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, 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, 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

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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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Christmas, elvi, joanna hope, look what you could have worn, metallics, Navabi, ootd, pink clove, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, silver

Look what you could have worn: The Silver Edition

The Silver Edition

So strictly speaking, this outfit edit isn’t eligible for everyone’s new favourite plus-sized column, look what you could have worn. But, I got a few requests on Twitter to do a silver version of this post, and I need very little excuse to go digging around the internet for amazing clothes.

Most of the items I’ve featured here are more expensive than those you’ll find in your average plus sized retailer. But I’ve chosen them all because they take risks, and dare you to break the rules that fat women so often hear when it comes to fashion.

I often get frustrated when looking at plus sized items, because it feels like they only come in two styles – a hanky hemmed, butterfly patterned bin bag, or ‘flattering’ vintage inspired dresses. It gets so tiring to hear that another major high street brand are launching a plus sized range only to see the same things again and again. Being fat doesn’t suddenly rob you of your critical faculties when it comes to getting dressed. And I know many fat women who would be prepared to pay more for fashion which encourages them to stand out from the pack. So why should we have to put up such uninspired and tired clothes? If brands really want to convince us that ‘style has no size,’ (a campaign which is already loaded why are they not putting more effort into creating fashion forward items rather than the same old thing? To quote this fantastic piece by Bethany Rutter at The Fader, “I’m living for the day when I have access to the same range of cool, daring, understated clothes as thin women, without the side-order of condescension.”

As for my choices? Well, metallics are very in at the moment and are excellent for all those Christmas parties you’ll (no doubt) be attending very soon. And I feel like I have a duty of care to ensure that every plus sized babe reading this strides forth into the festive season swathed in shiny fabrics, looking really really bloody good.

Elvi Prima Grey Sequin Bomber Jacket

Elvi Prima Grey Bomber Jacket – £119.00

Elvi’s Prima collection features some of the best plus sized clothes I’ve ever seen. It’s all just so shiny and beautiful and clever. It’s hard to pick favourites because I want pretty much all of it (which, sadly, is unlikely to happen unless I get a massive windfall in the near future.) This sequin bomber jacket is particularly lush. I’d wear this with a jumpsuit, heels and massive hair for some serious Studio 54 vibes.

Elvi Sequin Tassel Dress

Elvi Prima Sequin Tassle Dress – £129.00

I gasped with joy when I saw this, because it incorporates two of my favourite things – sequins and tassels. It is a glorious glitterball of a dress, designed to make you look and feel like your best self. Buy this to wear for those times when you go out dancing all night and snog inappropriate people in inappropriate corners at inappropriate moments.

Pink Clove Metallic Leggings

Pink Clove Metallic Leggings – £16.00

2015 has given me a whole new appreciation of leggings, so naturally I love these. Yes, they’re a bit silly, but they’re also incredibly fun. And I love the idea of wearing something which will make you look legs look like those of a disco robot, and your ass look amazing.

Joanna Hope Foil Pleated Maxi Skirt

Joanna Hope Foil Pleated Maxi Skirt – £65.00

I’m not the biggest fan of maxi skirts, but I’m prepared to make an exception for this one. It’s a real statement piece that you can make as simple or as fancy as you like. I’d happily wear this to the office with a black t-shirt and a chunky belt, but I could also see it going well with an elegant beaded top and simple silver jewellery.

navabi Sequin Pearl Embellished Pencil Dress

navabi Sequin Pearl Embellished Pencil Dress – £227.90

Lets all take a moment here to stop what we’re doing and revel in the glory of this dress. Isn’t it magnificent? It’s just the kind of thing that a chub flapper girl would wear while bobbing her hair and necking champagne. While it’s not the most original dress I’ve ever seen, it’s certainly one of the more interesting pieces I’ve seen in a plus sized collection. So, huge props to navabi here for making something which is beautiful, luxe and daring, and which goes all the way up to a size 30 (which, sadly, is a rarity.)

Want to see what you could have worn? I’m taking requests! If you’ve seen an outfit feature in a magazine or newspaper recently, and would like to see a plus sized version, drop me a line! 

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Autumn, dresses, elvi, gold, jumpers, look what you could have worn, Monki, Navabi, plus sized fashion, Simply Be, skirts

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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1970s, Alice & You, ASOS Curve, long line dresses, look what you could have worn, Modcloth, Monki, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized fashion, Simply Be

Look What You Could Have Worn: Elle’s long dresses edit

Look What You Could Have WornSo, I’ll admit that I was slightly taken aback by how well received the last ‘Look What You Could Have Worn’ was. While Emerald Street never did respond to my questions as to why they didn’t add plus sized options to their clothing picks (Hiya guys!) it made me even more determined in my goal to show that fat women want a more size inclusive media. While I love seeing fashion editorials in magazines aimed towards the plus sized community (such as Slink and Volup2), I don’t want our clothing, politics and style to just be shoved away into one corner of the internet.

Which brings me to Elle. I rarely read Elle, because it is a magazine which is very much not aimed at (fat) women like me. I’ve always viewed it as being one of those media outlets which will occasionally pay lip service to plus sized women by featuring a size 18 model every now and then (always toned, and always with a flat stomach of course), but never shows us clothes which we can actually wear. But, this month they were giving away an ASOS 20% gift card with every issue, and I am a sucker for discounted pencil skirts and heeled sandals and…I think you know where this is going.

There’s a great editorial in there showing a number of ways to style long dresses (page 158 – 162 if you’re interested.) Longer, 70s-style dresses look set to be a huge trend this Autumn/Winter season, and I for one cannot wait to float around in them while pretending to be Stevie Nicks. Here’s five of my favourites.

Alice and You Patchwork Print Maxi Dress

Alice & You Patchwork Print Lace Up Maxi Dress (£42.00)

This dress is like a magic eye picture. When I first saw it, I thought it was hideous. But the more I look at it, the more I like it. It’s a great mix of different types of print, and as 70s as a glam rock record. However, this is an item which could very easily veer into fancy dress territory, so I’d wear it with simple accessories and a pair of ankle boots, otherwise it could look a little OTT.

ASOS Curve Maxi Dress in Knitted 70's chevron

ASOS Curve Maxi Dress in Knitted 70’s Chevron (£42.00)

This looks like something my (remarkably stylish) Mum would have worn around Florida in the 70s. It’s casual enough to wear to work, but dressy enough to wear out to dinner afterwards. I’d team this with a belted long-line coat and heeled sandals (or a pair of wooden clogs.) Elle says that wearing ankle-tie sandals will help draw attention to your lovely slim ankles, but if people are looking at those instead of you while you’re wearing this dress, tell them to shove off.

Ilva dress Monki

Monki Ilva Dress (£30.00)

While Monki doesn’t do a plus-sized range, their sizing is remarkably generous and their larger sizes tend to easily fit us chubs. I’m a huge fan of their clothing, and this is my favourite dress of the bunch. It’s less dressy than the others, but I love the shape and the pattern is superb. It’s the kind of casual dress I’d throw on with a pair of brogues or Dr. Martens before heading out to the pub.

Modcloth Fiore Your Entertainment Dress in Floral

Modcloth Fiore Your Entertainment in Flora ($99.00/£63.00)

Modcloth’s stuff continues to be great, as does their range of sizing (their stuff goes all the way up to 4XL – the only retailer I’ve ever seen do this.) The only downside is the shipping costs from the USA, so I’d recommend clubbing together with a friend on an order so it doesn’t cost mega bucks. This little number is delightfully floaty, and would look fantastic worn with some knee high suede boots. I’d also add a slim brown belt to give it a bit of shape and contrast.

Simply Be Printed Long Line Shirt Dress

Simply Be Printed Long Line Shirt Dress (£45.00)

When Simply Be get a trend right, they get it right. Their new collection contains a whole heap of 70s inspired gems (think lots of suede, lots of fringing and lots of fake fur), but this dress totally stood out to me. The bold paisley print is just fantastic, and I’m dying to wear this out and about with a giant afghan coat while pretending to be Angie Bowie.

Will you be wearing long line dresses this Autumn? Which ones are your favourites? Let me know in the comments!

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ASOS Curve, Carmakoma, Evans, look what you could have worn, Modcloth, plus sized bloggers, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, summer dresses, white dresses, women's media

Look What You Could Have Worn: Emerald Street’s White Dresses

White dress collage

When you’re a fat woman, you soon come to realise that a lot of women’s media isn’t for you. On the outside, it looks inclusive, with its talk of wonderful books to read, delicious recipes to cook and expensive accessories to buy. But dig a bit deeper and you soon see that it’s designed with a very different (by which I mean ‘thinner’) woman in mind.

I snapped yesterday after seeing an email from Emerald Street which included details of five gorgeous white dresses, none of which I could buy because none of them went over a size 16. For a women’s media outlet designed to appeal to my demographic, they appear to be very reluctant to feature anything that a plus sized women can wear. I asked them about it, and I’m still waiting for a response. I’m not singling out Emerald Street here –  I’ve lost count of the amount of clothing edits I’ve seen on major women’s websites recently which don’t feature one item from a plus sized retailer, or an item which goes goes over a size 18. But it all feels incredibly exclusionary – and more than a little depressing.

Fat women aren’t some kind of homogeneous blob which you can appease with the occasional patronising article about how ‘fashionable’ we are. We want to be stylish and wear nice things, and lord knows that many of us are able to spend just as much on clothes as our thinner counterparts. So, inspired by other plus sized campaigns like Debz’s fantastic #hereswhatiwouldhavespent, I’ve decided that every time I see a list of clothing on a women’s website which doesn’t feature one plus sized option, I’ll put my own pick together. And, because I love a good Bullseye reference, I’d call it ‘Look what you could have worn.” In homage to Emerald Street, here’s five of my favourite plus sized white dresses.

Alice & You Lace Maxi Dress

Alice & You Lace Maxi Dress (£50.00)

You’d be right to exercise a fair amount of caution when you see the words ‘lace’ and ‘maxi dress’ together in a sentence. Get it right, and you look floaty, feminine and ethereal. Get it wrong, and you’ll end up looking like you’re wearing your Nan’s net curtains. This gorgeous dress is lightweight and casual, and the perfect thing for summer. You could easily wear this down to the beach, or to a wedding. The stretch waistband and v-neck neckline is great if (like me) you’ve got mega-boobs, providing enough stretch to keep them at bay, while showing just enough cleavage.

ASOS Curve Bodycon Dress with Mesh inserts

 ASOS CURVE Bodycon Dress With Mesh inserts (£30.00)

ASOS are the masters of bodycon dresses, and I love everything about this. It’s crisp, clean and minimal, meaning it can be styled as simply (or as OTT) as you like. You can jazz it up with a big statement necklace and heels, or with a pair of chic little sandals. It would also make a great summer dress to wear to the office (just try not to spill coffee down it on the train into work.)

Carmakoma Jersey Layered Babydoll Dress

Carmakoma Jersey Layered Babydoll Dress (£75.00)

Danish brand Carmakoma specialise in creating beautiful, minimal clothing and I love the unique shape of this Babydoll dress. It’s almost-but-not-quite a peplum, with a really interesting geometric design. If you’re not keen on the idea of getting your arms out, I’d recommend keeping it simple, and pairing it with a simple tailored blazer or leather jacket.

Collection Ivory Embellished Shoulder Layer Dress

Evans Collection Ivory Embellished Shoulder Layer Dress (£55.00)

Evans doesn’t always get it right, but when it does, it can produce some really beautiful items of clothing. This is from their Design Collective collection, which is comprised of more ‘fashion forward’ pieces than its usual array of ditsy dresses and butterfly prints. Just looking at this dress makes me think of summer holidays and sipping cocktails on a beach somewhere. The jewel embellishments on the shoulders add a nice bit of bling, meaning you can keep it simple with the accessories. I’d wear this with nothing more than a (big) pair of sunglasses and some sandals. If you’re not as comfortable with the idea of getting your legs out, it would also look great worn over a pair of black leggings.

Modcloth Tea's Company dress

Modcloth ‘Tea’s Company’ Dress ($104.99/£68.72)

One of the best things about Modcloth is its inclusiveness – most dresses listed on there are suitable for all shapes and sizes. The price of shipping to the UK can be a bit of a pain in the neck, which is why I’d recommend teaming together with some friends so you can buy a few items at once and split the cost between you all. I love everything about this Bettie Page dress, from the simple 1940s inspired neckline, to the subtle polkadot print of the fabric. It’s so wonderfully femme, and would be the perfect thing to wear to a summer wedding (hey, it would even make a good wedding dress if that’s your thing.)

Do you have a favourite white dress that you’re thinking of wearing this summer? Let me know in the comments!

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