I wasn't terribly impressed when it first launched in January last year (see my review here). So, let's see what's on offer a few collections down the line.
First of all, bravo Mango for calling the range 'curve sizes'. So much more informative than plus size. I mean what is a plus size???? Sounds quite derogatory to me. Sizes go up to a 22 but I don't know how true these are. Perhaps someone wouldn't mind letting me know if they find Violeta true to size. I'd be interested to know.
Secondly, let's run through quickly what the curvier lady should be looking for.
1. Fabric matters.
I've mentioned this before. Stiff, crisp fabrics will stand off your curves making you look bigger than you really are. Look for soft, drapey fabrics that skim your curves.
2. Your waist
If you have a waist, make sure you show it off. Curvy hourglasses and pear shapes, I'm talking to you. Boxy jackets won't do you any favours but jackets that nip in at the waist will work well.
3. Watch where the hem lines finish on tops and bottoms
Avoid any hem line finishing at your widest part. It gives the illusion of you being bigger than you are. If you are at your widest at the hips for example, wear a top that finishes slightly higher or lower. But if you're doing a full block colour eg. black, this won't be so important. It's only if you're wearing a contrasting top and bottom. Similarly watch where the skirt and coat hem finishes. Again avoid the widest part of your leg.
4. A column of colour is very slimming
Wearing the same colour top and bottom elongates your frame. Generally darker colours are slimming (eg. black, navy, charcoal, brown) but totally boring in the warmer months so don't be afraid to try white. You can wear a pop of colour by way of a cardigan, jacket or coat to pull an outfit together.
5. Print size
Prints can be brilliant in disguising a wobbly tummy for example. But, a delicate ditzy print will look lost and totally unbalance your frame. Look for larger prints which will look amazing. Avoid geometric patterns as lines won't lie straight over your curves. Opt for more fluid shapes such as florals, paisleys, circles and spots.
6. Watch the neckline
If you're blessed with a big bust then you probably know that a high neckline isn't great. It creates a kind of shelf effect - hmmmm not your best look. A lower neckline is much more flattering.
Ok, let's go....
What do you reckon to this first offering?
Suede Dress £169.99
It's certainly a trend piece. But it's suede and suede does it's own thing. There's absolutely no give in this fabric. There's no waist definition either and if you have hips, you can forget it. And if you size up, you're going to look the next size up too!
Well, we can fix the fabric with this next dress.
So much more flattering. The drape will work really well on your frame. For a rectangle shape (that's ladies without a waist), this is THE PERFECT shape for you. Regardless of what Gok Wok says, you can't create a waist with a belt if you don't have one. The belt serves only to hilight the absence of one! Hourglasses and pear shapes, I know you want this dress too because it's lovely isn't it. Add a jacket with a nipped in waist and you too have the perfect little number. To be honest this type of dress works with almost any footwear - dress down with trainers, pointed ballet pumps (points elongate the leg) and ankle boots (but be careful they can cut your legs up) or go all out with your best heels.
If you have the urge for the dark green, how about this one.
Flowy Belt Dress £59.99
The clue is in the title (flowy) and in the product description (fluid). Can't get much clearer than that. I think this is one to show off the waist. And a Brucie bonus, a lovely deep neckline that can be filled with any jewels of your choice (or just leave it naked, you brazen hussy).
Cowl Neck Dress £44.99
A lovely dress that's covering all the right bits (upper arms, upper legs) but that cowl worries me. If it's resting on an already voluptuous bust, well, we're talking Katie Price-esq proportions. The model doesn't look very amused either!
A quick look at patterns.
Paisley Print Dress £69.99
This is a great pattern actually. It keeps everything in proportion. A fabulous little dress for autumn that can be layered up for warmth. And I think it would work for those of you who wouldn't want the belt, just take it off.
Overall, I'm quite impressed with the dress selection. There's enough choice with only a few bad apples.
Tops next. Most of the tops seem to be in lovely fluid fabrics. Even the denim shirt is described as a 'soft denim'.
This caught my eye.
Stud Textured Blouse £44.99
The neckline has a hint of Michael Kors about it. You'll need to work out where your own widest part is at the hemline but this top has the option of doing a semi tuck as above (if you dare - go on you know you want to) or leave it loose.
If I'm honest, I'm not sure about this scarf print blouse.
Scarf Print Blouse £59.99
I do think that the 'squareness' of the print works against your curves but the shape is great for some of you. And a really pretty arm length. Juries out!
But this one is a yes - go out and buy it!
V-neckline blouse £49.99
You can't see from the photo but there's little tie things at the wrist line. Details such as this are great at drawing the eye as they're interesting. Which of course means that they eye is concentrating on your wrists (we all have beautiful wrists) and not on your bad bits. If you're short legged I'd avoid cuffing your jeans, it really does shorten the leg.
Next top. The colour! They say lilac, it's so not lilac. It's verging on berry - totally wonderful for this season and most can wear this (red heads might struggle).
Flowy blouse £44.99
This shape is such a good wardrobe basic, for work, for casual, for dressing up.
And the dress in a top.
Paisley Print Blouse £59.99
Works doesn't it. That little tassel is a really important feature. It forces the eye to look up and down as opposed to settling on anything in particular which really does work the verticals and automatically tricks the brain into thinking you're slimmer. Try it for yourself it really works.
So, we'll leave it there for tonight. It's now midnight, so a quick cuppa before I set off to pick the little one up. Couldn't deny him this party, we were invited too but have family over for the weekend. It's amazing. A house party with 300 people, V-fest D.J.s, free bar, catering vans. The lot. Now that's one way to see out the summer!
I'll look some more at Mango's Violeta but so far, I'm pretty impressed. They've come a long way. I love their use of fabrics and the hem lines have been dropped. The designers have really thought hard how a woman would like to dress regardless of her size. Disappointed that the price point seems on the face of it to be more expensive than the normal range though.
It was a harrowing afternoon. Our beloved football team conceded 2 goals in the 90th and 94th minute so we lost 2-1. I felt sick. Anyway, this is what I wore.
|Sweater - Mango|
Blazer - H&M (similar)
Cropped trousers - Mango
Shoes - Boden (similar)
Bag - Coach (similar)
Scarf - old