Happy Friday everyone, I hope you have all enjoyed this beautiful week full of sunshine, I know I certainly have! And I am looking forward to the weekend which is also supposed to be beautiful here as well. I am also attending Hamilton Fashion Week this weekend which is something new for me and local so I am hoping to see some great things walk down the runway and leave inspired. What plans do you have?
I have been so excited lately because I have had so many new brands that I have been able to try and share with you guys! I can’t believe how plus size fashion keeps growing and despite the limitations that can exist being above a size 24, what is available now is mind blowing compared to 5 or 10 years ago. It puts a huge smile on my face. And when I form a special bond with a designer for a brand I am even more excited to share it with you. And that is certainly the case for Australian brand Hope & Harvest.
I am always on the look out for new brands and so I had found Hope & Harvest awhile ago on one of my Instagram searches and I immediately fell in love with the aesthetic of the brand. But I unfortunately dismissed it because they carry size 12 to 26 in Australian sizing which is the equivalent of size 8 to 22 in US sizing so naturally I assumed it wouldn’t fit me. I had the opportunity to see a few of her pieces in person in NYC in June when my fellow blogger and Australian, Sam of Curvy Sam rocked them for Full Figured Fashion Week. She let me know that the sizing is actually really generous and encouraged me to give it a try.
I have also seen blogger Meagan Kerr, of the blog, This is Meagan Kerr from New Zealand where their pieces and she is similar in size to me. I always say everything happens for a reason and as luck would have it a while back, the designer and owner of the brand Harvest Powell reached out to me on Instagram. We struck up an online friendship and she was confident that her pieces would fit me so finally I said ok let’s give it a shot.
Harvest is so amazing – a true pioneer in the industry having opened “The Shows” at NYFW in September 2015 and showing at the Virgin Australia Melbourne Fashion Festival at the Curvy Couture Roadshow on several occasions, including her Spring/Summer 2017/2018 collection coming up at the end of this month. It is a young and modern label that focuses on bringing the latest trends to the plus size woman with a focus on modern urban living, exceptional fabrics and quality. She also believes in using models that represent her customer. And she held her first runway show when she was just 18!
Of course I was a little nervous as I awaited the arrival of my package. I mean she was sending me stuff all the way from Australia and the pieces are so nice that I didn’t want her to have invested in me and it not fit. So when the package came I was so excited. I remember taking each piece out of the package and opening it up and not only loving the design, the colours and the fabrics but I could also see just by looking at them that the sizing was generous. I immediately had to try them on and everything fit perfectly with room to spare!
I couldn’t believe it, here was a brand that technically shouldn’t fit me that fit perfectly. It was a big realization about the importance of quality and having someone (ideally women) in positions of power in plus size fashion brands that understand the plus size body are key to getting a great fit.
When I think about the fact that there are often times when I shop with major retailers who are multi million or billion dollar companies and I could have a size 28 not fit me or I need to size up to a 32 and beyond, it actually is mind boggling. I am technically wearing a size 22! And yes this dress is a full A-line style but I also have a curve hugging dress that she sent me that fits perfectly as well. And yes, I will be sharing the other pieces I got soon lol.
Harvest knows my style well because this dress was a perfect choice to send me. It is totally my aesthetic with the dark moody floral print, the fit and flare shape, the 3/4 bell sleeve and open neckline. I am wearing the XL. I also loved the length and the fact that it had a detachable belt so that I could wear it with our without depending on my mood. This dress retails for $149 AUS dollars which is about $115 US. The fabric is a high quality cotton and the construction is impeccable so I think it is worth the price point. I also believe in shopping and supporting independent labels. I mean you can easily pay close to that price, the same or more for a dress from a major retailer that will not be of the same quality.
This is something I would definitely wear to the office so I styled it with that intent in mind. I chose these simple but stylish gold sling back flats from Full Beauty. If you haven’t figured out by now I am pretty obsessed with Comfort View shoes and from all the questions I get from everyone on my shoes it seems that you are loving them too. I love the bow on these and the support in the foot bed.
For the rest of my accessories I decided to play a little off of the dramatic makeup look that we did here. I love these statement earrings from Violeta Mango a third party brand that is available through Full Beauty. And don’t be afraid to wear colours that don’t exactly match but are in the same family. I liked how the red of the fringe on these popped against the burgundy hue in the dress.
Another trend that I have also seen a lot of this year is jewelry with inspirational messages. I picked up this bangle set from Lane Bryant and I immediately loved that they were simple pieces with powerful words engraved in them. They come in rose gold, yellow gold and silver and they all have a different word on them. Finally I added one of my all time favourite bags from my Coach collection.
Fashion is meant to make you feel great, to be an expression of your individuality and most importantly fun! Yes I may sound like a broken record but the more I say it the more I hope to inspire those of you that are still on your own self love journeys to believe it. This dress put a spring in my step and a smile on my face the moment I put it on, I couldn’t ask for anything better.
Dress by HOPE & HARVEST (sold out) | Dress alternative by HOPE & HARVEST | Dress alternative #2 by HOPE & HARVEST | Shoes by FULL BEAUTY | Earrings by FULL BEAUTY (alternative here) | Bracelets by LANE BRYANT | Bag by COACH (alternative here) |