Alula White from London works for a top publishing house, is an avid instagrammer, follower of fashion and has written a guest blog for the Be Real Campaign this month. Last week she was invited to attend Be Real Campaign sponsors N Brown Autumn Winter 2016 (AW16) Press Launch to experience first-hand how welcoming and all-embracing this fashion brand truly is. Here at Be Real HQ we are excited to share this piece with you and hear your thoughts.
I’m going to be honest and say that I am not a plus sized girl who always feels comfortable in, or embraces her body. I wish I could! Aside from the emotional issues, it frustrates me because I utterly adore clothes; I love styling and spend far too much time wandering the womenswear department of Selfridges stroking beautiful things or flicking through Vogue with a coffee and a gluten free biscuit...
I have twinkling admiration for those who do seem happy in themselves; the amazing girls I see on Instagram or Buzzfeed who embrace their bodies, wearing whatever they want as it makes them feel good, and they strut with a smile looking like absolute goddesses. “How can I feel this great about who I am?!” I scream in my head (and occasionally out loud) when seeing a photograph of Callie Thorpe oozing confidence on my Instagram feed or “Waaaaah! I want to be body confident too” when scrolling through snaps of Beck Delude owning Manhattan in her brilliantly titled ‘Manfattan’ blog.
These girls are beautiful, they are confident and they are phenomenally well styled! I want to learn what is it about these women that means they have been able to embrace their shape and feel comfortable in such cool attire.
I think a big part of feeling uncomfortable in my body is a sense of disconnect from the world. It is such a recent thing for curves of any shape to be acknowledged, yet alone embraced, and feeling that I’m allowed to wear anything other than a ‘black sack’ seems ludicrous because of the negative messaging for years previous. I don’t feel comfortable walking into high street stores knowing I will need to look for a specific section where girls my size are banished to. It doesn’t feel inclusive or exciting. Clothing should be fun self-expression, right?
It will come as no shock therefore, that when I was invited to the N Brown Group AW16 press show I felt rather nervous. How on earth would I fit in in a room full of fashionable people? I would feel out of place and horribly uncomfortable, dowdy and out of my depth and frightened of my shape; how could I possibly find clothes for me?!
Nevertheless, with a supportive friend by my side and the promise of bubbly and nibbles, not to mention the chance to see some brilliant collections ahead of their release in store, I decided to bite the bullet and accept the invite.
And what did I discover?
Well, I found a lovely, inviting group of charming people whose aim was to create clothes for everybody. Inclusivity seemed to be the name of the game and I can’t tell you how refreshing it was to see beautiful pieces and know that they had been designed with EVERY body in mind. Tall, petite, slim, curved, rubenesque, sporty… All were catered for! I fell in love with a mesh bomber jacket and I was both stunned and delighted to find that it came in all sizes, from a 10 to a 32! Literally everyone could enjoy such a gorgeous piece.
The brand ambassadors we spoke to were wonderful; knowledgeable about their pieces and able to answer questions about sizing, styling and their brand’s ethos. Everyone was different. Everyone was accepted and seemed happy in their own skin. I felt exhilarated and excited about clothes for me! I felt like I could join in and covet these beautiful things. I can’t wait for August when I can jump online and snap up the gorgeous pieces that I saw.
I walked out of the event feeling confident and happy. My friend and I discussed what we’d seen and agreed that the removal of sizing boundaries was a wonderful thing. ‘Plus Size’ is not an ugly term, but stores that stock only certain clothes in certain sizes limit their shoppers and put them into groups. I like the idea that there are no brackets- that everybody can dress their body how they want to without constraints.
If you would like to learn more about the Be Real Campaign and how you can get involved please contact us.