and other stories, fashion, Joanie clothing, John Lewis, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Monki, office wear, ootd, summer, tropical, Work outfit

Treat yo’self: April Pay Day edition

Let me get real for a moment here readers. April was a gold plated turd of a month. Work was rough, my Mum broke her hip quite badly before Easter, I got stranded (ish) in London after a fire at Euston station and – to top it all off – I was treated to some chronic insomnia. It felt like I spent most of the month crying from exhaustion, stress, or both. Part of me is blaming it on Mercury in retrograde, and another part is just blaming it on a year which seems to be far too bloody keen on seeing how far it can push me before I finally snap (to which I say, ‘do your worst, bitch.’)

So, allow me to indulge in some good old fashioned capitalism in the form of payday retail therapy. Fashion brands have embraced spring big time, which means lots of pastels, pleats, flounces and frills (arguably Spring/Summer is the only season where we’ll let them off for their obsession with cold shoulders.) You don’t have to look far at the moment to find some really unique, fun, plus sized items. I’m particularly smitten with the mules shown above in that perfect shade of parma violet. They’d look fantastic when paired with a super cute nautical themed t-shirt from Joanie (just one piece in a sailor themed collection which manages to be cute without veering into the costumey) and a metallic pleated skirt from Marks and Spencer – an item which I could see myself flouncing around in on both an office floor and a dance floor. Just add this great 80s-esque Laura Slater designed leather clutch bag from Kin at John Lewis and Bob’s your drag queen.

Then there’s this kimono from Monki which appears to be the Twitter-cool-girl uniform item of choice at the moment. I’ve seen a remarkable amount of babes wearing it (and looking amazing while doing so) which means I’ll be forced to pick my own up soon – after all, I do hate to be left out of trends. And besides, just look at that print! Imagine how many selfies you could take wearing it while posing on a sandy beach next to a palm tree. Or, just in your bedroom standing next to a cheese plant if you’re on a budget.

Suede Cross Strap Mules (£65.00) – And Other Stories

Frankie French Nautical Tee (£18.00) – Joanie

Laura Slater Leather Clutch Bag (£55.20) Kin by John Lewis

Metallic Pleated A-Line Skirt (£49.50) – Marks and Spencer

Long Caftan Dress (£30.00) – Monki

 

 

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Hey there, Joanie girl

There’s a certain irony in me posting this outfit during a week where we’re forecast to have snow (!!!) in the North West of England (come on weather, get it together), but sunny days are a rare occurrence where I live at the moment. Sun does interesting things to the residents of my part of Liverpool. Deckchairs are pulled out of dusty attics and thrown into front gardens. Bouncy castles suddenly appear where there were no bouncy castles before. Barbecues get fired up and remarkably pale fashion bloggers decide to use it as an excuse to get their perilously white legs out in public.

Sunglasses on

SUNGLASSES: ASOS (old)

EARRINGS: And Other Stories (old)

DRESS: Joanie Clothing

SHOES: Marks & Spencer

I’ll be honest, I’ve only worn this dress from Joanie Clothing once since I purchased it in a moment of potential-heatwave-frenzy earlier this month, although I can see myself getting a lot of wear out of it as soon as the weather gets warmer. Despite becoming increasingly weary of vintage recreation brands, I’ve heard lots of good things about Joanie since their launch last year. I’ll admit, I’ve spent a fair amount of time on their website making wish lists of all the lovely items I’d like from there.

Smiling

I was super impressed by this Poesy Paris Print Dress from there. The materials are high quality and it’s lined which was a nice surprise (I’ve bought a number of vintage recreation dresses in the past for a similar price which look great on the website, but turn out to have the texture of paper when you put them on.) Two things to be aware of though – it does come up a bit short (I’m 5ft 6 and it reaches just above my knee) and if you’re blessed with large boobs, you’ll need to size up. I’m a fairly standard size 20, but sized up to a 22 here. From my own research, Joanie’s sizing can differ from person to person (e.g. another top that I bought from there in my usual size came up quite short), so I’m glad that I asked around prior to purchasing this dress as wearing my usual size would have made my tits looked like they were trapped in a vice.

A few other things to keep in mind when purchasing from Joanie is that they don’t do exchanges. As a new, small business, I’m sure that they have good reasons for this, but it would be nice to know what they are as it does make the purchasing process slightly more frustrating than it needs to be. If you’re in between sizes, or you’re not sure how an item might hang on you if you’re larger in some areas than others, I’d strongly recommend asking around or sizing up to be on the safe side. While the returns process is free and relatively simple, they take a long time to process –  approximately 14 days from receipt of the item for the money to appear in your bank account. So don’t splurge on lots of different sizes if you think you’ll be strapped for cash later in the month.

Joanie’s items did initially go up to a size 26, but since their launch, they’ve reduced their range of sizes to stop at 22. It’s slightly disappointing that a brand that really seemed to want to support its plus sized customers has stopped doing such a broad range of sizes (although this may change in the future) and I really hope they reconsider this as their business continues to grow. Particularly as there are so many cute items on their website which I know would look banging on a number of chub babes that I know.

Hey there, Joanie girl

I paired this dress with two of my current favourite accessories – Beauty Bakerie’s lip whip in Cranberry Stilletto and a pair of amazing gold mules from Marks & Spencer. I received an email from M&S earlier this month which showed Danielle Vanier rocking a very similar pair and I knew they had to be mine (thank you for being such a fashionable enabler, Danie!) At only £19.99, they’re an absolute bargain and I can definitely see myself buying a pair of these in various different colours to go with my summer wardrobe. Now all I need is some sunshine…

 

 

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Springtime for McMc

It’s a cliche, I know but I am so so so happy that spring has arrived. Earlier this week, I walked through a sunny Kings Cross wearing stupid sunglasses and clutching my first (overpriced) iced coffee of 2017 and nearly burst into song (well, I was listening to this.) After a fairly rancid winter, I’ve been dying to flounce around in frills and bright colours and – as always – Monki have delivered in grand style.

Voluminous

SHIRT: Monki

SKIRT: Monki

EARRINGS: And Other Stories (old)

RING: Bloody Mary Metal

BOOTS: H&M

I’m sure that there’s some unwritten fashion rule about how larger boobed women shouldn’t wear obnoxiously bright, frilled blouses, because God knows mainstream fashion loves to penalise women/nb folks for being of a larger shape and size. But – if any of my mega titted brethren are reading this and wondering if they should invest in this shirt, allow me to reassure you that you a) totally should and b) do it now. I’m wearing a L in this picture and it more than covers my GG-size-20 chest with only the slightest bit of gaping. And even that’s alleviated if you just pull it down and fasten it securely with the waistband of a very silly printed pleated skirt.

Springtime for McMc

It’s hard to see in these pictures, but the cartoon print of this skirt is an utter delight. I never knew I could be so charmed by having the word ‘LOL’ positioned directly on my crotch. Shout out to these gold H&M boots too, an utter bargain which was I was alerted to by my exceptionally fashionable friend Fong. I saw these on her shoe rack when I visited her flat recently, she informed me that she’d bought them for £10 and before you could say ‘what a bobby bargain,‘ I was the proud owner of a new pair of gold boots. Fashion enabling never looked so shiny.

Springtime for McMc selfie 2)

I’ve been favouring heavier, darker eye make-up over the past few months and strolled into Harvey Nichols Beauty Bazaar (aka ‘my happy place’) on payday looking for something which wouldn’t clash with the pink streak in my hair. NARS came to the rescue, as they so often do. Their ‘Sugarland’ eye duo is a winning combination of apricot and orchid pink. I can see this replacing my stalwart MAC Corduroy as my everyday eyeshadow as we move into the warmer weather, although I might add a dash of glitter if I’m feeling fancy. When paired with my Tom Ford lipstick in ‘Cary’, it makes for a warm sun kissed look which makes me long for picnics in the park and lazy beer garden nights. Hiya spring. I’ve missed you.

 

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Autumn Leaves

After a year which could charitably be deemed to be ‘a bit difficult’, I am freaking overjoyed that Autumn is finally here. It’s always been my favourite season, mostly because it feels like a new beginning, that bigger and better things – crisp cold days! Big coats! Opaque tights! Excuses to make soup! My birthday!  – are just around the corner. It also means that I can legitimately purchase all the jumpers I’ve been swooning over for the past few weeks.

autumn-leaves-full-body-selfie-1

JUMPER: Marks & Spencer

JEANS: Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Primark

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

EARRINGS: And Other Stories (old)

autumn-leaves-full-body-selfie-2

The theme for Autumn 2016 on the high street appears to be ‘Barb from Stranger Things chic’ which is an aesthetic that I can totally get on board with. The ultra femme side of me loves frills and flounces in all the right places, even more so if they come in delicious shades of mustard, like this Marks and Spencer jumper. Everything about this is perfect, from the lovely ribbed details to the fact that it’s just the right length to wear with jeans. Too short jumpers are a big bugbear of mine, as there’s nothing worse than leaving the house feeling your look, only to spend your afternoon constantly tugging your top down.

I paired this with my trusty skinny jeans (MARKS AND SPENCER, NEVER STOP MAKING THESE) and a pair of gold block heels from Primark, which – surprisingly – happen to be the comfiest pair of heels that I have worn in a long time. So much so in fact, that I recently managed to spend a whole weekend in them while lugging a wheelie suitcase around North London.

autumn-selfie

My new favourite lipstick at the moment is Supreme from MDMFlow, a rich warm reddish pink which is perfect for the season. I’ve been raving about MDMFlow’s make up for a while now, as it’s everything I love in a beauty brand. It offers affordable products in bright bold colours, all created by a bad ass woman of colour. I am in total awe of Florence Adepoju, the woman behind the brand and I totally recommend reading this brilliant Buzzfeed piece about her. If you’re thinking about tinkering with your look this Autumn, their products are a great place to start.

Love this post? Then follow me on Bloglovin!

 

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A Shift of Opinion

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to Barcelona for my wedding anniversary last week. Barcelona has quickly become one of my favourite European cities, mainly because it contains a beach, glorious architecture, incredible art, stunning food and Gin & Tonics as large as a small child’s head. I’ve not had the easiest year for a number of reasons, but on Saturday night I sat in a Absinthe bar which looked like something Hemmingway would have passed out in, laughing at stupid jokes with Mr. McMc and felt a perfect happiness, the likes of which I haven’t felt in a long time. I’m already planning my return trip.

Unsurprisingly, I also wore some really good outfits. Like this simple shift dress from New Look.

Barcelona - shift dress with sunglasses

SUNGLASSES: ASOS (The ones I’m wearing here are out of stock, but these are very similar)

NECKLACE: Monki

EARRINGS: And Other Stories

DRESS: New Look

HANDBAG: Liquorish (old)

SHOES: ASOS

2016 has been the year where I break arbitrary fat girl fashion rules (e.g. ‘don’t get your arms out!’ and ‘always cinch your waist!’) and while this shift dress may look simple, it packs a real punch in the looks department. It’s so simple that you can dress it up or down any way you like. I decided to keep it simple(ish), pairing it with some metallic accessories and a killer red lipstick. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to get any pictures of its lovely cut out back design, which gives it a bit more pizazz than your average plain back shift dress.

Barcelona - shift dress without sunglasses

ASOS shoes don’t have the best reputation in my house, owing to the fact that I do so much walking (and have such heavy feet) that I tend to wear through them in record time. I’m actually shocked that these flat sandals held up as well as they did seeing that we were walking around eight miles a day – albeit with the occasional beer and tapas break.

Barcelona - Sephora Red

I also discovered that Spain has branches of Sephora, which I was drawn to like a moth is drawn to a flame (coloured lipstick). I only meant to buy some hand wash, but came out with a hand wash, three TonyMoly face masks, a Marc Jacobs eyeliner and this incredible ‘always red’ Cream Lip Stain which does not come off. In the interests of beauty blogger ‘research’, I tested its resilience with kissing, boozing and eating and it barely flaked. Once again, I am cursing the fact that we no longer have Sephora’s in the UK. Although saying that, it’s probably a good thing, as if we did there’s a strong likelihood I’d end up bankrupt.

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Look What You Could Have Worn: Barcelona edition

 

 

I’m off to Barcelona tomorrow to celebrate my wedding anniversary (four whole years!) For the first time in my adult life, I am going to attempt to pack light which is no mean feat considering I am notorious for a) leaving my packing until the last minute and b) throwing my entire wardrobe into my suitcase ‘just in case.’ ‘Just in case what?’ you might ask. Well, not even I know the answer to that question, but I am slowly trying to convince myself that a four day trip does not require me to pack 50+ lipsticks. On a more practical note, Ryanair rinsed me of cash earlier this year when my suitcase weighed way more than their allotted allowance. Something has to give, and this time, it cannot be my credit card.

To paraphrase one of my favourite memes, I intend to ‘get me some items which can do both.’ The both being outfits which will allow me to look cool and chic while exploring some of Spain’s most glorious architecture and are voluminous enough to allow me to consume my own bodyweight in cava and tapas. The ASOS minimal jumpsuit and New Look Shift Dress are both simple and chic, requiring nothing more than some simple silver jewellery, a slash of lipstick and a decent belt to make them both look exquisite. Robust, flat sandals are a must when going on holiday in a warm climate, and these ASOS Wide Fit leather sandals will go with pretty much everything.

While I realise that this is rapidly becoming a Charlotte Tilbury fan blog, her Beach Sticks deserve a mention here as they’re the perfect item to shove in your make-up bag if you’re looking for a cream blush which also works as a lipstick. Her Formentera shade is a beautifully dewy shade of rose which works really well if you have blue-green eyes like me. I’ve also been lucky enough to nab a few samples of Acqua di Parma’s new Rosa Nobile fragrance, a delicate grown-up rose fragrance which puts me in mind of warm summer nights rather than a Yardley counter.

If you’re going on holiday to celebrate the long weekend, which clothing and beauty essentials will you be taking with you? Let me know in the comments!

(From left to right)

  1. Acqua di Parma Rosa Nobile – £76.00

  2. Charlotte Tilbury Beach Stick in ‘Formentera’ – £30.00

  3. Mango Panel Tote Bag – £15.99

  4. ASOS Cat Eye Sunglasses With Built Up Highbrow – £8.00
  5. And Other Stories Toga Earrings – £17.00
  6. And Other Stories Medallion Pendant Necklace – £19.00
  7. ASOS JUGGLER Wide Fit Leather Summer Shoes – £20.00
  8. ASOS CURVE 2 Pack Cat Buckle Belt – £8.00
  9. ASOS CURVE Minimal Jumpsuit in Blocked Abstract Print – £45.00
  10. New Look Plus Cami Slip Dress – £19.99
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Plus Sized Powerhouse

November is here, and I couldn’t be happier. After the crap fest which was October, I am more than ready for a month laden with nice things (Cinnamon topped treats! A holiday to Utrecht! Thanksgiving! My birthday!)

I kicked off my month of indulgence in London this weekend, where Mr. McMc and I ate our own body weight in noodles at X’ian Impression, went for a long walk down the South Bank, had an incredible brunch at The Spoke in Archway, visited The World goes Pop exhibit at Tate Modern, and got rather tipsy on cheap beer while arguing with my friend Michael about Pep Guardiola’s Mancunian loyalties. And I did all this while wearing a pencil skirt which gave me a very obvious VBO (visible belly outline.)

Me - roll neck/skirt/coat Me - rollneck/skirt/no coat

Coat: Marks & Spencer

Roll neck: Marks & Spencer

Skirt: Lindy Bop

Shoes: ASOS (old)

Necklace: Primark

Handbag: And Other Stories

My face

I love this outfit because it breaks all sorts of rules about what plus sized women should wear. My tits look like a shelf, and the skirt’s not very flattering to my midriff area. But I’ve worn it a number of times over the past few weeks because it’s snuggly, chic and makes me feel like an office friendly Bet Lynch.

I have quite a visible tummy which I used to be incredibly paranoid about. I tried everything to tame it – baggy skirts, control top tights, industrial strength shape wear – and yet it still pooched out whenever I wore tight fitting clothes. So, I became stuck in that catch-22 familiar to all fat girls. Either I wear kaftans and mumu’s for the rest of my life (which would be comfortable, but not always practical), or just deal with the fact that my belly was always going to get in the way of things. I chose the latter option.

I didn’t realise just how empowering this decision would make me feel until I got some pictures back from a meeting I chaired a few months ago. In them, I have a very visible VBO, but look like an A+ power bitch. It turns out that if you carry yourself with confidence, no one will give a shit about your belly. And if they do, their opinion on fashion probably isn’t one you should listen to anyway.

This isn’t to say that I’ve ceremonially burnt all my shape wear. But I don’t feel as though I need to wear it in order to look ‘good.’ Besides, I still haven’t forgiven my Spanx for giving me a cracking blister on my thumb after I tried to pull them up while pissed.

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