Accessories, dresses, fashion, fat acceptance, fat positivity, Marks and Spencer, Monki, Oliver Bonas, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, scarves, summer, summer dresses, what i wore

Feeling Myself

Things are still bad. But they are getting better.

I went to my wonderful hairdressers on Tuesday with the intention of getting my roots done. Seven and a half (!!) hours later, I walked out with bright turquoise hair. It is one of most daring, frivolous things I’ve ever done and I absolutely adore it. After a long year which hasn’t had many fun moments in it, doing something completely and utterly ridiculous just for myself feels remarkably liberating. It also happens to really suit me. Which helps.

Tropical

I’ve had a number of people ask me where I bought this (glorious) shirt dress from since posting this selfie. While it looks as though it should come from somewhere like Monki, it’s actually from Marks and Spencer. The print is bold and vibrant, the fit is just on the right side of generous and you’ll always get a compliment when you’re wearing it. It’s still in stock at the moment and worth every single penny of its £39.50 price tag.

Blue hair 1)

HEAD SCARF: Karen Mabon

EARRINGS: Topshop

DRESS: Monki

JACKET: ASOS Curve (old)

NECKLACE: Oliver Bonas

SANDALS: New Look

Speaking of Monki, I am 100% in love with this black t-shirt dress I purchased from them recently. I love really nice, simple, well made, just-on-the-right-side-of-baggy dresses, particularly during the summer when all you want to wear is something which circulates a nice cooling breeze around your intimate parts. I was inspired to get this after seeing it on the always radiant Bethany and listening to an illuminating discussion about sack dresses on the most recent episode of Call Your Girlfriend and wore it to go and see William Basinski when he played at the Manchester International Festival last night. While reapplying my lipstick in the bathroom, I caught sight of myself in the full length mirror and – for the first time in ages – felt 100% comfortable with the way I looked. Which is something I haven’t been able to say for a while.

Blue hair 2)

 

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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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Gold, Frankenstein and Grrr

‘That’s a lovely dress,’ said the woman at the till. ‘Off to the office Christmas party?’

‘Nope!’ I replied. ‘I’m a freelancer. We tend not to get invited to office Christmas parties.’

‘Oh. Well, that’s a shame love. Going to wear it to any other Christmas parties?’

‘To be honest, I’m probably just going to wear it around the house while watching The Sure Thing for the 100th time and drinking pints of Baileys’

‘Are you taking the mick?’

When no one else wants you to attend their party, the best thing you can do is throw your own. Which is what I did on Friday. In fine Christina McMc tradition, I donned my gay apparel, went for a slap up lunch, got my hair done and then sat around my house wearing this dress with a mud mask on and an Aperol Spritz. It was better than 90% of the office parties I’ve ever attended, plus I didn’t need a taxi to cart myself to bed.

gold-frankenstein-and-grrr

TOP: Marks and Spencer (old, but this is very similar)

DRESS: Primark

WATCH: Daisy Dixon (which was a very lovely gift from Yours)

EARRINGS: Accessorize

SHOES: Doc Martens

I didn’t mean to buy this dress. In fact, I’d only popped into Primark to pick up a pair of tights (‘I only meant to buy a pair of tights’ will probably be written on my grave.) But, then I caught it winking at me out of the corner of my eye, and it appealed to all my tackiest, most Magpie like instincts. I never could resist a good metallic item, particularly one with such a ridiculous split up the thigh.

As it is, this dress has turned out to be way more versatile than I initially envisaged. In the past two weeks, I’ve worn it for a wintry wander around Regent’s Park, to a friend’s birthday party and while undertaking a walk of shame through King’s Cross after the aforementioned birthday party. (NEVER drink absinthe readers. Learn from my fail.) Not bad for something which cost me a fiver.

gold-frankenstein-grrr-selfie

For my make-up, I kept it simple. Red lips, gold eyes, dab of highlighter. One of my greatest achievements of 2016 was finally overcoming my fear of eyeshadow. For years, I’d veered away from it as I could never make it look ‘elegant’. Turns out that all I needed was a decent palette, proper brushes (as opposed to my former technique of mushing it all onto my face with my little finger) and roughly 100 YouTube tutorials. Who knows? Maybe at this rate, 2017 will be the year I overcome my fear of false eyelashes. Merry Christmas everyone. 

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34

I turned 34 last Tuesday. 34 doesn’t feel like a real age. It sounds far too grown up, the kind of age that ‘real’ adults are, rather than overgrown teenagers like myself. In my head, I’m still a scruffy 21 year old who mooches around in ill fitting clothes while attempting to make a living by writing overwrought features about post-rock bands rather than a middle aged woman who wears slightly better fitting clothes while trying to make a living by (terrifyingly) starting up her own business. It’s a lot.

Of course, being a proper grown up, I ameliorated these fears in a rational and adult manner. By which, I mean I went for a very fancy lunch, hung out with some cats, went to a gig in a cathedral and had a McDonalds on the way home. I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday.

34-1

COAT: Marks & Spencer

DRESS: Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Marks & Spencer

NECKLACE: Topshop (old)

EARRINGS: Monki (old)

HANDBAG: Kate Spade (old)

34-3

I was a bit devastated recently to hear the news that the clothing arm of Marks & Spencer is experiencing some difficulties. As you may have gathered, I absolutely adore Marks & Spencer. Their underwear is comfy, their jeans fit my weird hips and butt area like they were moulded around them and I know their stuff won’t fall apart after a few wears (unlike some brands I’ve encountered recently – River Island, I’m looking at you here.)

Their recent Alexa Chung collection, where she revisited designs from their archives, has been a bit of an eye opener to my chubby self. Seeing as they stopped at size 18, I fully expected not to fit into any of her items. Hence why I was pleasantly surprised to discover that I could easily fit into this size 16 shirt dress (which, according to a Twitter friend of mine, makes me look like a ’80s space dominatrix’) with room to spare. While I’m well aware that I’m being pandered to via some serious vanity sizing, I’ve never been pandered to so effectively. The only parts in which it falls down is that it creases remarkably easily and its silky fabric makes it a bugger to wear when you’re drunk as you’ll end up sliding off pub stools and onto the floor while mid conversation. You can probably all guess how I discovered this.

it-me-november-2016

I realise that this outfit doesn’t resemble the ones above, but I feel it would be a dereliction of beauty blogger duty not to mention L’Oreal’s Colour Riche lipstick in Blake Red. It’s the most perfect, carmine red I’ve ever found and knocks socks off pretty much everything else I’ve ever tried (and yes, that does include MAC’s Russian Red, a lipstick so matte it feels like you’re trying to drag a crayon across your lips.) It’s beautifully creamy, costs a mere £6.99 and stayed on throughout a challenging 2 hour tattoo session last Saturday. Frankly, it’s one of those bargain high street beauty buys that thrifty types like myself live for. Apparently, L’Oreal are discontinuing it, so I’d recommend buying it in bulk now, if only to provide a pop of colour in these increasingly grey times.

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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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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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Look what you could have worn: The Guardian’s gold edit

Gold against the soul

Oh the Guardian. I expected so much more from you. Granted, I am not the first person to say this. Nor will I be the last. But, as someone who has written about fat issues for them in the past, I can’t help but feel disappointed when I look through their fashion section and see nothing plus sized featured. Granted, they’re great at doing the occasional piece on fat fashion when it suits them, but I do feel annoyed when I look through their fashion section and see (practically) nothing there that I can wear. This is a fault of pretty much all traditional fashion media, but I do wish they’d realise that it’s not enough to pay lip service to fats when it suits you to do so.

However, I live in hope. And it’s the hope that kills you. So, when I saw the Guardian’s listicle of the 10 of the best gold pieces on the high street, I wanted to believe that I’d see an item of clothing which I may actually be able to wear. While they kind of met that expectation (more on that below), they could still do better.

I love gold items because I am a gaudy magpie who is attracted to anything that shimmers. If that item also happens to be covered in sequins, even better. Happily for me, there are some amazing gold plus sized items out there at the moment. Here’s five of my favourites. And, Guardian fashion editors, if you ever need someone to do a plus sized edit for you, drop me a line. (Seriously, I could use the money.)

Elvi Prima Champagne Quilted Skirt

Elvi Prima Champagne Quilted Skirt – £79.00

A quilted gold skirt? Be still my beating heart. This is such a deliciously luxury bitch item that it begs to be worn while you sip champagne and nibble on a canape. I love how Elvi have styled this on their website, and would totally wear that entire outfit to a chic Autumnal soirée. Alternatively, dazzle your colleagues on a grey Tuesday morning by sweeping in wearing it with a black roll neck, 120 denier tights and brogues.

Elena Miro Sequin Embellished Sweater

Elena Miro Sequin Embellished Sweater – £181.90

I’ve spent a lot of time browsing navabi recently. While their items are more expensive than your average plus sized retailer, they’re all of exceptional quality. And I’d rather pay more for an item that I know will last years, rather than one which will self destruct after a few wears. Which brings us to this beauty. Speaking as someone who has problems with jumpers riding up and flashing her belly, I love the length of this, as well as the big sequinned polka dots. I could totally see myself wearing this with a leather pencil skirt.

Simply Be Gold Sequin Top

Simply Be Sequin Top – £45.00

This is totally the top you’d wear to a Christmas party, but hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. (Better that than spending over £100 on a fancy dress outfit you’ll only wear once.) I’d pair this with wet look leggings and pointed gold heels. And maybe some tinsel.

Joanna Hope Sequin Dress

Joanna Hope Sequin Dress – £65.00

This dress is my everything, and so much more. Everything about it is perfect, from its slinky shape to it being entirely covered in shimmering gold sequins. Yes, it would probably scratch the crap out of you, but I’d say it’s a price worth paying to wear something which makes you look like a gloriously chubby Oscar statuette.

Monki Frida Glitter Kimono

Monki Frida Glitter Kimono – £40.00

In the interests of fairness, I should mention that this kimono was featured in the Guardian’s piece. But, seeing as many Monki items can be worn by us chubs, I couldn’t resist featuring it here too. I love how interesting this piece is, all rippling shimmers. I’d wear it with some skinny ripped jeans, a black t-shirt and some Doc Martens, but it’s so versatile that I could imagine it being styled a number of different ways. It’s definitely going on my wish list.

Will you be wearing gold this Autumn? Which piece is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

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