Sunday, 22 April 2012

Finding Your Own Curvy Style

Find your own curvy style

Finding a personal style which is  both flattering and glamorous can be a bit of  a challenge when you are plus sized. 
Whilst more on trend brands have started  including bigger sizes in their ranges,there are still an awful lot of horrible clothes out there aimed at girls over a size 16.
Dressing well when you are super curvy takes a bit of thought. One wrong turn and you find yourself being suffocated in a polyester tent coupled with stretch waist trousers. It doesn't have to be like this.
 I believe passionately that by embracing some of the shapes and styles from the past you can look smoking hot whatever your BMI.
Here are my style rules to get you on the road to plus sized perfection.
Never feel like a fat frump again.

No more polyester tents

Tip #1-Invest in shapewear
Whether you are a pear,an apple shape or the whole damn fruit bowl investing in some decent underwear can have a miraculous effect on your shape. 
Take a good look at yourself in the mirror (something a lot of plus sized girls struggle with) and really assess where you need definition. 
Create the illusion of a smaller waist with some magic knickers, lift those huge bangers with  a really good bra. There's a reason girdles and waspies are sometimes called foundation garments-they should form the foundation of every outfit you wear. 
Nip and tuck with shapewear

Tip #2-Always be the most glamorous woman in the room
One of the worst side effects of not being happy with your size is the belief that just because you are not slim you can't be glamorous and beautiful.There is something so empowering about turning the glam factor up to ten and when your hair is big and your lashes are huge the fact that your butts pretty large too fades into insignificance.
My personal style is "more is more". I decided long ago that whether I was a size 12 (once after a bad bout of food poisoning and a horrible break up) or a 24 ( It was the summer I discovered Mars bar ice creams what can I say) I would always make the very best of who I was at that point in time. 
I never wait to be a certain dress size to enjoy clothes and have fun with style and make up (If I had I would have spent much of the last 20 years wearing a bin bag)  So backcomb that hair, slap on the lippy and wait for the compliments to start rolling in. 
Turn up the glam factor to ten

Tip # 3 Channel your inner screen siren
My style compass is set firmly in the 1950's. I love how sexy and feminine women looked then and as the owner of big boobs and big hips the dress styles of this era are the most flattering for me.
After years in the plus sized wilderness unsure of what suited me or what looked good on my rather well padded frame it was the purchase of one polka dot swing dress which set my style wheels in motion. Suddenly I knew how I wanted to look and it had nothing to do with what was in the pages of Grazia or on the rails of Topshop. I wanted to look like a 1950's movie star. 
The shapes and styles of this era are so flattering and the more my confidence has grown the easier I have found it to remaster high street finds and on line buys into my 'look". 
If you have lost your fashion way due to your size consider injecting some vintage inspired elements into your wardrobe. Footless tight with a shift dress and lashings of black eyeliner for some beatnik cool, rolled up jeans with a knotted checked shirt and bandanna headscarf for a Rosie the riveter look or a circle skirt and twin set for fifties housewife chic. Stop thinking personal style is the province of the slim and start creating your own look.

Add some vintage inspiration to your wardrobe

Tip #4 Wear clothes that fit
This may sound like a no brainer but nothing will make you look bigger than  wearing  clothes that are either too big (vast over sized tunic tops spring to mind-if you own any of these I insist you bin them immediately) or squeezing yourself into something too small because you refuse to own something with a size 18 label (it doesn't make you look smaller, just like a sausage in a skin)
Vanity sizing means regardless of the label,clothes are rarely the same size so never just take what you consider to be "your" size into a changing room, take one size smaller and one size bigger and buy the one that looks the best. 
Cut the frigging label out if it bothers you and when shopping online measure yourself.
Forget what size the label says-if it looks good buy it, wear it, love it!

Tip#5 Self Acceptance Doesn't Mean You Shouldn't Try And Be Healthy
I think one of the main reasons plus sized women who are comfortable in their own skin so often get slated online (and some of it can be really brutal) is that people confuse women accepting themselves with a celebration of obesity. 
Let me just put this out here, I try and exercise at least three times a week, I'm a vegetarian, I don't eat diary and I  take very good care of myself and you should too. 
Self acceptance means taking care of yourself
My message is wherever you are with your body shape or weight not taking pride in your appearance or believing you can be beautiful will certainly not help the situation.Self acceptance is giving yourself a break and switching off the inner self hate monologue.Theres nothing sexy about being removed from your house by a crane so keep on awalking and amoving and eat your greens but make sure you look fabulous while you are doing it.
I hope Ive inspired you to embrace your inner plus sized goddess and start loving what you see in the mirror.




This post was sponsored by Collectif 
Collectif  is a London based company, specialising in 1940s & 1950s reproduction clothing as well as rockabilly inspired items. The designs are influenced by vintage pin-ups but have been adapted for the modern woman and use contemporary sizing (UK sizes 6-22).  Collectif have 3 boutiques in London and sell worldwide on their website. You can find a variety of clothes, shoes & accessories including; swing dresses, wiggle dresses, pencil skirts, adorable blouses and embroidered cardigans. here are just  a few of their gorgeous designs.
 
Fedora Dress
Dolores Dress White Hibiscus
Stella Sweetheart Doll

And you could win a beautiful Dolores Doll Red Hibiscus dress like the one I'm modelling throughout this post. (Available in sizes 6-22) 
Win this beautiful dress
Its currently my favourite frock. It doesn't pinch under the arms, it nips in my waist and its slightly stretchy so its comfortable as well as stylish. 

Quick tip-Collectifs sizing is very generous especially around the boobs so consult the handy size chart they provide. I went down a dress size in this style and believe you me, that's not happened in a while!
To be in with a chance of winning just do the following:






To enter:
  • Join this blog if you haven't already
  • "Like" Collectifs facebook Page
  • Leave a comment on today's post.
The winner will be chosen via random number generator on May the 1st  2012

necklace by Bow and Crossbones
The beautiful necklace I'm wearing in these photos is the Carmen Fruit charm by  Bow and crossbones A delicious online boutique specialising in vintage inspired, kitsch,rockabilly Jewellery & Accessories.

The Details:
Photography Nick Beedles Betty Bee Photography
MUA Lilly Von Pink Pin Up Bride
Hair-Lena Stobbe
Dress-Collectif
Necklace-Bow and crossbones





All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Bee unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog.

101 comments:

  1. At last someone talking sense! Looking great hon xxx

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  2. Absolutely wonderful post and an absolutely beautiful woman!
    Major fan of Collectif and would love to add this frock to my honeymoon wardrobe!

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  3. Oooo beautiful dress, l really like Collectif dresses. Great advice. I am 14 weeks pregnant and needed to hear something like this as l feel like a frump already. I forgot l need to do my hair and put some red lippy on and l will feel tons better already.

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    1. Glad to help-Red lipstick-the universal helper for frumpy days xx

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  4. I adore Collectif stuff! Consider me entered please!

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  5. Collectif colthing is amazing, and I love that they're working on their plus size ranges. I never fail to feel fantastic in one of my collectif dresses.

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    1. There range is just scrumptious isnt it xx

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  6. You look amazing, I've never tried Collectif as I assumed the sizes would run small, it looks like I might have to make a purchase after all!

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    1. I was the same but now imagine I will be amassing quite a collection xx

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  7. You look stunning, some days I have that much confidence and some I feel only a sack will do. Need to work on that.

    I have a couple of Collectif dresses. I can't believe I didn't think about going down a size, I just bought my usual size and took them in - Doh!

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    1. Thanks Miss Magpie. I think everyone has good days and bad days with confidence xx

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  8. I came across your bloga few weeks ago and have been hooked ever since. I've been enjoying your make-up tutorials and today's post is brilliant. You look lovely in that dress.

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  9. Loving the whole blog but what a great update and so pleased that Collectif is now doing plus sizes!

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  10. At last! Such a refreshing attitude to plus-size ladies! Very inspired by this post! xx

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  11. Collectif is amazing...your amazing! Love your blog :)

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  12. Fabulous! I especially like that you highlight the destinction between plus-size and unhealthy. Now, where's my swimming cossie!?

    P.S. I'd like to be entered in the comp too please - Collectif have some lovely outfits!

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    1. Thanks Emmy. Yes I think its important we dont get over sensitive and pretand that we dont need to exercise a bit and try not to get too big.Its about being sensible x

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  13. What a great post! I too share the same views. As a larger lady I spent most of my 20s in frumpy clothes hiding my size. At thirty I had a epiphany and went gloriously glam and haven't looked back since. I am currently a size 18 and like you fluctuate up and down. I thoroughly enjoy being the most overdressed one in the room and get plenty of compliments, its a great ego boost if your confidence is low! I have trouble finding clothes to fit and Collectif do a good job. However, I still think there is a need out there for better tailored clothes for people with boobs. I have been thinking of making my own range of made to order dresses (I make quite a lot of my own clothes), you help inspire me to do it! Thanks x

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    1. Thanks Roxy. Love the sound of your made to order dresses. If you ever need a model ...

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  14. I bought the same fabric in the bolero skin tight version from them on sunday! I have been completely won over by Collectif, as well as the larger sizes they do stock an elusive size 6, so I can finally get nice tightly fitted rather than sacklike clothes!
    Their ranges look great on every shape and size...and we're now dress twins! ;)

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    1. Yeah dress twins. I aso love the fact that they have such a good range of sizes from small to large and everuthing inbetween. bet you are rocking that Bolero xx

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  15. Another wonderfully inspirational blog Mrs Bee. I have recently gone through a very messy break up and have lost a tonne of weight, much to my dismay. I have a very small frame but a big love of the 50's fashion, which I always feel looks a billions times better on a body with boobs and a bum. I always look for dresses that can create the illusion of curves on my frame, just until I get them back of course! *stuffs another doughnut in mouth!*

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    1. Sorry to hear you have been going through a tough time. Im sure your curves will come back soon, and as you say-perfect excuse for a donut xx

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  16. as i said on Twitter, v inspiring stuff! as a curvy girl (size 16 myself) i found it really motivating and fun to read, i often get into a gloomy grump because i'm not stick thin like my friends but i love to embrace my inner vixen and crack out the red lipstick, eyeliner flicks + waist cinching belts. i'm not identikit style like a lot of my friends, constantly dressed in topshop/river island/hollister so times like that i'm happy to stand out in my pencil skirts, stockings and swing dresses. great post for sure! :D xX

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    1. Thanks Jade-you sound like a fox xx

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  17. Christine Blocksidge24 April 2012 at 13:42

    Your a stunning inspiration to young women! Fab blog. Thanks Betty Bee for your style tips!

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    1. You are most welcome Christine xx

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  18. I love that dress and I wish I had your confidence!! I love reading your blogs xx

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    1. Thanks Joyus. Confidence doesnt happen overnight, it takes baby steps xx

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  19. I am not a dress size, I am woman size! Xx

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    1. Sonya this is my quote of the day xx

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  20. Added on behalf of Marie
    Love reading your blog! Just wanted to let you know that I have tried commenting. :))

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  21. Beautiful dress and photoshoot (Mr Bee is an awesome photographer). I've drooled over Colectif dresses for a long time but never taken the plunge and purchased one. I love the style you're wearing, plus it comes in such a beautiful range of fabrics. Love it :)

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    1. Thanks so much. Mr Bee is fab isnt he xx

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  22. love reading your blogs (please send me the link for wardrobe making) and you make me cry with your amazing positivity.
    As cringeworthy as it seemed at the time, Kelly Rowlands was right when she said, size sexy and curvalicious!!!
    Out foul sacks!!!

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    1. Aww now you will make me cry xx-PM me your e-mail and I wills end you the wardrobe link xx

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  23. 'I am not a number!'

    Thank you for another inspirational blog post Betty.

    Chloe H x

    PS. I did write a really long comment but it disappeared!

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    1. Love it-we are not numbers, we are just fabulous x

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  24. What a brilliant post. You look sensational, the dress is perfect for you! X

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  25. I usually just read your blogs via Twitter and I didn't have a blogspot account. It's taken me ages to figure out how to follow your blog, but I'm there hurrah!!

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  26. Here here - this woman talks so much sense, put me down for that frock Betty, I'm off to a wedding next month and that's just perfect x

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  27. A great post! I loved reading these posts about size lately, I had a massive confidence dent a few months ago - it was silly really but I was ill on my birthday, went out in my new retro dress looking all glammed up...but not feeling it, I felt like a massive fat frump and with a flu addled brain I banished my vintage-esq iteams to the wardrobe and for a while afterwards I struggled to wear them without feeling horribly self concious - however on friday, after reading your wardrobe post, I decided to dust off a pretty dress with a fancy hair clip for the work BBQ - worried that I was a bit overdressed I was a bit nervous, but everyone paid me compliments! and I felt fantastic! and I credit that gumpshion to put on the dress down to you and your blog - huzzah!!

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  28. Collectif dresses make me feel wonderful..I know have 7 in my collection and the Dollores doll dress is my fave. I have Pink Hawaiin, red polka dots, large cherries and my favourite feral !!! I have never had a dress fit me soooooo nicely. I am a curvy 18 but can always drop down to a 16 in this style. If you don't own one you are missing out on soooo much.
    Betty fabulous pos and I am sure iit has inspired a lot of curvier girls to ditch the baggies. Mwah xxx

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  29. Fabulous post!! Really enjoyed it and agree be healthy and be the best you, you can be!!! As for the collectif dress it would be an honour to wear it! I am definitely going to check their website out on pay day!

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  30. That was a great post. I'm chronically ill, so I spend a lot of time in my pj's. But I know that I always feel more confident when I'm properly dressed and wearing a bit of slap, so I make the effort when I'm physically able.

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  31. Wow!! First of all you look stunning and you hair is amazing!! They are seriously lovely victory curls. :)

    Also isn't the dress an injection of summer! it's pouring with rain here in Wales today and that is just what I needed, Thank you. :)

    I can totally relate the 'acceptance' while trying to remain healthy as I'm also veggie and have been for most of my life - i've had a gap where I gave into pressure from my mum of all people, but the last 5 years solid which is lovely as no one questions my choices now.

    Really lovely blog and will definately be checking out collectif. :) Had to smile as I'm talking about Rosie the Riveter in my blog today - trying to inspire myself to remember 'We Can do it' as my Uni exams start on Monday! lol

    Great blog Betty x

    Mammyjane.blogspot.co.uk

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  32. Eeek! I've been lusting after this dress for so, so long and now it's finally in stock in my size but I can't afford it. Woe! I have absolutely everything crossed though that I might win!
    Wonderful post. I'm a size 22 and struggle a lot with my weight. It's taken a long, long time for me to be comfortable with who I am and for years I've put off wearing the clothes I want to simply because I didn't think I could at my size. I often feel as though fashion retailers are punishing me for being a porker by only giving me tent-like and tunic-y options for clothes. Collectif changed the way I dress as have inspirational, gorgeous, confident women like you and I love them and you for it!
    Love,
    A very thankful Mrs D x

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  33. Amen sister! you don't have to be a stick to be sexy as a size 22 girl myself I like to think I rock everything I wear people are so obsessed with size these days and act like unless your a size 10 life isn't worth living that's so untrue and I feel sorry for them!. Good on you Mrs Bee and keep spreading the love!
    Heather xx

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  34. Your tips are amazing (as always). I really do believe every single one of those things. I am having the hardest time working with the last one though. I really want to be healthy (and fit it into my schedule). I have bouts of exercise but I tend to get obsessive and then start not liking my current body. Then once the obsession wears off I feel like dirt. I wasn't going to enter ( I won a set of eyelashes and an eyelash curler not too long ago), but you keep posting pictures of that lovely dress and I couldn't help it.

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  35. Love this article for the style and glamour you bring to the fore, which you always inspire me to do. Thank you x

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  36. Ooh I'd never heard of Collectif until today. I love their stuff. I put on tons of weight after getting ill three years ago and just can't seem to shift it. My overweight mother and grandmother keep giving me their old clothes, so my wardrobe is full of over sized t-shirts and clothes that just don't suit someone in their 20s. I keep refusing to buy myself new clothes until I lose weight. I thought it would motivate me but really I'm just punishing myself

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  37. Love this post, love the dress. Fab that you focused a bit on shapewear too - it really is the easiest way to "mould" into a silhouette without sacrificing the shape you are, and it looks killer under a dress that suits it!

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  38. Love Collectif and this dress looks lovely on you! They are the best for girls with curves. x

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  39. Wow, your blog is so adorable! Would have joined it anyway. ;) But also I want this dress so badly! :D It's my favourite Design at the moment. Good luck to all followers.

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  40. Hi, Betty... :-)

    I'm a curvy girl form Spain. Here is really difficult achieve cool clothes for larger girls. Because culture says women who aren't Penelope Cruz should hide their bodies in "potato bag-like" dresses. When I discovered on-line stores like Collectif, I started my own "crusade" (better dead than a Chav), trying to explain my friends there is a way of being beautiful, besides your weight, besides the insults... Besides even the humilliations, for being different. But that persons who laughed, now are imitating our style... ;-)

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  41. Stunning advice form a stunning lady :) x

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  42. I discovered Collectif a month ago, when I was on holidays in London, and I fell in love with their designs. I bought two lovely dresses that make me feel really comfortable and sexy with my "not-average-for-Spanish-shops" size :)

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  43. I love collectif, and now I love your blog, I found it through their facebook page and as a plus size girl it's great to see some inspiration! Laura xx

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  44. "One of the worst side effects of not being happy with your size is the belief that just because you are not slim you can't be glamorous and beautiful.There is something so empowering about turning the glam factor up to ten and when your hair is big and your lashes are huge the fact that your butts pretty large too fades into insignificance."

    *Applause*

    It's taken me until nearly 41 to 'get' this concept. It's been uphill most of the way! But yes, I agree 100%.
    Great post, amazing photos (and of course I am coveting that dress rather a lot!) Liked, etc etc.

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  45. i LOVE this dress! i dont have this print but i have it in cherry and paris print! LOVE! i get so much compliments when i wear it! i hope i can win!!!! just discovered your blog and i like what i see, a lot!!!!! you have a new follower!

    Bonny

    bonnyboumans@hotmail.com

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  46. Oooh I have been to their website - amazing clothes. And thanks for the great post - I am trying to finally love my plus size and I do love my curves. But totally agree that its not the size on the clothes label that matters its how it makes you feel too many people squash themselves into something too small because of label fear and they do themselves no favours. I do get grumpy with floral tent and the size XXXL to describe a size 16.

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  47. Oh I recently tried this dress on and it was lovely. Lovely, lovely, lovely. x

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  48. Great Post, Beautiful Dress and Fabulous Lady ;o)
    hoping if I don't win this dress that the birthday fairy is good to me instead!!
    Jenni

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  49. LOVE Collectif, and you are certainly rockin that dress!!! The plus size vintage fan has to think creatively sometimes, but you can always rely on Collectif to deliver!! X x

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  50. I heart this post, especially the part about self-acceptance not being a celebration of being overweight, but turning off the critical and judgmental voices in our heads and from society. The frock looks fab on you!

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  51. I am a very curvy size 20 and keep going through frumpy stages and glam stages. I recently got my bettie fringe recut and dyed sections of it pink so feeling a bit more glam again. Sometimes you do have to be a bit bolder when you're curvier. I know I feel better when I am making a bit more of a statement rather than trying to hide.

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  52. What a great post, really good advice and thanks for highlighting a supplier who does curvy sizes, sadly not enough of them around.

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  53. My Favourite shop online is Collectif and it takes me here...Great blog Mrs BEE, I love how you think, thanks for sharing.

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  54. I love the dress, such gorgeous colours, love love love.
    I have liked Collectifs FB page and when payday arrives I think I may treat myself :)

    Thank you for being you and inspiring me each time I read your blog

    xo

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  55. Thank you so much for this post- it's truly inspiring as I struggle with self confidence, and allowing myself to feel like I'm not "right". I am finding the older I get, the more I feel settled in my own skin- I think I will always have days where I cry because I can't wear "that" dress, but I'm finally accepting myself and my curves!

    Thank you. x

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  56. I love the dress and I love this post. Being a woman with curves is one if the reasons I love vintage styles!

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  57. Wow, I've just discovered Collectif via my friend the Blue Haired Baker and I am in love! After having two kids I am in MAJOR need of a wardrobe overhaul and one of these dresses would be FABULOUS!

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  58. Great blog post, more is always more love collectif clothing they defiantly flatter all sizes! How could I not enter the competition.

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  59. What a beautiful dress! Thanks for sharing this fantastic site :)

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  60. Is this give-away open to International readers? I'm in the US, and I didn't see anything above stating limitations (though I may have missed something!) - I've been eyeing Collectif for a while and was debating whether or not the clothing was made well enough to commit the money (shipping/currency conversion). I'm so glad to hear you rave about it! Now I won't have to feel like I'm taking a chance. Your post rings true for me right about now (as I'm stuck in the - should I buy now or lose a few more lbs - conundrum). Thanks for all of the encouragement, lovely!

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  61. liked collectif´s page, follow your gorgeous blog anyway - now I hope I´ll win :-)

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  62. I love Collectif dresses, totally agree with you - they are so flattering!

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  63. Inspiring, refreshing, gorgeous! Wonderful to see larger sizes available from such a kick ass clothing company. It would be fantastic to show up somewhere fancy wearing this glorious dress. A slinky Aloha frock that ain't a muu muu? Count me in Mrs Bee!

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  64. Those collectifs dresses look beautiful and fun too especially the one you're wearing. Love your tips on being curvilicious too, think we can all learnt a little something from those whatever shape we are

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  65. Why haven't of Collectif before?? Can't believe I've been missing out. That dress is fab & I really, really need it!!!! Great post :) x

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  66. Just discovered you via twitter - love the dresses and the atitude to life ....will be back :)

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  67. i love this blog so much. i am inspired!

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  68. just wanted to say what an inspiration, on so many levels, your personal style, body confidence, business sense, motherhood, could go on and on...! so glad i found this blog, you are helping me to discover the real me x

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  69. I'm doing a happy dance right now because this really made me smile. Thanks Betty! You always talk so much sense and inspire people at the same time :) x

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  70. Looking gorgeous as ever! Look at all these wonderful comments! One hot momma xx

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