Occasionally, a blogging opportunity will land in my inbox that I feel really passionate about. It will be something that I am opinionated about, care about and really want to write about. In a way, these posts should be the easiest to write but if anything, I’ve found that they’re harder. They’re harder because I care more about getting them right. About setting the right tone and explaining myself properly. I worry about being misinterpreted and I agonise over exactly which wording to use.

And that’s exactly how I feel writing about Elvi Clothing. A company that as soon as I heard about them, I admired. A fashion company that stands out for all the right reasons, and one that I want to do justice to. You see, they put their money where their mouth is, and they don’t just talk-the-talk of being inclusive, they genuinely are. To scroll through an online fashion retailer and see models ranging in size from 8 to 28 is incredible. It shouldn’t be. It should be the norm. But it’s refreshing and wonderful and inspiring.

Pickle and I picking strawberries at Clive's Fruit Farm

The importance of Equality

I’m not a particularly opinionated person – I have a strong live and let live philosophy which means any opinions I hold, I tend to keep to myself. I’ve always had an interest in politics and the workings of democracy but more because I’m fascinated by the process rather than the outcome. But if I had to choose something that I feel passionate about, it would be equality.

I care that we all should feel included, welcome and appreciated – no matter how we are classified. Our skin colour, our heritage, our physical abilities, our sexual preferences, our bank balance, our gender, our size or any other identifier shouldn’t be barriers or reasons to feel less worthy. We should all feel like we have a place, and in order for that to happen – we need to see people we identify with reflected in our cultural media. It sounds trivial, but that’s why I’ve always liked CBeebies: they do a great job of ensuring all children see themselves in their programming. It’s why it’s important for shop fronts (whether they’re on the high street or on the web) to show diversity.

Cornbury Festival reading a magazine in the sunshine

I’ve never been one to buy fashion magazines because I’ve always felt the slender, toned models don’t speak to me. I wouldn’t look like they look in those clothes so it’s not very inspirational. It’s much better for me to follow more fashion orientated Instagram accounts and I love the daily dose of style it injects into my life. I like this control I get over the fashion I see – I follow accounts that inspire me, I follow women of all shapes and sizes and I follow accounts that I feel offer me the healthiest perspectives. And what do I mean about a healthy perspective? I mean one that makes us celebrate our bodies, not compare them. One that doesn’t propagate a narrow idea of what is attractive or desirable. One that champions diversity.

Easier Said than Done

As much as I can talk the talk about accepting our bodies whatever their shape and size, it’s sometimes easier said than done, isn’t it? Whether you wish you had more curves, less curves, longer legs or thicker eyebrows, there’s always something out there to remind us of what our culture’s beauty ideal is and sometimes, preaching the messages of body positivity can feel a little false. It does for me anyway. As someone who has recently actively tired to lose weight, I feel a bit of a fraud.

In the park with Pickle Cannon Hill Park for the Foodie Festival

The Thing Is…

What it all boils down to though, is this… on the days where I think more about what I want to wear, on the days I make more of an effort, no matter what size or shape I am, I feel better. I feel more confident. If I can walk out of the house feeling positive about my appearance, it makes such a difference to the day. And it’s not my size or shape that controls that – it’s the effort I put in. It’s the time I take for myself. The time I choose to invest in myself. It’s giving myself some self-care and showing myself some self-love.

In the strawberry fields in Clive's Fruit Farm

Mommy wearing the Evelyn dress from Elvi Clothing whilst strawberry picking

A few weeks ago, I chose this lovely dress from Elvi Clothing, and the days on which I’ve worn it have been really good (like our trip to Clive’s Fruit Farm).  The gorgeous midi-length skirt swishes around my knees, the silky slip underneath makes me feel like I’m wearing something really posh, and the addition of a little waist belt ensures a flattering fit. On each occasion, I’ve felt a million dollars.

Walking hand in hand through the strawberry fields

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This is the kind of dress you make an effort for. And I’d like to fill my wardrobe with more items like this. I’d like to open the doors in the morning and find myself spoiled with choice of things to wear that make me feel good – on the outside AND the inside. Can you imagine having a little confidence boost like that every day? But you know what I think makes all the difference with this dress? It’s that I know Elvi Clothing have made it without size expectations. It’s a dress that comes with no judgements. It’s one that I’ll wear with pride. And I hope this dress sees me continuing to spread the body positive ethos of Elvi Clothing. For my benefit, for your benefit and for the wider benefit of everyone who we encounter.

Chilling out at the Foodies Festival in Cannon Hill Park wearing Elvi Clothing dress

Cheers to that.

Disclaimer: I was sent samples of clothing from Elvi Clothing but all content ideas, opinions and views remain my own. And as always, are 100% honest.