Tuesday 25 June 2019

Licensed to live


T-shirt, €20, V by Very Curve. Midi skirt, €50, Monsoon Curve. Belt, €25; shoes, €48, all V by Very. Earrings, €15, Monsoon
T-shirt, €20, V by Very Curve. Midi skirt, €50, Monsoon Curve. Belt, €25; shoes, €48, all V by Very. Earrings, €15, Monsoon
Dress, €58, Junarose
Linen shirt dress, €48, V by Very Curve. Print swimsuit (worn as top), €50; cigarette trousers, €55, both River Island Plus. Cross-body bag, €30, V by Very. Triple choker pack, €15, Michelle Keegan

Since the beginning of my career, first as stylist and later as fashion editor, I have campaigned for and written on the subject of respect and self-love, especially with regard to plus sizes. I have seen that, pretty appallingly, it has taken over 30 years for voluptuous, beautiful, life-loving women to be embraced and seen as an asset.

As a nation, we are reserved about flaunting our abundance of curvaceousness. But I am hopeful that today's young women will cease accepting other people's opinions of their flesh and own and claim their beauty themselves.

The world doesn't benefit from low self-esteem. When we choose to live happily and love ourselves, as our gorgeous model Staci clearly does, then it lights up all life. Nadine Reid of Xpose, whom I have adored since I first met her, lights up a room with her beauty, appreciation of self, and unrestrained love of life.

When one is curvy, shopping can be hugely stressful. Not least because of current merchandising trends, which sometimes put only small sizes (8s and 10s) on shop floors. It is a form of size-ism and one I resent.

This is the absolute and pure beauty of online shopping and it's why I am celebrating Littlewoods online department store. Here, one does not have to go through what feels like public examination in pursuit of one's size. One can contemplate clothes in privacy and get answers to size questions instantly.

Three years ago, Littlewoods launched their excellent V by Very Curve plus-size collection (sizes 14 to 28). Also, where possible, they buy plus sizes in every brand, be it Nike, Levi's Plus, AX Paris Curve, River Island Plus, Oasis Curve, Monsoon Curve, Coast Little Mistress Plus, Junarose and Girls on Film Curve.

They do fitnesswear, as well as plus-size lingerie and swimwear by Calvin Klein, Spanx, Pour Moi, Miracle Suit, Maidenform, Curvy Kate, Dorina, Boux Avenue and River Island.

They stock wide-fitting footwear by Dune London, Lost Ink, River Island, Skechers and their own-designed V by Very footwear.

Trends-wise, Littlewoods is like any department store - it buys looks. Hot trends are: jumpsuits; embroidered denim; animal prints; utility; 1970s; sweets-coloured brights; flirty-florals; polka-dot sexiness. As well as what you would expect from any department store: designer glasses, accessories and so on.

And, with your unique LIFE 20pc-off offer, plus-size shopping just doesn't get better!

Photography by Emily Quinn

Styling by Grace Moore

Fashion edited by Constance Harris

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