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!

Advertisements
Standard
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)

 

Standard
and other stories, ASOS, Beauty Bakerie, dresses, fashion, fat acceptance, gold, Joanie clothing, lipstick, Marks and Spencer, metallics, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, plus sized summer dresses, psbloggers, spring, what i wore, wiwt

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…

 

 

Standard
and other stories, Autumn, Beauty, Beauty bloggers, fashion, jumpers, lipstick, Make Up, Marks and Spencer, MDMFlow, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Primark, psbloggers

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.

Love this post? Then follow me on Bloglovin!

 

Standard
ASOS Curve, Black Heart Creatives, Charlotte Tilbury, Ilamasqua, lipstick, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, Primark, psbloggers, Tatty Devine

Playing Out

I went out dancing for the first time in ages on Saturday night, and it was absolutely fantastic. I drank gin and tonics from gigantic red cups, I waltzed to Erasure with strangers and friends, I covered myself in glittery sequins (which I’m still finding about my person despite having bathed *and* showered) and I ate McDonald’s mozzarella dippers at 3am. On my way there, a woman looked me up and down before hissing ‘what does she think she looks like wearing THAT?’ To which I answered ‘really effing good actually, ta love.’

Full frontal playsuit

PLAYSUIT: ASOS Curve

BELT: Primark (old)

SHOES: Primark

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine (old)

EARRINGS: Black Heart Creatives

Sassy playsuit

This playsuit is one of those items that bitchy fashion pieces will tell you that fat women should never wear. Imagine it! Getting your dumpy white legs out in public! The horror! To which I say, screw it.

I love this tropical little number from ASOS. It’s comfy and stretchy and a cinch to whip off when you’re in a toilet with a broken lock trying to have a wee.I sized up so it accommodated my boobs, but honestly you probably don’t have to do so. Buy one for yourself and revel in that gorgeous tropical print. In fact, buy two and give one to a fat pal so they can look excellent in it too.

Playsuit selfie

A summer night out called for my most summery lipstick, Charlotte Tilbury’s delicious 1975 Red. Sadly, that was a limited edition shade so you can no longer find it (unless you hunt around on Ebay), but I’ve been reliably informed that ‘Hot Emily’ from her ‘Hot Lips’ collection is a pretty good dupe. I’m also totally in love with the primer I’m wearing here, Ilamasqua’s Hydra Veil. It’s a bit of a bugger to apply, as it’s a gel and so can feel a bit slimy when you’re slapping it on. However, it might just be the best primer I’ve ever used. It makes me look airbrushed and hides all my lumps and bumps. While my skin is a lot better now I’ve been patch tested by my dermatologist and know which ingredients trigger my eczema, every little helps on my quest for glowy porcelain perfection.

 

Standard
ASOS Curve, fashion, gold, lipstick, MAC, Marks and Spencer, ootd, Outfit post, outfits, personal style, Plus sized, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, scarves, Topshop, vintage, wiwt

Put a scarf on it

I love scarves. My house is littered with them and I’m always thinking of ways I can incorporate them into my outfits. Now I’ve (finally) gone and bought myself a new pair of jeans, I’ve reverted back to my standard uniform of jeans, t-shirt and a jewel coloured scarf draped around my neck. It’s a chic and colourful combo, although I do worry that if I tie my scarf the wrong way I’ll look like a cowgirl on her way to the rodeo.

Put a scarf on it

COAT: Marks and Spencer

T-SHIRT: ASOS Curve

SCARF: Vintage

JEANS: Marks and Spencer

BOOTS: Topshop

EARRINGS: Topshop

TOTE BAG: Verso 

Side eye

I hate jeans. Which is a bold thing to say when I consider them to be a staple item in my wardrobe. But no other item of clothing makes me feel as depressed as jeans do. Very few fit my body shape to my liking, usually being too tight around my thighs and too loose around my hips and butt. However, I think I’ve finally cracked it with these jeggings from Marks and Spencer. Jeggings may be one of the worst portmanteau words in the clothing lexicon, but I’ll forgive these because they’re ridiculously comfortable and fit like a dream. Plus, they look great worn with these gorgeous boots from Topshop which are also way comfier than they look. Any shoe which can cushion my feet from the mean Mancunian streets is a sure fire winner.

Glowing

I had a bit of a moment in MAC over Easter when I saw their stunning Charlotte Olympia collection. Somehow I managed not to buy all of it, limiting myself to an eyeshadow brush, a gold cream eyeshadow and this gorgeous matte lipstick in Retro Rouge. It’s a browner, deeper red than I usually wear, but I love how it really brings out the blue and green in my eyes. I added a sweep of Topshop’s Chameleon highlighter across my cheeks for that whole ‘cherub sent down from heaven’ look I’ve been so fond of recently.

Standard
fat acceptance, fat positivity, personal style, plus sized bloggers, plus sized blogging, plus sized fashion, tattoos

Sympathetic Ink: On tattoos and fat acceptance

My most recent tattoo. Isn't she gorgeous?

My most recent tattoo. Isn’t she gorgeous?

When I got my first tattoo – a small ‘Love’ symbol on my right wrist – back in 2008, I laughed when people told me that they were addictive. ‘Nope,’ I told everyone. ‘That’s not going to happen to me. I might get one or two, but I’m not going to be one of those people with ink covering both arms.’ Cut to a fortnight ago when I decided that my left arm was ‘looking a bit bare’ and it made sense to get a fantastically fierce (and gigantic) tiger lady tattooed on it. Famous last words and all that.

It’s a massive cliché, but I love my tattoos. I have eight of them (so far) and they are as much a part of me as one of my arms or feet. They’re a map of memories on my skin – markers of my constantly evolving relationship with my body, a process that has been as challenging as it has been rewarding.

Four of my tattoos.

Four of my tattoos.

Like many people, I’ve spent a fair chunk of my life waging a war against my appearance. For most of my 20s I believed I was too unattractive, too weird and too fat for anyone to take me seriously. I will never forget logging on to a forum I frequented in 2005 to discover that some people (who I misguidedly thought were my friends) had uploaded a picture of me and were poking fun at my hair, my clothes and my size. Or the time that my ex asked me what happened to the skinny girl he fell in love with. Little things, but they stick to you like tar, making you feel lumpen and useless.

This isn’t some sob story. I’m sure that everyone reading this will have similar tales to share (after all, we live in a society that encourages us to find fault with ourselves in the smallest things.) As I’ve gotten older, I’ve called a truce in the war I’d been constantly waging against myself. I don’t have the time or the energy to invest in trying to take up less space in the world. Instead, I’d much rather work on appreciating the fantastic landscape of my body – belly rolls, double chin and all.

My favourite picture of me with my rolling pin tattoo. You would never know that I'd only had four hours sleep when this picture was taken.

My favourite picture of me with my rolling pin tattoo. You would never know that I’d only had four hours sleep when this picture was taken.

I see getting tattooed as my own form of self care. It shows that I care about my body so much that I want to cover it in beautiful, interesting art that I can show off to the world. That I am proud to show off a fat body, which I am supposed to feel discomforted and shamed by. I’ve written before about my mildly antagonistic relationship with my upper arms, always believing them to be too white and too flabby. Getting them inked gave me the perfect opportunity to flaunt them and their satisfying roundness to the world. I still have days where I feel uncomfortable or anxious about how I look. But I have even more where I look in the mirror and see a super-hot, confident woman looking back at me. A woman who just happens to have a naked pin-up girl decorating her right arm.

I realise that getting tattooed is not for everyone. Good ones done by experienced artists are expensive and I’m exceptionally privileged to be able to afford mine. I am also lucky enough to work in an environment where they have never been an issue (although I do keep them covered when I have to be ‘professional.’) And whenever I’ve shown them to my parents, they’ve been met with a drama-free meh rather than a cry of you’ve brought shame upon this family!  Although my Dad did raise an eyebrow when I got a giant multi-coloured rolling pin on my right arm.

Fat positivity is expressed in a variety of different ways. Mine just happens to come in the form of signs and symbols swirling over my arms. And when people ask me what my various tattoos mean, I tell them that they mean that my body is important. My body is magnificent. My body is beautiful.

Standard