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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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Barcelona Beach Baby

Much like my beloved Liverpool, Barcelona is a city with its own beach. Frankly, it would have been rude for us not to pay it a quick visit. And while I promise that this will be my last ‘hey look everyone, I went to Barcelona!’ post, I feel like I’ve saved the best outfit for last.

barcelona-jumpsuit

JUMPSUIT: ASOS Curve

BELT: ASOS Curve (old, but this is similar!)

SANDALS: ASOS

NECKLACE: Tatty Devine (old, but this one is very similar!)

EARRINGS: Oliver Bonas

I’m mildly annoyed that I wasn’t able to take a killer outfit pic while I was wearing this jumpsuit because I love it so much. It looks like something I’d find being sold in Whistles, a store whose items I frequently lament over. (Seriously Whistles, extend your sizes and I will become one of your most devoted customers.) It’s loose and flowing, and the colours are gorgeous. The only – minor – quibble I have with it is that I wish it had a tie belt to define the waist, but this is more down to the way I’m shaped rather than any fatal design flaw.

barcelona-poseur

It’s my blog and I’ll pull a stupid face if I want to.

I so wish that more plus sized designers would create modern, vibrant pieces like this instead of thinking that we’re content with twee frills and bows, boxy shapeless tents and ‘cold shoulders’. (We may be fat, but don’t we deserve to have warm shoulders too? Do you know much it rains in the UK?)

barcelona-charlotte-tilbury-highlighter

I know that this has become a bit of a Charlotte Tilbury fan blog, but I’m in awe of how good her dreamy glow highlighter made me look. One quick swish of this stuff turned me into a golden glowing goddess, despite three days of late nights, giant gins and salty snacks.

The packaging is also divine, featuring a gorgeous picture of Carmen dell’Orefice shot by Norman Parkinson for Vogue, in the Bahamas. Norman Parkinson is one of my favourite fashion photographers, so I’ll be cherishing this compact long after the highlighter powder has run out. Sadly, this was limited edition, so isn’t being stocked by Charlotte Tilbury anymore. However, I’d seriously recommend taking a nosy around Ebay and seeing if you can snap one up. It’s that good.

Love this post? Then follow me on Bloglovin!

 

 

 

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Who wears short shorts?

I’ve been back in the UK for a week and my holiday feels like it was a very long time ago. But that isn’t going to stop me posting another Barcelona outfit. I’m not really one for shorts, preferring to waft around in floaty skirts and dresses when it’s warm outside. When I was a kid in the early 90s, I loved stomping around in shorts and Doc Marten boots, much to the horror of my parents who were always convinced that I’d end up getting some extremely localised foot sunstroke (although I’m yet to discover a medical affliction caused by stomping around seaside resorts while looking like a mini Tank Girl.)

Of course, now I am all grown up and sensible, you’d never find me conducting myself in such a manner. After all, why stomp around in Doc Martens when you can stomp around in silver sandals?

Fronting

SUNGLASSES: ASOS (The ones I’m wearing here are out of stock, but these are very similar)

NECKLACE: Meri Meri

EARRINGS: Mango

T-SHIRT: Junarose

SHORTS: ASOS

HANDBAG: Liquorish (old)

SHOES: ASOS

Yup, that is my stomach outline that you can see through those shorts, and pretty magnificent it is too. I felt slightly self conscious about it when I first wore these but after five minutes, I discovered that they were so comfy (and cute) that it didn’t really matter.

Side Eye

While they’re fairly true to size, the waist is elasticated, meaning that they’ve got a bit of give to them. I also managed to wear them for an extended period of time without getting the dreaded chub rub – no mean feat when you’re doing lots of walking. This is the second summer holiday I’ve taken these on this year and they’re as good for lounging around on a beach as they are for wandering around European cities.

Unfortunately, as I was writing this blog post, these shorts sold out (how inconsiderate!) If you’re interested in them, I’d recommend hanging around the ASOS website to see if there are any returns in your size, or investing in this equally lovely pair.

Palm leaves and pineapples

I’ve just discovered Mango’s excellent range of jewellery and picked up these lovely – and remarkably inexpensive – earrings in their recent sale. I definitely recommend taking a look at their stuff if you fancy nabbing an office wear friendly bargain.

 

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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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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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Peg Leg

I’m not a huge wearer of trousers. I think I have some residual trauma from years of wearing awful polyester school pants followed by trying to buy jeans which fit properly. But one of my 2016 fashion resolutions was to experiment more with my look, both with clothes and make-up . I loved how these peg leg trousers were styled on the ASOS Curve website and thought they would be great to wear for work and play.

Full length 2

TOP: ASOS Curve

TROUSERS: ASOS Curve

SHOES: ASOS

NECKLACE: Topshop

EARRINGS: Topshop

I didn’t expect much from these trousers to be honest. I worried that they’d go baggy after a few wears or slip down my hips and accidentally reveal my butt at inconvenient moments. But they are super comfy, super stretchy and have pleasingly deep pockets. My colleagues have nicknamed these my ‘Beetlejuice trousers’ because they do look like something you would wear for a Beetlejuice cosplay. Hey, he did know how to rock a stripe.

Full length 1

I’ve tended to wear these with heeled boots, but now the weather’s getting warmer, these super cool heeled silver ASOS loafers are getting more of an outing. They look so good that I will forgive them for giving me some ridiculously painful blisters the first time I wore them.

Kitchen selfie

I’ve been suffering terribly from eczema around my cheeks, chin, mouth and eyes recently. I’ll write more about my experiences with this soon, but it’s really dented my confidence. I consider myself to be a woman who is very comfortable with her looks, but it’s still hard when you look in the mirror and see huge, angry looking red blotches all over your face.

I’m slowly getting to grips with it thanks to a lovely dermatologist and spending an eye watering sum of money on topical steroids. But I thought I’d do a slightly more bronzed look (with some added eye make-up) to go with this outfit. I used MAC’s Charlotte Olympia collection cream color base in ‘Golden Age’, followed by MAC’s eyeshadow in Swiss Chocolate. I then went over this with a gold eye pencil I’d received in my Birchbox a few months ago. The lipstick is my beloved MAC Charlotte Olympia ‘Retro Rouge’ which is pretty much my go-to red at the moment. I love how well it complements my hair and eyes, plus it lasts for ages. Which is handy when you drink as much tea as I do.

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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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