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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1970s, and other stories, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, fashion, fat acceptance, fat positivity, H&M, lipstick, Make Up, metallics, Monki, Nars, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, psbloggers, summer, summer dresses, what i wore, wiwt

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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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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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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Luxury Witch

Recently, I attended a job interview where I found myself explaining the concept of a ‘Luxury Witch’ to a rather bemused interview panel. ‘Imagine a really well dressed Goth who takes Ubers everywhere,’ I exclaimed before informing them that crushed velvet and pleated skirts were really in this season. They’re yet to let me know if I’ve been offered the job.

Whatever happens with my employment prospects, I’m deeply happy to have introduced the concept of ‘Luxury Witch’ to a wider audience. And – if this term ever appears in the Oxford English Dictionary – you’d probably find a picture of this outfit underneath it.

luxury-witch-leopard-print-coat

COAT: Marks and Spencer

ROLL NECK: Marks and Spencer

PLEATED SKIRT: Marks and Spencer

BELT: Vintage

BOOTS: Topshop

EARRINGS: Monki

roll-neck

My love of Marks and Spencer’s clothing runs deep – I will go to my grave arguing that they make the comfiest underwear on the market – and they are really knocking it out of the park this season. Their stuff is chic, reasonably priced and doesn’t fall apart after a few rounds in the washing machine (handy when you spill as much down yourself as I do). They do great everyday basics and on trend pieces like this gloriously witchy metallic midi skirt and leopard print coat, both of which look far more luxurious than their price tags would lead you to believe. Plus, M&S remains the only shop I can pop into during my lunch hour where I can purchase moisturiser, a skirt and a sandwich at the same time. What a time to be alive.

luxury-witch

In the spirit of Halloween, I opted to experiment with my eye make-up and try out a more dramatic look. I used Make Up Revolution’s ‘Fortune Favours The Brave’ palette (an absolute bargain at £9.99) to recreate this gorgeous rose gold smokey eye look. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to eyeshadow, but this is such a lovely (and easy!) tutorial to follow. While it’s not quite as elegant as Nancy’s,  I’m super pleased about how well it turned out.

I completed the look with MAC’s ‘Roxo‘, a limited edition blood red lipstick. While this particular shade is sold out on their website, I’m fairly sure that you could find lots of lovely dupes without searching too hard.

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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.

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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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