I once attended a plus size bloggers even where we were asked to discuss what we hated when it came to plus size clothes. There was the usual, butterfly prints, hanker chief hems, knee length everything… and cold shoulder dresses/tops. At this point I’d never seen a cold shoulder top (the naive plus sizer that I was) and the only opinion I had on them was that surely you’d need a cardigan to wear with one because by ‘eck your shoulders would be cold. I guess they’re hated because they’re a bit of a “peekaboo” item – “Hey, yes I have fat arms but if I wear this I can show off the tops of my arms and they don’t look so fat, aren’t I clever and deceitful?”
I then picked up a cold shoulder top last summer and loved it dearly until I had an ironing disaster and it ended up with half of an item I’d previously burned melted onto it (I detest ironing). Following my love of that top I then picked up a little black tunic dress (LBTD) from the Freeport Fall Fashion challenge I attended and wondered whether I’d be found guilty of committing some kind of cardinal fashion sin. It was only when I saw a number of non plus size bloggers wearing cold shoulder (namely Hello Terri Lowe) and I began to wonder whether cold shoulders were getting a bad rap for very little reason and it was more about the item of clothing the shoulders were cut of than the idea itself.
& then I happened upon this beast of a cold shoulder dress* at George at Asda and I picked it up in both the black AND the monochrome animal print I’m wearing. Guilty as charged.
Admittedly, I overestimated by sizing in this dress and bowled in with a “I’M A SIZE 18 IN EVERYTHING” state of mind and wound up with a lot of excess fabric that swamped my frame and brought the dress down to below my knees in a granny grump kind of way rather than “look at my swishy midi dress” chic. My fault entirely because you should always try clothes on kids and also because I didn’t account for the fact that this dress was a trapeze shape = size down by one or two sizes. Thankfully, the excess fabric was nothing that a skinny belt couldn’t do and two minutes later I was looking as though I’d been styled by Gok Wan crossed with Ariel from The Little Mermaid (with her sail and ropes chic) with my new mini styled dress. For the bargain price of £10 – that’s less than a MAC lippie ladies.
One of the things I struggle with come the summer other than having to find a new alternative to opaque tights with EVERYTHING (including pyjamas) is finding outfits that I can wear that I don’t need to throw a jacket over for the pure sake of covering my arms. I know some plus size babes love their arms but mine have always been a bone of content for me and are an area that I lack confidence with and thus, a black blazer is my go to accessory to almost any outfit (that and a kimono, the life saving buggers). Come the summer however, a black blazer makes you look less suave and sophisticated and more like a sweaty dance floor mess so I search eternally for cute dresses that I can get away with wearing sans le overcoat and if a cold shoulder dress is what does it for me, then so be it. I love the fact the animal print of this dress is more monchrome than looking like you’re auditioning for the role as Kat Moon from Eastenders. I find monochrome items so easy to work with when styling an outfit as you have more or less free reign to throw into the basket any kind of colours (the bolder the better in my eyes) for your makeup or accessories.
I accessoried mine with this yellow leather fold-over shoulder bag that I picked up at a market in Venice and these black cut out/peep toe boots* that from Glamorous circa last year.