The blogging community is very supportive, with many warm and wonderful ladies and gents who offer advice, support and opportunities to others whenever they can. One such lovely blogger is Avril Keys who writes the fabulous School Gate Style. Avril is based in Northern Ireland, and recommended my blog and work to a new designer who truly understands how to dress womanly curves. Her name is Patricia O’ Toole, and I will be eternally grateful to Avril for introducing me to this great new brand, ‘Beautiful You’.
Since having Joe my tummy has most definitely been my problem area, and though in recent years I have lost weight and have gone down two dress sizes, the extra weight I carry on my tummy just refuses to budge. So when I wear fitted clothes, particularly the smart dresses that are my clothing of choice, I often add shapewear to lift, hold and keep everything in place, particularly my ‘jelly-belly’.
Patricia O’Toole recognised a similar problem, she says:-
“…Several years ago I was searching for clothes to hide my tummy when I realized that my body had changed and no amount of dieting or exercise was going to restore it to my younger shape! I wanted elegant clothing that worked with me and my busy life. After much searching on the internet I became frustrated with the lack of choice available. So I decided to do something about it and created a collection of classic outfits that have built-in shapewear so you don’t have to worry about underwear lines…”
I have fallen in love with the range, with dresses that literally skim the figure and feel so comfortable to wear. The shapewear is built in, but is not restrictive or tight, and helps remove the unsightly lines you can get from underwear showing through tighter-fitting dresses. Below I am wearing the Patricia dress in teal, which is a lovely warm dress that is perfect for the current transitional weather, and can easily take you from day to night wear.
The fabric is lovely, a puckered stretch design that makes the dress more interesting than a simple wrap style. The side ruching is another detail I love, pulling the eyes to the side of the dress rather than to the tummy area. 3/4 sleeves are also fabulous, both for those who dislike their upper arms, and for when the days are chilly.
I added simple silver jewellery and black Mary Janes to my outfit, and wore this for my hubby’s night out this week. It was perfect for the Chinese restaurant we went to, dressy, but not overly so – you could change this by adding a clutch bag and metallic shoes, or a vintage brooch.
I think Patricia O’ Toole dresses are on the way to becoming an absolute wardrobe staple – something that can be grabbed from the wardrobe and thrown on – no ironing required. The Patricia dress also comes in classic black, cream, navy and red – I would frankly love one in every colour.
There will be a second Patricia O’ Toole review coming up in the next couple of weeks, so look out for it!
*With thanks to Patricia O’Toole for sending me the dress for review purposes.