK24

Lipstick Boutique Bodycon Dress worn with M&S Waist Cincher Knickers for tummy control and added waist definition


This Red Cowl Neck Shutter Dress  from Long Tall Sally was featured in the summer (19th July 2014) in a series of blog posts about my Sales Finds

Long Tall Sally Sale of dresses

Long Tall Sally Sale - Cowl Neck Shutter Dress - Available in RED UK20 and CERISE UK10 and UK12

Long Tall Sally Red Cowl Neck Shutter Dress worn with waist cincher knickers from M&S

Long Tall Sally red Cowl Neck Shutter Dress worn WITH WAIST CINCHER KNICKERS

I hope these work the same magic for you. Until next week, Diane xx


Oct 16th - Introducing Lipstick Boutique @ House of Fraser

Floral Print, Cap Sleeved Bodycon Dress available from size UK18 - UK24 (£65)

Bodycon Dresses have managed to elude me up until now.  I have long been a promoter of the wrap dress or tunic cut style dress for masking a problem middle area and helping to define a waistline.  Imagine my excitement recently to discover that the bodycon dress can also work those curves.  This week I want to introduce you to Lipstick Boutique (another plus size fashion brand available from House of Fraser).

Lipstick Boutique Bodycon Dress available at House of Fraser

Lipstick Boutique Bodycon Dress - £65 - Available from size UK18 - UK24

This little number is available in sizes UK18 - UK24 and has a cap sleeve and a jagged neckline.  I am wearing size 18.  I am 5'9" tall and the dress is sitting very comfortably at my knee area.

The dress is not lined BUT the elastane woven into the fabric gives this dress a structure and therefore is definitely working it's best to give me that much desired waistline.  I love the floral print but more especially the fact that the print is set against a very slimming black background.  This dress is ideal for any number of occasions and can be both day or early evening wear.

To buy the dress (£65) click HERE

To view other dresses in the Lipstick Boutique Collection click HERE

To view all Collections at House of Fraser (and to check out the Blue X Sale) click HERE

& don't forget that House of Fraser delivery to Ireland is FREE if you spend over £50

To see the features of the dress and hear what I have to say have a look at this short video below

Until next Thursday.  Diane xxx


Oct 2nd. Introducing the Ann Harvey Collection at Bonmarche - available from size UK16 - UK32

Ann Harvey is a brand suitable for the mature lady (50+ years) and is available to buy from Bonmarche.  The Collection includes dresses (and occasion dresses), tops, trousers, jackets and coats and all are available up to a size UK32.

Ann Harvey Brush Stroke Floral Wrap Dress available up to size UK32

Brush Stroke Floral Wrap Dress (Cobalt Blue) - £45 - Available from size UK16 - UK32

I am delighted this week to introduce you to Ann Harvey, a new plus size fashion brand name at  The Ann Harvey Collection (available to buy from Bonmarche) is a very affordable range and all clothing within the Collection goes up to a size UK32.

To view The Ann Harvey Collection @ Bonmarche click HERE

To buy this dress (£45) click HERE

Many items from the current Ann Harvey Collection have already been featured in the Daily Express with positive comments on the overall design and value for money.  Today, by way of introduction to the brand and the availability of the Collection at Bonmarche, I have chosen this wrap dress (which has also been featured in the Daily Express) and hope to give you my everyday ordinary person perspective on it.  As with all my blog posts I am not wearing any make-up and have not had any professional styling nor photography.  If you like what you see (presented in daylight by an ordinary plus size woman) then you know how you can improve your overall look in this dress when you work your own magic with hair styling and make-up.

I am wearing the Brush Stroke Floral Wrap Dress in cobalt blue in size UK18.  This dress is fully lined and has a wonderful cut and fit to compliment those curves.  I feel that this is very much a statement dress and therefore would be suitable to wear as a wedding guest OR as Mother of the Bride.  Traditionally the Mother of the Bride wears blue.  This dress offers an interesting twist on the blue attire of the Mother of the Bride.

The wrap dress is the best way to compliment the curve and shape of a plus size lady especially if the dress also includes 3/4 length sleeves.  We all have problem areas with our bodies and the wrap dress is the "Queen of stylish and considered dressing for masking or minimising problem areas".  Firstly the actual wrap over at the bust line creates a nice cleavage line and is not bra cup specific in terms of fit.  Also the ruching at the side of the dress (created by the wrap over effect) serves to define a waist and give shape to the middle of the body.  The 3/4 length sleeves cover the upper arms and smooth the overall arm treatment whilst also helping to define a waistline.

If you are soon to be a Mother of the Bride consider wearing this dress with a black hat (preferably a large brim) rather than a fascinator.  The dress is in this seasons statement colour (cobalt blue) and has a large pattern so needs a larger hat treatment to balance out your profile.

To hear what I have to say about this dress and to see a demonstration of the features of the dress have a look at this video

To buy the dress (£45) click HERE

To view the Ann Harvey Collection at Bonmarche click HERE

Until next week.  Diane xxx


October 2014 blogs, click here - Oct 30th How to wear Tweed, part 1. - Oct 24th M&S Waist Cincher Knickers for tummy control. - Oct 16th Lipstick Boutique at House of Fraser - Oct 2nd Ann Harvey at Bonmarche

September 2014 blogs, click here - Sept. 25th Curvety Special Occasion dress - 19th Dickins and Jones Day Wear - 14th Yours Blouse - 4th Debenhams Tea Dress.

August 2014 blogs, click here - Aug 29th Jump suit from Pink Clove, - 21st Flared Skirt, Wardrobe staple. - 15th Fine Knit Cardigan, Wardrobe staple. - 7th David Emanuel at Bonmarche. - 2nd Road test of Leanne Shoes from Hotter.

July 2014 blogs, click here - July 29th Berlin Break, - 26th YOURS - Floral Maxi Dress, 15th Woolovers Jumper around shoulders look, 14th Woolovers City Look, 13th Woolovers Casual Layered Look, 12th Woolovers V-Necked Jumper - look #2,- 11th Woolovers Twin Set look, 10th Woolovers Sleeveless Top, 9th Woolovers V-Necked Jumper look #1

June 2014 blogs, click here - June 27 Suede Moccasin Shoes. June 20 Garden Party - Overlay Dress from Long Tall Sally. June 12 Aran Boyfriend Cardigan- Celtic & Co. June 5th Little Black Dress.

May 2014 blogs, click here May 22nd - The Return of the Trouser Suit. May 14th Agricultural Show or County Fair - Practical Styling Advice. May 7th M&S boot cut jeans May 1st Plus Size Revolution - money counts.

April 2014 blogs, click here -Apr.27th The Plus Size Revolution - Curves
take Centre Stage. Apr.20th Travel Clothes Apr.4th British Plus Size Fashion Week 2014 - 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