Have you ever heard of Taking Shape? No, me neither until I got a rather nice email from them asking if I'd like to review some clothes! I was really quite excited about this one, because not only are they a new brand for the UK, they are actually coming to the HIGH STREET! They're an Australian brand who are expanding in the UK, they sell sizes 14-26, (although typically I managed to choose items from the Eplisse range that only seems to go up to a 24!) so it seems that we may have somewhere that we can actually visit and try clothes on!
I was 100% straight with them and explained that I give very honest reviews - you guys know I speak my mind, and I'm not going to change my blog any time soon I promise! - and lots of what they sell isn't really my style, but they were cool about that so I chose some of my favourite items from the website and they very generously sent them to me!
I think this is generally a shop aimed at a slightly older clientele, but they have some really quirky dresses that I was excited to try and tell you guys about. I'm happy to say that I was genuinely impressed with the quality of what I was sent!
I have three dresses to review, and this first one is just so very lovely! The storm was just beginning when we took these pictures so I'm a little wind-swept but you can still see how delicious this dress is!
This is the 'Minted Rose Dress' and when I saw it I was just so taken with the print, it's sort of like a trellis with flowers growing up it and it's so pretty!
I was trying to work out what this would look like on me because to be honest I think that as with many plus size retailers, the model used is just too slim to fit the clothing properly! I saw the potential though, and I think this fits me nicely!
I requested a 24 because I didn't know what their sizing would be like but was sent the 22. This is perfect as the top section is stretchy (viscose & elastane), so I'd say you could safely get your normal size.
One of the reasons I wanted to try this dress is that it is so classic and graceful - my reasoning was that it would be a perfect dress to wear to see my 90 year old grandma. I know she will love me in this, because it's so demure and pretty!
Taking shape are a bit pricey in comparison to Evans (the only other plus size retailer on the high street) but there is quite a difference in quality in my opinion. The skirt of this dress is made from a cotton & silk mix, and it feels wonderful. I don't think I've found nice silk mixes anywhere other than Anna Scholz and I'm appreciative of silk in my old age, it's breathable and light. I think this dress will be wonderful in warmer weather (I'll need to layer up if I want to wear it any time soon though as it's quite thin.... bless the Australians; not quite such a forgiving climate here!).
The model in the pictures is wearing it with a big petticoat so I didn't really notice until it arrived that it has a scalloped hem, but I think this is my favourite element of the dress. It adds that slightly unusual and original feel to a classic shape.
Can you tell that I feel good in this dress? I really did feel feminine and beautiful! My boyfriends response to seeing me in this was 'you look pretty', which is a big thumbs up (and basically means that I look super girly... trust me he doesn't say this when I'm dressed all masculine.... sexist!).
This dress retails at £110 which I know will be a bit to pricey for some of my readers, but I was happy to see when I went to get the link that it's just gone on sale and is now £60! Get the Minted Rose Dress from the Taking Shape website!
One of the things I like about taking shape is that they seem to make a mini range of some of the prints, so if you like the cute print of the dress I'm wearing but don't think the shape will suit you there are other options, like this super cute Minted Rose Puff Dress (also in the sale, now £49 down from £90)......
..... or the Minted Rose Tunic. There's also a cotton & silk scarf in the sale for £15.
Look at how lovely the package Taking Shape sent me was! Make sure you check back for my review of the 2nd dress soon... it's a quirky one, and is completely different to the minted rose dress!
Taking Shape are new to our shores so lets welcome them with open arms! You can follow them on twitter @takingshapeuk or follow their facebook page here