Plus Size Blogger Ashley Rose reviews The Escape Artist Collection!

Posted by on May 27, 2014

The Escape Artist + Plus Size Blogger Ashley Rose

We’re obsessed with Australian plus size blogger Ashley Rose’s style! She mixes graphic prints, urban chic styling and hints of lady like glam to create an eclectic style that is all her own. We’re thrilled that Ashley was able to review some pieces from The Escape Artist Collection, including our Bermuda Dress in Indigo Wave!

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The Miwa Top and the Importance of Wardrobe Basics

Posted by on October 29, 2013

We all have those special little checklists that we make when we’re looking for a new outfit. Does it have sleeves? Is it fully-lined? Can I belt it? This can certainly be limiting and I definitely have shied away from wearing more adventurous pieces because it violates too many of my personal outfit requirements, but on the whole, women tend to know what looks best on them and what they will be most comfortable in even before trying it on. We often have a closet full of wardrobe basics that meet these requirements.

So when I saw the Miwa Top in Black, I knew that this top would be perfect for me since it hit almost every single item on my checklist: it has  loose, bell-style, three-quarter sleeves (which are my personal favorite), it has an empire waist, is fully lined, is made of wrinkle-free jersey material, and it even comes with a great fabric belt. The Miwa Top can be worn with or without the belt so you can customize this wonderfully basic, black jersey top for anything.

A good black top is my go-to for almost every outfit.

A good black top is my go-to for almost every outfit.

As a so-called “plus-size fashionista,” I feel a certain amount of pressure to always push myself with outfits, and as a result, I get a little stressed out when I’m wearing a “basic” item like a black top or a gray sweater. I think this anxiety comes from the sense that, as a plus-size woman who cares deeply about fashion and who is incredibly invested in style, if I wear a pair of sweats, even to the grocery store, then I am betraying myself. I’m trying to get over this self-imposed mental block and rock anything that I wear from ratty t-shirts to formal dresses, but it takes a certain amount of practice.

The Miwa Top, at its core, is a basic piece. Without the belt, it is a simple, flattering black top. It is even made out of a cotton jersey, which is essentially the most basic material you can wear. However, the cut on this top makes it special. And that is really what I’ve been looking for in my wardrobe – “special basics.”

I paired my staple, black Miwa Top with black jeans and yellow flats. The great belt kept me from being monochromatic and kept the focus on the tiniest part of me - my waist.

I paired my staple, black Miwa Top with black jeans and yellow flats. The great belt kept me from being monochromatic and kept the focus on the tiniest part of me – my waist.

Maybe it’s just because the word “basic” seems to have negative connotations to me, but I really struggle with it. As a result, here’s a list of five staple pieces that every plus-size woman should have in their wardrobe.

1. Structured black top: This can be a t-shirt or you can even do something a little more elaborate (like the Miwa Top), but it’s important that there is some good seaming and structure. This top should be a wear-alone piece meaning that you shouldn’t feel the need to pair it with a jacket or a cardigan. Although, of course, you can.

2. Comfortable pair of jeans: Yeah, I value comfortable jeans over stylish jeans. If you can hit both, that’s great, but in my experience, if you aren’t completely comfortable in your clothes, you probably just won’t wear them. Who wants to feel self-conscious all day?

3. Blazer: Blazers can go with everything and anything, from jeans to dresses and everything in between. They immediately add a sense of presence to any outfit, and so they’re perfect for dressing up a casual look for work or a nice dinner out.

4. Boots: Good boots can be hard to find. Especially if you need wide-calf boots. However, they really are one of the most universally flattering and convertible shoes if you need something to transition seasons.

5. Simple Jewelry: Statement necklaces and earrings are wonderful. They really, really are. However, on those days when you either don’t feel like over-the-top sparkle, or when it wouldn’t be appropriate to wear an oversized, sparkly floral collar, make sure you have your minimal jewelry pieces picked out. For me, it’s a pair of gold heart studs and a few simple rings – just enough so I have a little bling without it being overwhelming.

How would you wear this top?

How would you wear this top?

If you have your own list of staples or if you want some shopping tips, you can always hit me up on Twitter or Instagram.

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Swoon Over This Printed Sheath Dress For Work Or a Night Out

Posted by on October 9, 2013

I really, really dislike the whole concept of “professional attire.” I feel like it’s an excuse for people to wear their most tired gray polyester pants and worn-out white collared shirts. I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with a white collared shirt (I have about seven), but they do require an extra bit of work to make them special, and those dishwater gray pants are not cutting it.

I feel like a great dress is the antithesis of a boring work uniform, and every once in while you’ll find a dress that you can wear straight from work to after-work cocktails. A sheath dress, or in this case, a modified sheath dress, took the place of my metaphorical polyester pants and gave me some swagger when I rolled into work Monday morning.

 

If I could have this color palette take over every aspect of my life I would be okay with that. In retrospect, this dress may have been slightly too alluring for work, but I felt so great in it I decided to ignore that fact.

If I could have this color palette take over every aspect of my life I would be okay with that. In retrospect, this dress may have been slightly too alluring for work, but I felt so great in it I decided to ignore that fact.


As I have said before
, when it comes to a perfect palette for every woman, jewel tones absolutely knock it out of the park. So when I saw the Sapphira Plus Size Dress in Larkspur Combo the purples, blues, and dark reds were calling to me. I have found myself being drawn to sheath dresses lately since I’ve been spending my days working in a professional office in Manhattan, and I just love the inherent power and structure to sheath dresses.  They are just perfect for an office setting: feminine, yet totally in charge. However, I’ve had very little success when it comes to fit because all of the dresses that I’ve tried recently have been boxy to the extreme, and I have no desire to look like Spongebob Squarepants.

So when I clicked order on this beauty, I was more than a little nervous as to how the fit would turn out. I’d been feeling kind of like a one-trick pony lately when it came to dress styles, since I’d been wearing only empire-waisted, skater-length dresses. While that style is supremely flattering on me (and on all-women who have hourglass figures), there is definitely something to the phrase, “Too much of a good thing,” and I hadn’t been having fun while getting dressed. Instead, it was getting kind of monotonous.

Basically, I needed an IGIGI injection into my wardrobe stat, and this sheath dress was too pretty to turn down. However, when I ripped open my IGIGI box, I quickly realized that this dress is not a true sheath, but rather a modified one, with an extremely flattering draping detail at my waist to nip in my figure a little bit and get rid of the ultra-boxy profile that I had been struggling with. Plus, the material, a Poly/Elastane blend fabric, glides over my curves like butter and feels absolutely amazing on. It really could not be more comfortable.

I originally styled this dress with a short, cropped black blazer in addition to my classic black pumps, but the weather has been so warm lately that I threw off the blazer before leaving the house.

I originally styled this dress with a short, cropped black blazer in addition to my classic black pumps, but the weather has been so warm lately that I threw off the blazer before leaving the house.

Since the pattern on this dress is so elaborate, I knew that too many accessories would be a bit obnoxious, so I kept it simple with silver studs and black pumps. As much as I love accessories (the statement necklaces, they call to me), there’s something really wonderful in just not having to worry about them every now and then and allowing your clothes to speak for themselves without any added adornments. It really is the mark of a well made garment.

I kept it simple with the Sapphira Dress, but how would you style it? Tell me in the comments and, as ever, if you ever have any fashion inquiries, style musings, or just questions about life, you can hit me up on Instagram or Twitter. Fair warning, there will be lots of selfies.

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