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!

Feathered

DSCF0794 DSCF0797_2 DSCF0799_2

Dress: Eliza Parker

Belt: Glassons

Shoes: Chie Mihara

Ugh. When will this wretched heatwave end?

I am not a hot-weather girl. I don’t enjoy being sweaty. I like my tights and my cardigans. There’s something about hot weather that always makes me feel more aware of my body, too. It’s not effortless, walking through heat, there’s a density to the air that I find oppressive.

I envy the girls who swan about in the heat in floaty spaghetti straps and carefree summer hair, all tanned legs and big sunglasses. It always makes me feel more aware of my heavier limbs, the necessity of bras and shorts under dresses, my feet swelling in the heat, and the slick of suncream and sweat that covers my skin.

Yuck.

When it gets REALLY hot I reach a point where I just don’t want anything against my skin. I just want to lie naked on my bedsheets and feel sorry for myself.

Unfortunately, real life doesn’t allow for that, so when I have to get dressed and face the world I usually try to find something that’s airy and cotton-cool, not too tight, but not a shapeless muumuu either.

This Eliza Parker dress has actually proven to be a bit of a lifesaver this summer. I think it’s shrunk a little in the wash… it certainly seems to be shorter than it was when I first got it, but it’s still one of the most comfortable things to wear when the mercury rises.

The cotton fabric has a bit of stretch, and is soft and breathable, the full skirt doesn’t cling to my legs, and conveniently hides a set of pockets, the half-length sleeves aren’t too tight, and mean that I don’t have to slather my shoulders with suncream. And it’s super versatile. I can wear it many different ways: with brightly coloured accessories for a party, elegantly with a string of pearls and heels for work, and today with the addition of a leather belt, and my feathered necklace for a bit of hipster chic.

DSCF0804_2Necklace: Foudre Blanche