The Forever Dress

Charli stands in front of stone wall wearing a black leather jackets and black, jersey wrap around dress.

Shopping sustainably when plus size is hard! Sustainable brands rarely create styles above a size 16 and vintage fashion is scarce. So how do you shop sustainably when plus size? You shop for the forever dress that’s perfect for all occasions and all seasons.

Sustainability is important to me. I shop a lot of vintage or second-hand items. I wear sustainable brands when they are available to me. I live with a capsule wardrobe. I try shopping items I can wear again and again in multiple ways. It isn’t always easy, resisting the fast fashion urge to buy a new party dress for ever occasion – especially when your hobby is browsing the ASOS new in section.

Shopping sustainably

The urge to shop is even stronger now that I have an ever growing baby bump and too much time on my hands. Maternity wear leaves a lot to be desired, especially when sticking to a second-hand budget. But I’m trying to shop responsibly by asking myself three simple questions when making a purchase:

  1. Will it fit with at least 3 other items in my wardrobe?
  2. Can it be worn for more than one occasion type?
  3. Can it be worn for more than one season?

And, of course, being pregnant right now – will it allow for the ever-expanding stomach? And can I breast feed in it? Being able to breast feed in something means it can also be worn in that dreaded fourth trimester of sleepless nights, tears of exhaustion and frustration, and getting to grips with nappies!

Charli stands in front of stone wall wearing a black leather jackets and black, jersey wrap around dress.

The Forever Dress

The biggest trick for shopping sustainably is to shop simple, classic, well-made items. Navabi is my go-to for items like this. They have one of the most impressive ranges of classic plus size dresses to see you through seasons and they are always my first stop for finding a forever dress.

The dress I have chosen for my maternity wardrobe hits all markers. The jersey material means the dress will accommodate my changing shape and the wrap neckline will allow for easy booby-access when it comes to feeding time at the zoo. The classic shape and colour means that it goes with multiple items in my wardrobe and the dress can be easily paired with trainers for laid back style or heels and glitzy necklace for more formal occasions. And, mostly importantly, it an easy dress for layering to see you from summer to autumn, through to winter and back again.

One of my favourite things about classic clothing items like this wrap dress is the ability to transform them into new items as the season changes. The easiest way to do this is by adding a chunky knit or layering with a polo neck underneath. Switching shoes can also give a new feel to an outfit and none of this costs money. It keeps your wardrobe fresh whilst making sure you get optimum wear out of your items.

Charli stands in front of stone wall wearing a black leather jackets and black, jersey wrap around dress.

Fit, form, function

This Annalisa dress, a brand exclusive to Navabi, is available in sizes 14 – 28. I’m wearing a size 18, my usual size, and it is a great fit suggesting the brand to be very true to size. The dress is midi length and sits mid-calf on my 5ft10 frame. This means the dress could easily become more a maxi dress on those of more petite proportions.

It is also an incredibly comfortable dress. The jersey material is soft and flowing with an elasticity that means it bounces back into shape after being stretched. This suggests that dress will be very hard wearing and unlikely to be damaged by wear. Washing the dress on a low temperature and line drying it will only increase the longevity.

The dress is available for £90 making it a fantastic investment piece. At the time of writing, the dress has 20% off making it just £72 pound.

Do you want to see how I layer this dress to deal with our changeable autumn weather? Keep an eye on my instagram for some new IGTV videos.

The dress pictured in this post has been gifted by Navabi.  All thoughts and opinions expressed remain my own.

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8 Comments

  1. September 30, 2019 / 12:30 pm

    I haven’t heard of Navabi before, but I LOVE that dress, it can be dressed up/down and worn so many ways! I really think that I would rather buy one quite pricey item like this and get lots of wear out of it, rather than lots of cheap stuff that just gets thrown out after a while. I need my teenager to do the same too!! 🙂

  2. September 30, 2019 / 2:01 pm

    That dress is incredible, it looks amazing on you! I love it when you find that dress – the one that’s forever. I will definitely check out Navabi.

  3. September 30, 2019 / 2:41 pm

    That dress is gorgeous and an amazing price too. I love how it can be styled different ways for different seasons / occassions. It looks great on you.

  4. September 30, 2019 / 5:19 pm

    Oh I love that dress!! I think making sensible choices for pieces you can wear again and again, year after year, is a great starting point for those wanting to shop sustainably!

  5. October 1, 2019 / 9:29 am

    This is such a gorgeous dress and agrees it is suitable for all occasions, it definitely can be hard shopping sustainably for vintage clothing.

  6. Melanie williams
    October 1, 2019 / 12:35 pm

    You are looking fab there for sure. Love the look of the dress and they way it flows xx

  7. October 3, 2019 / 8:23 am

    What a lovely classic dress and the 20% discount makes it even more of a good investment piece x

  8. October 3, 2019 / 8:52 am

    What a lovely dress and it really suits you too! I am all about staple pieces that can be dressed up or down and worn for any occasion and this definitely sounds like it ticks all the boxes!