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Monday, 25 August 2014

Review: Ann Harvey
at Bonmarché

Image (Below) © Big Fat Betty | Hey folks. You may have already heard that Bonmarché is the new home for Ann Harvey and they've launched a new collection, which comes in sizes 16-32. The collection is available now and you can view and purchase via their website. I'd describe the overall feel as formal and elegant.

When Bonmarché asked if I'd be interested in reviewing an item from the Ann Harvey collection, I chose the Brush Stroke Floral Wrap Dress (£45.00) in my usual size (22). I love wearing dresses to work and this dress looks both flattering and colourful. When I received the dress I wasn't disappointed, it came in a lovely box with tissue paper and the catalogue images are an accurate representation of the pattern and fit.

I wore it with leggings and a vest top; the latter as I felt that the wrapover part of the dress is a tad too big on me, which is not unexpected as I regularly have this issue due to my small cup size (42B). Easily solved by wearing a vest/cami underneath or adding a couple of stitches, and if you're well endowed on the breast department you probably won't find it to be a problem. The dress is quite roomy so sizing down may have helped, but the rest of it is a good fit.

The wrapover style and rouching at the side gives this dress a flattering cut that I love; it's my perfect style in terms of shape and I also love the print.

I intend to wear this dress for work but I think it could also be worn as evening wear, with a sparkly necklace and/or hair accessory and swapping the leggings for tights. Heels would also go great with it, but unfortunately I can't walk in them!

£45.00 is more than I would usually spend on a dress, but I can tell that you're getting what you pay for in terms of quality. It's fully lined and comfortable.

What do you think of the new collection and, more importantly, 'how do I look'? ;)

Monday, 18 August 2014

Pink Clove's PR Faux Pas

I meant to write about this a month ago but, well, you know what I'm like when it comes to updates! Some of you may have seen this image (left) which was shared on Pink Clove's Facebook page on 8 August. The image in itself caused some controversy, but nothing in compared to that of Pink Clove's responses to the matter. The post has since been deleted, along with their most recent share of 'hot or not' (which you can read more about on Debz' blog here).

I indirectly tweeted about the post when I first came across it, asking  'does anyone else agree that saying one body shape 'is' is effectively saying other body shapes 'are not', even if it's meant positively?' These were my initial thoughts; although I knew it wasn't intentional, to me it said one is therefore another is not. That is tantamount to body shaming and holding one body type above all others; whether it's intentional or not it is, in my view, these kind of thoughts that continue to feed the body hierarchy that 'we' (the body positive) are fighting to eradicate.

You may think I'm over reacting and in the context of one image and one company you could be right. Alas, this is not the first time that I've seen such a thing and it probably won't be the last. Correct me if I'm wrong but fashion companies provide fashion and, whilst it's nice to have a 'personal' approach with your customer base, sharing content such as this is irrelevant and unnecessary. Perhaps I am 'privileged' in having a degree of body confidence, but I don't need a fashion company to make me feel better about my body (I need them to sell me fashion!); especially at the expense of others.

Asides from the content issue, the responses made by Pink Clove to customers airing their concerns was somewhat appalling. Unfortunately I didn't save any of the details and, as mentioned, the post no longer exists, so this is the only quote I can provide: '...you certainly have not read our comments - We said all are good for cuddling, its a quote and we liked it so we used it. If you don't like our post, you have your right to your opinion which we respect which you have given. 59 followers have liked the post so that's their opinion. Please read our comments before you follow up - Thank you! x'. This response is comparatively polite. Reading this I was expecting to see 'so there!' at the end of it.

Content aside, the way in which the issue was dealt with is a PR faux pas in its own right. I have, therefore, made the decision to take my custom elsewhere, until such a time as Pink Clove publishes (publicly) an apology of an acceptable standard and ceases to dismiss the valid opinions of its customer base.