The Model and Me: Harlow

Nikki ParkinsonFashion, The Model and Me 58 Comments

If you have curves and are size 12-24 then finding a pair of jeans can be a challenge.

I very much like the white ripped ones from Embody Denim I featured a couple of weeks ago. I rejoiced when Blue Illusion brought out its shape denim range earlier this year. And I’m a card-carrying member of the Not Your Daughter’s Jeans (NYDJ) fan club (current faves featured here).

This week I’m excited to tell you about a style of skinny jeans that does all kinds of magic to your legs, your butt and your front bottom from the team at plus-size independent Australian label, Harlow.

Harlow designs and sells clothes for women size 12-24. Now before you jump up and down and say size 12 or 14 is not plus-size, let me clarify things for you.

If you do have curves and are a size 12 or 14 then it can be tricky to find clothes that fit your shape, even if they’re supposedly the right size for you. That’s why Harlow developed its size range to run from size 12.

Secondly, I really don’t like the term plus-size but it’s become such an industry norm that I use it because it gives you a clear indication if it’s a label for you.

SY readers are of all sizes and I do like to include a range of clothes here suited across all size ranges.

Personally, I swing between a 12-16 depending on the label and cut. I’ve long since lost any hang-ups about what the number is on the label and I buy clothes because they fit me, not because I want have a certain number on the label in my wardrobe.

… moving right along, let’s check out the jeans on the model.

The model

Harlow Paint it Black skinny leg black denim jeans | summer love hi-lo blouse

Harlow Paint it Black skinny leg black denim jeans $199 | Summer love hi-lo blouse $129 (The model wears size 20 in both pieces and is 175cm tall)

and me

Harlow Australia top and jeans | Shoes of Prey heels | Tempt necklace | mnologie clutch | Kerrie Hess Illustration phone case

Harlow top (I’m wearing size 12) and jeans (I’m wearing size 14)* | Shoes of Prey heels | Tempt necklace | mnologie clutch | Kerrie Hess Illustration phone case | Dinosaur Design bangle

I tried on the size 12, 14 and 16 jeans before settling on the size 14s. All fit in their own special way.

There was no muffin top with the size 16s but I could tell it would only take a couple of hours of wearing before they would be too big for me. The size 12s did up – just – but the muffin top was more than I was willing to wear. The size 14s? Just right. Minimal muffin top and perfect fit around the thighs and legs.

As you know, I’m a huge fan of the leg-lengthening powers of the skinny jean – and this particular jean does that SO well. What it also does is suck you in with a uber-comfort combination of premium 10oz cotton/polyester/elastane denim.

It’s a mid-to-high-rise fit, which is perfect for my shape (there’s a greater distance between the tops of my thighs and belly button than belly button to bust so a rise that sits just under my belly button balances things out).

Harlow has worked with Australian denim manufacturer Denim Smith to create this limited edition product – so it’s all about quality and a jean that will be an essential part of your wardrobe for years to come.

I was asked recently if a pair of jeans was something you should spend more or less on and I had no hesitation in saying more. I know that’s not the case for everyone but for me and my bottom heavy shape, it most definitely is.

All the jeans that I’ve found to work for my shape, suck me in and make me look taller all cost around the $200 mark.

The cost-per-wear factor wins out every time though. I feel good in them, so I have no hesitation in wearing them over and over again.

As for the whole outfit … this is the type of no-brainer combination that I reach for a night out with the girls or date night.

You can’t go wrong with heels and monochrome.

The Model and Me Harlow Store SS14-15

So tell me, have you got your denim wardrobe nailed? Share with us what jeans work for your body shape (it will help others to share what body shape and size you are).

* These pieces were gifted to me for editorial consideration

PS. Check out Jo from iCurvy rocking the same pair of jeans here. She’s wearing the size 12.

Comments 58

  1. Bella Nikki! I have avoided searching, trying and purchasing jeans for many, many years. The detail in your article and those pictures are true motivation. You cracked me up with your reference to the “front bottom” as I have a similar predicament, affectionately referred to as “twin skin” from incubating precious cargo. Thank you for sharing the Harlow Label.

  2. You look absolutely amazing in this post. I love the jeans and the top is gorgeous. I love the trim on the sleeves x

  3. WOW! I really like this look and wish this post had been a couple of weeks ago as I would have bought both the top and jeans there and then to wear to my staff Christmas do. I think I might go and visit Harlow now and pop a thing or two in my shopping bag!
    It is so true, what you say about plus size really being about fitting curves. I am finding myself buying more and more from plus size retailers just to get the fit I need for my curvaceous hips and bust line. Thank you to those stores like Harlow, 17 Sundays, Dream Diva, Embody and more that are offering modern fashion that fits and looks good on us curvier girls.

  4. Can I just say: HOO HAA! You almost burnt my eyeballs with all that hotness!
    I’m a short (161cm), curvy, size 10 and I am head over heels in love with the distressed skinnies (that I take a size 11 in) from Bohemian Traders. They fit, look fab and best of all – no muffin top. x

  5. You look HOT! So gorgeous! It’s a really great look on you, Nikki, and I love the way you’ve styled it. Also, you are looking just so healthy and glowing! I really love your Shoes of Prey shoes too (and SQUEE! You picked my design in your SoP competition -thank you SO much!) xx

  6. You are so right about the cost per wear Nikki. I balked at paying $200, but after your post re Blue Illusion denim and trying a pair on, I found that I couldn’t go back to anything else.

  7. Nikki you look amazing in those jeans! I really don’t like the plus size label either! It is just a size and I agree with you on not caring what size the label says as long as you look and feel good in it,wear it.
    My very favourite jeans are the Katies distressed skinnies I bought in winter and wore a LOT,they just fit so well and are so comfy and I managed to pick up a pair on sale that are a light wash marked down from $60 to $10 and I wasn’t even looking for them,I do like my NYDJ grey ones too as they are the right length on me.I am a size 8,column shape and 5ft4.
    Nikki you absolutely Rock denim Xx

  8. Just gorgeous Nikki. Thanks for sharing … if you don’t mind me asking (and I really do appreciate you share your sizing with these Model & Me posts on the blog) but what size do you wear in NYDJ? I have a few pairs of NYDJ’s so I am hoping to use this to know what size to order in Harlow ones.

  9. Smokin, Nikki!Love this on you.
    I’m pretty much a jeans wearer whenever I can get away with it, and I agree that trying on of multiple sizes is what you need to do. I would also suggest trying the different washes and colours too, because there can be huge variation in fit within what you think are the same jeans. Here’s the other thing, even within the same wash, colour and size there can be variation so you need a friendly shop assistant (or loved one), to do some schlepping and get you multiples of what you think are the right ones and try them all on.

    I did this for my husband last week, and he was amazed at the variation between jeans marked as the same size and colour. And we’re talking a premium brand- I think there’s more variation in cheaper ones. Time consuming but worth it!

  10. Holy smokes you look all kinds of AWESOME! I sooooo need those jeans! Love the whole outfit in you nikki x

  11. You do look lovely Nikki. Those jeans are the business. I struggle to find skinny jeans that fit well. I like them to come right down over the ankle – most of the ones I see are too short. I have a Mela Purdie black pair, which I love, but I don’t think they make them anymore. Illogically, I try not to wear them too much because I don’t want them to wear out too quickly. X

  12. you look really great in that outfit nikki! and your shoes you designed … the ticket! your hair looks lovely too!
    I am good with jag jeans, katies, peter morrisey at big w and my favourites are ‘VASSALLI jeans that fit!’ … they are pull-ons and don’t have a zip perfect in every way for my longish, slim legs and body shape! …
    I bought 2 pairs! and I have other summer pants in that brand ab/fab fabric!
    have a relaxing day?!?! … love m:)X

  13. Thanks for the amazing write up Nikki, The weather in Melbourne has been so that I have been alternating both pairs for the past few weeks. SO comfy and yet so amazingly chic….

  14. Looking good! I’m an hour glass figured shortie and in my youth when I was thinner I remember wearing a size 12 to fit across my hips and having it gape a lot at the waist.
    Jeans have come a long way. For me the Curve Embracer range at Jeanswest works well – size 16 as do skinny jeans in size 14 from City Chic. I buy them in the ‘short’. Although even then I have to further shorten them by up to 10sm,

  15. LOVING you in that outfit Nikki.
    I’m a jeans girl, so I have a bit to say on brands.
    I’m an 8-10 depending on the muffin-toppery (it’s not the size you are, it’s where the waistband sits, in my opinion, oh and how many kids you’ve had perhaps)

    Best fitting jeans ever, especially if you like a skinny: Country Road hands down. They keep their shape better than any other brand. Also, they aren’t so low cut that you need a Brazillian to wear them.
    I suggest in ALL jeans to buy a size down. If you can squeeeeeze into it without passing out, then this is your size. Trust me, after an hour of bending down to pick up Sylvanians and My Little Ponies you’ll be glad.

    Most comfy jeans ever: AG Denim. They are just the most lovely feeling. Not really denim proper, but they look beautiful. The Stilt is the cut to got for. Not quite a skinny, but still with superior leg slimming.

    Goodness, I do go on don’t I? Perhaps I need to do a blog post on jeans one day…?

  16. Love the look Nikki. Ypu look amazing. I have actually found my favourite jeans lately from Witchery. Perfect amount of stretch and comfort. I also have a few pairs from Big W that I just love. Have a fabulous Monday. V x

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