Finally they have listened! They have taken all the complaints on board! I actually like the fit and fabric of some of the new collection and I'm so happy about that!
My readers who have been with me from the beginning will know how angry the Evans / Clements Ribeiro collection has made me in the past..... lovely looking pieces with great patterns that turned out to be badly fitted with no stretch, crap fabric and a hefty price tag. The first collection broke my heart because I wanted all the dresses, but none of them fit me properly and they were such odd shapes and lengths.
I ended up getting the matchstick trousers and swallow coat for a snip in the sale and I love them both, but I longed for a Swan dress. I reviewed every piece on the site (along with many other frustrated fatties), we all basically said 'add some stretch and cut off 4 inches'!
I was almost excited about the 2nd collection, (mainly because of the Aubrey Beardsley dress that had a print that gave me all kind of orgasms!) but sadly in general it was exactly the same collection as the first... odd lengths, crap fabrics and and cuts that made me look like a badly stuffed sausage! I cannot tell you how hard it was for me to return the Beardsley dress. Even with my firmest control shape wear it just clung to every bit of cellulite on my body and looked awful.... the only stretchy dress from that collection and it was the only one that didn't need stretch because of it's loose tunic style. I still think about that dress, it's like the one that got away :( I got the trousers from this collection but ended up selling them because they were too short for me.
By the time the 3rd collection came out I was like meh... finding out the bloggers were modelling was the most exciting part of it, but a much as I liked the prints I just thought it all looked too boxy... I think the boxyness was actually emphasised because it was modelled by plus sized women, some of whom are naturally very curvy (as in hourglass shaped!). Having said this I was excited when so many of the fabrics were described as 'jersey'.
I went for a try on and again... disappointment. What kind of jersey has no stretch?! So boxy, no room for my belly or bottom in these pieces. Just too shapeless for my lumpy body!
I did get one dress from the 3rd collection though, and I do genuinely love it. Well, sort of. I love how it looks because it looks AMAZING! Sadly for a £45 dress (might have been more than that actually, I can't quite remember!) the quality is not good, I've had to completely sew it up and reattach all the buttons... I've had dresses from Primark that are better made, but still.... it looks ace so I have accepted it's flaws and embraced it's beauty!
I didn't realise that there was going to be another collaboration until I saw the Evans blog post with a sneaky peak of some prints from the new range. I thought they looked promising, and I was particularly interested in the glove print because I think it looks like Quentin Blake..... being a massive Roald Dahl fan I have so much love for Quentin Blake's fabulous illustrations! Then suddenly there were new Swan pieces on the Evans site. No big announcement, no fan fare, no gimmicks or marketing campaigns. They were just there, and I kinda liked some of 'em!
Some of the prints above are clearly missing, so I hope there's more to come, but I was up Marble Arch way tonight so I thought I'd go in and investigate! I managed to escape the sales lady who tried REALLY hard to get me to get an Evans card (bless her!) and dragged whatever I could carry into the changing room.... I didn't try everything because I had bags full of bedding and couldn't pick it all up!
First up is the polka dot blouse, which I actually like quite a lot. It's not exactly stretchy but it does have a bit of stretch, so it's pretty comfy. It's not particularly forgiving because it clings to the old belly a bit, but I just don't care about that, because it's cute! I tried the 24 on, and I think the 22 would have been a tad tight on my belly, but not massively. I think this would be beautiful with a pencil skirt! I thought Chattermonkey might want to see this one on!
This dress has missed the mark for me to be honest, but I genuinely think this could look great on someone else. The pros are that the print is colourful animal print (always good!) and the ombre is pretty cool. I also like the length which is just below my knees. Too long for some I know but for us taller ladies this is a good length and the fact that it falls so well from the waist with a taper really makes the length work. NOT BOXY!
The cons are (for me) the entire top section. I hate dresses with a sort of v-neck with a vest section underneath, they just remind me of the fashion choices I had in the 90s. There was too much of this half v / half round neck style, and I still feel a bit freaked out by them! If this had been a deep ruched V-neck without the extra panel I think it would be much more stylish. I'm also not keen on this length sleeve.... I sort of think they should either be shorter or longer.... again it's a personal thing, I don't like this sort of half-way-house sleeve length on me because it really rounds out my shoulders. The other thing is that from a distance I think it makes me look pregnant, purely because the ombre colours are lighter in the middle... personally I'd always put the darker colour in the centre to avoid a pregnant look! FYI I'm wearing the dual sized 22-24, and the fabric is that sort of synthetic feeling 'jersey' that Simply Be use for the Anna Scholz dresses, so it's really stretchy but slightly clingy (not that it matters with such a busy print of course!)A Dress is For life is mad for them though, and I know she wanted this cardi so I thought I'd take some pictures! It really does look nice doesn't it? This is the 22-24 and it's a nice fit, only a touch of gaping on the top button but it's got loads of give so I'm sure that would stretch out.
If this had dogs on I would be properly tempted by it! The only cons I have is that the cats eyes are made of zips, and I think it would get caught on things (like my skin for instance!) so you'd have to be careful wearing coats over it. The biggest con for me is how itchy it is though.... I just cannot abide itchy jumpers and cardis. I know this isn't a problem for everyone, it's just a personal thing!
sorry for the wobbly picture! this is the glove print jersey top in a size 22. IT'S PROPER JERSEY! WOO HOO! The section across my boobs was going a little bit white when stretched so I would probably size up to a 24 to avoid this. It's too short for my liking, but I wasn't planning to wear it on it's own....
.... oh god..... I LOVE THIS SO MUCH! Size 22 skirt, exactly the same stretchy jersey as the top, with an elasticated waist. I really really REALLY wanted to buy this outfit. It took some mega self control to leave the shop without these pieces.
My issue is this - this top and skirt should have just been a dress. Don't get me wrong I don't mind separates, but when it comes to costings, a £45 top (which I'm sorry, is way too pricey for such a tiny top!) plus a £45 skirt (a more acceptable price 'cause of the expanse of fabric I guess) means that you'd basically be paying £90 for a jersey dress. If this were a dress I think £60 would be as far as they could push it. I wanted this so bad but I just couldn't justify spending so much on two little jersey items, even with the current 10% off..... if I made more money or had a sugar daddy I would have taken this straight to the till and flounced home on a cloud of joy, but alas, I am not a rich woman and my Mr is certainly no Rockefeller! I PRAY that these go into the sale or that I can get a better discount code, because this is by far my favourite Clements Ribeiro style to date. LOVE LOVE LOVE! Please only buy this top and skirt if your getting a bigger or smaller size than I need because I don't want them to sell out! Ha!
Overall I think this is the most accessible of all the Swan's, the added stretch means that theses pieces will fit a much wider range of body-shapes than the previous collections and that can only ever be a good thing. Thank you for listening Evans!