Last week I was invited to an event in the city that was all about celebrating plus-size curves. It was an odd feeling, because most of the events or Press Releases I receive are for standard sized clothing labels. So, when Target contacted me I jumped at the chance and took myself into The Establishment in Sydney.
Stepping into the penthouse apartment of The Establishment Hotel, I was greeted by the beautiful Fiona Faulkner, the face of Bellecurve. Her beauty and warm personality set the tone for a great morning of fashion and mingling. I got to catch up with Natalie of XL as Life! and met up with a few other friendly faces.
Fiona shared with our little intimate group the collection and her favourite pieces. She shared layering tips, how she likes to wear pieces and how the new Bellecurve collection will work with your existing wardrobe. She talked sequins and how to take a look from Day to Night.
My initial reaction to the collection was about monochrome. To put it simply, the collection features lots of black with black tunics, black skirts and black capri cut-offs. There are different fabrics, with stretchy ponte maxis (with sexy splits) and oversized blouses in chiffon and sequin yokes.
But what moves it beyond a standard “plus-size” launch of oversized and black are pops of sequin, metal plate belts and a tropical-blaze of pink and pattern.
Sure, there is lots of oversized and lots of drape, but there is a clear attempt at bringing forth tailoring and flattering shapes to the curvy figure. Does it hit the nail right on the head? No, but it is certainly a start.
Here are my honest experiences of the collection so far:
Fit: This was one that I was most certainly interested in seeing. As a curvy lady who can now be seen as an “inbetweener”, it’s hard to find pieces that fit my shape (Jo from iCurvy has posted about her experience here). I tried pieces on in sizes 16 and 18 during the launch and found the fit odd and oversized, but in others too tight and restrictive. For ladies who cannot go instore to try on, they may find it hard to get it right the first time.
The sizing is what some call “Vanity” sized, in that larger sizes are labelled smaller. This not only makes it confusing but hard for shoppers. I would compare the size 16 to that of an Autograph 14, a regular Target 18-20 and a City Chic XS.
Quality: Where the sizing falters slightly, the quality makes up for it. The fabrics fit the body (where an item is designed too) or floats across bumps and lumps. The sequins seem secure and for the price, they feel luxurious. The sequin bolero is a steal at $59.00 with it being fully lined and hemmed in black satin, and the digital bodycon (which I am wearing below) would retail in other stores for well over $100.
Price Point: Comparing this collection based on what else is available to the plus-size consumer, Target have succeeded in getting a great product at a great price. Nothing in the collection is over $79.00 which when comparing to a variety of Australian retailers put it in a more affordable category. The benefit of being accessible in a large retail chain is that customers can also order online, lay-by or transfer (where available) between stores. The price gets a big tick from me.
Availability: This gets a thumbs down for me. The collection launched on November 4th and I went to the largest store in my area that day. The product was squished between Moda pieces and unless I knew what I was looking for, I would have missed it. The collection features a lighter coloured hanger but it would be great to have it hanging all together and merchandised correctly!
Some stores (like mine) didn’t receive all the products from the collection and stores outside Metro areas won’t receive the collection at all. While many ladies are upset about this, I understand this is the first time Target has launched something like Bellecurve and they are simply testing the waters! Having access to the collection online will make this much easier, and you can access the collection here.
Kaleidoscope Body Con Dress by Belle Curve – $69.00
I am wearing the Body Con here in an 18.
I’m not wearing any shapewear at all so excuse the lumps and bumps! As someone who NEVER wears Body Con dresses (I don’t even own one) this was the first dress I tried on and everyone at the launch adored it on my shape. It felt super comfortable against my skin and the black panels “hold you in” as well. For $69.00 this dress is one of my favourite pieces in the collection (besides the Shine Bright Sequin Bolero!)
Float Away Tunic in Cobalt by Belle Curve – $49.00
Zoe Skinny Pants by Belle Curve – $49.00
I am wearing the tunic in a size 16 and the pants in a size 18.
No one else at our viewing tried on this tunic because on the hanger, it resembles something unattractive and typical of other plus-size retailers. I took the chance and changed it, tucking in the lower half and belting over the top to give this oversized tunic a younger 70s inspired look.
The Zoe pants were very disappointing for me simply due to the cut. I could not zip them back down after I put them on and size up! The calf and waist were big on me but the 16 wouldn’t zip up at all. The quality is great so if they fit, grab them but I have a feeling many other curvy women will struggle to zip!!!
The Lolita Dress by Belle Curve – Sold Out Online
Quilted Clutch with Bow by Target – Unavailable Online
I am wearing the Lolita Dress in an 18 but would buy in a 16.
Fiona was wearing this dress when we arrived and she looked simply stunning. I loved the way it draped across his body and the softness of the sleeves! I tried this on in am 18 but I would purchase in a size 16. I love that you could wear with or without the belt, wear with tights and boots or with sandals for summer. It was another pick of mine from the collection and apparently from everyone else – it is now sold out online!
Target want one of my beautiful Closet Confessions readers to take home a piece of Belle Curve for themselves! I have one $50.00 Gift Card for Target to giveaway to celebrate the launch of Belle Curve!
Win a $50.00 Target Gift Card
To enter, take a look at the Target website (click here) and leave a comment with the name of your favourite piece from the collection and how you would style it!
How easy is that!!?
Make sure you put your email in the comment so I contact you!
The winner will be based on creativity (ie how creative they design their ultimate outfit). The winner will be selected by me.
Get creative, ladies!
This contest is based on creativity and there will be no preference for who wins other than who presents the most creative outfit! Winner will be selected by Caitlin Bradley. There will only be one winner. The prize is a Target $50.00 gift card. This cannot be exchanged for cash. Winner must have provided a valid email address. Your details will be forwarded to Target so that your gift card can be sent to you. Winner to be announced on FaceBook and Twitter at close of contest. Contest closes November 17th at 11:30pm.