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!

Two-ways Tuesdays

 frocks and frou froufrocks and frou froufrocks and frou frou Venice Dress: City Chic

Shoes: Softwalk via Shoebuy

You might not believe it, but most of my clothes are on high rotation in my wardrobe. You might only see something on the blog once or twice, but behind the scenes I’m wearing it regularly.

So much of my wardrobe is statement pieces: Bright colours, fabulous prints, and styles that speak for themselves. It can be a challenge not to repeat myself too much, but I’m conscious that not everyone has the luxury of a gigantic wardrobe and it’s nice to be able to curate a variety of outfits around a single item.

I thought I’d try a new regular section that I’m calling “Two-Ways Tuesdays” that will illustrate two ways to wear a single statement piece. It’s a challenge for myself to think a little more creatively about my wardrobe (and also to encourage me to guarantee at least one new blog post a week!)

This isn’t a great example of what I’m trying to accomplish I’m afraid, but I’m sure you’ll agree it’s a very cute dress.

I was wearing it during the warmer months (I bought it full price, but it’s on sale now for 50% off) and now that it’s turned cold I’ve just added nude tights (from Sonsee, naturally) and a cardigan and it’s a pretty ensemble for autumn.

frocks and frou frou frocks and frou frouCardigan: Paper Scissors

The dress comes with a patent leather red bow belt that I’ll admit was what tipped me over into buying it, but when I got it home I decided I preferred to dress it down with a brown leather belt.

frocks and frou frou - flower beltI bought this one a few years ago from a little store on Brunswick Street. It’s now a total mystery to me what the store’s name was. Oops! This one from Etsy is sort of similar though, and the seller offers custom sizing.

I’ve been fairly impressed with the quality of City Chic clothing lately. For instance, this dress is fully lined. The cut is carefully considered, the arm holes don’t gape, and while the skirt is gathered at the front of the skirt the sides are smooth, meaning you don’t end up with extra volume on the hips. There’s no pockets, but someone wonderful has suggested the inclusion of bra-keepers that allow you to wear the straps wide without flashing your bra.

bra keepers - frocks and frou frouI kept my accessories simple: tan pumps to match the belt, and the ruby red bow earrings which I bought years ago from a store on eBay – Imogen Rose Jewellery, I think!

 Frocks and frou frouSo anyway – There’s your first Two Ways Tuesday post: One dress, two outfits, and two pieces of frou-frou so old I can’t even remember where they’re from! Stay tuned for next week’s installment when hopefully I’ll have a better example of how to mix-it-up!