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Hi, My name is Esther O’Reilly-Cain and I am founder and owner of Tia-Tia.  We specialise in dressing ladies from size 14 upwards.  I have been doing this for over 10 years and I have dressed 1,000’s of ladies – all different shapes and sizes – including myself!.  As you can imagine I know a thing or two about this industry!  I scour designers around the globe to bring you the very best that plus size fashion has to offer.

Dressing for Plus Size is different because slightly different rules apply.  It does not matter if the latest trend is up to the neck shirts with a big bow at the collar – it won’t work for us and we should not even attempt it!  We have to be far cleverer to stay up to the minute.  We have to pick our way round, adapt and make it our own and rock a slightly different vibe!  Never frumpy – NEVER!  But if Daisy Dukes are in we are not wearing them – or at least a discerning plus size woman isn’t!

We can pick up on many of the trends with colour, fabric and accessories.  If you look you can find some amazing fashion forward collections you just have to know where to find them!  That tends not to be on the high street.  Independent Plus Size specialists are out there and they are the ones to target as they will carry the very best collections form companies who know what they are doing and how to translate the trends just for you.

I think in many ways plus size fashion has a image of being behind in the times and ranges that go from a size 10-26+ very rarely work for anyone.  Independent Plus Size shops have this nailed as they have collections that generally start at a size 16 and are cut on special fashion templates that have been designed around a fuller figure.

At Tia-Tia we offer a younger vibe and we are not afraid to bring in stronger elements in terms of high fashion.  We dress real women and understand what they are looking for and how to make them look their very best.

It drives me mad when I look through magazine after magazine to find their attempts at fashion for the bigger girl.  Its at best a poor token effort.  Most of the time the size they cover only goes to a size 20 (which we all know will never be a proper 20) and if they do bother to visit a main plus size brand it’s rarely ever very exciting.  They never bother to look at the best labels and brands that are available and this drives me mad!

Enough of the rant – I know you are with me on this – so let’s concentrate on you my curvy lovely and really inspire you to take a good look at your self and give you the key to unlocking a even better you for 2017.

Hair, skin and make up are all the basics and set the back drop so it goes without saying visit  a good hairdresser – someone you feel you can trust and make sure you have the right length of hair, colour and style.  It does not have to be expensive – I think a good tip is to look at the stylist and see if you like him or her – is their style something you like – are they groomed well in a way that you like or aspire to.

I have been to some of the best hairdressers in my time but I am happiest with the one I have been using for a good while now.  She comes to the house and is the cheapest I have ever used but in truth the very best I have ever used!

Skin and make-up is next!  If you feel that you need to update your look – because lets be truthful we do tend to wear the same old same old!  I have to confess that I have not changed my main look for a while and I am actually happy about that.  I think I have found a style that suits me, is easy to do and does no take me very long to achieve.  When I need to up the anti on special occasions, I use slightly stronger tones the basic rules with make-up are as follows:

Bold eye colour soft lip                     Softer eye colour strong lips

Find products that suit you and stick with it.  Visit the make-up counters and get some ideas and some fun makeovers if you have the time.  Again, look at the assistant and see if you like her make-up.  Don’t be frightened to ask for the same thing – that’s why they are there!

Foundation is, in my mind one of the most important elements and I personally swear by Es

If you don’t already wear it try it.  They have a lighter version which does a amazing job too!
tee Lauder Double Wear.  It goes on at 7am and still looks good at 11pm!  In my day’s as a media specialist it was my staple – TV, meetings, whatever came my way, it kept me looking groomed and ready even when I may not have felt it!

The general rules about colours in make up are to decide if you have a cool or warm skin tone.

Once you have established this then you are on the way.

Cooler skin tones and Platinum blonds look good in blue, pink and purples.  Warmer skin tones with yellow blond and brown hair suit browns, greens and golds.  Grey hair suits rose, peach and soft pinks –  slate and navy works for a night time look.  Red heads are good with natural shades and purple.  Autumnal shades look amazing.

Tweak the shades of your make-up to suit your tone – if you are unsure ask for help at the make-up counter and don’t be afraid to try before you buy.  Remember tho that shiney and metallic products are better for younger skin as they have a tendency to sit in fine lines and exaggerate them.I personally really rate using a lip liner and eye brow pencil and I don’t know anyone who would not benefit form using them as they give definition to your face.

Talking of cool and warm tones this works with clothes as well as make-up.  Many women have their colours done – this can be helpful but it can also be a hindrance!  For one, if you change your hair colour or as you age so do the colours you can wear change.  This is fine if you are happy to keep paying to have your colours done – but from experience I often meet ladies who have had their colours done 15 years ago and they have changed a lot in that time but they still insist that the colours selected then are the ones for them today!

My personal rule is that you can actually wear most colours it the tone that matters – with the exception of yellow!  Most women can’t wear yellow very well its not kind to the majority of skin tones in the UK.  If you are lucky enough to be able to wear it then go for it.  A kinder alternative is into the gold tones for the rest of us.

With all that said you are now ready to shop!