fashion

ROADTEST: 'I'm a size 24, and I trialled 9 plus-size winter bottoms for every occasion.'

Can you feel it too? The change of the seasons; the icy chill in the air... Winter is definitely here. I don’t know about you but after three months in isolation I have gained a little weight and the shape of my body has changed, so last winter’s clothes don’t fit like they used to. All the more reason to go shopping, right?

SO, I am here to help hook you up with the season’s must have winter outfits. My take home message: plus size options do not have to be boring or depressing, and there's so much more than just jeans out there.

I've searched high and low to bring you bright, colourful and versatile pieces that you can mix and match to make your wardrobe as fun, sexy and warm as you like (all in plus sizes of course.) Sizes vary from store to store so don’t get hung up on the size on the tag; wear what feels comfortable for you.

I’ve rated the cost of these clothes using dollar signs, ranging from $ for cheap, to $$$ for exxy. And I've sorted them by brand for easy reference!

Watch: Mamamia reviews non-family-friendly fashion. Post continues below.


Video via Mamamia

Hope and Harvest

The little known jewel of Australian plus size fashion, Hope and Harvest is designed and predominantly made in Australia. 

Catering for sizes 12-26, the thing that sets Hope and Harvest apart from the rest is that these clothes are made for plus size bodies, they’re reinforced in the right places and so comfortable.

I ordered from this brand not knowing what the sizing was like or the fit, and I was so happy to see accurate and consistent sizing throughout each of the pieces. My favourite thing about these pieces, though, are the patterns. They’re fun and engaging but still subtle enough if you’re not into loud colours.

My first winter fashion tip: Wear pants other than jeans. There are so many options out there so experiment with colours, textures and cuts. My top pick is definitely the Stasis tights. They're individually sewn by the designer in Australia and the fit is next-level. To style: pair with combat boots and feel your bad-ass self. 

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Cost: $$ (but worth it)

Size: L (22-24)

Fit: the perfect fit for my curves.

Hope and Harvest outfit 1. Image: Supplied. 

Coat - Raddison Silk Touch Duster - Palm Print, size 24.

Pants - Paperbag Pant - Herringbone, size 24.

Hope and Harvest outfit 2. Image: Supplied. 

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TIghts - Stasis Tights, size 24.

Birdsnest

Birdsnest is a new find of mine. It’s an online clothing marketplace with a twist. 

Housing over 140 brands, Birdsnest has lots of options but also gives personalised styling advice which is life changing. Based on my styling advice I chose a few pieces from the Belle Bird range on Birdsnest and threw together some lewks. 

I do admit that Belle Bird was one of the only brands that catered to my size on the Birdsnest website, but the outfits that I found fit me like a glove and were very cool.

Belle Bird carries sizes 8-24 and their clothes are all really retro with big, bold patterns and vintage colours.  

My second winter fashion tip: Skirts are cute too. Pair a long skirt with an ankle boot or wear a knee length skirt with knee-high boots. It’s cute, flirty, and I always say a basic black skirt has endless possibilities. 

My pick from Birdsnest was definitely the Belle Bird check skirt. It’s giving me all of the retro secretary vibes and I love it.

Cost: $$

Size: Top 22, skirts 24.

Fit: The full black skirt was a little big for me but everything else was perfect.

Belle Bird outfit 1. Image: Supplied. 

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Top - Belle Bird Open Sleeve Sweater, size 22.

Skirt - Belle Bird Check Skirt, size 24.

Belle Bird outfit 2. Image: Supplied. 

Skirt - Belle Black Full Skirt, size 24.

Top - Belle Bird Abstract Top, size 22.

Love Your Wardrobe

The next two brands I found on Hear Us Roar, a website dedicated to plus size fashion. It’s my go-to when I need something fashionable in a hurry because they’re based in Melbourne and the customer service is always amazing. Anyway, back to the fashion…

Winter fashion tip number three: Comfort is key. No matter what you wear, being comfortable is vital and you can be comfy and stylish, even around the home. I know this because I found the coolest trackies from Love Your Wardrobe! They’re blue tie dye, because tie dye is back and I’m so excited!

Love Your Wardrobe make clothes from a size 14 to a 26, and their designs are comfy and practical for the curvy woman. They’ve got some cute leopard print and some khaki but mostly what they do is amazing winter basics.

My top pick from Love Your Wardrobe is the Carly Tie Dye Jogger and the Chicago Anorak for funsies. You’ll definitely see me in the snow with my faux fur hood up and my tie dye trackies on next to the fire.

Cost: $$

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Size: Top 22 , pants 24, jacket 24.

Fit: I cannot get over the way the jacket fits me. It’s perfect for layering up in the snow.

Love Your Wardrobe outfit 1. Image: Supplied. 

Jacket - Chicago Fur Trim Anorak, size 24.

Pants - Carly Tie Dye Jogger, size 24.

Love Your Wardrobe outfit 2. Image: Supplied. 

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Top - Cotton Overshirt - White, size 22.

Pants - Tori Knit Animal Print Jogger, size 24.

Pablo and Kat

Full disclosure, I own about five dresses/tops/jumpers from Pablo and Kat. They’re based in Melbourne and do the most stunning wrap dresses that flow in the spring air, but that’s not why we’re here.

Winter fashion tip number four: Basic bottoms are a must (and so is a good trench). But let’s start with the bottoms. 

Block colours are your friend, so from Pablo and Kat I grabbed some terracotta coloured pants and basic black dress pants because with these two colours you’re basically set - the possibilities are endless. 

And the trench! A good quality, well-fitting trench coat is a must in every woman’s wardrobe. It’s sexy, versatile and waterproof. I'm wearing the size 24 and it’s perfect because it fits my body and doesn’t gape. I’m not afraid the wind is going to come along and blow it open.

Pablo and Kat design clothes for women from a 14 to a 26. Their designs are perfect for women who want to add a professional vibe to their wardrobe.

Cost: $$

Size: Top 22, pants 24, jacket 24.

Fit: Sizing is generous. I could’ve sized down in the pants.

Pablo and Kat outfit 1. Image: Supplied. 

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Top - Dolce Crew Neck Jumper, size 22.

Jacket - Venessa Belted Wrap Trench, size 24.

Pants - Penny Pull On Palazzo Pants, size 24.

Forever New Curve

Last but not least, I’m bringing you Forever New Curve to show you that many mainstream retailers are expanding their lines to include plus sizes and they’re sexy.

Winter fashion tip number five: It’s all about layers. If you’re like me and you live in Melbourne, or anywhere in Australia really, layers are cute and essential to keeping warm in winter. I love to wear skirts and stockings (the stockings in the picture are from Snag Tights, which range from a size 4-36). Layers allow you to add levels of personality to your outfit: a cute skirt, coloured tights, and ankle boot with a fabulous coat create a whole look that will grab all of the attention, no matter your size.

Forever New Curve stock from a size 16 to a 22, but don’t let that scare you. They use a certain level of vanity sizing (Google it) so the 22 bottoms fit me like a dream. More importantly than that, the clothes are amazing quality and there are Forever New stores around Australia so you can go and try things on in store.

I’m a wine girl; I love wine-coloured things so my favourite thing that I picked out from Forever New Curve is the Sienna Pleated Blouse and the Karina boots. They’re next-level sophisticated.

Cost: $$

Size: All 22.

Fit: The fit is great. As a firm 24, the size 22 fit me comfortably.

Forever New Curve outfit 1. Image: Supplied. 

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Top — Sienna Pleated Wrap Blouse, size 22.

Skirt — Mira Curve Suedette Mini Skirt, size 22.

Boots — Karina Block Heels, size 42.

Forever New Curve outfit 2. Image: Supplied. 

Top - Sadie Curve Wool Blend Jumper, size 22.

Jeans - Monica Curve High Rise Jeans, size 22.

Coat - Mika Curve Luxe Wool Blend Coat, size 22.

Let’s wrap this up ladies, we have shopping to do. You might have put on a little isolation weight like me and that’s ok. In fact it’s normal. You are normal. Don’t punish it, or yourself, by trying to squeeze into clothes that don’t fit. Ignore the number on the tag and celebrate the fact that you look fabulous.

I had a lot of fun researching for this article; the beauty of steering clear of big shopping centres is that you have more opportunities to explore smaller businesses and can I tell you that there are actually a lot of options out there for us size 22+ babes if you know where to look. 

Feature image: Supplied.


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