Clothing for Curvy Mummas – Where is hot and where is not!

In the first few months after I had Flo, I had sort of accepted that my life as Harriet was over. I think “accepting” this was my way of rationalising that it was okay to not give a shit about myself anymore. I had signed myself up for a life of over sized tops and leggings and I was more than okay with that.

A few months and a few mental health medications down the line, I was clearly in a better mind set. I accepted myself and made sure that I accepted body. After all, it had grown a perfect little mini me, so I couldn’t have been that bad, right?

I slowly got back into who I was. I’ve always enjoyed expressing myself, I’d always loved being different and realising that there were markets that cater for my new shape, identity, style and body really allowed me to get back to finding who I am.

Trawling through ASOS and favouriting items until I’m brave enough to buy them (or they go down in price!) has played a massive part in rediscovering ‘Harriet’-

I couldn’t tell you how many things I’ve tried on, with my mum whilst shouting “THIS WOULD HAVE LOOKED SO NICE ON ME BEFORE THIS” *points at stomach*….
or how many kooky items I’ve got for “jokes” that have looked gorgeous on me!
All I can say is thank goodness for free delivery and refunds!

Here are my favourite plus sized retailers and why,,,

1. ASOS – In my opinion ASOS is the biggest contender in the plus size game. Not only does ASOS have it’s own plus size range (ASOS CURVE) but it has plenty of other well known plus size ranges available on its app and website including but not limited to New Look Curves, Maya Plus, Daisy Street, misguided, boohoo, Chi Chi, John Zack Plus, Levis Plus, River Island, Little Mistress, Unique21, ect. With a fantastic range, massive variety, frequent sales and a great customer rewards system – ASOS is by far my most frequented fashion retailer and app!


2. New Look Curves – I love that New Look uses the same fabrics and prints for all their women’s ranges. This means that regardless of a ladies size, they can wear what is on trend and feel comfortable rocking it. New Look’s clothing never fails to pull me in and I’m almost guaranteed to spend money every time I visit their website or store.


Tea Dress / New Look / size 22 / £20


3. Forever 21+ – Despite what the name says, I’m certainly over the age of 21 but always manage to find lovely pieces on F21. Generally their ranges seem to be targeted for slightly younger audiences, but I never seem to be sort of options in their sales! Their prices are generally fairly reasonable and despite their sizes not being conventional – 2x or 3x usually tend to fit me very well!

Cami Dress / Forever 21 / size 2X / £10


4. George – Unlike most supermarket brands ASDA’s george caters up to a size 24. Their size 24 is usually pretty generous and always fitted me very well, even at my biggest (four stone heavier than I am now!) … They don’t differentiate styles between sizes which means a size 24 lady can rock the same dress as a size 10 lady. Their clothes wash well, last well and look good.


Dungaree Dress & Top / ASDA’s George / size 20 / £20


5. Simply Be – although generally quite expensive, you can quite often find some pretty lovely pieces at Simply Be, most ranging in sizes up to 32. Simply Be does well at catering for all sorts of ladies in all sorts of walks of life.


And here is my guidance on other well known plus sized retailers that aren’t doing it for me like my top 5 do!

1. Pink Clove – Pink Clove have the right idea. With on trend designs and patterns, they could have so much to offer. The quality of Pink Clove’s clothing is pretty poor- I got a tropical print dress that only took one wash to bobble and a dress that unraveled at one of the seams just from being tried on once. I’d generally recommend to avoid unless you have time to throw away fixing clothes that should really last longer.

Baseball Dress / Pink Clove / size 22 / £12


2. River Island – With amazing quality and fantastic pieces to get anybody asking “where did you get that?” I couldn’t recommend River Island enough. However, their plus size range is incredibly pricey and really quite limited.


Cardigan / River Island / size 26 / £40


3. Supermarkets like Tesco’s F&F and Sainsbury’s TU – Are usually the perfect place to pick up a fashion bargain. With the same ranges available for both mainstream and plus sizes, they’re certainly a winner for me. Although the fact that most stores only cater up to size 18/20/22 many, many women are left out. Generally their women’s range sizes are also fairly stingy – I’ve known plenty of ladies who have had to get a size or two bigger than they actually are. That being said, I’ve heard Tesco’s F&F are planning on catering for up to size 30- of this is true, I hope all other supermarket fashion brands follow suite!


Top / Tesco’s F&F / size 22 / £7


4. Boohoo – Am I a size 18, or am I a size 28? With Boohoo I have literally no idea. With items almost identical to the smaller sized range, they have their heart in the right place, but the quality between that range and their plus sized range shows that plus size ladies certainly aren’t their priority.

Velvet Wrap Dress / Boohoo / size 28 (still doesn’t cover my bum through!) / £20

5. Yours – Primark quality at Topshop prices all because you’re considered plus size? Yeah, jog on. I avoid unless they’ve got a sale on and even then, I only stick to the lingerie section. I have heard that their men’s plus size range – Bad Rhino is actually pretty promising. I hope this serves as a reminder that you’re allowed to be you and have your own identity, even on this side of parenthood! Being dressed in what you want to wear can make such a massive difference to how you feel and how you see yourself. Treat yourself and see that even the little things can go a long way in making you feel more human. x

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Does social media make it harder to be good mothers?

Since the evolution of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc., millions of parents have flocked to social media to show their family and friends pictures of their little ones, experiences they’ve had and problems they’ve encountered along the way. This may seem harmless, but picture this…

Mum one- Only posts on social media about the amazing things her child does, pictures of her child being perfectly behaved. Only shares experiences where she felt triumphant as a parent. Lives a seemingly perfect life with her perfect child. Meanwhile, her toddler has stressed her out all day, nothing has been done around her house and once her toddler has gone to bed, she gets to finally sit down to hot food for the first time today.

Mum two- Checks mum one’s social media frequently, amazed at how well she is coping with motherhood. She scrolls through her social media posts in awe, as her toddler pulls out the clothes she has folded three times already and screams at the top of their lungs for juice!

Both mothers are in the same position, yet mum two feels like she is failing. Why isn’t her child well behaved? Why doesn’t she have her life sorted?

The answer?

Because social media is the perfect platform for creating a better version of your reality. We can be anyone we want on social media in the hope that nobody will find out our flaws and mistakes. This is what is making a lot of mothers feel like failures. The constant reminder that the ‘Mum ones’ out there are doing better than we are.

‘Mummy groups’ do not help with this. I don’t know about the rest of you, but seeing photo after photo of kids, my daughter’s age, doing things she isn’t doing yet or seeing people show off how much they have got their kids for birthdays/Christmas, makes me feel inadequate as a parent. Why isn’t my daughter doing that? Must be something I’m doing. Why didn’t I spend that much on her for her birthday? I must be such a bad mother. Right?

NO!

Every child is different and every parenting journey is different. You can try to be like all the ‘Mum ones’ in the world, but chances are, it won’t work. You are the best mother you can be to your little one. Your parenting journey is exactly that. YOURS! Don’t let other people influence it or even change it completely.

So does social media make it harder to be good mothers? In some aspects yes. It definitely makes us question some of our abilities and choices, which then leads us to question our parenting in general. But in other aspects, no. Social media is a great place to socialise with other mothers, pick up tips on the harder parts of parenting e.g. breastfeeding, potty training etc. And social media mummies, 80% of the time, will be there to support you when you feel like the worst parent in the world.

So go ahead, scroll through social media, but stick to your choices! After all, mummy knows best!

They Aren’t Little for Long – 21 Ways to Treasure Lovely Moments

Lately I’ve been left feeling totally alarmed at how quickly time passes. So I thought I’d compile a little list of things that I do regularly to ensure I appreciate every moment of Florence growing up.

21 ways to appreciate and commemorate the time you spend with your little one as they grow up…

Lately I’ve been left feeling totally alarmed at how quickly time passes. So I thought I’d compile a little list of things that I do regularly to ensure I appreciate every moment of Florence growing up. As a parent you may already do all of these things! You may do even more! But if you’re a new parent or a mummy to be- here are a few ideas of how to treasure the most special time of your life!

1. We tell her that we love her at least once every day!

2. I tell her that she’s a miracle every day!

3. Every time I call her beautiful, I make sure to compliment her intelligence or her skills. I want her to know that regardless of how beautiful I think she is- that her intelligence, skills and how she treats others is far more important.

4. I try to appreciate ALL of the little things- from the more pleasant things like the extra half an hour in bed for cuddles. To the not so pleasant things like wiping snotty little noses, having an audience when you use the toilet and ‘wrestling match’ style nappy changes… They aren’t little for long and it’s only a matter of time before they won’t need you or want you for these things.

5. Sometimes I deliberately place both of our lunches on the same plate to encourage her to share. It gives the meal the most lovely ‘picnic vibe’… her sharing with me and trying to feed me makes my heart melt!

6. I often let my heart burst with pride as I watch her perfect little face as she snores and dreams.

7. We like to read her that extra story before leaving her to settle.

8. I like to let her sit / lean or rest her head on me for as long as she wishes. Even if it makes my limbs go numb!

9. We watch discretely from afar as she starts to explore, so we don’t miss a thing, but her confidence can be allowed to soar as she experiments with independence.

10. I honestly, Kiss and cuddle her like it is going out of fashion. Allow her do to the same (even if her kisses are the ‘open mouth – I like to bite my Mummy’s nose’ type!)… You CANNOT spoil a baby with love.

11. We take as many pictures as we can, even of seemingly everyday or boring things. (Like when she eats a chocolate biscuit and leaves the residue on her cheeky little face!)

12. Yet, reminding myself to live in the moment and put my phone down for the majority of the time I spend with her.

13. We capture milestones. We encourage milestones. But we don’t rush them- she won’t be little for long. This time is so precious.

14. I started a list of all the words and phrases she uses. I don’t want to forget the order or the words- I want to remember it all.

15. Capture a little bit everything- firsts, the silly faces, the tantrums, the smiles, the drawings, the messes made and other hilarious little hiccups that come with mummy life. I feel that looking back at this when she’s older, will help her realise that life isn’t all smiles and it’s not always picture perfect- but everything will be okay!

16. We take pictures of Florence and her baby friends babies often- seeing how they change and how quickly they change is beyond magical.

17. I occasionally try to take some ‘me time’ (which is sadly usually spent in hospital!) … you couldn’t do a full time job well without the occasional holiday or break- parenting is the same. You need to look after yourself to have the energy to be the best parent you can be. Be kind to yourself! (Plus the cuddles after not seeing your little one even for only a short while are just so lovely!)

18. I write this blog (mummygoeswhereflogoes!), I write notes on my phone and I occasionally write a diary too! I like to record key memories, I like having physical reminders of events and hope that Florence will look back and know how much these moments meant to me.

19. I set up an email address for Florence so that I could send her random emails throughout her childhood- when she’s 18, she’ll gain access to this account and we can go back through and read all of the material that has been sent to her by loved ones over the next 17 years.

20. On her first birthday I created a memory book and and guests at her party contributed to a time capsule. I’m still getting some friends and relatives to sign the book now- so one day we can look back at the kind words from loved ones and what was going on in the year that she was born.

21. I try to purchase the occasional item to commemorate Florence- personalised items with her name on, cute little prints, personalised clothing with her name or year of birth on- etc. I wish they did more of these when I was born! I think they’re precious!

How are you making the most of special moments? How are you treasuring the precious steps of your little one growing up?

Thank you so much for reading! x