ASOS Curve, Beauty, coats, fat acceptance, lipstick, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, metallics, Navabi, personal style, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Tarte Cosmetics, what i wear to work, what i wore, Work outfit, Work wear

The Brightest Bird in Bootle

Arched Eyebrow x navabi tag

When Bethany announced that she was launching her very own collection of clothing for navabi, I – like most of the plus sized world – did a little scream of delight. In the interests of full disclosure, Bethany is a good friend of mine. But even if she wasn’t, I’ve long been a fan of her distinctive style, and I knew instinctively that the pieces she created would be bright, bold and beautifully cut. When the collection was launched, it didn’t disappoint, providing a capsule wardrobe of simple, elegant clothes in an array of gorgeous colours.

One of the things I love most about this collection is its versatility. You could easily throw on the tapered red trousers with a simple white t-shirt to wear to a meeting, or do some serious colour blocking by teaming with it with the (gorgeous) pussy bow pink shirt. It’s a middle finger raised to the idea that plus sized women shouldn’t dress in bright colours or don’t want to wear tailored items. As someone whose personal style has veered away from the super femme vintage styles that seem to dominate plus sized fashion as I’ve grown older, it feels – and looks – like something that the industry really needs right now.

Somehow I managed to exercise some control and limited myself to three pieces – the hot pink blazer, the (immensely Instagrammable) gingham shirt and the tailored red trousers. All of the pieces will make an appearance on this blog over the next few weeks, but so far, my favourite of them all is the blazer, which I wore on a trip to Manchester this weekend. Popping it on made me feel like I was channelling Pat Butcher, David Byrne (in his big suit) and Don Johnson from Miami Vice all at once.

Pink jacket black t-shirt (full body)

JACKET: Arched Eyebrow x navabi

T-SHIRT: ASOS Curve

JEANS: Marks and Spencer

SHOES: Marks and Spencer

EARRINGS: Mango (old)

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas (old)

Now, lets be honest. I will never receive plaudits for my ‘understated, effortless style.’ Everything about me feels designed to be obnoxiously large and loud, from my hair to my dulcet Mancunian tones. But throwing this jacket on made me feel even more vibrant, like I was made to stand out from the crowd. Everyone who saw it, loved it (in fact, my Dad loved it so much that he even tried it on for himself.) It’s designed to be worn with everything from casual skinny jeans to a tailored peg leg trouser and is sure to become a staple in my wardrobe (particularly when worn with my favourite gold mules.)

Selfie pink jacket

While I’m here, allow me to introduce you to my new favourite lip colour, ‘Fly’ by Tarte Cosmetics. Tarte are an American brand who I always see getting a lot of love on American beauty blogs and podcasts, not least because they’re vegan and cruelty free. I picked two of their quick dry matte lip paints when I was in Sephora in Boston and I love the pair of them. While they’re not quite as long lasting as my beloved Beauty Bakerie Lip Whips, the colours are out of this world. ‘Fly’ is a wonderfully vivid shade of fuchsia which I can see working on all sorts of skin tones.

After some extensive internet research (read: ‘doing a Google’), I’ve discovered that UK residents can purchase most of Tarte’s range via QVC. Seeing as I can’t be trusted around cosmetics, I’ll probably be doing a big splurge on their range soon (I’ve heard great things about their Maracuja Oil) and will report back. And if you know of anywhere else in the UK where you can purchase Tarte’s range, please let me know in the comments!

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ASOS Curve, Bbloggers, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, Jewellery, Junarose, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, office wear, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, Tatty Devine, what i wear to work

Grey Sunday

I’ve been in a bit of a bleak mood recently. Blame it on the achingly cold weather, the lack of natural sunlight or the fact that every time I look at the news, I want to curl up in the foetal position and wail, but I haven’t really felt like my best self. But, I’m a busy woman and I have important shit to do, so vacuum sealing myself inside a pillow fort for the foreseeable future isn’t really convenient. So, I did what I always do when I feel like the world is a flaming skip fire. I slapped on some eyeshadow, threw on a snuggly roll neck jumper and treated myself to a rather fancy brunch.

grey-sunday-side-view

ROLL NECK: Junarose 

TROUSERS: ASOS Curve (old)

BELT: ASOS Curve

SHOES: Marks and Spencer

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine

EARRINGS: Accessorize

Despite the vast amount of #dealz filled emails hitting my inbox, I managed to be quite restrained on Black Friday. Somehow, I managed to limit myself to only purchasing a sweatshirt, a belt and the Junarose roll neck you see here in the ASOS 20% off everything sale. Not that I needed much of an excuse to buy this roll neck mind you, it’s been sitting in my ‘saved’ items for longer than I care to admit.

grey-sunday-front-view

Like all Junarose items I’ve purchased, this roll neck is simple yet stylish. I love the soft, neutral grey colour (the exact shade of a freezing December sky) and it’s shaped really nicely. While I will never quite avoid the dreaded ‘shelf tit’ effect that larger boobed women such as myself are prone to, the cut and fit of it feel – forgive me here – flattering. While I love my body, I also feel remarkably self conscious about having very large breasts so any item of clothing which makes them look relatively proportional to the rest of my body is very welcome.

I’m wearing a ‘large’ here, mainly because I found it impossible to find an accurate size chart on Junarose or ASOS’s websites. I do wish retailers would realise that people appreciate being given accurate size guides, rather than just having to pick a size at random and praying for the best.

grey-sunday-selfie

My birthday gifts from my (utterly wonderful) husband were a delightfully snarky Laura Callaghan necklace from Tatty Devine and a gorgeous Charlotte Tilbury eyeshadow palette in Legendary Muse. One of the most rewarding things I’ve done with my look this year is to experiment more with eye make-up, and I feel it’s really paid off with the look I’ve created here using Legendary Muse. The golds and green tinged yellow shades blend together to make the green-blue colour of my eyes really stand out. I’d recommend putting it on your Christmas list if you’d like Santa to stick some truly outstanding eyeshadow underneath your tree.

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ASOS, ASOS Curve, Beauty bloggers, Jewellery, Junarose, Mango, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, silver, summer, tropical, wiwt

Who wears short shorts?

I’ve been back in the UK for a week and my holiday feels like it was a very long time ago. But that isn’t going to stop me posting another Barcelona outfit. I’m not really one for shorts, preferring to waft around in floaty skirts and dresses when it’s warm outside. When I was a kid in the early 90s, I loved stomping around in shorts and Doc Marten boots, much to the horror of my parents who were always convinced that I’d end up getting some extremely localised foot sunstroke (although I’m yet to discover a medical affliction caused by stomping around seaside resorts while looking like a mini Tank Girl.)

Of course, now I am all grown up and sensible, you’d never find me conducting myself in such a manner. After all, why stomp around in Doc Martens when you can stomp around in silver sandals?

Fronting

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

NECKLACE: Meri Meri

EARRINGS: Mango

T-SHIRT: Junarose

SHORTS: ASOS

HANDBAG: Liquorish (old)

SHOES: ASOS

Yup, that is my stomach outline that you can see through those shorts, and pretty magnificent it is too. I felt slightly self conscious about it when I first wore these but after five minutes, I discovered that they were so comfy (and cute) that it didn’t really matter.

Side Eye

While they’re fairly true to size, the waist is elasticated, meaning that they’ve got a bit of give to them. I also managed to wear them for an extended period of time without getting the dreaded chub rub – no mean feat when you’re doing lots of walking. This is the second summer holiday I’ve taken these on this year and they’re as good for lounging around on a beach as they are for wandering around European cities.

Unfortunately, as I was writing this blog post, these shorts sold out (how inconsiderate!) If you’re interested in them, I’d recommend hanging around the ASOS website to see if there are any returns in your size, or investing in this equally lovely pair.

Palm leaves and pineapples

I’ve just discovered Mango’s excellent range of jewellery and picked up these lovely – and remarkably inexpensive – earrings in their recent sale. I definitely recommend taking a look at their stuff if you fancy nabbing an office wear friendly bargain.

 

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and other stories, ASOS, ASOS Curve, Bbloggers, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, Charlotte Tilbury, fashion, look what you could have worn, Make Up, metallics, silver, summer dresses

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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ASOS Curve, Black Heart Creatives, Charlotte Tilbury, Ilamasqua, lipstick, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Primark, psbloggers, Tatty Devine

Playing Out

I went out dancing for the first time in ages on Saturday night, and it was absolutely fantastic. I drank gin and tonics from gigantic red cups, I waltzed to Erasure with strangers and friends, I covered myself in glittery sequins (which I’m still finding about my person despite having bathed *and* showered) and I ate McDonald’s mozzarella dippers at 3am. On my way there, a woman looked me up and down before hissing ‘what does she think she looks like wearing THAT?’ To which I answered ‘really effing good actually, ta love.’

Full frontal playsuit

PLAYSUIT: ASOS Curve

BELT: Primark (old)

SHOES: Primark

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine (old)

EARRINGS: Black Heart Creatives

Sassy playsuit

This playsuit is one of those items that bitchy fashion pieces will tell you that fat women should never wear. Imagine it! Getting your dumpy white legs out in public! The horror! To which I say, screw it.

I love this tropical little number from ASOS. It’s comfy and stretchy and a cinch to whip off when you’re in a toilet with a broken lock trying to have a wee.I sized up so it accommodated my boobs, but honestly you probably don’t have to do so. Buy one for yourself and revel in that gorgeous tropical print. In fact, buy two and give one to a fat pal so they can look excellent in it too.

Playsuit selfie

A summer night out called for my most summery lipstick, Charlotte Tilbury’s delicious 1975 Red. Sadly, that was a limited edition shade so you can no longer find it (unless you hunt around on Ebay), but I’ve been reliably informed that ‘Hot Emily’ from her ‘Hot Lips’ collection is a pretty good dupe. I’m also totally in love with the primer I’m wearing here, Ilamasqua’s Hydra Veil. It’s a bit of a bugger to apply, as it’s a gel and so can feel a bit slimy when you’re slapping it on. However, it might just be the best primer I’ve ever used. It makes me look airbrushed and hides all my lumps and bumps. While my skin is a lot better now I’ve been patch tested by my dermatologist and know which ingredients trigger my eczema, every little helps on my quest for glowy porcelain perfection.

 

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ASOS, ASOS Curve, Beauty, Eczema, gold, MAC, metallics, Outfit post, outfits, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, Topshop, Trousers, Work wear

Peg Leg

I’m not a huge wearer of trousers. I think I have some residual trauma from years of wearing awful polyester school pants followed by trying to buy jeans which fit properly. But one of my 2016 fashion resolutions was to experiment more with my look, both with clothes and make-up . I loved how these peg leg trousers were styled on the ASOS Curve website and thought they would be great to wear for work and play.

Full length 2

TOP: ASOS Curve

TROUSERS: ASOS Curve

SHOES: ASOS

NECKLACE: Topshop

EARRINGS: Topshop

I didn’t expect much from these trousers to be honest. I worried that they’d go baggy after a few wears or slip down my hips and accidentally reveal my butt at inconvenient moments. But they are super comfy, super stretchy and have pleasingly deep pockets. My colleagues have nicknamed these my ‘Beetlejuice trousers’ because they do look like something you would wear for a Beetlejuice cosplay. Hey, he did know how to rock a stripe.

Full length 1

I’ve tended to wear these with heeled boots, but now the weather’s getting warmer, these super cool heeled silver ASOS loafers are getting more of an outing. They look so good that I will forgive them for giving me some ridiculously painful blisters the first time I wore them.

Kitchen selfie

I’ve been suffering terribly from eczema around my cheeks, chin, mouth and eyes recently. I’ll write more about my experiences with this soon, but it’s really dented my confidence. I consider myself to be a woman who is very comfortable with her looks, but it’s still hard when you look in the mirror and see huge, angry looking red blotches all over your face.

I’m slowly getting to grips with it thanks to a lovely dermatologist and spending an eye watering sum of money on topical steroids. But I thought I’d do a slightly more bronzed look (with some added eye make-up) to go with this outfit. I used MAC’s Charlotte Olympia collection cream color base in ‘Golden Age’, followed by MAC’s eyeshadow in Swiss Chocolate. I then went over this with a gold eye pencil I’d received in my Birchbox a few months ago. The lipstick is my beloved MAC Charlotte Olympia ‘Retro Rouge’ which is pretty much my go-to red at the moment. I love how well it complements my hair and eyes, plus it lasts for ages. Which is handy when you drink as much tea as I do.

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ASOS Curve, fashion, gold, lipstick, MAC, Marks and Spencer, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, scarves, Topshop, vintage, wiwt

Put a scarf on it

I love scarves. My house is littered with them and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate them into my outfits. Now I’ve (finally) gone and bought myself a new pair of jeans, I’ve reverted back to my standard uniform of jeans, t-shirt and a jewel coloured scarf draped around my neck. It’s a chic and colourful combo, although I do worry that if I tie my scarf the wrong way I’ll look like a cowgirl on her way to the rodeo.

Put a scarf on it

COAT: Marks and Spencer

T-SHIRT: ASOS Curve

SCARF: Vintage

JEANS: Marks and Spencer

BOOTS: Topshop

EARRINGS: Topshop

TOTE BAG: Verso 

Side eye

I hate jeans. Which is a bold thing to say when I consider them to be a staple item in my wardrobe. But no other item of clothing makes me feel as depressed as jeans do. Very few fit my body shape to my liking, usually being too tight around my thighs and too loose around my hips and butt. However, I think I’ve finally cracked it with these jeggings from Marks and Spencer. Jeggings may be one of the worst portmanteau words in the clothing lexicon, but I’ll forgive these because they’re ridiculously comfortable and fit like a dream. Plus, they look great worn with these gorgeous boots from Topshop which are also way comfier than they look. Any shoe which can cushion my feet from the mean Mancunian streets is a sure fire winner.

Glowing

I had a bit of a moment in MAC over Easter when I saw their stunning Charlotte Olympia collection. Somehow I managed not to buy all of it, limiting myself to an eyeshadow brush, a gold cream eyeshadow and this gorgeous matte lipstick in Retro Rouge. It’s a browner, deeper red than I usually wear, but I love how it really brings out the blue and green in my eyes. I added a sweep of Topshop’s Chameleon highlighter across my cheeks for that whole ‘cherub sent down from heaven’ look I’ve been so fond of recently.

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ASOS, ASOS Curve, Elle, look what you could have worn, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, women's media

Look What You Could Have Worn: Elle magazine x ASOS

Look what you could have worn - ASOS x Elle

Every time an email lands in an inbox from a women’s media outlet, showing a ‘fresh and funky fashion edit!’ my heart drops a little bit. I know they mean well, but there’s something a bit galling about gazing longingly at items I’ll never be able to wear because they don’t come in my size (and probably never will.)  But the siren call of 20% off ASOS is strong – even more so when you’ve spent far too much time recently wondering if you’ll suit a denim jacket or if it will make you look like a chub member of a Bananarama tribute band (not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

This is how I found myself picking up a copy of Elle last week. The discount card is burning a hole in my wallet and the magazine is languishing on my dining table. I seriously doubt that there will be any clothes featured in it that plus-sized girls can wear, so I thought I’d put together a quick post showing a spring outfit I’d feature in its pages if I could.

It’s still pretty cold and blustery here in the North West of England, so I’m thinking longingly of pastel colours and bare legs. The midi prom skirt (3.) is a great transitional item, the kind of thing which will look super cute worn with tights, but won’t cause your knees to freeze if you dare to bare. I’m drawn to silver shoes like a magpie is drawn to shiny objects, so I’m swooning over the silver brogues (4.). They’re femme enough to be worn with skirts, but would look equally as good paired with cigarette pants or a pair of slim leg jeans. I’m unsure about whether I’d look good in a denim jacket (1.), but 2016 may be the year I finally take the plunge and buy one – mostly so I can cover it in patches and pin badges. Wolf & Moon are one of my favourite independent jewellery brands and their  Little Sun necklace (5.) is beautifully simple. Regular readers will know that I love me some big earrings, so these bar hoops (6.) are just ostentatious enough. I love their hint of pink, it makes them girly without being too sugary. Perfect for work and play.

Which ASOS Curve items have caught your eye recently? Let me know in the comments!

  1. ASOS CURVE Denim Girlfriend Jacket in Midwash – £40.00
  2. New Look Inspire Tee  – £7.99
  3. ASOS CURVE Midi Prom Skirt with Box Pleats – £32.00
  4. ASOS ORIGINAL Loafer Tassle Heels – £40.00
  5. Wolf & Moon Little Sun Necklace – £16.00
  6. ASOS Precious Bar Hoop Earrings – £6.00
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ASOS Curve, dresses, lipstick, Monki, office wear, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, Topshop, Work outfit

Face Off

Yes, it’s another outfit post featuring an item from Monki. But if you follow the same people as me on Twitter, you’ll know that we’ve all been losing our shit over this amazing Jonna dress of theirs. It’s an outrageously comfy polo neck dress which features a print of some amazing babes which work there. Wearing it makes me feel like I’m wearing a hug.

Full length 1

DRESS: Monki

SHOES: Dr Martens

BELT: ASOS Curve (old)

EARRINGS: Topshop

Full length 2

Because I am prone to overthinking things – particularly when it comes to clothing – I almost didn’t buy this when I first tried it on. I thought it made me look like I was wearing a bin bag. However, once I’d added a belt (and listened to some words of wisdom from my excellent friends) I knew it had to be mine. And I’m so glad it is. It’s a dress which makes me feel happy every time I put it on.

Unfortunately, it’s limited edition which means that it’s currently only available in XS on their website. However, if you keep asking Monki nicely, they may make some more! I’d also recommend keeping an eye on ASOS and Ebay as they occasionally crop up there. But even if you don’t manage to get your hands on this version, Monki’s polo neck dresses are definitely a great investment. I like wearing mine to the office and get great compliments every time I do.

Topshop lipstick

I’d also like to give a shout out to Topshop’s excellent (and underrated) line of make-up. Their Fast Lane shade of lipstick has rapidly become one of my favourites. It also lasts ages, standing up to the numerous cups of coffee and slices of toast I consume during the average working day. I’m also totally in love with their Chameleon highlighter. A quick dash of it across my cheeks makes me look like I’m glowing from the inside which is quite an achievement when you think of how grim the weather has been in the North West of England recently.

 

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ASOS, ASOS Curve, fashion, fat acceptance, look what you could have worn, plus sized fashion, Representation, The media

On ASOS and plus-sized representation in the media

Untitled

Being a fat woman on the internet exposes you to a lot of fuckwittery. It feels like every day, there’s some egregiousness that the plus-sized community (or, at least, the people I follow within the plus-sized community) are getting up in arms about. Most of the time, this seems to come from plus-sized brands. You’d think that the people who were so keen to take our money would be the ones who understood us best. Unfortunately, if I had a pound for every time I’ve seen a plus-sized brand put their foot in their mouth, I would probably have enough cash to start my own collection.

The latest example of this is ASOS. Before I get started, let me say that I love ASOS. 80% of my clothes come from their Curve collection which stocks some of the best plus-sized pieces on the market. I’ve really like how they’ve used plus-sized model Felicity Hayward as one of their stylists and their Autumn/Winter 2015 look book with blogger Gabi Gregg was absolutely gorgeous. So, when their recent magazine landed on my doormat, I looked forward to seeing their newest selection of on trend plus-sized pieces. I mean, they have one of the largest selections of plus-sized clothes available. Surely, they’d feature them in a magazine they send out to thousands of subscribers?

Well, no. I did a full audit of their magazine and it featured nothing from their Curve collection. Not one piece. In fact, the only place where I saw a plus-sized woman featured in the magazine was in a cartoon from Cécile Dormeau on the last page. I asked ASOS why this was the case, and didn’t get a reply (although to be honest, I didn’t expect one.) What’s most galling about this is that this edition was devoted to representation in the media and inspiring women. How can a brand claim to be committed to representation when its magazine excludes a large section of its customer base?

It’s not just ASOS who are guilty of this. Too many magazines, websites and TV programmes which claim to speak for women have a bit of a blind spot when it comes to anything plus-sized. Yesterday,  I saw that Navabi had launched a #moreplusplease campaign, dedicated to helping larger women gain greater representation in the media. They surveyed 12 magazines and discovered that only 8% of weekly magazines featured plus-sized women. This fell to 2% in editorials in monthly magazines. The media may be getting excited about size 14 Ashley Graham being featured in Sports Illustrated, but let’s be clear – she is the exception, not the rule.

It’s a sad fact of life that many plus-sized women can’t boycott ASOS because in doing so, they’d be boycotting one of the few places where they can buy affordable, fashionable clothes (particularly if they’re over a size 24). But if brands are so keen to earn the plus-sized pound, they have to work harder for us. It’s not enough to pay lip-service to fat women while refusing to stock their plus-sized ranges in their stores. And we’re entitled to get angry when we see so few media outlets featuring plus-sized fashion. So, ASOS, raise your game. And brands, if you’re fed up with fat women talking about how they feel under appreciated, just think how tired we are of constantly having to say it.

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