When River Island got in touch and asked me to review some of their items for their ‘I’m Wearing River Island’ campaign, I was both so excited – they’re one of my favourite brands – and absolutely terrified. Reviewing items means wearing items and being in front of the camera isn’t something I do very often.
I’ve been running Life Unexpected for three years now, but you’ll find it really difficult to find a picture of me solo. Especially a picture of me modelling anything. I am extremely self conscious and I have huge hang ups about my body. Hang ups that I really notice even more on camera.
But, when one of your favourite brands gets in touch and asks to work with you, no matter how unconfident you are, you’d be so silly not to say yes!
One thing I love about River Island is their fit. I don’t know about you but when clothes fit me right I tend to ooze confidence. I always find that River Island clothes are extremely flattering. The one thing this brand has got right is their understanding of different body shapes. No matter your shape or size; petite, plus size, tall…there will be something for you.
Oh River Island! I obsess over their jeans, I covet their summer dresses, I find that their jackets are always the best on the high street and I am always so excited for Autumn to come so I can bag some new jaw droppingly beautiful boots. Don’t even get me started on how much I love their purses and bags!
Excitingly, River Island gifted me four items to try out. With summer coming I opted for; the most beautiful beach playsuit in the world, a day to night dress, a pair of shorts and my dream bag. Lets start with the scariest item they sent me.
The Scary Shorts! –
Yes I know that shorts aren’t scary but I never, ever, ever, ever wear shorts. Ever. Skirts and dresses yes but my thighs…they are my ultimate worst enemy. I’ve worked tirelessly over the years to try and make my thighs smaller and I’ve always wanted to be one of these girls who could just throw on a pair of shorts in the summer and confidently walk out the door.
Seeing as this review is testing my confidence anyway, I figured I might as well go all out in the ‘out of my comfort zone’ department and try a pair of River Island shorts. When they arrived I immediately regretted ordering them. I unpackaged them and saw how small the distressed denim high waisted shorts I had ordered looked.
I actually started to consider enrolling into a major fitness bootcamp as I nervously slid them on. At first I couldn’t face looking in the mirror but my boyfriend convinced me that he loved them, so I took a peek for myself.
It turns out that the risk of choosing to review them paid off. For the first time ever in my life, I have found myself feeling comfortable wearing a pair of shorts. I don’t look like I’ve squeezed into them and I’m not afraid to step out in public wearing them. I even like the way my bum looks! Hooray!
These shorts are going to be so perfect for everyday wear. I adore the light blue wash colour because it goes with everything. I also really like the distressed ripped hem and the ripped detailing on one of the legs. It’s current and the casualness of the shorts will pair really nicely with the smart blouses and loose fitting chiffon tops I always wear. The perfect essential for an everyday summer outfit? I think so!
If you have short hang ups like me, seriously go and have a peek at the shorts on River Islands website. They have a huge range of shorts in different shapes and styles. I can honestly vouch for the fact that you’ll find a pair that suits you.
The Festival Inspired Bag –
The second item I was sent was this ‘black suede cross body fringed bag‘. If you know River Island, you’ll know that they do the best bags. It’s so hard to choose just one to go home with. But, I can’t even begin to tell you how long I’ve wanted a black suede bag with fringing. I found the perfect one in New York about 5 years ago, only I over stuffed it with things and it broke not long after I came back to the UK. Ever since I’ve searched high and low for a replacement, never finding one I love as much until now.
This bag…this bag is my dream bag! The festival inspired fringing. The soft suede material. The braided shoulder straps. The filigree embellishment. I could go on. Isn’t is beautiful?
The details on this bag are so intricate and stunning. The double shoulder strap definitely won’t break like my old bag. The braiding makes it feels so strong and secure at the same time as looking so lovely.
The only thing I was unsure of with this bag is the gold detailing on the sides. At first I thought it was a ‘bit much’ and it all jingles slightly as you walk – there is no sneaking about with this bag! But after a while I’ve With festival season coming up…
The Bodycon Day To Night Dress –
I fell very swiftly in love with this ‘black bardot popper front dress’ when I saw it in the RI Dresses section online. Pre-baby I lived in bodycon dresses, but bodycon isn’t really something I’ve worn since I’ve had my daughter. My hips are a little wider than they used to be and oddly its my bum and not my belly that remained bigger post pregnancy. But, if the Kardashians can embrace their curves and confidently wear bodycon, maybe I should too.
I adore the bardot features of this dress. I’m a teensy bit obsessed with bardot at the moment and most of my tops are this style. I just find bardot really flattering. It hides the jiggly bits of my arms and evens out my wide hips and shoulders just nicely.
Oh and guess what? It’s only £22. Yes…really. How amazing is that price tag? The dress also comes in a gorgeous red colour and also black and white striped. At only £22 you should definitely grab it before it flies off the internet.
Despite being so cheap, it’s a really high quality dress. The jersey fabric is slightly stretchy making it super comfy. It doesn’t feel too tight like lots of bodycon dresses sometimes do and the popper front detailing is gorgeous. I must say though, I’m very glad they’re not real poppers because with a child (or by just being generally clumsy like I am) that could end in disaster – as I found out the hard way in a similar popper detailed skirt I own!
I love how flexible the use of this dress is. It could easily be dressed up at night time with an edgy jacket and my new suede fringed bag. Or in the day time I’d happily pair it with some sandals and head out for lunch with my girlfriends. Day to night dresses are hard to come by, but this one definitely ticks all the boxes.
The Most Beautiful Playsuit In The World –
I have saved the best till last! This ‘black floral embroidered beach playsuit’ is my ultimate favourite piece out of all the items I picked. How absolutely flipping gorgeous is it?
I’m so in love with it. I don’t think I’ve actually ever loved an item of clothing so much. The playsuit has been designed to go over a bikini, but I just so happened to forget mine on the photoshoot like a silly goose! I didn’t care though because I just feel so confident wearing it. It’s lose fitting, floaty in all the right places and it is the perfect cover up to take to the beach or add to your holiday suitcase.
I actually found this in the ‘Holiday Shop’ section of River Island (a section where it’s hard to not buy EVERYTHING) and not the general ‘RI playsuits‘ section. It also comes in khaki green and a denim blue, but they’re selling out fast so if you want one, go and grab it quickly!
I tend to spend most of my life on the beach (living in Cornwall does have its perks) and I love that this coverup can easily be thrown on over my bikini while I chase Evie around or go to grab refreshments.
It’s made from a lightweight woven fabric and is a little bit lose so you won’t get irritated on a hot day. The waist is elasticated so it synchs in and flatters the figure in all the right places and the deep v neck looks really sexy. The floral embroidery has to be my favourite thing about this beach cover up. The intricate details are stunning.
I also love that the cami shoulder straps can be loosened or tightened so that the playsuit can fit your bust size and your torso. I often find that playsuits can be tricky to choose the right sizing for. Too small and you risk camel toe, too big and you look like you’re wearing pjs. The beautiful white tassels at the back aren’t just a pretty extra detail. Tie them together and you can easily make this playsuit fit your shape. I have a feeling I’m going to wear this cover up A LOT this summer.
I’m Wearing River Island – #ImWearingRI
I cannot express how much I love River Island. I love how their clothes aren’t just for one small target audience but that they’re accessible for everyone. River Island is a brand I wore as a teenager. They’re a brand I wore when I was pregnant and when I needed clothes for special occasions. They’re a brand I’ve worn to job interviews and a brand I worn to festivals and casual events. They are also a brand that I have shared so many moments with..
The first day I told my boyfriend how much I liked him I was wearing a River Island cold shoulder long white shirt. The time I aced a job interview I happened to be wearing my River Island nude trench coat with ruffled shoulders. When I graduated I went up on stage to collect my degree in a River Island dress. The first time I was confident enough to do a photoshoot (last year for my blog) I wore a River Island khaki coloured maxi dress.
I’m so proud I got to take part in the #ImWearingRI campaign because I love what this brand is about. I’m also so chuffed with all the items I got to try out, even the scary shorts! Confidence = boosted.
Will I do another photoshoot for a brand? Lets just wait and see. For now I’ll just look moody because the blue skies are disappearing and the rainy clouds are coming back. Thank you so much River Island for bringing this mama out of her shell! I’m proud to say ‘I’m Wearing River Island’.
Do you shop in River Island? Let me know in the comments your thoughts about this brand!