Plus size retailers Simply Be recently opened a store on Oxford Street, and I naturally had to go and check it out!
It’s not too far from Oxford Circus station, and it’s a beautiful and well laid out store with spacious well lit dressing rooms, really friendly helpful staff members and loads of styles and sizes in stock.

I visited the store to try a leopard print dress that I had seen on their Twitter a few days before, and one of the lovely girls who worked there and manned the Twitter helpfully put it aside for me in a few sizes. The leopard print number and an own brand floral number were all that caught my eye that day, and it was such a great feeling to be able to shop another great plus size brand on the high street.

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I was so please by how well the AX Paris leopard print dress fitted. It’s great to see them doing some more fitted and longer items in their plus size range.

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I paired this dress with a black ASOS belt (click here for similar) and some navy blue heels from M&S. I realise that the colours don’t match whatsoever – I basically need a blue belt and the black version of those very comfy shoes!

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The dress is a size 14 and a great bodycon fit on me. However, due to the busy pattern and higher neckline, I felt that the belt helped break the outfit up, as well as accentuate my waist even more. Here is how is looked without the belt:

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I did have Maidenform shapewear shorts on under this dress, and I find a belt helps hide that slight bulge at the top where they sometimes stop slightly short of my bra.

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I adore the leopard print used for this dress. The big bold asymmetrical print is perfect, and I think it’s a really versatile shaped dress. The fabric is a stretchy thinish ponte that doesn’t cling too much. I wore a red bra under it when I initially tried it on, and you could see it through it – so do bear that in mind.

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I am 5’7 and the length is amazing on me. The slit isn’t too high, it doesn’t ride up whilst I walk and the arms are a great length.

Onto dress two. As you may have spotted I am trying to do more outdoorsy shoots to show off my outfits. As I was shooting two different looks, the logical thing to do inbetween outfits was to… bring the second look down with me and change in my secure bin store. Ahem.

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Ta da!

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This size 14 floral dress from Simply Be caught my eye as soon as I walked into the store, but it does really need trying on to do it justice.

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I’m wearing the same belt and underwear and before (the bin cupboard had already seen too much) but with these black patent M&S heels.

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As with the leopard print dress, this looked a lot better with the belt to accentuate my shape. It’s made out of a scuba type fabric that isn’t quite so good at clinging to curves, and the belt just gave it that gentle guidance. Here is is without the belt:

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Again, this dress has higher neckline, but as it’s quite short and tight I think it works. I would personally not wear this out without tights and leggings – for one my trusty shapewear and the way the dress rode up slightly as a walked would be a recipe for embarrassment!

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The dress has a decent amount of stretch to it which works well for me, however, I did find the arms to just be ever so slightly tight on my wings – nothing unmanageable.

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I really loved the bright busy pattern, and I do think that the dress can be dressed up or down with ease. I wore it recently with leggings and boots and it was a great daytime look. A word of warning though – the fabric does keep you nice and warm!

You might have clocked a few snaps of what looks like a film crew in these photos, as well as a microphone on me. I am currently being filmed for a documentary on plus size fashion that will be out in the UK next Spring all being well, I will let you know more when I know more!

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How do you like these two dresses? Are you as pleased and impressed as I am to see things like this available in plus sizes in an actual London store? Let me know!

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