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)

 

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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…

 

 

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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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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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Candy Stripes

The weather has been absolutely glorious in Liverpool recently, so Mr. McMc and I decided to make the most of it by getting out of the house and soaking up some sunshine. On Sunday, we went to see the (incredible) Francis Bacon ‘invisible rooms’ exhibition at Tate Liverpool, followed by a long walk by the River Mersey and a pint in The Baltic Fleet – possibly the only pub I’ve ever found which has a sea shanties night every Saturday.

Good weather doesn’t tend to last long in this part of the world, so I used it as an excuse to finally throw out the tights and break out the summer dresses, like this glorious ice cream striped rockabilly shirt dress from Lindy Bop.

Me Candy Striped 2

The colours of this dress remind me of the seaside, 99 ice creams with raspberry sauce and neon pink sticks of Blackpool rock. One thing to note is that it is quite tight around the bust, particularly with the buttons, so you might need to size up if (like me) you’re blessed with rather large boobs.

I teamed this outfit with a delightful pom-pom studded wicker bag that I found in Primark (!!) which will be just the thing to cart my stuff around in when I go on holiday in a fortnight.

Candy Stripe 2

SUNGLASSES: Monki

DRESS: Lindy Bop

CARDIGAN: Collectif (old)

BAG: Primark

SHOES: Primark

EARRINGS: Topshop

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine (old)

Nyx Lipstick in Sao Paolo

I’ve really gotten into NYX’s soft matte lip creams recently as they’re a relatively cheap way to try out bold, bright colours. They’ve got pretty decent staying power and don’t crack as they dry (which is more than can be said for other budget brands I’ve tried.) I’m wearing San Paulo here which is a gloriously vibrant shade of pink and which I know will be great for summer.

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Chub Tropicana

Weddings are awesome. Well, all the ones I’ve ever been to have been awesome at least. Earlier this month, my excellent friends Michael and Francesca got married at Brockwell Lido, and it was an utterly perfect day. The sun shone, the booze flowed, there was a mariachi band, my best friend and I danced in a remarkably ’emotional’ way to ‘Yes’ by McAlmont & Butler and everyone looked fantastic.

I thought I scrubbed up pretty well considering that less than twelve hours before, I was crying uncontrollably while drinking prosecco out of a pint glass (it was my last day at my old job – there were mitigating circumstances!)

Hand on hip

DRESS: Paperdolls at Simply Be

SHOES: Primark

EARRINGS: Topshop

SUNGLASSES: Topshop

LIPSTICK: All Fired Up by MAC

Lets all take a moment to appreciate this gorgeous dress from Simply Be because I very nearly didn’t buy it. I’d originally opted to go with something from ASOS until – horror of horrors! – they sent me the wrong item. By the time they’d realised their mistake, the dress I wanted was out of stock. As it turned out, I was quite happy that ASOS screwed up, because this dress is a real stunner. The floral pattern is bright, bold and beautiful, it shows the perfect amount of cleavage, and it clings to all the right places. Plus, it’s stretchy enough to allow you to throw yourself around on a dance floor, which should be a key attribute of any good wedding outfit.

Sunglasses on

What I like most about this outfit though is that I look very visibly chubby around the middle – even though I was wearing some pretty heavy duty shape wear. A few years ago, this would have depressed me mightily (‘I spent all that money on Spanx and I don’t have a flat stomach?’) I’m not going to lie and say that I’m 100% comfortable with it, but when I look at these pictures now, I see a happy confident fat woman wearing a fantastic dress. (And, may I add, looking pretty good while doing it.) That new found appreciation of my body – as an ally I should take care of rather than a foe to be defeated – means far more to me than a bit of pudge and a double chin.

A fashion blogger's work is never done

Living that 24/7 selfie life with Mr. McMc

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Tropicalia

A word of advice – never bet. Or, to be more precise, never bet on the outcome of premier league football. Earlier this year, emboldened by wine and my own misplaced bravado, I made a foolhardy bet with Mr. McMc that if Tim Sherwood kept Aston Villa up this season, I’d buy him dinner. At the time, it seemed like a no brainer. Villa’s prospects were poor and Sherwood didn’t exactly excel as manager during his time at Spurs. Well, the gilet-wearing git only went and did the impossible. And, because I am a woman of my word, I decided to dress up all fancy last weekend and take my bird out for a slap up Tapas tea.

ASOS dress body shot

One day I will post an outfit picture where I am not squinting, and where it doesn’t look as though I’m going to leap through the screen and beat you up.

ASOS sandals

I’d like to apologise for any trauma that readers experience after being subjected to a picture of my manky feet.

DRESS: ASOS

BELT: Primark

SANDALS: ASOS

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine

EARRINGS: Topshop

The dress is an oldie-but-a-goodie that I bought from ASOS last year after seeing it worn on the always glamorous George from Fuller Figure Fuller Bust. Sadly, you’re going to have to take my word about it revealing a tasteful amount of back, as it turns out it’s nigh on impossble for me to get a decent picture of my own back, even when I’m contorting myself in front of a mirror. However, the crowning glory of this tropical mess of an outfit is the sandals. I lost my head slightly during ASOS’s 20% off everything sale a few weeks back, and decided that they were just the shoes I needed to cut my feet into ribbons this summer. Like so many shoes I’ve bought in my lifetime, while they look gorgeous, they require a whole lot of breaking in. In a fit of ill advised vanity, I decided to wear them to a meeting in Manchester last week, and spent most of my time there waddling around like a duck as they rubbed on the sides of my feet. By the time I managed to hobble back home, my blisters had blisters. What can I say? I suffer for my art.

MAC - All Fired Up

I’ve spoken before about my deep deep love for MAC’s All Fired Up, but it has very quickly become my go-to lipstick. Perhaps it’s because it goes so well with my hair, or perhaps because wearing such a bright shade makes me feel incredibly joyous, but it feels like the perfect lipstick for summer. I rarely leave home without it.

NARS lipgloss

And because I’m such a generous person, here’s two selfies for the price of one, and a shout out to NAR’s lipgloss in Corsica which is just gorgeous. Purchased during what I am now calling ‘the great ASOS spree of June 2015,’ it’s an incredibly flattering shade of pinky-brown with just a touch of shimmer. It’s matt, isn’t sticky or gloopy and has real staying power (or as much staying power as you could ask for from a lipgloss.)  I’m not the greatest fan of lipglosses, but (like all NARs products) this one is a real keeper.

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