Animal print, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, dresses, L'Oreal, Leopard print, lipstick, Marks and Spencer, Monki, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, Topshop

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.

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COAT: Marks & Spencer

DRESS: Alexa Chung for Marks & Spencer

SHOES: Marks & Spencer

NECKLACE: Topshop (old)

EARRINGS: Monki (old)

HANDBAG: Kate Spade (old)

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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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Leopard print, style icons, sunset boulevard, vintage

Style icons: Norma Desmond

Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond

On Friday, I had a day off work, a ‘night at the darts’ induced hangover, and a stinker of a mood. In such circumstances, there’s only one cure – to boil up a pan of Bailey’s spiked hot chocolate, curl up on the sofa and watch old movies. I’m currently making headway through all the classics I can rustle up on (American) Netflix; All About Eve, Mommie Dearest, Of Human Bondage, Mildred Pierce and the most meta-old-Hollywood film of them all, Sunset Boulevard. 

If you’ve never seen Sunset Boulevard, drop everything and watch it now. Seriously. This blog post will still be here when you get back. Not only is it one of the most brilliant film noirs ever made (the body in the swimming pool! The monkey funeral! That final scene!) but it features the magnificent Gloria Swanson – titan of the silent screen, stone cold fox and all round bad-ass. These brilliant Scandals of Classic Hollywood pieces goes into great detail about why she was so legendary, but tldr; she owned a gold plated bathtub, had six husbands and spent $10,000 a year on lingerie. If that’s not aspirational, I don’t know what is.

Norma Desmond smoking

Norma Desmond, the doomed heroine of Sunset Boulevard, is undoubtedly her best role. Clad in oodles of jewels and leopard print everything (even her car features a leopard print lining), she is a glamorous spider luring the naive Joe Gillis into her web. Her style throughout the film is utterly flawless, always skirting the edges of being over the top yet jaw-droppingly glamorous. These are the outfits you wear when you want to command a man or a room. If you fancy unleashing your inner Norma, here’s an outfit you can wear so you’re always ready for your close-up (Mr. DeMille.)

Etsy Leopard print turban Lipsy Animal Print Heeled Sandals Lindy Bop winnie-vintage-vamp-40s-50s-style-dress-with-leopard-print

ASOS Handmade Acetate Cat Eye Sunglasses Bill Skinner Gold Plated Leopard BangleEbay cigarette ring

TOP ROW:  Turban, Etsy. Shoes, Lipsy.  Dress, Lindy Bop.

BOTTOM ROW: Sunglasses: ASOS. Bangle: ASOS. Cigarette holder: Ebay.

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Animal print, ASOS, ASOS Curve, Black Heart Creatives, Leopard print

Leopard print is a neutral

Leopard print is a neutral

Seeing as I have worn nothing bar big jumpers and jogging bottoms so far in 2015 (what? I’ve been on holiday!), I thought I’d kick proceedings off by showcasing one of my favourite outfits of last year. And my bathroom. Because everyone loves a classy bathroom selfie taken on your decrepit (and quite possibly haunted) smartphone.

I bought this ASOS Curve animal print pencil skirt for my birthday and have worn it practically every week since then – it’s gone on dates, to client meetings at work and to visit my parents – and it’s elicited lots of compliments. The only (minor) flaw with it is that it’s cut slightly oddly, meaning you have to be careful when you sit down so you don’t accidentally flash your crotch at passing strangers. It’s on sale at the moment, and I highly recommend purchasing it if you feel that there aren’t enough leopard print items of clothing in your wardrobe.

Special mention should also go to the crushed velvet Chelsea boots I’m wearing here but which (unfortunately), you can’t really see. Take my word for it when I say that their ridiculously high heels makes you feel like a glam rock superstar. Whenever I put them on, I feel as though I should be forming an all-girl Sweet tribute band. They’re also incredibly strokeable, meaning that my colleagues have taken to caressing my ankles during meetings whenever they’ve seen me wearing them.

TOP: Marks & Spencer

SKIRT: Asos Curve

BOOTS: Asos

GIANT DOUGHNUT NECKLACE: Black Heart Creatives

SHOWER FITTING: Model’s own

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