AD: I have been financially compensated for this post but all views are my own and all items marked with * have also been gifted to me.
Summer means BBQs, holidays, picnics, family/friend gatherings, weddings and long walks in the sun. I used to be the girl that was so self conscious that she’d continue wearing her black skinnies and hoodies all through it but am extremely happy to announce that that isn’t the case any more. I’ve always been a little bigger or more “chubby” than the girls around me. I developed a womanly figure quite young which really didn’t help as it seems in school, being thin is always favoured.
Throughout my adolescence, I’ve fluctuated between a size 10 and a size 16. Mental and physical health issues as well as convenience and exhaustion have been most of the reason for this. I’ve always been an “in-between” size. I’ve never been conventionally skinny and I’ve never been fully in the “plus-size” category (although I personally hate that phrase). I have wide hips and shoulders, chunky thighs and bum but a smaller waist and chest. As you can probably guess, it’s sometimes a nightmare for me to find clothes that properly fit and flatter me.
I’m currently a comfortable size 12 in the majority of shops and occasionally a 14 due to my chunkier bottom half which is honestly the smallest I’ve been in quite a while due to post-surgery weight loss. At this size, it feels good to be able to shop in the majority of places as it’s a widely made and stocked size. I never knew Simply Be stocked this size as I always thought they were a solely plus-size site (which I’ve always thought of as size 16+). But it turns out, they stock size 12+. They actually focus on curves instead of sizes, which I absolutely ADORE.
It’s so nice to have a stylish and good quality company who acknowledge that women are all different shapes and sizes and that clothes need to cater for this instead of assuming a lady who wears a size 10 should be a 32B and have a relatively small behind. In reality, us women know that’s NOT how it works. These are my top summer picks from Simply Be that I’ve been absolutely in love with since they arrived.
It’s been a while since leopard print came back into fashion but myself and many others are STILL in love with it and rocking it all the time. I’m a sucker for pinafores and even more so for patterned ones (check out my tartan one here). Despite my rather large leopard print collection now, this is a brand new item in my wardrobe from Simply Be. The print is slightly different than the normal tan print I have a lot of in my wardrobe. It’s a much more grey/khaki tone meaning it will suit a wider range of skin tones and it actually comes down to the knee on me (I’m only 5ft 3). This is really useful as with multiple pinafores I’ve had before, I’ve found them riding up or being unsuitably short when sat down, making me feel uncomfortable wearing them. It also has POCKETS, the dream.
It’d be easy to stick a white t-shirt on under this but I thought I’d style it a little differently (as we all know I love a bit of alternative fashion). I’ve put a sheer black shirt underneath with flared sleeves and an embellished collar. As it’s sheer it’d be lovely and cool for the Summer but also protective from the sun whilst also adding a bit of glam to the outfit with the sequinned collar. As I’ve styled this as a bit more of a going out outfit, I thought I’d pair it with chunky sandals that’d be comfy, cool and smart/casual enough for a party.
This dress is my pick for Summer wedding guest attire! I have been searching for a dress like this for the longest time and I have fallen SO in love. Simply Be have created the perfect mix of light, bright, cute and formal with this number. You’re going to want something in a lighter colour to go with the season and the weather, especially if it’s an outdoor wedding and although not compulsory, I always think dresses past the knee are more suitable! They’ll also do you better for into the evening as the Sun drops and the chill sets in.
Hearts are SO in this year, too so I’ve paired it with this red heart belt to synch the dress in at the waist. A pink or possibly yellow cardigan or jacket would go gorgeously with the dress although as it has these lovely sleeves, it’s unlikely you’ll even need one for a Summer wedding. A cute pair of funky pumps, wedges or sandals would be perfect on your feet, you could very easily wear heels but they will not be fun to dance in after a prosecco or 5!
Being completely honest, I’ve NEVER been a shorts kind of girl. Due to having chunkier thighs, I’ve just never felt comfortable in them as I’ve always felt like shorts accentuate the bad parts. I’d much rather wear a skirt as it semi covers some of the lumps and bumps and just doesn’t put as much focus on the thighs. When I saw these online, it was love at first sight but I did have reservations due to my past experiences. Would they make my legs look horrible? Would they come up a bit too low and make my love handles spill over the top? Would they even suit me after I’d avoided shorts for so long? I took the plunge anyway as I promised myself I’d do more things out of my comfort zone this year.
IT PAID OFF. I LOVE the way they make my legs look. They’re a stretch material meaning they don’t feel tight anywhere and cause any lumpy areas. The tartan pattern also slightly takes the focus off of your legs a bit and onto the shorts as it’s different, funky and eye-catching. Simply Be have absolutely nailed these for me as I’m also a massive lover of tartan and denim so the style of these just got me straight away. And the benefit of shorts is – NO CHUB RUB. I love a product that provides no chafing, it’s so painful for us curvy ladies.
I decided to pair these with a statement white tee as I think the shorts have enough funkiness in them to avoid pairing them with a patterned top half. Then I feel like the green cardigan gives a really lovely colourful and slightly clashing addition to the outfit along with the sandals. This is an outfit I’d wear to a picnic, on a long dog walk or a wander through the woods. A truly stylish but practical Summer outfit.
Told you I loved pinafores. Last but not least, the denim pinafore or dress is SUCH a classic staple in a Summer wardrobe. The main reason being it can be so easily dressed up or dressed down. You can style it with anything from a sequin shirt to a barely-there bralette. I decided to go for more of an office casual Fridays chique that you can also swap your boots to sandals and wear to after-work drinks or a boozy BBQ.
Due to the shirt being such a pale pink and a light and floaty material, something like this is perfect for the Summer months as it keeps you looking smart without completely overheating and the floral print expands your possible opportunities of suitable places to wear it.
What are your Summer essentials?
’Til Next Time,