Category Archives: Events

On Plus North and the Ever-Impressing World of British Curve Fashion

By Marie Southard Ospina

There’s a lot to be said for fashion shows. The runway is an amazing place to catch new seasonal designs, to make a mental wish list of everything you will be purchasing or pining over in the months to come and to celebrate the self-expression that fashion allows for. Because, let’s face it, fashion is one of the most immediate, day-to-day mediums for showcasing your individuality.

The thing is, plus-size fashion events have all this. But they also have something else. They have this beautiful ability to make you feel less alone. I know it sounds cheesy, but think back to pre-2010 and earlier – when the runway was a place reserved exclusively for women size-8 or smaller. Anyone over that size didn’t really get their voice heard in the fashion industry – let alone their curvy bods shown off on a catwalk. It’s taken a long time, and there’s still a lot of work to be done when it comes to size equality in fashion, but plus-size fashion shows are a beautiful reminder of how things are changing. Not to mention moments like plus-size model Denise Bidot walking the runway of Chromat at New York Fashion Week this season.

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Ten Niche Festivals That Won’t Break the Bank

Looking for something a little different than the usual festival fodder? Forget your Glasto and your Creamfields; up your festival cred with our selection of specialist music gatherings that don’t come with the mainstream price tag.  

Whether you’re a die-hard metal head, a hardcore raver, or prefer the sound of those bangin’ hip hop beats, take a look at our nine niche festivals from around the UK that won’t break the bank.


What’s that you say? A British festival without the dreaded weather fears? That’s right; Rebellion is an indoor event, which means – in their own words – ‘no need to worry about umbrellas or the great British weather affecting the festival!’ Held in Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, music is of the punk variety, with punk rock legends Stiff Little Fingers and NOFX leading 2014’s line up.

Rebellion Festival







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British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014 Round Up

Last month saw the second British Plus Size Fashion event return to London and it was bigger and better than before! The team headed down to London to showcase our new range of fashion. We arrived at the gorgeous Vinopolis venue right in the heart of the capital by the bustling Borough Market and the River Thames. The event took place on Friday 14th February for the press day, where we got to meet the beautiful plus size models!

Lirise Crosse wearing our Anna Scholz lingerie basque! Working it, in style!



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The Oscars: Style Round Up

Just as much about the dresses as it is the winners, Sunday night played host to the biggest night in Hollywood; the Oscars. True to form, it was a display of stunning style and breath-taking beauty, with stars of the big screen pulling out all the stops to impress on the red carpet. While the Academy was clearly most impressed with Gravity and 12 Years a Slave, we take a look at the outfits that won our coveted seal of approval!

Lupita NyongoLupita Nyong’o

After wowing the fash pack at the BAFTAs, rising star Lupita Nyong’o continued her winning style streak with a stunning sky blue gown by Prada. Worn with a plunging neckline and subtle gold accessories, the 12 Years a Slave actress cemented her place as one to watch not only for her acting talents (she walked away with the award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role) but also for her fantastic eye for fashion. Continue reading

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend 2014

British Plus Size Fashion Weekend returns for a second year and is set to be bigger than before. It will be taking place at the iconic Vinopolis in London, on the 14th and 15th February and as one of the sponsors, the Simply Be team will be attending alongside other plus size retailers including beauty and style experts!


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Plus London Three

Last weekend the Simply Be team headed to the big smoke for Plus London 2013. The event, which is in its third year was held at Hoxton Arches in fashionable East London, where plus size beauties and brands came together to celebrate all things curvaceous! It was so fab catching up with all our lovely blogger friends and so lovely to meet some newbies!

Simply Be Stand

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A Guide to Manchester’s Music-Inspired Fashion

London has long been considered the epicentre of the UK’s fashion world, but it seems that for one year at least, the capital has lost its crown to another fashionable city. On October 10th, Vogue’s annual Fashion’s Night Out – an extravaganza of design and culture – moved away from it’s home in London to take up residence among the bright northern lights of Manchester. The reason behind the move? “Manchester’s importance to fashion is unquestionable.” says Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman.

If you look into the roots of several trends, you’ll find it’s impossible to deny Manchester’s fashionable influence, but what you may not realise is that many of these trends grew directly out of Manchester’s thriving and creative music scene. The Smiths, Oasis, the Buzzcocks – all of these Mancunian bands and many others would go on to inspire fashion trends around the world.

Without proof these might seem like pretty grand claims, so to back up Manchester’s fashion credentials we’ve put together this guide to the key trends inspired by the city’s music scene. Whether you’re heading to Fashion’s Night Out, or just want to celebrate Manchester and recreate one of these amazing looks, here you’ll find everything you need to help you fall in love with the music and imitable fashion of Manchester.

mood board blog images-MOD

You can probably recognise the signature fashion of the 60s – think shift dresses, beehives and big lashes – but you may not know that the era’s fashion is deeply rooted in Manchester’s music scene. With influential ’60s bands like Freddie and the Dreamers and Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders forming in Manchester, clubs in the city acted as hothouses for new music and mod fashion.

Women’s fashion in the ’60s was a reaction against the feminine ideals of previous generations, so androgynous a-line dresses and pixie crops were the order of the day. Look to the catwalk and the high street and you’ll see that ’60s fashion is back and bolder than ever, with all its bright block colours, geometric prints and some serious attitude in tow.

So how can you get the swinging sixties look? Well, if you’re planning on taking on the trend for a night out, then a gorgeous shift dress is ideal. The dogstooth shift dress fits the bill perfectly, whilst the leather-trim details will give you a modern edge. Team with some cute ankle boots or ballet flats if you want to save your feet!

If you want to get the 60s look in the daytime, then why not invest in a bright-coloured swing coat? You can inject some fun into your look with a pair of round sunglasses, while a leather tote bag will show you really mean business.

mood board blog images-PUNK

Punk came late to Manchester, but when it did, it was received with a warm welcome, and home-grown punk bands like The Buzzcocks dominated the local scene. Mancunians – like punks from all around the UK – embraced the look, wearing leather jackets, ripped jeans, extreme hairstyles and plenty of safety pins.

CATWALK COLLECTION BUCKLE BIKER BOOTIf you feel like taking on the punk look, you’ll find lots of high-street interpretations. Anything leather is perfect for evoking punk attitude, so why not invest in a biker jacket or some buckle biker boots?

Leopard print and tartan are also big in punk fashion, so even if you don’t want to go all the way with the trend you can work it in with accessories in these prints.


The punk gigs of the Manchester Free Trade and Lesser Free trade halls acted as a meeting place and for bands in the next major movement in music: the new wave era. Mancunian bands like Joy Division, the Smiths and the Fall all became major players on the new wave scene.PEEP TOE OPEN HEEL ANKLE BOOT

Whilst being similar in some ways to punk fashion, the new-wave aesthetic set itself apart with cleaner, more minimalist designs, making this a perfect look to take on if you don’t want to go all the way with punk. Get the new-wave look with a faux-leather-sleeved t-shirt and the eye-catching peep toe open heel ankle boots.



Although the term ‘indie’ originally referred to music from small or low-budget independent labels, by the mid-80s it encompassed the kind of music that bands under those labels produced. As much as the meaning of the word evolved, indie music retained its do-it-yourself attitude and love of experimentation, and this spirit can certainly be seen to carry through into indie fashion.

Indie fashion is all about mixing aesthetic influences, so pretty much anything goes. If you want to get the look then why not try putting together styles from different eras and working some interesting prints into your wardrobe? Two of our favourite pieces are this gorgeous bird-print shirt and trilby hat – both of which work great for a take on the indie trend. Team with skinny jeans and ankle boots to create the perfect laid-back day or night outfit.


Trilby hat




From the early indie scene of the 1990s emerged Britpop – a movement that was all about ‘Cool Britannia’ – a renewed love of all things British – and the guitar pop of the ’60s and ’70s. Bands like Blur and Mancunian band Oasis dominated the Britpop scene, with Oasis’s album Definitely Maybe going straight to number one on its release.

As with any musical movement, Britpop had its own unique fashion style. Polo shirts and skinny jeans were both very popular, but by far the most important fashion item in Britpop was the parka jacket. You can get the Britpop look with this gorgeous take on the classic parka, which features a drawcord to cinch in the waist and a faux-fur-trim hood – perfect for keeping cosy in winter!

See what we got up to for Vogue Fashion’s Night Out here!

London Fashion Week 2013 Highlights

It’s a wrap for another year – London Fashion Week has once again been full of amazing fashion and has given us lots of inspiration for trends and colours for the next season.


We’ve scoured the catwalks and picked out our favourite looks and trends from the runway, so we’re here to show you what to look forward to in Spring Summer 2014 (we already can’t wait!) and more importantly give you some tips and inspirations on how you can wear the LFW trends right now!

Powerful Pastels

What do you know; pastels are once again going to be on trend in Spring Summer 14, with pale pinks, sky blue and buttercup yellows being the main colours of the season.

Burberry Prorsum is adorned with pink and purple pastels and take note from Christopher Kane – rocking the mint greens.

Get the look right now with this cute knit jumper in pastel pink and peppermint green – perfect to keep cosy and on-trend this autumn!


Botanical Beauty

We can’t get enough of florals – we wear them on everything from tops to dresses and of course this year we’ve been living in our floral trousers. We’re happy to state that the floral look is still being backed by the designers for spring/summer 14 but this time they’ve gone for pretty appliqué flowers and classic bold prints to make your spring wardrobe stand out in style.

Some of our favourite looks from this trend included pieces from designers Jonathan Saunders, PPQ and Alice Temperley!

Get the look with this beautiful Magisculpt jersey print dress!


High Low Hem

Designers such as Erdem and Alice Temperley have been showcasing their mullet dresses at this year’s show with some killer outfits. We adore this sweeping look as we get to show off our legs with some added coverage. Also note the colours are very muted and next year expect to see lots of creams, white and ivory on the high street!

Here’s our version of this trend so take your pick…


The Frow

It’s not only the designers that have got us talking, oh no, the frowers – all those fashionable celebs lucky enough to sit on the front row have been making a statement too. Celebs such as Laura Whitmore, Sienna Miller and Paloma Faith have been spotted eyeing up the catwalk and working the trends in their very own style. Not forgetting of course the fashionista Alexa Chung seen here wearing this leopard print coat.

celebs at london fashion week Screenshot_1

Hot stuff!

Other trends that we haven’t yet mentioned but definitely something to look out for next season is sheer clothing – yes indeed, apparently see-through styles will be tres chic next year alongside denim, and a second revival of the nineties!

Try out the look in our cross studded shirt!


What trends have you loved wearing this year? xx

Plus North 2013

Over the weekend, the Simply Be team headed off to attend one of the hottest plus size events of the year – Plus North. This plus size beauty & fashion event took place on Saturday 7th September in our home town of Manchester – whoop whoop!

The event was organised by bloggers Becky Barnes and Toni King and took place at the lovely Renaissance Hotel right in the hub of the city centre. The day was a success and we had such a great time meeting all the bloggers and Simply Be shoppers! :)

Organisers Becky & Toni – they both did an amazing job on Saturday – well done girls!


The Simply Be team were on hand to show off our new autumn winter range, here’s a few pics from our beautiful stand… ;)




Mmmm yummy cupcakes…


As one of the sponsors we got to showcase our beautiful autumn/winter collection with a catwalk show. The atmosphere was amazing and our gorgeous models were well received as they strutted down the runway.

Here they all are ready and raring to go…

group shot


Straight off the catwalk – looking fabulous!


While we were there we also spied a few ladies wearing our clothes, so of course we snapped them up…

Here’s the lovely Betty, blogger at Pamper and Curves wearing our cut out detail skater dress – we’re loving the hair do Betty!


Becky, blogger at Does my Blog Make me Look Fat looks great in one of our Blogger Takeover dresses – the Boombands dress – gorgeous!


We had a brilliant time at the event – thanks to all the people we met and the lovely models who took part in our catwalk show – you were fabulous! Until next time… :)

Did you attend Plus North? Let us know your thoughts? xx