Two Ways Tuesday: Hope & Harvest Date Night Dress

Hope & Harvest Dress - Frocks and Frou Frou

Dress: Hope & Harvest Date Night Dress

Shoes: Softwalk via Shoebuy

Last month when I attended the Curvy Couture Roadshow I got the opportunity to snap up a dress that I’d had my eye on for some time.

Harvest Powell is the designer behind the Australian independent plus-size label “Hope & Harvest“, and though she’s been around for a while I’ve never had the chance to try the brand before now. I kept seeing the “Date Night” dress on other plus-size fashion blogs, and thinking how gorgeous it looked, but I suspected that the dress might not have the same va-va-voom effect on my actually-not-that-curvy figure.

When I finally got the chance to try it on in person at the Curvy Couture Marketplace I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s a great, clean minimalist style; the kind that’s so rare in plus-size fashion where too often more means more. The hips are exaggerated, meaning that the fabric doesn’t pull across the tops of my thighs, but the waist and hem are tapered, giving a curvy “tulip” shape. I bought the M, though according to the size chart I could be wearing a size S. The dress has plenty of stretch, and while the fabric’s fairly heavy it isn’t lined, so for a really clean line I’d probably wear it with a slip (or some shapewear) to make sure my belly button wasn’t announcing its presence.

The neckline is a lovely wide boatneck that makes the most out of collarbones, and I can’t tell you how delighted I am about the looooooong sleeves. I’m must have extra long arms, because everything seems to end up bracelet length on me.

Frocks and Frou FrouNecklace: Muse 411

So, my Two-Ways Tuesday post is to wear this dress a) unadulterated, as a glamourous date-night dress with super simple accessories, and b) dressed down with a draped cardigan and a belt, which downplays away the provocative shape and sexy collarbones and instead makes it a comfortable outfit that is more appropriate for daywear and in the office.

Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou Frou Frocks and Frou FrouDress – As Above

Cardigan: Eliza Parker

Shoes: Gorman

The tan shoes pick up the tan belt, which I’m wearing high to accentuate the length of my legs. Because of the draped cardigan the empire line that is created doesn’t look dated or matronly and it draws attention away from my impressive prow.

Blue-on-blue keeps the look clean, and makes sure the draped cardigan doesn’t just look like a coat you’ve forgotten to take off.

With this length skirt, and with that amount of volume up top nude legs are best so I wore my Sonsee stockings, and a pair of sky-high statement heels.

I can’t walk in them, but they do look damn good.

¬†Anyway – I hope this is a better example of what I have planned for Two-Ways Tuesday. There’s only so much you can do to mix-it-up when you’re wearing a frock, but I hope this gives you some ideas!

#ThisIsn’tBrave

Surania Bikini - Frocks And Frou Frou
Surania Bikini - Frocks And Frou Frou
Surania Bikini - Frocks And Frou Frou
Surania Bikini - Frocks And Frou Frou Bikini: Surania – designed by me!

There’s been a lot of hoopla in the media lately about Jessica Kane‘s wonderful Instagram post where she bares an unashamedly plus-size body in a – shock-horror – swimsuit, and refuses to accept that doing so was brave.

Bravery, she says, is “A family battling tragic illness, a mother trying to beat addiction, a person trying to break free of domestic violence, reaching out for help when you have already planned your suicide and feel like you can’t breath one more day.”

As tragic as I find it that a healthy woman wearing a bikini in public can still make the news globally I can’t help but applaud her for her words. Being a plus-sized woman in the public eye shouldn’t be an act of bravery, even though I know for a lot of us it is.

Body-shaming still seems like one of the only socially acceptable forms of harassment and discrimination in modern society. It’s often disguised in concern-trolling, hand-wringing, and won’t-someone-think-of-the-childrening and for every article with someone like Jessica telling us that daring to bare a larger-than-average body on the beach isn’t an act of bravery there’s countless trolls in the comments section reminding women that unless they’ve got bullet-proof self-esteem they’d better not follow suit.

I’m proud of the fact that for the last eight years I’ve been part of a community that has helped to promote the visibility of body diversity. We’re moving towards acceptance and I hope that one day everyone will be able to wear whatever they want to the beach without it making the news!

Anyhoo. Enough politics from me, mostly I wanted to show you my new Surania bikini!

Since I ordered my first bikini last year Surania has updated their range of designs and fabrics, and they’re also doing a range for men and kids.

Over Easter the boy and I drove up the East Coast to visit my family and while we were in warmer climes I got to try the suit out properly. I ordered the “basic” set, which comes with an underwired top that supported me beautifully through plenty of aquatic romping. As with my first pair these were beautifully made with high-quality fabric, and I didn’t have the same problem as I did last time with the fabric not matching the photo – the navy star-print was exactly what I’d envisaged. The manufacture and shipping were quick and easy, and the fit was spot on.

For more information about Surania click here to read my original review.