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12 November 2018 2 comments


I did a summer version of this post a few months ago and it had a really great reception (in fact some of you even emailed me to comment/have a chat about it which was so lovely), so here is the A/W edition.

Again, I'll start with the proviso that whatever size or shape you are, you can dress precisely how you wish. But for me, some items/brands/stores/styles just don't seem to be cut well for my body or aren't comfortable, and others just really are. So I'm going to share the positive today, and let you know where I get my favourite pieces to accommodate a less than flat stomach, quality layering items that'll last you through the years and some of my personal tips for styling a body that isn't shaped like (or as toned as!) a mannequin this autumn/winter.



O U T F I T   D E T A I L S

Chinos (on sale)

Burgundy patent loafers (similar)

Classic red lip! (in shade 999)

C O A T S   A N D   B L A Z E R S

My mum rolls her eyes whenever I go to try on some sort of puffy coat (think Canada Goose or equivalent) because she knows I'm about to look in the mirror and exclaim 'I look like the Michelin man!'. I really ought to bow down to my better knowledge that I already know what I like, and what I think looks flattering.. ;) Coats and jackets have got to be one of the best ways to invest in your outfit at this time of year, for sometimes along with some boots, that's all that's on show during the winter months. Which is frankly perfect because you can wear the cosiest, most basic pieces underneath and no one need be any the wiser ;)

I've already mentioned them here on BTB but I personally like going for a tweed blazer when the weather is more mild - and less so the boxy, longline or double-breasted styles you might be seeing around at the moment, and more the classic, more feminine cut that better suits my larger hips and chest.

As for coats, it's a Barbour for me all the way if I'm running about or out in the country - they're completely weatherproof and just the most practical item you could ever bestow upon your wardrobe. I find their waxed coats are generally cut very generously too, especially in the upper arm which can so often be a problem for some of us!

I think a good wool coat is a must, and I tend to opt for the straight lines of a single-breasted number that, for me, just looks a little more flattering whether open or closed. There are so many lovely ones available at the moment - I've a black and a camel (of course I have the neutral options..), but if you're looking to branch out a tad, why not try something like a burgundy like this one or a sort of russet hue like this?



W I N T R Y   A C C E S S O R I E S

I'm not a huge accessorise-er (although I do dabble, and have my favourites) but they're definitely one of the best ways anyone can add interest to their outfit because body size and shape couldn't be less of a concern. It's equal opportunities whether you're plus or straight sized and I like that.

At the risk of looking like Lady Penelope's chauffeur I love suede and leather gloves. They always make me feel as if my hands look a little more elegant, which is never a bad thing for my short little fingers, and actually, they're very warm. I'm not usually a hat person but a beret or wool/felt fedora, I've grown a fondness for. Especially good when you're trying not to wash your hair so much but the roots are getting a little worse for wear..

Sometimes, a bold(er) lip is all you need to 'elevate' (that word makes me wince a little, who exactly am I trying to impress with my outfit?) a look and is something I've been embracing more this year. I went darker for this look, russet for this one, I like them - what do you think?

F I N E   C A S H M E R E   L A Y E R I N G   P I E C E S

I do think that with layering knits, it's worth spending a little more for the fineness of fabric. Not only are they an entirely, decadently-cosy feeling against your skin, I think the better quality cashmere weaves sit better, layer better and ultimately last better.

And 'spending a little more' doesn't mean impoverishing your bank balance - because no one needs to be spending £800 on a jumper. There are many stores that cater to my sort of market (Winser, John Lewis, & Other Stories etc) but my current favourites are M&S' affordable cashmere pieces, The White Company's wrap cardis and jumpers and H&M's cashmere hues, all around the £60-£200 mark.

A - L I N E   +   M I D I   S K I R T S

For those of us with a bigger midsection, thighs and hips, but not necessarily in a toned, hourglass or 'Fashionova' sort of way, I think skirts are uber flattering. I'm rather fond of pleated skirts at the moment and have always been keen on a shorter A-line skirt with tights like this outfit.

Midi skirts are fab for hiding some cycling shorts under, for an extra layer of warmth, and tucking tops or knitwear in at the smallest part of your waist highlights a nice curve. Or I like to just upturn the hem of a shorter, more-oversized jumper without tucking it in for extra comfort points. Finery and H&M do some of my favourite pleated skirts, the latter of which I think are handily generous with their elasticated waists - I picked up this William Morris pleated skirt in an XS because they didn't have a M and it fit like a dream.

O T K   B O O T S

As much as I love knee-high boots, they're a bit of a pain to find for my calves! (in 'standard sizing' that is - I can't say I've ever tried a wide-fit calf because I can't say that any have stood out enough to make me press 'Buy'..)

They are absolutely an investment but the Stuart Weitzman 5050's are beautiful. The classic, black nappa leather is buttery soft and they're a timeless piece to add to your wardrobe - larger calved or not. But if your lower legs are a little on the chunkier side like mine, the elasticated backs give a little more leg room, literally ;) I think the Weitzman originals are worth the money but if you didn't want to or can't justify the investment, they're a really popular style and consequently there are so many dupes and alternatives around, no one need to miss out!

Any long boot with a stretch panel or stretch upper though is perfect - a couple more suggestions from Boden and Hobbs, they never let me down!