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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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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Jewellery, Monki, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, psbloggers, Topshop

Eye Eye, McMc

Since my last post, I have a) lost my job, b) suddenly decided to go freelance, c) had my wifi box blow up and d) developed a rather irritating twitch in my left eye which just won’t quit. Honestly, it’s all been a bit exhausting. Thankfully, I was able to alleviate some of this stress by jumping on a train and heading to Glasgow – one of my favourite cities – last weekend. If you have never visited Glasgow, I cannot stress enough all the reasons why you should, such as amazing buildings, stunning scenery, excellent bars and (my personal favourite) haggis pakoras. If I had my way, all Saturday nights out would end with eating a bag of mixed pakora in bed while watching ‘Colombo’.

Seeing as I was going to be spending a lot of time walking and eating, I wanted to wear something extremely comfortable yet extremely fashionable. This excellent tunic dress and David Bowie-esque boots outfit felt like the perfect fit.

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DRESS: Monki

EARRINGS: Monki

BOOTS: Topshop

BAG: Liverpool Psych Fest

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The pattern on this polo neck dress is so unique (very Schiaparelli!) and it looks so great worn over opaque tights. I also absolutely adore these Topshop silver boots.Like me, they’re a little bit business and a little bit ridiculous. I’ve barely taken them off since I bought them.They were an impulse panic buy after I left a pair of comfy shoes in a hotel room after a night on the champagne (If you’re thinking I live a life of glamour and excitement, I can assure you that I would only wish the hungover & panicked train dash I was forced to do the next day on my worst enemy).

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While I’ve always been a huge Monki fan, they really have been absolutely killing it in the style stakes recently and I want pretty much everything from their new collection. I was also overjoyed to see fellow blogger (and style icon) Danielle Vanier featured in their new campaign, proving that it’s not just straight sized people who can rock their excellent clothes.

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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.

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DRESS: Monki

SHOES: Dr Martens

BELT: ASOS Curve (old)

EARRINGS: Topshop

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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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Sparkle Sparkle

I told myself that I wasn’t going to post any more poorly taken outfit selfie pics here in 2016 (particularly ones which feature my manky feet). But hey, New Year’s Resolutions are made to broken. I wanted to show off this gorgeous silver Monki kimono as it’s absolutely wonderful and is bound to fit a whole heap of chub beauties. I’ve worn it a handful of times since buying it a week ago, and each time I’ve had loads of compliments.

Monki changing room selfie

KIMONO: Monki

DRESS: ASOS Curve

BELT: Little Mistress (old)

I’m wearing a large here, mostly because I have giganto-boobs and wanted something which would adequately cover them. I’m a size 20 and am pretty sure that a large would fit most people up to a size 24. However, I’ve also found Monki’s medium sized items to be quite generous, so if you’re close to one of their stores, it’s definitely worth popping in and trying this on. If silver’s not your thing, this also comes in gold. Sparkle Sparkle indeed.

Smug face

The only niggle I have with this item (and it’s a very minor one) is that it snags quite easily. I wore it out recently and accidentally tore a small hole in one of the sleeves when I caught it on a door handle. It’s something which will easily be fixed with a needle and thread, but it’s something to bear in mind if (like me) you can be a bit heavy handed with your clothes.

Monki face

I’ve been pairing this outfit with these gorgeous Topshop earrings and L’Oreal’s Colour Riche lipstick in Cassis Passion. These lipsticks are a bit of an underrated gem -great colours with real staying power. I own five of them and intend to buy many more.

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Monki Business

I’ve been meaning to blog this dress from Monki for over three months now. But somehow, the time’s never been right. Every picture I took of myself wearing it made me look old, tired or lumpy. (Sometimes all three.) But if there’s one thing I’ve learned in 2015, it’s that there’s no such thing as a perfect outfit photo. Sometimes, you’ve just got to run into the talking toilets at Liverpool South Parkway station* and snap some hasty outfit selfies.

Monki Business

DRESS: Monki

BELT: ASOS Curve (old)

SHOES: Dr Martens

Monki has been one of my best finds of 2015. I love their whole ‘tomboy femme’ aesthetic (and they fact that they’re not afraid of a bit of sparkle.) They’re also a high street(ish) brand which is very forgiving to us chubs, with dresses and skirts which contain a lot of fit, flare and stretch. There’s something really refreshing about being able to fit my size 20 arse into a piece of clothing which is classed as a ‘medium.’ If you’re still unsure, plus sized queen Danielle Vanier wrote a great piece for The Debrief earlier this year about why Monki should be a plus sized girl’s best friend. 

Monki Business 2

The only area Monki fall down in is their shipping costs which is an eyewatering £6. (I presume this is because, like most H&M owned brands, it’s shipped from outside the UK.) However, a lot of their stuff can be found on ASOS who provide free delivery (and free next day delivery if you’re a Premier member.) While they don’t have the full range on there yet, it’s always worth taking a look there so you can save a few pennies.

Monki Business 3

The weather in Manchester is decidedly grey today, so I decided to pep it up a bit with this Sleek lipstick in Mystic. It’s an utterly delicious shade of fuschia and just matte enough to have staying power without drying your face out. Just the thing for a bit of festive razzle dazzle.

*I feel like I should give the toilets of Liverpool South Parkway a Christmas present for services to this blog.

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