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Reah Norman . . . How to wear stripes with confidence

11:52 AM

One of the biggest fashion concerns I hear from my clients is regarding stripes; how to wear them and whether or not they make you look ‘ bigger ‘. Please do NOT be scared of stripes, I promise, they will not bite!

Just like any other trend, color, or style, it’s all about bending the trend to fit your body type and personal style. Traditionally, stripes come around every spring as a nod to the classic nautical trend, offering a clean and crisp introduction to the season. We also traditionally see vertical pinstripes in workwear and masculine styling.

On this seasons runways, designers have mixed and matched vertical, horizontal, and diagonal stripe varieties with prints, patterns, textures, and bold color. Currently, stripes are taking on a more modern and updated look, with broad, colorful, daytime stripes in wide varieties, stripes mixed with additional patterns and textures, and stripes utilized as accent pieces.

Whether you’re going vertical, horizontal, diagonal, broad, thin, monocromatic, or colorful; stripes are definitely wearable for all shapes and sizes, and here are a few tips to think about when choosing the right stripe for you:

1. Pair a Stripe with a Solid

Although this season is full of mixing and matching stipes with varieties of other prints, pairing a stripe with a solid is always a sure thing. The golden rule of balancing your body type is simple: solids on the larger part of the body, and patterns/texture on the smaller part of the body. As long as this fomula is followed, wearing stripes becomes very simple. Also, if you are top heavy, consider a smaller or thinner stripe, and if you want to enhance your bust, choose a bold, wider stripe.

The Lurex Stripe Nehru Shirt is a perfect stripe top, especially for summer! The vertical stripes work to lengthen the silhouette, while the warm color palatte of stripes remain understated.

The Neutral Printed Gypsy Top is ideal for a pear shape body type who carries their weight on the lower half of the body.  Pair this stripe blouse with a solid bottom to create a balanced silhouette.

The Floral Check Maxi Skirt is a must-have for this season and a creative way to incorporate both the maxi trend and the stripe trend into a summer wardrobe.  The mixing and matching of the check and floral pattern laid out in bold tiers, creates the illusion of stripes and is great for balancing a top heavy silhouette when worn with a solid top.

2. Use a Stripe to Layer

If you are unsure about wearing stripes, you can take a more subtle approach and layer a stripe top or dress with a sleek, solid vest or cardigan, which will break the line of the stripe, while still encorporating the trend.  This is probably the easiest and most wearable way to rock the stripes.  If you are brave (which you should be), you can also wear your stripes as an outside layering piece.  Wearing a solid underneath will still offer the same affect, breaking the line of the stripe.

The Navy and White Striped Vest paired with the Pink Cotton Cardigan is a easy way to wear the stripe trend.  Layering the cardigan over the vest breaks the line of the stripe and creates a polished look. Complete this look with crisp, white jeans and gold sandals, and you are good to go for the season!

The Neutral Stripe Cardigan is an ideal option if you are willing to be a bit more bold when adding stripes.  The open waterfall silhouette creates a broken diagonal line, and the neutral tones remain understated, making this cardigan just as flattering as a solid.

3. Wear Stripes As Accents

Incorporating the stripe trend into a current wardrobe can be as easy as choosing a solid garment that has a striped trim or accent.  Striped detailing is a look that is straight off of the runway and will add a fresh and modern twist to a solid silhouette.

The Cross Front Swimsuit has beautiful magenta stripe detailing along the bustline, giving this swimsuit a precise combination of classic meets trend.

4. Get Creative

If you are still having reservations about introducing stripes into your wardrobe, or if you are simple looking for a more subtle approach, a textured or more abstract stripe pattern may be more appealling.

The Black Ladder Cardigan showcases the ultimate marriage of texture and stripe, creating a subtle option for the stripe trend.  Layer this piece under a colorful tank and a long statement necklace for a polished look.

The Mink Self Stripe Shirt has a textured stripe fabrication, along with pintuck detailing along the lapels that create a stripe pattern. This piece is perfect for all body types and is a crisp and fresh choice for summer.

5. Don’t Over-Think It

Not every stripe is right for everyone, however there definitely is a stripe for everyone, no matter what your size!  When paired with the right pieces, stripes can work to enhance your figure and keep you looking up-to-date with one of the season’s hottest trends.  The best tip I can offer is to wear your stripes with confidence and do not over-think it.  Ultimately, fashion should be fun and should be a reflection of your personal style, so get creative and always remember to ‘ think outside the fashion box ‘.


Mode Plus blogger Nefferth picks her top 5 wedding items . . .

1:14 PM

Hallo allemaal,

That is ‘Hi Everybody’  in Dutch. My name is Nefferth Bernadina and I live in the Netherlands. In June 2010 I started a personal blog focusing on fashion. Ever since I started blogging, I knew I wanted to write about other topics than just fashion items, hence the name Mode Plus. The title has multiple definitions: on one hand I write about plus size fashion and share my outfit choices. On the other hand I also talk about the emotional aspect of being a plus size woman in a society obsessed with body and size. That’s why I say: be more than your size and weight. And why not have fun in the process ?

I don’t necessarily blog about the latest fashion, and I don’t really have fashion rules when it comes to clothes. I wear what I want when I feel like it. Let’s challenge these non-realistic ideals regarding feminine beauty. In a cute dress please, I insist!

Talking about cute dresses, who is looking forward to the royal wedding of Kate and William on April 29th? Spring weddings are my favourite. (I myself had a lovely wedding in the spring!). The weather is made for floaty and airy outfits. Here are my 5 top picks for a Spring wedding . . .

Take a look at this pink pleated dress, versatile enough to wear at a formal wedding but I also think this dress works well in a casual setting.

To go from formal to casual all depends on your accessories.

For a formal wedding I would choose classic pumps in a dark colour accompanied byan envelope purse. The black corsage court shoes are a great option with the black croc bow purse. Choosing different textures makes this outfit anything but boring.

For a casual wedding you can be more outspoken and creative. These pink slingback shoes are just what you need to make your outfit instant fun.

And to add a little more character, why not try a hibiscus corsage around your wrist or in your hair?

Share your choices with me.

Nefferth xx


The paisley print maxi dress . . .

3:55 PM

We have a fashion exclusive for you today!

The paisley print maxi dress will be in store next month as one of the key pieces in evans gorgeous new summer collection. With a navy blue background, the print consists of lively swirls of aquamarine and magenta. The overall effect is upbeat and cheery – perfect to get you in the moods for the long, light summer days and nights.

It’s made from a lightweight cotton material,  you’ll feel ready for anything as you can wear it with flats for the day and add some gorgeous wedges or gladiator sandals for night. We love the subtle details like beads on the bust line, there are also ruffled tiered bands placed at various intervals of it’s length and feels more floaty around your figure.

No matter how many dresses you have in your wardrobe, there’s always room for more and this one will go on sale next month for just £45. What do you think?


The perfect wedding accessories . . .

9:01 AM

What are you doing to mark the royal wedding on Friday 29th April?

Street parties and garden parties are happening round the country to make the most of a nationwide bank holiday. Plus it’s the official start of wedding season with couples around the country booking churches, hotels and stately homes to tie the knot in front of their own friends and family

But what do you do if you have a fabulous invitation and don’t want to splash out on an entirely new look? One easy way to update an outfit is by adding new accessories. With the right jewellery, shoes and scarves, you can freshen up any item in your wardrobe to get it ready for a royal wedding party or a wedding of someone you know later this year.

The most dramatic way to lift your look is with a new jacket or shoes. A jacket is the first thing people see when you enter a room and it should complement your outfit rather than detracting attention from it. Evans stone linen blend jacket is the perfect choice for a summer wedding outfit as its lightweight enough to wear over a dress and the plain colour allows the item underneath to shine through. If you don’t fancy a jacket then you could always use a scarf as a wrap and evans ivory crochet and lace scarf is just £12. Keep footwear simple but chic with black corsage court shoes that will give you a bit of height, without being so high they hurt.

Floral accessories always look brilliant at weddings. Just as love is blossoming, make your outfit look more beautiful with something like the ruffle headband or the carved rose on wood ring, which is so pretty you can wear it long after the big day. The hibiscus corsage can be worn on a jacket or a coat, on a dress or even on a hairclip, and you could even change it from day to night as you go from the ceremony to the reception.

Or a little bit of sparkle is good at summer parties. This could be something that you wear under your clothes to give you a boost like the satin stripe padded bra and knickers set. Or it could be an item of jewellery like the evans woven hoop earrings, which feature pretty pearls in the centre. The pearl necklace and earrings are a gorgeous fresh pink colour with a sparkle cluster at the side of the necklace,  a  great item to finish complete your wedding outfit.

Have you got a special occasion coming up? What will you be wearing?


Get Amber Riley’s look . . .

9:29 AM

Exciting news . . . American TV network Fox has just announced they are filming a third series of Glee.

And that means we get to see more of the show’s gorgeous, energetic and always upbeat star Amber Riley.

Amber, who plays Mercedes Jones in the show about a high school’s musical theatre group, has become a fashion role model since Glee first aired to mass approval in 2009.

Her signature style consists of printed dresses and skirts that are as bright as her personality. The bubbly actress loves making an entrance on the red carpet in something colourful that she accessorises with stunning statement jewellery. Her use of colours and sparkle give us the impression that she’s a woman who likes to laugh, joke and have fun . . . and who can blame her for smiling so much when she looks this fabulous?

To follow Amber’s amazing style lead, you can start with a vibrant summer dress from evans like the tribal print strapless maxi dress. The colours stand out even more if you wear it with the evans black cotton waterfall bolero, which acts as a great cover up for an evening out.

Amber cleverly keeps her shoes simple so the dress and accessories really get noticed. Do the same with block heeled sandals from evans that you can wear with statement accessories. The chandelier earrings compliment the green of the dress while the engraved stack ring is bold and unique, just like the colours on the dress.

What do you think of Amber’s look? Are you inspired to wear some brighter colours and prints this summer?


Laura’s top holiday picks . . .

10:06 AM

Hello everyone.  My name is Laura and I’m the writer of the blog WhatLauraLoves, a fashion and beauty blog that really began out of a mixture of excitement and frustration; frustration at the negative views of the fashion and beauty industry regarding ‘ plus sized ‘ women and excitement at proving them wrong; curvy girls are beautiful too!  I thoroughly believe in making the most out of yourself, regardless of your shape and size and I feel that my blog reflects this philosophy.  As well as writing about all things fashion, beauty and hair related, I often share some of my day to day life with my readers.

Every Spring I look forward to the spring/summer collection from Evans and this year has certainly not disappointed me!  Their pieces are bang on trend and I love how there is something for everyone.  It’s great to see that Evans hasn’t compromised style for size.  I thought I would share with you my five favourite pieces from the Holiday Shop which I’ll most certainly be purchasing for my own wardrobe.

I live for the summer months, whether I’m at home or abroad, I just love to have the sun on my back, it is when I am at my most happiest, and probably the most stylish too as I adore the bright colours, floral prints, white linen and touch of bling that spring/summer fashion brings.  This summer I’m looking forward to long walks in the English countryside with my fiancé, ice cream by the sea and a few music festivals.  We’re not going abroad on holiday until December this year as we really thought we’d benefit from a bit of winter sun so I am sure the latter part of my summer will involve me raiding the summer sales to get the last summer pieces to take away on holiday with me!

White linen trousers are a summer staple for me; they’re incredibly versatile as they can be dressed up or down and go with so many pieces in my wardrobe.  To me, white linen trousers symbolise the summer and my wardrobe would not be complete without them- I buy at least three pairs from Evans every year!  They are always a fantastic fit and wash really well, which is important if you wear them as much as I do.  Evans have a couple of variations of linen trousers this year, but I’ve chosen the White Linen Mix Trousers because they’re perfectly balanced between casual and dressy.  These linen trousers would go really well with a bright summery top like the Turquoise Shirred Print Top which is one of my favourites out of the collection.

Another one of my favourites pieces is the Black Embellished Crinkle Cotton Maxi Dress which is very flattering, particularly around the bust.  It is one of those dresses that can take you from daytime to a night out.  This would look great during the day with a cropped denim jacket, some simple accessories, an across the body bag and flip flops and for the evening, skip the jacket and go for some jewelled sandals, statement jewellery, a clutch bag and perhaps a bolero for those who would prefer a little more coverage on their arms.

I also love the Postcard Motif T Shirt which is great for casual days out and because of the curved hem, it is long enough to wear with black leggings.  For a chic festival look, I would accessorise with a bag worn across the body, some oversized sunglasses or perhaps a cowboy hat or straw trilby.

No summer would be complete without a gorgeous swimsuit.  I have already bought this from my local Evans and can tell you first hand that it is a great fit and does wonders for giving my body some shape.  The Floral Twist Swimsuit is available in two bust sizes which is a rare godsend for bigger girls like me that don’t necessarily have a big bust to match.  I went for the standard cup which was the perfect size and the fit is just amazing.  Perhaps that’s down to the halter neck.  I love the floral pattern on the bust and how Evans have kept the main body of the swimsuit plain black- this should divert attention away from my tummy which is my problem area and up to the upper part of my body.

So that’s my top five items from the Evans Holiday Shop.  I can’t wait to get into a store to try out some of the other pieces from the collection and to see what else is released later in the year.

What do you think of the clothes I have chosen? What are your favourites from the new Holiday Shop?

I hope you’ve enjoyed my guest post on the Evans blog.

Laura xxxx


How to wear colour this season . . .

5:36 PM

Would you like to brighten up your look?

Sometimes it can be scary knowing where to start with colour but it’s time to break away from the blacks and browns that are more suited to the winter months.
Adding some fresh, bright colours to your summer wardrobe will get you in the mood for the sunny weather. Why not make the most of the clear skies and longer days while they’re here?
Wearing brights and pastels can make you appear brighter, lighter and more carefree as opposed to black colours that often have a draining effect. You’ll definitely get a lot of compliments if you wear colour this summer maybe for an Easter lunch, a  christening or BBQ in the garden.
But if you’re still nervous about going the whole way, then you can dip your toes into the trend by teaming a pastel coloured top with jeans or simply adding coloured accessories to your outfit. Rest assured that whatever occasions you have coming up this season, you can find the perfect outfit for you at Evans.

Here are our top three suggestions:


The yellow frill vest looks beautiful with evans belted kickflare jeans which are great for pear shapes as the flare detail balances out your bottom half.
Yellow goes brilliantly with gold – the perfect excuse to wear some statement jewellery like the gold circle cuff.
Finally, complete your outfit with the tan block heel sandals – they’ll last you all summer as you can wear these with anything.

Smart Casual

The Evans turquoise shirred printed top is perfect for day and night. And you can keep your options open with the bottom half by wearing it with white linen trousers that are really versatile for the day or dress up with jeans and heels for a night out.

If you’re going for a smart casual look you can finish the look with the t-bar diamante wedge sandals and the stretch seeded bracelet which compliments the turquoise top.


Evening occasions are an excuse to dress up so why not try something in a bright print?
The pink strapless printed maxi dress is ultra flattering and looks great teamed with the plait detail wedge sandals to complete the look. If you’re feeling bare on top the white cotton cardigan, is light enough to fold up in your handbag so you don’t need to worry about a coat. White emphasies the colour, rather than a black cardigan that would wash you out.
As it’s party time you need to finish the look with something sparkly like an adjustable pink flower ring. It’s blooming lovely!

What outfit will you be wearing next bank holiday weekend?


Interpret the look : Michelle Obama

7:39 PM

The US President’s gorgeous wife Michelle Obama brings a breath of fresh air to the world of politics. She’s always immaculately turned out to accompany her husband Barack to state functions. The first lady’s signature style is stylish and confident as she combines a selection of colourful items that help her stand out from the huge crowds waiting to meet her husband.

From brightly coloured day dresses to vibrant skirt and trouser suits and printed shift dresses, Michelle’s wardrobe she’s not afriad of colour or vibrant prints. However, at the same time she keeps the look classy by picking clothes that are classically tailored. Michelle shows that if you have the right clothes you can be bright without being brashy. Fabulous !

Her well-cut skirts fall to just above the knee and you’ll often see her wearing a cardigan so she doesn’t flash too much flesh on more conservative occasions. Her cover ups are extra cute as they’re belted at the waist, giving a more flattering feminine look.

Would  you like to  take inspiration from Michelle and get smarter without compromising on style? Here are our top there ways to get the look of the First Lady.

Outfit 1

Start with a sophisticated dress, the Evans rose printed dress has a brilliantly bold yellow and black print and is fitted at the waist but it’s knee-length and not too low cut. The Obama style black cardigan is great for when you have to go from the outside to the inside and the black bow courts are comfortable enough to wear from day to night as well as being elegant and classy. The pearl on chain earrings add a touch of glamour and sparkle, final proof that you can be formal and stylish.

Outfit 2

Recreate Michelle’s tailored appearance with trousers that flatter your figure like the black wide leg sateen trousers and then you’re free to express your personality with a vibrant top. Try the Praslin Tie Blouse Tunic, which is printed so the colour really stands out, style with block heeled sandals and the raspberry clutch bag to complete the look.

Outfit 3

If you want something that’s as classy as it is colourful then you can’t beat the purple embellished tunic with black spanx leggings. It looks even better when worn with the two part heel sandals, sometimes it’s good to match! If you’re wearing this on a busy day you need a big bag to be prepared like the black barrel bag. Add some sparkle with the imitation agate drop ear-rings in a gorgeous shade of purple.

What’s your favourite outfit?


My Summer Wishlist by Emma

2:31 PM

Hi, my name is Emma Iannarilli. I have been blogging at Fashion-Mommy for 8 months. I’m an ex deputy head teacher who decided to take time out to be a full time Mom and devote some time to my twin passions of writing and fashion. It seemed an obvious idea to combine them and so Fashion-Mommy was born! I am a huge fan of Evans and am delighted to tell you about my favourite pieces for the holiday season. This Summer I’m going to spend some time in Menorca and here’s what I’ll be packing…

This animal print 2 way dress is a fantastic buy for anyone taking a holiday abroad this year. You can wear it as a skirt with a white vest and sandals for site seeing, throw it over your bikini after a session on the beach, or add heels and gold jewellery for the bar. Perfect for those who don’t want to pay for excess luggage!

I love these diamante t-bar sandals, they are day to night perfection. Buy these and you will wear them all Summer long.  The EEE fit means that they will be comfortable when pounding the tourist sites.

The straw hat is a beloved wardrobe staple of fashionista’s and celebs. It gives you protection from the sun and is effortlessly cool. You can also change the look by adding a scarf to the brim.

This twist front swimsuit is reminiscent of the style worn by the late screen icon Elizabeth Taylor in the film ‘Suddenly Last Summer’. An ultra flattering shape and amazing jewel colour makes this perfect for sun worshipers and swimmers alike.

This pink crinkle cotton dress is just so pretty!  I would add a denim jacket, shades and a straw bag for a cool airport look guaranteed to get you an upgrade.

What are your plans for the summer?


Top swimwear for this summer . . .

10:00 AM

Holidays are coming!

If you want to make a splash on the beach this summer then you need a swimsuit that fits you properly so you look and feel cool, composed and in control.

Finding the right swimsuit depends on your shape. If you’re proud of your bust then you’re probably looking for something to highlight your best assets. Or you may be searching for a swimsuit that gives you extra support and pulls you in so you feel more confident?

These are some of the most stunning swimsuits out this season – they’re all designed to improve your shape in different ways:

The twist short swimsuit is one of the new one-pieces on sale this Spring. It has a hidden control panel to flatter the waistline meaning you can hold your head up high on the beach or by the pool, confident that you’re supported in all the right places. There are moulded cups inside the suit to enhance the shape of your top half and the shorts give extra coverage to anyone that’s slightly nervous about baring their bottom half.

If you want support without comprising on style then the floral twist swimsuit is great for anyone that likes to have fun with fashion. Florals are on trend this season and the bright pinks and blues in this elegant one-piece are full of the joys of Spring. Halter neck tops are great for pear shapes as they build up your top half to create an hourglass silouhette and the twist detail on this suit contains hidden cups to enhance your bust.

Evans berry dress swimsuit provides a little bit more coverage than a regular one-piece, so you feel more secure about your appearance. This skirted swimsuit creates a long smooth line down the body with a concealed inner shelf and moulded cups to support your chest before it opens up into a skirt. It’s an ideal swimsuit for anyone that wants to feel feminine without flashing too much flesh.

If you fancy a change from a boring black swimsuit but still looking for support then try the cross front Moroccan swimsuit. The cross front top has moulded cups and an inner shelf for shapely support, showing off your cleavage in the best way possible. Adjustable ties on the sides mean that you can decide how much of your legs to show off or cover up, giving you more control of your swimwear.

A pretty polka dot underwired bikini top and swimpant set will enhance your curves in every way. The bikini top is underwired with moulded cups so your bust looks the best it can. The shorts flatter by pulling in your tummy and waist to create an hourglass silouhette. As an added bonus, you can use the side ties to control how much leg to show off depending on how confident you feel.

If you want to celebrate the fact it’s summer and you’re by the pool rather than at work then the ultimate morale boosting swimsuit is the floral print tankini. Moulded cups and a concealed shelf provide comfortable support while the colour is bright, fresh and totally on trend. With plain back bikini bottoms, this tankini is great for pear shapes as the bold floral print draws everyone’s attention to your top half thereby putting you in proportion and creating a womanly shape.

We hope you like at least one of these swimsuits. What’s your favourite?

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