Zoë Meers

Zoe

Fan of big earrings, sad songs & strong perfume
Whiskey, tattoo and snack enthusiast

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How to Give Your Old Winter Coat a Revamp

 Winter Coat Revamp DIY, Plus Size Fashion

Well, autumn didn’t last very long this year did it!? The weather up here in Dundee slid so quickly into the minuses that I’ve already been rifling through my winter coats to keep out the chill. That’s when I rediscovered this old wool camel coat that I love to pieces but doesn’t fit me any more: I hadn’t been able to button it up for god knows how long but I didn’t have the heart to get rid of it. And then the idea hit me… what if there was a simple way to salvage this beauty and get a bit more wear out of it?

Winter Coat Revamp DIY

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The photograph above on the left is from last year and shows how I’ve been wearing this coat for the last few years: just unfastened and casual. Even though it’s two sizes too small for me, the fact that it still fit across the shoulders and upper arms made this coat ideal for a bit of the DIY treatment. The adjustments needed to be made around the waist only, so first of all I considered moving the buttons to make the double breasted coat into a single breasted one. However, that looked like a complete nightmare to pull off, I needed tailoring skills way above and beyond those I actually possess! I’d all but given up on the project when I saw this picture as I was scrolling about on Pinterest one evening, and the idea was formed…

 Plus Size Winter Coat DIY

I thought that replacing the buttons with ribbons would not only look kinda cute, but it would also give me the extra room at the waist that I needed without ruining the overall shape and cut of the coat. I had a search around online for a tutorial to follow but sadly couldn’t find one. Luckily, it turned out that the method was simple enough, so here’s how I did it:

  • Remove all buttons completely, ensure all loose threads are removed.
  • Steam areas underneath the buttons to eliminate any marks in the fabric.
  • Cut the ribbon into one / two / three identical lengths (depending on how many button holes you have and how large you want the bows to be).
  • Fold the ribbon in half to find the centre point, place horizontally where the button used to be and sew securely with a number of cross stitches.
  • Try the coat on and tie the ribbons into bows through the corresponding button holes.

And there you have it!

Plus Size Winter Wardrobe Revamp

I love the flexibility that the ribbon fastening has given me with this coat, the waist fits me so well now regardless of how many layers I’m wearing and I can adjust the tightness of the bows depending on whether I’m sitting or standing. I was pleasantly surprised by how well the ribbons work when the coat is worn open too, they look like cute embellishments and I really enjoy that. If I were to do this again though, I would absolutely use a wider, stiffer ribbon; something along the lines of thick velvet or grosgrain as these satin ribbons droop a little too much for my liking!

DIY Winter Coat Revamp

There are lots of possibilities with this simple DIY trick which is really just a case of swapping out the buttons for ribbons. It would work for lots of other types of garment too; for example, replacing the button on the back of a skirt with a big, colourful ribbon. The are so many types of ribbon that you can pick up for an absolute steal on eBay which makes so many different looks possible.

I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration for something you might have lying around at the back of the wardrobe, it’s great to give these things another chance to shine and I always love rescuing an old fond favourite.

 Plus Size Fashion Winter Coat

Coat: Collection at Debenhams (similar here) / Top: Vintage C&A / Skirt: Old Season Alice & You / Bag: JD Williams / Boots: New Look / Earmuffs: Primark / Lip Colour: Colourpop Lippiestix in Lady

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The Great, Big Plus Size Fashion Sizing Survey

Plus Size Fashion Sizing Survey
When I first came on board to write for She Might Be one of the things I really wanted to do was to create a helpful, searchable database of the sizing of UK plus size brands. I think most of us will have had that moment of worry trying to guess whether to size up or down before popping something into the online basket. Sizing is all over the place across the board, but I feel like with plus sizes it can be even more inconsistent.

As the in-store availability of plus sizes is so poor, fashion and style for us who are plus size is primarily based online; even more so for those of us who don’t live near a large city or shopping centre. Not being able to try things on in person before we buy means that we have the choice: either shell out upfront for two sizes to try or search for others’ reviews, word of mouth and social media posts to narrow down whether the brand generally runs small or large (or most rare of all… runs true to size).

This is where we at She Might Be hope that the results of a great big sizing survey such as this one will come in handy and help. Open to absolutely everyone who has shopped with any of the listed plus size brands, the survey simply asks whether and how much you size up or down when purchasing from them. All currently available UK plus size brands should be included, so if you think there’s one we have missed then please let us know and we’ll add it in.

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When we have enough responses to work with, all the results will be available here on She Might Be as a permanent searchable resource. The survey will remain open until the end of the year at least and we will update the results page here frequently. In time, we want to go further and add images of different body types, sizes and heights to each brand’s results so everyone can get a better idea of what different pieces would look like before buying.

So, if you have five minutes to spare and can help us with this project, please click on the link below to add your voice to the poll. Every single bit of feedback is so, so useful for getting a clear picture of the state of plus size brand sizing at the moment. Your answers will help all of us across the plus size community, it will help us at She Might Be build the database and take the trial and error out of shopping online. Most importantly, we’re hoping it might in some small way help make something that should be a pleasure, like ordering a nice dress online, fun again.

 

Take part here:
UK Brands Plus Size Fashion Sizing Survey

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The New Beth Ditto Collection Winter 2016

Beth Ditto Collection Beth Ditto Collection

 

When Beth Ditto announced her initial collection back in February of this year, much of the plus size community (myself included) fizzed with excitement. Beth is a hero and an icon for so many of us, and based on her past design collaborations with big brands such as Evans, we waited in anticipation to see her very first solo designs. And just as that first collection did not disappoint in the slightest, the second collection (which was released on November 1st) is even better.

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Beth Ditto Collection Beth Ditto Collection

The cinch, drape and big print have already become identifiably ‘Beth Ditto’; this collection builds on the themes of the first bringing a beautiful sense of deliberate structure to the cinch and drape. The new designs still throw the flattering mindset out of the window and offer us pieces that accentuate every part of the plus size body. The prints are ridiculously fun, with the recurring eyelash motif and nail varnish droplets, and they’re still big; this boldness is so so welcome in the world of plus size design.

Beth Ditto Collection Beth Ditto Collection

The look book and campaign photos for the new collection brought a huge smile to my face, I recognise these scenes from house parties gone by, even down to the late night omelette on the floor moment. Styled by Charles Jeffrey and photographed by Hannah Moon, these images convey the sheer bloody joy of fat that exists at the very heart of this collection in the most effortless fashion. The coolness shines from every model, who were all cast through Instagram, and hand on heart I am sold on these looks. Here are the standout pieces for me:

Beth Ditto Collection

 

Eyelash Tee & Klaus Denim PantsControversy Dress | Deep Cuts Top

 

Not pictured here is a very excellent sequinned eyelash sweater that I have my eye on too.

Beth has stated that she wants her pieces to last for years and exist outside of trends. Because these clothes are ethically made without big corporate influence, the price point is certainly in ‘investment piece’ territory for most; so this timeless feel is very welcome. Pieces such as the cocoon coat and the key print dresses are ones I can see me throwing on year after year.

One last little tip: for those of who fell in love with the first Beth Ditto collection but the price was a little over budget, the release of the Winter capsule means that last season pieces can now be picked up for a song so keep a little eye out while you’re ogling the new bits!

 

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How to Keep Your Summer Wardrobe Working Hard for Autumn

How to Keep Your Summer Wardrobe Working Hard for Autumn

As we race through October and the weather starts getting crisp, we’re reaching that point of putting away the summer favourites for another year. I absolutely love bringing out the long sleeve tops, opaque tights and chunky knits but I’m always very sorry to say goodbye to Summer clothes. But what if we don’t have to say goodbye to the Summer pieces this time?

Autumn can be so unpredictable weather-wise, it’s the time of year when layering really is king, so surely there’s a use for cute dresses and camis? This year I’ve resolved to make my Summer wardrobe carry on working hard for me throughout the colder months, so here are some ideas for how to use the most common summer staples in great Autumn outfits.

How to Keep Your Summer Wardrobe Working Hard for Autumn

DressM&S / Leopard blouseSimply Be / Roll neckNew Look Curves / PJ BlouseRI Plus

One Summer trend that was ever present this year was the 90’s vibe, and it turns out it isn’t going anywhere fast. There are lots of 90’s elements in AW16 design so the slip/cami dress will absolutely carry over. Luckily, this is one of the easiest pieces to layer up and carry on wearing throughout autumn too.

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  • Layer it over a bold shirt or blouse for a versatile look, one that can take you to the office just as easily as out for the evening. Leopard print is big news this season and I love this leopard print pussy bow blouse.
  • Wearing a cosy roll neck underneath is a classic Autumn layering trick that works really well with a cami dress, I chose this one in burgundy as it’s an Autumn favourite colour.
  • Another trend to try is the pyjama blouse. They are everywhere at the moment, most plus brands have at least one or two on offer; I love the print of this River Island Plus number but it was a difficult choice as this one from Simply Be is also divine. It’s a modern twist on the smart blouse and whilst I was sceptical at first, I have to say I love how comfy and stylish they are.

How to Keep Your Summer Wardrobe Working Hard for Autumn

 

Wide fit sandalsASOS / Knee highsNavabi / Opaques Big Tights Company / Ankle socksYours Clothing

This is one of my favourite Autumn tricks but I fully recognise it might not be for everyone. I love my chunky strappy sandals, both heeled and flat, but it’s just too cold to go bare legged and open toed during autumn. With the addition of an extra layer, you can carry on wearing open toe or strappy shoes.

  • Knee highs look great with strappy shoes, especially as part of a layered outfit. Try a bright colour that contrasts with the shoes for a stand out look.
  • Coloured opaques are such an Autumn staple, I have a pair of berry coloured ones much like those pictured that I get so much wear out of. Teaming them with Summer sandals and smart thigh length dress is such a look.
  • For a more edgy look though, try ankle socks! Yours Clothing have some lovely wide fit socks with bright and cheerful prints; they look so cute with open toe flats and chunky heeled sandals. They’re a great way to add a splash of personality to your outfit!

How to Keep Your Summer Wardrobe Working Hard for Autumn

DressRI Plus / ShirtBooHoo Plus / JeansSimply Be / JumperEvans

The quintessential cute summer dress… I have so many of these, I think we all have at least one or two! The main thing that attracts me to a Summer dress is the print, so regardless of the style I usually want to keep the print alive for the Autumn season. Luckily, there are a few ways to achieve this.

  • A long sleeved shirt in a block colour (or even a clashing pattern) looks great when left open and tied at the waist, a blouse works just as well too. You could even try layering a longline shirt over the dress like a duster jacket.
  • Okay, hear me out on this one: dresses layered over jeans does give me intense early 00’s throwbacks too, but it’s a look enjoying a huge revival in fashion circles right now. Plus it’s so warm! I find that if I keep the jeans light wash or two toned then I don’t feel too much like a member of the Sugababes circa ’02.
  • This is such a simple trick, but wearing a cropped at the waist jumper with a cute summer dress instantly transforms it into a skirt. Add opaques, boots and a big scarf and this is one of my favourite early autumn looks.

If you don’t want to put your Summer favourites away, are consciously looking to get more wear out of your clothes year round or are trying to maintain a smaller wardrobe then I really hope some of the above has helped spark ideas for your own great new wardrobe combinations. For me, I’m in the ‘maintaining a smaller wardrobe’ camp and it’s making me look at the pieces I already have in a different way, which (after the initial I have nothing to wear-type frustration) has made me feel really creative every day and dare I say it… it’s actually been fun!

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No costume? No worries! A Last Minute Halloween Look

A Last Minute Halloween Look

 

As we hurtle towards the end of October we’re reaching the absolute peak of Halloween themed parties and events. For some, this has been a long time coming and the brilliant outfits that have been meticulously planned will finally have their chance to shine. For others (like me), it’s a last minute scramble to put something together. If you’re struggling to find something to wear, have had a last minute Halloween party invite or you’re just not that into fancy dress, here are some tips for how to pull together something suitably spooky with pieces you might just already own…

 

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A Last Minute Halloween Look

 

For an outfit that’s Halloween related, but not fancy dress, a simple styling rule of thumb is to think witchy gothic. I raided my wardrobe looking for vampy velvet, sheer materials and lace; and I managed to find all three! The velvet dress was my 2015 christmas dress and the sheer duster jacket is actually a much loved shirt dress worn unbuttoned. I went with these faux-suede creeper style trainers because they are ridiculously comfortable but boots would also be a very good choice. The choker is cut from a length of black lace that came out of the sewing scraps box that’s tied in a bow at the back.

 

A Last Minute Halloween Look

 

I’m not skilled at makeup application but if you are, this is where you really could go to town for the icing on the gothic, witchy cake. There are some brilliant gothic Halloween makeup tutorials on Youtube perfect for inspiration or if you prefer you can just go wherever your own imagination takes you. I went for a dark, wine coloured lipstick here to match the dress but I so wish I had a black lip colour in my make up bag as that would have looked great!

 

Finally, once I had the outfit and makeup down, I added some finishing touches courtesy of the nearest pound shop by way of the ring and witches hat. Sadly, my strangely large head meant I couldn’t actually wear the hat but the thought was there!

 

A Last Minute Halloween Look

Dress –  BooHoo Plus (similar here)  / Shirt (worn as duster jacket) – Simply Be (similar here) / Choker – eBay / Trainers – New Look / Lip Colour – H&M range in Plum

 

So there you have it, a last minute Halloween look made up of dark colours, sumptuous textures and a nod to The Craft consisting of things I already own… apart from the pound shop witches hat of course! I hope it comes in handy if you find yourself in a situation like me where you need something last minute. Whatever you get up to though, I hope you have a wonderfully spooky Halloween!

 

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Embroidery and Bows – An Easy Autumn DIY

Embroidery and Bows

Embroidery is such a big deal for AW16. With voluminous ruffles and beautiful bows, this autumn is full of luxurious maximal styling and the trend is set to continue well into next year. I absolutely love all the embellished and embroidered pieces that you can get from plus size brands right now, such as this gorgeous red number from Lovedrobe and this sumptuous nude blush dress from GatsbyLady. But with great embellishment often comes a great price tag, so if you want to try the luxe embroidered look for a lot less, I’ve got you covered….

gatsbylady

Embroidery and Bows

To start, I went through my wardrobe to find something plain to work with and this orangey red shift dress from Simply Be definitely fitted the bill. It’s a perfect candidate because of it’s simple cut and the fact that it’s so comfortable I already wear it a lot. Most of us have an old favourite like this hanging in the wardrobe that is just perfect for a little DIY project, I was really excited to give a much loved dress a bit of a spruce up and a new lease of life!

So, onto the embroidery; I’m an avid collector of iron-on patches and I have seen plenty that look just like real embroidery. I figured these would be perfect for this DIY so I searched eBay and picked up the floral ones used here for less than a fiver. If floral isn’t your thing, there are lots of other designs available. I actually got a few different designs so I could play about with combinations and placement before I committed to ironing them on. I also got some short lengths of ribbon (99p per metre from eBay) to use in this DIY as I’m having a big love affair with pussy bow necks right now and I thought it might look kinda cute.

So, without further ado, here’s a simple step by step for how I achieved this look:

Embroidery and Bows

A few notes about using the iron on patches

Putting a damp cloth between the iron and the patch is really important because otherwise the material will burn. I held the iron down for around 30 seconds, pressing as firmly as I could because the patch needs to seal all the way around the edges to be properly secure. If it all goes horribly wrong and the placement ends up being off, re-wet the cloth and put the iron over it again, you’ll then be able to remove the patch if you peel it before it dries (but be careful and give it a couple of seconds because it will be hot hot hot!)

I love how simple this DIY was to do! I focused just on the neckline as the floral patches were a symmetrical pair and while I was playing about with the placement I found that they lined up really nicely with the cut of the neck. The bow at the centre taps into another AW16 trend, the bow neck, and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

Embroidery and Bows Embroidery and Bows

Dress: Simply Be / Iron-on Patches: eBay / Ribbon: eBay / Tights: M&S / Boots: Old Season New Look (Similar Here) / Bag: Vintage

Iron-on patches really are the hero of this DIY. I can’t sew at all (the cross stitch to attach the bow is the full extent of my sewing skills) so I like to keep my DIYs no-sew as much as I possibly can. The fact that an embroidery look can be achieved with just an iron and a damp cloth is brilliant for me and these patches are not only easy to pick up, but they’re affordable too! There are so many great independent brands out there that make cool patches, so if you can’t find what you want from eBay then I would definitely recommend trying Etsy as well.

This is a fun and easy DIY project that took me less than an hour to complete from beginning to end, the patches stay in place for as long as you want them to and are easy to remove with an iron and damp cloth if you ever want the original garment back to how it was. I hope this has given you a bit of inspiration for your own iron-on patch adventures, and if you do give it a go I’d love to hear how it went!

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