Isabel De Villiers - By Megan Kelly

Dare to be Bold with Isabel De Villiers

Isabel De Villiers - By Megan KellyWhen I first stopped living in denial and finally came to accept my curves, I started looking for local plus size clothing designers, and a name that always stuck out was undoubtedly Isabel De Villiers. Meg, from Mind The Curves was one of the first bloggers who I recognized to showcase the brand’s offering on her blog and since then, it has been a dream to work with Isabel De Villiers and one day show off her beautiful designs.

Isabel De Villiers is a fashion label based in Cape Town that caters for women of different ages, shapes and sizes. The brand aims to pay special attention to their plus size range with sizes that range from 32 to 48. Unlike most, all of their garments are produced in small quantities, to ensure exclusivity and quality of each garment.

The brand’s vision aligns with that of my own #BMKBucketList challenge, so when they agreed to join in on this month’s challenge, I was elated! In fact, I sent several screamy voice notes in celebration of wearing my own Isabel De Villiers dress.

But then the dress arrived.

Saying that your challenge is to wear a bold print and actually wearing one, in front of a camera, is two entirely different things. And to be very honest, this blog post is long overdue because I had some of my own anxiety to overcome.

But here are the photos of an absolutely beautiful bold, monochromatic Drape Dress designed by the one and only Isabel De Villiers. The cut is available on their site over here.

Isabel De Villiers - By Megan Kelly

Growing up a little chubbier than most, it was only natural to shy away from bold and bright clothes. I distinctively remember a time of my life (I was about 12) when I would only wear shirts that were about 2 sizes too big, to just cover up any bulges and well, my tummy and bum. I used to like to claim that I was a tom-boy, but I wasn’t! I love girly things, makeup, the look of dresses and skirts but I just didn’t know that it was okay to have thighs or a tummy and still embrace those sorts of clothes. It was only during my pregnancy that I started wearing sandals and maxi dresses (because that’s all that fitted) and since then, I have loved every bit of wearing dresses. But long ones!

So here I am, in a bold print that can’t be missed… a dress that is cut ABOVE my knee and you know what? I feel pretty darn beautiful.

Isabel De Villiers - By Megan Kelly

Leading up to getting these photos back from my very talented cousin and photographer, Charne’ (from Catagraphy), I was SO nervous. I very badly wanted to embody a confident woman who knew what she was doing, in a challenge that I thought up late one night. But was so scared that it didn’t translate in the photos.

I have never done a photoshoot, other than a few family photos taken at a studio. But something like this, where I had to let the clothes do the talking; it was an entirely new challenge of its own. So here’s a shout out to Catagraphy, who came prepared, who managed to make me laugh through the awkwardness of standing in a forest, overly dressed for the occasion and still managed to capture something special. Isabel De Villiers - By Megan Kelly Isabel De Villiers - By Megan Kelly

When I received the photos back, I had a little lump in my throat because for the first time, I looked at photos of myself and didn’t pick on a single thing. To this day, I struggle to look through my own wedding photos without hating on myself, picking out how chunky my arms were, or how round everything looked – it really ruined the “felt like a princess” that you’re meant to feel when getting married, and has certainly made me conscious of having photos taken.

But these photos are so different, I am proud of the person that I am becoming. The person who has learnt to be kinder to herself, to find the things she loves instead of focusing on the things that only she notices and tends to hate. Isabel De Villiers - By Megan KellyAnd then a very special thanks to Isabel De Villiers who really threw me out there, with the boldest print! Thank you for believing in this project, for sponsoring me this beautiful dress that really shows off the natural shape of a woman and all her beautiful curves. Thank you for gifting me this; the first time that I have photographic evidence of me feeling fearless, limitless… beautiful!

Outfit Details:

Drape Dress: Isabel De Villiers [ Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram]
Block-Heel Sandal Booties:
Denim Jacket:


Charné: Catagraphy [ Facebook | Call: 079-660-6595 ]

Makeup and Hair

Megan Kelly

Isabel De Villiers - By Megan Kelly

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    […] Just this month, I have been on TV, I have spoken all about body positivity at the Curves high-tea, I modelled outfits that I thought I could never pull off. I contribute to Tums 2 Tots Online and as of today, I ticked […]

  • Sam
    Posted at 11:09h, 11 August

    I love that dress! And it makes your waist look really tiny! You are gorgeous Megs. Glad you are embracing it!


    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 23:59h, 17 August

      Awh thanks so much Sam, I really appreciate all the love and encouragement!

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    Posted at 07:18h, 11 August

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  • Nayes
    Posted at 18:50h, 10 August

    Hmmmmm…. It sounds to me like you need to do a trash-the-dress shoot so that you can have a set of photos in your wedding dress that you love. Your new confidence will undoubtedly do wonders for the pics. Do it. Really! It’s so fun!

    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 00:01h, 18 August

      Oh Nadz, I’d love to do that. But right after we got married, I was desperate to make rent and ended up selling my wedding dress. We will always have the memories though.

      • Nayes
        Posted at 11:31h, 24 August

        That’s such a pity. But a good reason to get another one? 😉

  • misspretorius
    Posted at 12:16h, 10 August

    You look amazing! Kudos to you for embracing who you are, it really come across in the pictures <3

    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 00:02h, 18 August

      Thank you so much hunny!

  • Isabel de Villiers
    Posted at 08:58h, 10 August

    You look amazing! Love the confidence you have. Well done

    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 00:03h, 18 August

      No, thank YOU! I couldn’t have done it without you believing in this challenge. Thank you for everything!

  • Anthea Oneill
    Posted at 18:36h, 08 August

    Very beautiful dress and model!

    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 00:03h, 18 August

      Thanks hunny!

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  • Meg
    Posted at 18:34h, 08 August

    Congrats my darling, you look so incredibly wonderful! Learning to love your body is such a giant scary journey to go on, but I promise it’s worth it. Keep pursuing happiness, and being an inspiration to all the rest of us. XXX

    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 00:04h, 18 August

      EEP, you commented! Thank you so much Meg, I really appreciate your words of kindness. XXX

  • Velvet and Vibranium (@kelly_hoggons)
    Posted at 18:26h, 08 August

    You look absolutely stunning in all these pictures! I always struggled with my self-esteem growing up because I was always the biggest girl in my class, but I’m finally learning to accept and love my body, and I’m so glad you are too! If I can be a bit cheeky, where did you take these pictures? I’m always looking for foresty backdrops for my outfit posts!

    Kelly // Velvet and Vibranium

    • Megan Kelly
      Posted at 00:05h, 18 August

      Awh thanks so much lovely! I am so sad that I never got to chat to you at the last #ECMeetup, but I do hope to see you at the next one, next month. OH, location is Humble Ways. I used to go there for fellowship, it’s just too beautiful not to capture on camera.