My Kiwi Living Makeover

There have been many things I have had to start at the beginning with and figure out for myself again since having my gastric bypass surgery and losing more weight than I weigh now. I was never really into fashion and would buy clothes and dress myself because I had to really. Here’s a wrap-up of my experience appearing on Kiwi Living.

I found being plus size really hard in many ways relating to fashion. I didn’t like my body and tried really hard to cover it but also didn’t want to wear shapeless sacks all the time either. Because buying online can be so hit and miss with clothing sizes and I can’t be bothered with the hassle sending stuff back if it doesn’t fit properly I really relegated myself to buying clothes from Farmers, Kmart and the Warehouse’s plus sized sections and City Chic.

I will never forget the day I was in Farmers only three months after my surgery and discovered I fit into a size 18 again. Size 18 was about the smallest I had been as an adult for any length of time and it has a bit of crossover between plus size and ‘normal’ sized ranges of clothes. It suddenly dawned on me right then and there just how much more choice I had in terms of clothes suddenly.

Farmers might not have been the best place to figure this out because they have so much stuff I just did not know where to start. I walked around dumbfounded for a bit and then managed to pick a few things out for myself. Since then I’ve still really struggled to find things that I like and that fit me how I like and more often than not I will go out intending to buy something but get frustrated and leave having not found anything I like.

Then one night on Facebook I saw a post saying a new TV show was looking for busy mums to makeover and to send an email if you were interested. I knew it was the kind of help I needed so I sent an email and casually mentioned that I had lost 70 kgs and needed help finding my style after having such a big change in my body.

This got them interested and before I knew it the Kiwi Living TV cameras showed up at my door with the amazing Luke Bettesworth to give me a hand. After doing some initial filming at home we went shopping and it was incredible seeing Luke work and how he so effortlessly put outfits together. Luke picked out things that I would not have gravitated towards myself as single pieces on a rack necessarily but pulling them all together and seeing how they looked on showed me what’s possible.

As a bigger girl I never wore anything with a print because I imagined it would make me look even bigger than I was and I really had no idea what I should pair with a print. The dark blue outfit you may have seen on the show last night was one I was able to keep and I love the outfit and the skirt is something I wouldn’t have even tried on before.


The second outfit I took home was the beautiful black and cream striped skirt with the amazing Magenta jumper. This is the kind of outfit I dreamed of wearing before my surgery but did not feel I had the body shape pre surgery to carry off. I’m lucky now that I have a new small waist and this is the kind of outfit that’s perfect to draw attention to it. The pairing of the skirt and jumper would have not been what I would have though to pair together and I admire Luke’s vision with it.


The lace dress I tried on was gorgeous and I loved that it had some texture to it as it made it a bit more interesting to wear. Working with Luke and seeing what’s possible and what looks good in terms of building outfits has given me far more confidence when I’m shopping and has given me the push I needed to really look outside my comfort zone and dress for the body and shape I now have but never thought I would get.


I’m having a bit of fun getting to know my style and seeing what I like and what works with my body. Style is not something that comes naturally to me so it really is a process of active discovery and getting to know that side of myself better. Did you watch the debut episode of Kiwi Living last night and spot me? If not you can view it here.

Here’s a link to the Kiwi Living site where you can see where to get everything.

Is style something that comes effortlessly to you? Does is change and evolve over time or is it a fairly set foundation? Leave me a comment below if you have any tips of what helped you find your own personal style I’d love to know how you did it.

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There are 10 comments for this article
  1. Meagan at 9:20 pm

    I’m loving all your outfits hun! Especially that striped skirt (I know, I’m a bit biased when it comes to stripes haha). I’m so glad you got a chance to do this, Luke is fabulous and really knows how to style different body shapes.

    My style definitely changes, but I’m making a concious move back to more classic pieces now. My waist is a lot smaller than my hips so like you I like to show off that shape! xo

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 9:32 pm

      Thanks Meagan! The striped skirt is my fave if I could only wear one thing for the rest of my life I’d pick that skirt. Luke is amazing and he is so clever and talented. I will look out for your shift on your blog. I really enjoy your posts and I’ve been drawing inspiration from them, it’s a bonus we’re dressing for the same shape! Thanks for reading I appreciate it 😀

  2. Lena | Lena Talks Beauty at 4:59 pm

    My style changes a lot, between wanting to be ‘flattering’ (ugh I hate that phrase) or just wanting to wear whatever fun/stylish clothes I like. I’m glad the episode is online, I didn’t see it on TV and was interested cos I love the show what not to wear!

  3. Angela at 12:45 pm

    I watched it on TV but my partner’s parents came over during the show so I couldn’t watch it properly but I plan to watch again online. You look amazing and I love the outfits he put together especially the black and white striped skirt. I’ve been wanting a skirt like that for ages but I haven’t found a perfect one.

    My style varies depending on my mood but it’s between girly and classic. I love me some florals and pastels but also stripes and lots of black. Haha. The thing with style is you can always change it. You don’t have to stick to one. 🙂

  4. Melissa C at 3:14 pm

    When I go through the surgery… aside from the surgery and the eating/lack of itself (which is 90% of my fear)… the other 10% is pretty much… HOW DO YOU ACTUALLY CLOTHE YOURSELF. I literally do not know what colours go with what. It’s all, black, black, black. Maybe the occasional red or blue top paired with… tada – black! No idea what colours go with what as have never been thin enough…scary! These are some really cute outfits they’ve helped you with…the thought of picking out outfits and fashion is TERRIFYING!

  5. Carolyn at 3:54 pm

    Tried to watch it but link not working…is it because it has been so long? Do you have a copy of it???

    This is an area I am looking forward to….although I did not realise until I read your blog.
    Shopping for clothes in normal shop.

    • Melissa Peaks Author at 4:56 pm

      Yes I imagine the link wouldn’t work anymore. I can’t remember if I do or not actually. It’s incredible being able to walk into a normal shop and fit everything in there!

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