New Look Inspire Jersey Peplum Dress 18

Back in the summer I was looking for a smart dress that I could wear for work; something that was suitable for business meetings, conferences, and interviews. My problem is that business dresses are often made from non-stretchy materials, so I knew I would have to scour around to find something suitable.

When browsing the New Look website, I happened upon the New Look Inspire Jersey Peplum Dress (no longer available online but was £12.99, UK sizes 18-32 (it was also available on the ASOS website)).

Image courtesy of ASOS

The dress was available in both purple and black, so I ordered both in a size 18. For reference I am wearing my Ewa Michalak S Pieprzyk 32KK/70KK bra in these photos, along with some tights from Matalan and a pair of black platform stiletto heels from Primark.

This is a very simple sleeveless jersey dress with an added peplum. The fabric is very comfortable and stretchy (93% cotton, 7% elastane), and it’s machine washable.

Lengthwise the skirt hits me just above the knee – as you can see it’s quite a bit longer on me (5’5) than the ASOS model (5’9.5) so your height will make a difference to the dress’s appearance. I think this dress would be pretty much perfect if it was about 4-5 inches longer so that it would be a midi dress on me and come comfortably over my knees. That said, I really like it anyway and I can wear it with tights as I am here to disguise its shortness. 

The scoop neck is good because it flatters my bust but is not low enough to be indecent. There is the tiniest hint of cleavage on view, but it’s very much corporate work appropriate. The back neckline is also scooped, which gives a great look and provides less coverage – ideal for the summer months! The armholes have been cut a little too widely, but with careful positioning the fabric covers most of my bra at the sides.

The peplum is superb – it sits just below the waist but it’s in the perfect place to emphasise my hips. Peplums are brilliant for disguising lumps and bumps and this one is reasonably long so it also could help to cover a protruding tummy. 

As you can see, the dress is fairly tight but the stretchy fabric helps provide a great fit. The waist is a bit loose as this is a size 18, so I tried adding an old but much loved Forever 21 belt to fix that.

The belt works its usual magic and helps to define my waist. I do have to wear it slightly higher than usual so that it doesn’t cut into the peplum, so I do get a bit of a ‘underboob belt’ look, but as long as I stand up straight this isn’t a problem.

I wanted to add a jacket to the dress to see if I could make it look more formal, so I grabbed a Forever 21+ cropped jacket I’d bought in a sale earlier in 2014.

I think it looks great! I am so glad I bought this jacket as it works perfectly with the peplum because it doesn’t overlap it at all. When the jacket is closed, the full effect of the peplum is seen, but even with the jacket open the outfit still emphasises my feminine curves and is very flattering. I think the black jacket and tights really make the purple hue of the dress pop. The jacket is a size XL and I’m afraid I can’t link to it as it’s no longer available.

I also bought the dress in black; as I’ve already shown you photos of the fit of the dress I thought I would take the opportunity to style the black one a little differently. I added an old belt from Primark, a hair flower on the neckline, and some wide fit burgundy t-bar stiletto heels from New Look.

I was really pleased with how this outfit looked on camera – it shows that the dress is perfect not just for the office but also for a party or a night out on the town. Yes, I would much prefer it to be longer, but it’s so good everywhere else that I can forgive this one aspect. 

I do hope New Look bring this dress out again in summer 2015 in new colours. When looking for stock images for the dress I found one of it in red, so who knows…?



  1. Anna Banana
    3 February 2015 / 00:37

    You look terrific! This dress is perfect on you and wow what a bargain price. I am jealous! On another point, have you any idea why New Look has stopped selling its Inspire range in most of its stores? Don't they want plus size women to shop in their shops any more?

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:24

      Thank you, Anna. I have seen a few bloggers talk about the fact that New Look have removed the Inspire section from some of their stores – seems a strange decision to me as we are a nation that is getting bigger, not smaller! If NL say they don't make enough instore profit from the Inspire section, it's because they only stocked a very limited selection from the line, and in my experience it was often the shapeless sack items and not fab dresses like this one. You know what I think they should do? Open up separate shops that ONLY stock Inspire. I know…it'll never happen. But I think they should try it as I am sure they would prove hugely popular.

    • Anonymous
      1 August 2015 / 11:32

      It looks as if there's been some sort of deal whereby some of New Look's brandshave been shifted to ASOS in a sort of outsourcing arrangement. Being as these shops are still officially competitors they don't really want to be selling the same things, either in shops or online. If you go onto the New Look site now there's not much left apart from oddments, nothing like the above dress.I doubt New Look has given up on plus size sales. They'd be daft to do that. Perhaps they will come up with some new range/brand? And not just "sacks"!Puffin 🙂

  2. April J Harris
    3 February 2015 / 08:34

    Beautiful dress – you look great! I especially like the purple one 🙂

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:25

      Thank you, April. I was surprised how much I liked these dresses but they are a fantastic addition to my wardrobe.

  3. Charli Stewart-Russon
    3 February 2015 / 19:46

    I love this dress on you!!! I actually tried it on myself but it looked very tarty on my 5ft10 frame – I'm now have a major case of green eyed monster going on … you look fab! C xx

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:26

      Ah, you are a lot taller than me so I can imagine how it came up short on you. What a pity! They should make it longer as I – as a shorter person – would have liked the extra length, too.

  4. Charlie Cohen
    4 February 2015 / 10:02

    I love this dress, particularly the black version- it would be perfect for wearing to work and then out for drinks *runs to New Look*

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:26

      I hope you manage to track one down! It really is a great dress and is very versatile.

  5. Anonymous
    6 February 2015 / 23:05

    I've been following your blog for ages but this is my first comment! Holy crap Batman, you look awesome! So beautiful! I love that you show us plus size women such great wardrobe choices! Thank you! I wish I lived in the UK so I could buy this gorgeous dress! Faith x

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:28

      Thank you for your lovely words, Faith. I am so pleased you decided to comment – I write my blog for women so it's always so wonderful to hear from my readers. I aim to show things that work well as well as things that don't…and how those that don't can be adapted into something more curve friendly 🙂

  6. Sarah W
    7 February 2015 / 16:44

    Nice dress! Shame it's not in stock as it looks perfect for a job interview I have in a couple of weeks time. I will have a look on Ebay to see if I can find a second hand one. Thanks for the heads up.

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:28

      I do hope you managed to track down one of these dresses, Sarah. Best of luck for your interview!

  7. Ilena
    7 February 2015 / 22:24

    I like these dress very much. I prefer the purple as it is nice color. If New Look made this dress in navy blue I would be so happy. In my work I have to wear a navy blue dress, it does not matter which dress, so this would be the ideal for my work.

    • Curvy Wordy
      8 February 2015 / 12:29

      I too wish they made this dress in other colours. Who knows what New Look might bring out next? I'm hoping for this dress in floral prints and also polka dots 🙂

  8. Anonymous
    19 March 2015 / 22:40

    Ive got this dress same size as u and same hight looks nothing like this on me u look fab x

  9. Anonymous
    1 August 2015 / 11:39

    You do sell that dress far better than the ASOS picture.I think the belt works better on the black version. puffin

  10. Jane
    26 September 2016 / 17:51

    I got a new party wear peplum dress today, and it will help concealing a slightly bulged tummy.

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